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Bad habits kill good communication

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Communication is essential to a successful office, but no matter how much we practice our communication skills, there are still bad habits. These bad habits can kill your conversations right out of the gate, writes Kristin Wong for Lifehacker. By working on breaking them, you can im­­prove your communication skills.

  • Criticizing someone just to criticize. It is pointless to criticize someone if you aren’t going to do it constructively. Often, those who criticize people just want to hurt the other person, or do it because they are frustrated and want to take it out on someone else.
  • Blaming your co-workers. By blaming someone else, you take any responsibility you had for the issue and throw it out the window. It’s OK to express your dissatisfaction, but don’t automatically point fingers at the person next to you.
  • Useless complaining. Instead of whining about an issue, find a way to solve the problem. Complaining often makes other people feel like they should somehow fix a problem that may not even be their responsibility.
  • Bribing others to see it your way. It’s best to work out a compromise with co-workers rather than trying to persuade or bribe them into seeing it your way. Often, bribery will come off as lazy and make it look like you are not willing to compromise.  
  • Threatening others. By threatening your co-workers, you immediately shut down any options for discussion. Intimidating co-workers is not the way to efficiently get things done and will often create a rift in the workplace.         
  • Being too defensive. It’s important to know when you are in the wrong and a co-worker is in the right. Don’t automatically assume you’re right; instead, focus on hearing someone out and figuring out the solution together.

— Adapted from “Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication,” Kristin Wong, Lifehacker.

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