Here are six common communication mistakes that people—especially professional women—make in the workplace, according to communications consultant and Business Management Daily contributor, Colette Carlson:
- Failing to speak up early in meetings. Ideally, speak up in the first third of the meeting. The earlier you jump in, the more you're seen as a contributor.
- Using phrases that signal a lack of confidence. Examples: "I could be wrong ...,” or, "I'm probably forgetting something ...” Such defensive phrases protect the speaker, says Carlson, "so that, if you don't like my idea, you'll still like me.”
- Adding "tag lines” to your statements. Examples: "We'll send the contract on Friday ... OK?” or, "It would be better if we scheduled lunch before 1 p.m. … don't you agree?” Tag lines make it sound as if you're asking for approval.
Get more day-by-day advice from Colette in How to Be Assertive and Get What You Want at Work
- Over-apologizing. Example: "I'm sorry, but I need to ask what business you have with Mr. Smith.” Saying you're sorry implies fault and undermines your credibility.
- Looking unprepared when entering a room. Example: Fidgeting, making hurried movements, shifting your eyes from person to person. "The fewer movements you make,” says Carlson, "the more people perceive you as prepared, confident and under control.”
- Deflecting praise. Don't immediately shrug off praise or minimize it. That makes people think you don't deserve it. Instead, say: "Thank you. I worked really hard on that, and I appreciate your noticing.” If you recognize praise, you'll hear more of it.
Stop feeling powerless in day-to-day dealings with people and learn the effective communication techniques to speak your truth assertively. How to Be Assertive and Get What You Want at Work
The Art of Subtle Communication
Put a new communication style into practice by using the "Three Times Rule.”
"If you've tried something three times and are unsuccessful, give it up. But when I hear from admins that they tried something once and it didn't work, I challenge them to go back and try it again ... and again. It just might work.”
"You'll also notice that I almost always drop my voice, when I really want you to hear something,” says Colette.
Need to ask for something you need or give some difficult feedback? This is a tool. By keeping a neutral tone and low volume, Carlson says, she gives others a chance to hear what she's saying rather than get their hackles up. She asked rhetorically, "Because once people become defensive, are they listening to you anymore?”
Assertiveness is the power to speak your truth and get what you want while communicating a credible and self-assured professional image.
Simple? No. But with a few techniques, you can learn to be assertive, yet professional.
In today's new normal, we juggle multiple projects, deadlines and personalities with constant interruptions, changing priorities and fewer resources. The most recent research reflects the difficulty many face in negotiating limits on their workload, especially when the request is unreasonable or impossible. Others have difficulties giving feedback without creating discourse in their working relationships.
Never before has assertive, effective communication been more necessary to not only survive, but to catapult your career and credibility.
With How to Be Assertive and Get What You Want at Work, top trainer Colette Carlson will show you how to stop being invisible at work and learn the communication skills you need be assertive and speak your truth.
Get it today!