What are The Top 5 Communication Mistakes? # 1

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What are the top 5 communication mistakes made every day?  Do you make any of these? They are so common, but many are not game to admit it.

When you work on a daily basis with teams and businesses that are struggling with communication, you see a lot!   It is extremely rewarding to see things turn around.  One of my favourite things is when you observe people really connecting, once they know how.

Today, lets begin a conversation about the most common mistakes we make everyday.  Let’s discuss the first of 5 most common mistakes that we see people make in communication every day.  Read on, you may identify with some of this information.

1: Speaking without or before thinking

When you speak before you think it can be disastrous!  I don’t know about you, but much of what goes on in my head is not for public viewing. I can be hard, critical, judgmental, stubborn, and that’s all before breakfast!  If you can slow down and think before you speak, you have time to be clear on what your intention is.

Good question, what is your intention?

Most of the time we don’t even take the time to work this out. Is it to teach, to share, to connect or to impose?   When you aren’t clear of your intention, how can your listener be clear?   As a young Manager I had a team member who was beginning to make a habit of being late to team meetings.  My communication style automatically interprets this as disrespect to me and to the team – that our “important” meetings were not a priority for her.  One morning she arrived late and disorganised again.  I knew I needed to address it.  Fortunately, I had the intuition to ask her what was going on before I “tore strips off her for seemingly disrespecting me and the team”.

I asked what was going on and she quickly and unexpectedly burst into tears as she divulged that her marriage was breaking apart and she was not coping at all.  WOW!  Not on my radar at all! How would I have felt if I had given a serve only to find out my ASSUMPTION of the INTENTION (ie disrespect and lack of priority) was nowhere near the reality?  Her life was in tatters and she was only just hanging on, she certainly did not need me adding to the pressure.

Thankfully I and asked a question “How are you doing?”  Instead of “Why are you always late to meetings!  You are being so disrespectful!”

Can you imagine how this conversation may have turned out had I “stated” rather than “asked.”  This is a really key tip! Ask more questions so you know what issue you’re dealing with.  Drop the assumptions, get clear on your intent and think before you speak.

Next time we will look at the second of the top 5 communication mistakes made everyday. If you have found this helpful please share it with someone who would benefit.

For tips, free resources and information on our upcoming Master class “The Art Of Difficult Conversations” check out our website at www.teamology.com.au

Until next time, Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.  Let’s change the world we live in one conversation at a time.


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