Wednesday, July 15, 2015

6 Common Communication Mistakes You May Be Making

Miscommunication can make or break our world.  Bad communication leads to broken relationships:  with the people you work with, your clients or customers, your family, your at-large community.

6 Common Communication Mistakes that you might be making:

1.  Not using "we" language.
Newsflash.  Relationships are not a competition.  Or at least they shouldn't be.  When you start to think in terms of "me" and "you", it's time to reframe the conversation and think of yourselves as a team.  Work to solve a problem, not to be victorious.

2. Not giving eye contact.
When people are not looking at us when we talk, how does that make you feel?  Not good, right?  So try living by the golden rule and give other people the same courtesy that you want to be given.

3. Interrupting.
What does it say to someone when you interrupt them?  It says, "What I have to say is more important than what you have to say."  This can be a result of excitement or a desire for power.  Either way, it still says.  "I'm more important than you."

4. Making assumptions before you hear the whole message.
You have probably had the thought, "Oh I don't even have to hear the rest of this - I already know what they're going to say!" Well, maybe you do .... maybe you don't.  Don't do that.  We don't like when people make assumptions about what we are saying, do don't do that to other people either.

5. Not asking probing questions of other people.
Saying things like, "Tell me more about that" or "So how did that make you feel?" lets the other person know that you care about them enough to ask for more information.  That's called a probing question. Ask people to elaborate.  It makes them feel good and shows that you're interested.

6. Needing to "win" an argument.
I repeat.....Relationships are not a competition.  Admitting that you're wrong is not a sign of weakness.  It is a sign of maturity.  No one is right all of the time.  Don't think you have to "win."  Acknowledging your mistakes will not give away your power.  It shows that you are the better person because you can be honest.

Being a good communicator takes effort.  It's like being a good athlete - you have to practice if you want to be good at your craft!

Are the communicator you need to be?

Ann Meacham is president of Leadership Dynamics.  She works with business leaders to help them see issues that need to be addressed and ensure that the focus is on the big picture.

Sign up for a Free Leadership Strategy Session on her website.  Email a comment to  

1 comment: