Mistakes when communicating can be costly. If people don't understand the message you won't get the outcomes you were looking for. Poor communication can be de-motivational and also have an impact on your credibility.
Poor communication doesn't just apply to written messages. Of course if you send an email with a lot of spelling mistakes in it then this will look really bad, but you also need to consider how effectively you communicate on a face to face basis.
Have a look at the points below and see if you are making these communication mistakes:
Not Adapting Your Style - There isn't a one size fits all approach to communication. People take on board information differently. People expect different levels of details and different styles of approach. You need to consider the people or person you are communicating to and adapt your style to meet their needs.
Not Checking Your Work - Not checking and double checking your emails or other written documents for spelling and grammatical errors not only makes you look unprofessional, it also makes it difficult to understand the message. Be sure to check your message before sending it.
Not Thinking About the Purpose - Before you communicate you need to consider the objective of your communication - what do you want the person to know or do as a result of your communication. By thinking about the objective of the message you can think about what needs to go into the message to ensure you get the point across. You also need to check that the message has been understood - don't just assume it has.
Not Choosing the Right Method - You should think about the best method of communication to get your message across. For example, email isn't the best method of delivering bad news, face to face isn't always the best option to deliver lots of detail. Although face to face should be seen as the main method of communication, you should think about how best to get the message across.
Not Having the Conversation - Avoiding conversations because you think its going to be difficult isn't going to make the problem go away. The longer you leave it the harder the conversation becomes. Plan out what you want to say, rehearse it and deliver it. Don't put it off.
Speaking Before You Think - If someone is delivering a difficult message to you or demonstrating negative behaviours whilst communicating to you, don't just react. Your gut reaction may not be the best reaction and may fuel further negative behaviours. Be assertive, take a few seconds to think and 'engage your brain'. Quickly consider the best way to respond. Normally the best think to do is remain calm and controlled regardless of how bad the behaviour of the other person.
Not Listening - Yes what you have to say is important, but so is what the other person has to say. If you think that your message is the most important this may stop you from listening effectively. Not listening means you can't have an effective conversation. Also consider your other barriers to listening.
Communicating effectively doesn't happen by itself. It takes time, concentration and practice. If you want more ideas or help communicating effectively then why not attend one of our Communication Skills Training Courses. We've got them all across the UK. Take a look at the Communication Skills Training Course page here. You also may like to look at our Assertiveness Skills Training Course that will help you to communicate more confidently.