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.
Yes, communication is important. 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.