Conversation Blunders: Fixing a Failure to Communicate
Are you communicating to your full capability? Maybe not. There are a lot of mistakes when it comes to talking with people, whether they are bosses, team members, or employees. You need to keep your eyes on the goal. Here are some common mistakes made in communication.
1. Combat mentality
Sometimes, what starts as a conversation turns into an argument. You don’t need to “win” a conversation. You also don’t need to show you’re the big man/woman. As the boss, you need to get out of debate mode. Take it down a notch.
Remember on Star Trek when someone would set up a convoluted plan that took five minutes to explain, then someone would come in a say something that explained everything in one sentence? And it usually involved reversing the polarity. Anyway, oversimplification works for the folks watching at him, but if they spent a little more time going over the plan on Star Trek, maybe all those red shirts didn’t have to die. If something is complex, let it be complex and make sure everyone’s on the same page before moving on.
3. Lashing out and shutting down
Conversation is a give and take – but not that kind. Lashing out is a type of combative behavior, but the response of shutting down is often an unintended result. When someone says, “I don’t care; do what you want,” the whole reason you started the conversation is gone. Don’t give people a reason to shut down. Keep them engages.
4. Getting stuck
When we get stuck in conversations, it usually has to do with an insecurity or misunderstanding. Make sure you aren’t caught in any of the traps above. Next, see if you’re hung up on something. Table it for later if you can’t move on.
Nothing kills a conversation like rehearsal. You aren’t performing a scene, you’re conversing. Take the presentation out of your conversation. Don’t assume you know what your partner is going to say.
What are some communication tips that have helped you? Let us know in the comments!