show tip0Results 0found results
6 minutes read
February 21, 2018
The biggest mistake we all make, leading to countless other problems along the way, is this:we don't ask any questions.
What do we do instead?We accept.
We hear what people are saying and we think we know what they mean and how they feel.
Here is the sample dialog that happens at work:
A: "How can you be mad that Ben is 15 minutes late? It's only 15 minutes, we have the whole day ahead of us. You overreact.”
B: "Well, we have a big announcement to make today and we need him to complete a task. He probably won't make it in time and we'll have to delay the release."
Instead of judging that someone is overreacting because Ben is late, you can do thisask for a reasonbehind her stress:
A: "Why is it so important to you that he's here now?"
B: "Well, we have a big announcement to make today and we need him to get a job done."
A: "So what happens if he doesn't finish it on time?"
B: “Well, we promised the media and our customers to get the materials before 3pm while they are still working. If we disappoint them once, it will be difficult to get help from them next time.”
People guess. It seems obvious that they should ask, "Why is it so important that Ben is here now?" or "Why are you so stressed that he's not here yet?" But instead we assume a person is neurotic, probably because it's easier.
We don't ask questions, we accept
Suppose your manager tells you that you can finish work on a new role in the next week. They assume that next Friday will be fine. Why shouldn't it be, right? On Wednesday your manager asks you:
Manager: "So, when is the release? Are you ready today?”
Her: "No, it'll be ready on Friday. You said next week."
Manager: "Hmm, do you think Friday is a good day to release new features?" Or maybe customers go home and don't care?”
And so are youstart a conversation on another topic- When is a good day to release new features? Because your manager assumed you already knew Friday wasn't a good day, and you assumed he didn't care what day you pick as long as it's "next week."
And so disappointments arise. (Still wondering why you don't get a raise? ;)).
The reason for the mentioned misunderstandings could bethe lack of communication goals. Why are you talking about releasing a feature? Did you set a date or just talked about it and didn't decide anything? Draw conclusions from each conversation.
We don't try to understand, we judge based on our experience
The other thing based on assumptions and missing questions is that we judge people's behavior based on our experience. And we are often far from the truth.
When you're talking to your teammate or a client and he or she gets nervous easily - are you judging them by saying they're crazy, or are you looking for a reason?
There aremany reasons for people to lose their composurein the talks. Whether in chat or in real life. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're crazy. Maybe they didn't sleep at all and are irritated? Classic. Maybe you have a hard time at home with your child? Classic. Or maybe they are just very hungry? Very classic.
There should be a willingness to understand another's point of view and behaviorone of the main goals of communication.
Suppose your manager is annoying you because he or she wants you to do something you don't like? And they know you don't like it? Well, your manager probably has his own boss and wants to do what is best for the company. It's not always personal. Before you judge and say you would never be a manager who lets people do what they don't like, put yourself in their shoes and how hard they must work.
Life would be great if we could all just do what we love, but sometimes everyone needs to expand their responsibilities.
If that still doesn't do you justice, speak to the manager and ask:
You: "You probably know that I don't like doing these things and that I'm better at something else. Can you tell me why this task is so important so that I can understand more?”
Manager: “Well, it turns out that we have foreign investors visiting us and we have to do our best to show them this and that. Hopefully we can go back to happier employees afterwards.”
Makes a difference, doesn't it? Sometimes you just have to ask.
self-confidence in communication
Most of the problems we have when working with teammates, managers and clients are caused by a lack of communication. And as if that wasn't enough, once we start talking, we also need to find the common ground, becauseWe all have different communication styles.
Some people are direct, they write and say simple sentences and expect quick answers. The others are sensitive and describe their feelings in long sentences - and are easily offended, mostly online - because that's where the above misunderstandings are most common. Read more about the postProblems with online communication: what to think about.
When these two communication worlds collide, they can cause problems and stress. I can't think of a better way to make it work than by asking questions and not being afraid to talk about how you're feeling.
Let's say a customer is mad at you because it takes a long time to resolve the issue.
Explain to them that you're not a failure like they claim - you're just handling a few cases at a time and trying your best. Don't hold grudges. If someone talks to you like this, they probably have more problems than you can imagine. Try to understand them.
And again, you can always ask.
Support Agent: "Why is it so important for you to solve this second you're yelling at me?"
Customer: "Because I'm leaving in 15 minutes and won't have internet. You must add this new credit card for my program to work. I am very stressed, sorry.”
Support agent: "Okay, in that case I'll forward the case to my colleague who can help you immediately."
Customer: "Thank you, you are a lifesaver."
