Most of us have, at one point or another, experienced a moment, a day, or even an extended period of time when we felt like we were flat-out terrible at communicating.
Maybe someone didn’t understand your intentions. Or the conversations didn’t turn out how you desired. Or the results you requested didn’t come in as expected.
You can try and point the finger at something else, but if you’ve noticed a consistent pattern of communication failures with different people, odds are it’s something you’re doing.
I – Word Understanding
Intentions – A thing intended
Communication failures – Miscommunication
II – Have Your Say
Here are five common errors and all the ways you can start fixing them today:
1. You don’t pay attention
* You know what you want to get across — and to be honest, that’s the only half of the conversation you’re really focused on.
Solution * there’s a lot of advice on how to look engaged, like making frequent eye contact or nodding your head in agreement.
* Show interest
2. You don’t get to the point
* You’re either droning on and on about something irrelevant, or you’re otherwise sharing details that aren’t necessary. As a result, your meaning is skewed and the other person loses interest.
Solution * try to communicate as briefly and concisely as possible.
3. You don’t encourage two-way communication
* If you’re a boss who only gives commands, or an employee who never asks questions, you’re closing the door on meaningful dialogue.
Solution * focus on making people feel welcome to ask questions or provide more information.
4. You don’t use the right platform
* There are dozens of distinct mediums for getting a message across, and most of us use them all on a daily basis, whether that’s in conversation with our friends, loved ones, coworkers, or acquaintances.
Solution * you should always strive to choose the medium that’s most appropriate for the situation.
5. You don’t ask for feedback
* Nobody’s perfect. You might follow all the “best practice” advice you can find on the internet, but there will always be small personal areas for improvement.
Solution * Go out of your way to ask your peers and superiors for feedback (this can be as formal or as informal as you’d like).