A new year is just around the corner. Don’t let sloppy communication habits carry over into 2017. Instead, vow now to put an end to bad habits and overhaul weak communication. Follow these tips:
Accept that you can improve. Everyone has weaknesses, including you, and everyone has room for improvement. Take the time to pinpoint your flaws. Think about recent experiences where conflict arose; mistakes occurred; or people didn’t follow your directions, missed goals or failed to meet your expectations. Now, think long and hard about your role in the issue and whether your failure to—or at all—was the culprit.
Stop expecting people to read your mind. If co-workers’ or employees’ actions are bothering you, don’t give them the cold shoulder, make passive-aggressive remarks, hint or make general statements to the whole team. Instead, communicate your frustrations or concerns directly—but respectfully—to the offender.
Prove that you trust people. Questioning people’s every move, telling them exactly how to complete a task, demanding approval on every minor decision, or shooting down their ideas indicate that you lack trust in them. If you have capable, dependable people on your team, you don’t need to micromanage them, and you certainly don’t need to be involved with every facet of their work. Step back and let them do their jobs.
Be hyperaware of your reactions. Do you have a short temper? Are you impatient with people? Is it possible that your tone and body language convey that you are those things, even when your words do not? Be mindful of your body language, tone and word choices to ensure that you don’t make tough circumstances worse by putting people on the defensive.