Sending an email without checking it and realizing later that it contains a mistake can be very embarrassing and unprofessional. Nevertheless, other communication mistakes can have more consequences that are serious. They can damage your reputation, upset clients, or even lead to lost revenue.
Hereunder are some common communication mistakes and the ways to avoid them.
Not Editing Your Work
Check the spelling, tone, and grammar of all your communications before sending them. Such mistakes can make you look careless. Do not count on spell-checkers and instead proofread your work, and make use of a dictionary to look up any words that you are uncertain about.
Try to read your work aloud because it makes it easier to find errors. Also, consider asking a colleague to look over your important documents before you send them.
Delivering Bad News by Email
If you announce layoffs to your team by email could upset everyone. If you want to deliver difficult messages, the written communication channels will not help you because they do not let you deal immediately with intense emotions. Instead, do it in person and sensitively. When you convey a bad message personally, you can use signs of the body language to help people understand the key parts of your message and deal with the difficult news.
Avoiding Difficult Conversations
Sometimes, you will have to give negative feedback. You cannot avoid these situations especially that small problems can grow into big ones. Therefore, the best thing to handle difficult conversations is to prepare yourself by learning to give clear, actionable feedback.
Not Being Assertive
Assertiveness is about saying what you want without forgetting the needs of others. By being assertive, you have a better chance of getting what you want because you have been clear about your needs. Furthermore, being assertive also means saying “no” when you need to. You should not confuse assertiveness with aggression that is pushing to get your own way without thinking about other people’s rights, wants and needs.
Reacting, Not Responding
Any aggressive emotional reaction at work can damage your reputation. You may hurt and upset people with your tough emotions, and give the impression that you lack self-control and emotional intelligence.
Not Preparing Thoroughly
It is crucial to well prepare and plan your communications. Preparing poorly your presentations, reports, or emails can irritate your audience and hurt your reputation. Try to put some time to plan your communication thoroughly. Work to create a credible, intelligent, and compelling message that attracts your audience.
If you are making a speech, rehearse carefully.
Assuming That Your Message has Been Understood
Always check that people have correctly understood your message by using open questions starting with “how”, “why” or “what”. These will push your audience to personally know what they have taken from your communication.