The Muse is a good site for workplace advice and recently gave us 8 Communication Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making. It’s a compilation of suggestions from various sources and, really, it’s common sense. Here’s the quick list of these common mistakes:
- Keeping an old subject line for a new topic — start a new subject line if you change the topic in an email chain.
- Emailing when the issue is urgent — call, text, or talk directly to someone you need an immediate response from.
- Using big hand gestures when speaking — makes you seem less powerful.
- Using buzzwords & phrases — just say it in plain language.
- Only speaking to a group one way — use a variety of styles to get the point across.
- Asking questions that get a short answer — get past “yes” and “no” to the real stuff.
- Apologizing when it’s not your fault — express sympathy without taking the blame.
- Finishing other people’s sentences — it’s rude.
These mistakes are easy to make when you are busy or thinking about a project instead of the people around you. But if there are too many instances where you make these types of mistakes, you may be creating a reputation you don’t want. Reputation management and your career are intertwined. he way others in the workplace view your ability to communicate will affect everything from being on the next team project to getting a promotion. It also affects the references you are given.
It isn’t difficult to make mistakes in communication, but it also is easy to fix them. All it takes is being mindful of the ways you express yourself and aware of the way your communication efforts are being received. If you suddenly realized you do something on the list, start working to change that and see what happens in your workplace dynamics. Good things happen when communication is good.