Support Agent: "You know, I'm just doing my job."
I think knowing the insight makes all the difference. They don't see a customer as someone who is a devil who makes your day a nightmare. You begin to see this person as someone in need and your job is to help them. And that changes your tone inpositive communication.
to avoid communication errors
I realize that in my sample conversations I gave the perfect scenarios for everyone. Of course, it doesn't always work that way in real life.
But you can either find yourself on the right path of communication - show others that you keep your cool and are always ready to find common ground. Or you can get lost in the thick of emotions and assumptions.
What are you going to do? I asked, now it's your turn.
Get a glimpse into the future of business communications with Digital Natives.
Get the FREE report
Everyone makes communication mistakes from time to time. However, you'll protect your reputation if you avoid the most common errors. These include not editing your work, accidentally violating people's privacy when forwarding emails, and not being assertive.What are the main challenges facing business communication today? ›
Some indicators are lack of cooperation, unreached goals, high level of mistakes, casting blame, low motivation, low productivity, unsatisfied customers, arguments, high employee turnover and loss of clients. All of these can be symptoms of poor or problematic communication.What is an example of poor communication in business? ›
Intentionally using email and memos to communicate exclusively without ever speaking face to face with someone in the office is a form of the problem. Purposely avoiding a project or working with someone on a specific task without providing reasoning is also a form of passive-aggressive behavior in the workplace.What is the most common crisis communication mistake? ›
The most common communications mistake in a crisis is failing to weigh in on an issue in a timely fashion. Even if you don't have all the answers, say something. Organizations are often paralyzed by inaction, afraid to respond for fear of saying the wrong thing.
- Semantic barriers.
- Psychological barriers.
- Organisational barriers.
- Cultural barriers.
- Physical barriers.
- Physiological barriers.
- Dissatisfaction or Disinterest With One's Job. ...
- Inability to Listen to Others. ...
- Lack of Transparency & Trust. ...
- Communication Styles (when they differ) ...
- Conflicts in the Workplace. ...
- Cultural Differences & Language.
- Incorrect or inadequate communication channels.
- Language differences.
- Cultural differences.
- Departmental differences.
- Mismatched communication styles.
- Excessively complex messaging.
- Lack of context.
- Rushed communication.
- Challenge #1: Leadership. As leaders get further away, employees lose confidence and motivation. ...
- Challenge #2: Flexibility. Larger organizations provide less of the work flexibility that employees crave. ...
- Challenge #3: Autonomy. Employees in larger organizations have less autonomy.
- We assume that others should know. ...
- We panic. ...
- We seek attention in regrettable ways. ...
- We sulk.
Common Barriers to Effective Communication:
Over-complicated, unfamiliar and/or technical terms. Emotional barriers and taboos. Some people may find it difficult to express their emotions and some topics may be completely 'off-limits' or taboo.
- Not having a communication plan. ...
- A hierarchical organization. ...
- Unopened line of communication with the management. ...
- Sending irrelevant information. ...
- No platform for workplace communication. ...
- Incorrect ways of communication. ...
- Managers keep employees out of the loop.
In particular, three types of conflict are common in organizations: task conflict, relationship conflict, and value conflict. Although open communication, collaboration, and respect will go a long way toward conflict management, the three types of conflict can also benefit from targeted conflict-resolution tactics.What are 3 examples of negative communication? ›
- Avoiding Eye Contact. ...
- Not Listening. ...
- Interrupting. ...
- Using Verbal Placeholders. ...
- Negativity. ...
- Gossiping. ...
- Not Responding to Email. ...
- Lacking Contact Info in Signature Line.
A television advertisement in which a poker player cheats, thereby implying that an insurance company will engage in dishonest practices when resolving insurance claims. The lawyers with the firm each received a private reprimand.What are the types of communication errors? ›
- Crossing our arms and leaning back. ...
- Speaking loudly and quickly. ...
- Bringing up the past. ...
- Defending our feelings. ...
- Judging another's feelings. ...
- Interrupting the other person. ...
- Ignoring the other person. ...
- Blaming someone for our feelings.
These include filtering, selective perception, information overload, emotional disconnects, lack of source familiarity or credibility, workplace gossip, semantics, gender differences, differences in meaning between Sender and Receiver, and biased language. Let's examine each of these barriers.What are the 3 main barriers of communication? ›
Although the barriers to effective communication may be different for different situations, the following are some of the main barriers: Linguistic Barriers. Psychological Barriers. Emotional Barriers.What are the 4 main communication barriers? ›
Let's explore four categories of barriers to effective communication in the workplace (language barriers, inclusion barriers, cultural barriers, and environmental barriers).What affects communication in the workplace? ›
Cultural, physical, emotional and personality barriers are among the key factors that can hinder effective communication.What are 3 barriers to effective communication in the workplace? ›
Lack of attention, interest and distractions to the person listening. Differences in perception and viewpoint. Physical disabilities such as hearing problems or speech difficulties. Differences in language and unfamiliar accents.
