Saturday, August 15, 2015

More Common Communication Mistakes that You Might Be Making (part 2 of 2)

These are behaviors we have all been guilty of at some time.

If you missed part 1, click here to read 6 Common Communication Mistakes

7. Having negative or apathetic body language.
People are constantly throwing off a storm of signals. These signals are often silent (non-verbal) messages communicated through the sender's body movements, facial expressions, voice tone and loudness. If these don’t match your words, you may be viewed as inauthentic and not someone to trust.

8. Not paraphrasing and restating what the other person says.
The only way they can know that you heard and understand them is to restate what they said or comment in some way.

9. Letting your emotions control what you say.
Words cannot be retracted.  When you’re angry, pause for a few seconds (minutes, hours) until you can think logically and create the outcome you desire.  

10. Attacking other people’s character instead of what they say or do.
Disagree with what someone says.  Resist saying, you’re a jerk! Instead of tearing them down, build them up.

11. Expecting people read your mind.
Speak directly and give clear expectations.  Remember, no one is a mind reader.  You can prevent being disappointed by clearly stating what you want.

12. Giving up your power with your words.

STOP saying “I’m sorry.” If an apology is warranted (and often it is not) DO say, “I apologize” ….that I missed the meeting, forgot to bring my report, etc.    There are lots of ways to be polite without coming across as weak.  The other person is more likely to take advantage of you if they believe you are weak. And will trust you if they believe you are sincere.
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 you the communicator you need to be?

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

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