No one is perfect, but when it comes to communicating with employees, you cannot afford to make mistakes that cause conflict or confusion that leads to poorly executed work and missed objectives. Avoid these common but no-good communication behaviors:
1. Thinking that you have no room for improvement. First off, you could be an outstanding communicator. The problem with that is that people who think that are that good don’t aim to improve. There is always room for growth.
2. Winging it. You likely do plenty of planning for important speeches and discussions. However, you should also do some prep work for even the most informal conversations. Always outline what you want to say.
3. Communicating from a script. Preparing at length until your presentation is perfectly executed removes a good bit of the authenticity from your message. While you should know what you want to say, don’t stick so closely to the script that you fail to adjust when people’s body language indicates confusion or concern. Be spontaneous, vulnerable and natural and you will connect with your listeners much more quickly.
4. Following the status quo. Your boss, predecessor or other members of theteam may always read from notes while flipping through a deck of slides, but you don’t have to do the same thing. Change your approach to present in a more engaging manner, and those people will likely follow suit.
— Adapted from “Five Lies You’re Telling Yourself About Your Communication Style," Ben Decker and Kelly Decker, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.