Please Be Quiet …Ratcheting Down The Volume

Communication is so important that some people work against it by over-communicating. Others hold communication in such regard that they shy away from it for fear of causing harm.

During a recent risk management summit, attendees were given a cheat sheet from “Communicating for Dummies” by Marty Brounstein. Included on that cheat sheet was a list of pitfalls to avoid in workplace communications. Those pitfalls include:

  • Using emails to express concerns. Instead, go to the source to work out problems in person.
  • Talking too much in sales situations. Learn instead to understand the customer’s needs.
  • Responding to requests by immediately saying it can’t be done. Instead, emphasize what can be done and when.
  • Managers providing employees with opinionated criticism when their performance needs improvement. Instead, provide specific performance-focused feedback based on management observations.
  • Saying yes without meaning it. Instead, express concerns constructively and offer alternatives as to what will work better.
  • Sitting by quietly and passively when people discuss issues. Instead, interact with the message and provide verbal feedback to make sure everyone understands the message.
  • Dwelling on what’s wrong or who’s at fault when dealing with problem situations. Instead, focus on working out solutions with others and on how to make the situation better.