Be careful with humor because it can easily get lost in translation without the right tone or body language; in general, in the professional world, it is best to leave humor out of communication.What are the 5 critical business challenges? ›
- Keeping up with the market.
- Planning ahead.
- Cash flow and financial management.
- Problem solving.
- The right systems.
- Skills and attitudes.
- Welcoming change.
- We All Need To Stay Flexible. Identify opportunities to stay flexible in the months ahead. ...
- Security Is A Major Issue. ...
- Customer Satisfaction Is Crucial. ...
- Online Competition Is Fierce. ...
- Employee Health Is A Priority.
What's the Biggest Challenge for most Businesses when Going Online?(1) Planning a Budget (2) Developing a Plan (3) Optimising a Website (4) Defining a Customer Base.What are 4 consequences of poor communication? ›
Stress, missed expectations, breakdowns in relationships, and unsatisfied clients are all effects of poor communication and indicate a problem in the workplace that needs to be addressed.What causes poor communication by management? ›
Low Employee Engagement
Disengaged employees are mentally checked out of their jobs and do the bare minimum to get by. So they don't see a point in going the extra mile and communicating. If your organization has low employee engagement, this might cause poor communication in your workplace.
Poor communication often creates a tense environment where people are not motivated to be productive and not inspired to collaborate. This lack of motivation then affects how employees relate to clients and potential customers, negatively affecting the bottom line.What are the 5 common types of workplace conflict? ›
- Interdependence conflict. Interdependence is when two or more people rely on one another to complete a task or reach a goal. ...
- Leadership conflict. ...
- Working style conflict. ...
- Personality conflict. ...
- Background-based conflict.
Balancing the 3 C's: Communication, Conflict Resolution and Commitment.What are the four types of conflict in business? ›
According to Amy Gallo, who wrote the Harvard Business Review Guide to Managing Conflict at Work, there are four types of work conflict: status conflict, task conflict, process conflict, and relationship conflict.
- Neglecting to make a business plan. ...
- Inadequate financial preparation and resources. ...
- Failing to monitor progress and adjust. ...
- Buying assets with your cash flow. ...
- Avoiding outside help. ...
- Setting the wrong price. ...
- Ignoring technology. ...
- Neglecting online marketing.
Inability to Listen to Others. Active listening is an important aspect of effective communication. You cannot engage with someone if you are not listening to them because you will tend to make assumptions about their needs based on your perceptions versus reality.What are 10 common business mistakes? ›
- Not Creating a Business Plan.
- Doing What You Love.
- Not Doing Market Research.
- Ignoring the Competition.
- Not Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses.
- Not Understanding What You're Actually Selling.
- Not Making Sure You Have Enough Money.
- Not Investing in Marketing.
The most common reasons small businesses fail include a lack of capital or funding, retaining an inadequate management team, a faulty infrastructure or business model, and unsuccessful marketing initiatives.What are five of the 10 common mistakes to avoid in writing? ›
- 1 Overuse of adverbs. ...
- 2 Too many prepositional phrases. ...
- 3 Ambiguous (“Squinting”) modifiers. ...
- 4 Misuse of lie/lay. ...
- 5 Ambiguous pronoun references. ...
- 6 Comma splices. ...
- 7 Run-on sentences. ...
- 8 Wordiness (inflated sentences)
- Using labels without behavioral examples. ...
- Using words that could be interpreted as “code” for bias or retaliation. ...
- Focusing on employee's intent instead of results. ...
- Including comments about why the problem occurred rather than on what actually happened.
- Semantic barriers.
- Psychological barriers.
- Organisational barriers.
- Cultural barriers.
- Physical barriers.
- Physiological barriers.
Communication Becomes Overwhelming
One of the main reasons why communication fails is that it becomes overwhelming. For many employees, there are simply too many messages relayed through too many channels. Consider one of the main culprits of overwhelming communication: the email.
Although the barriers to effective communication may be different for different situations, the following are some of the main barriers: Linguistic Barriers. Psychological Barriers. Emotional Barriers.What are 5 common communication barriers? ›
- Work environment.
- People's attitudes and emotional state.
- Time zone and geography.
- Distractions and other priorities.
- Cultures and languages.