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3 signs your communication stinks

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Think you’ve got this communication thing nailed? Think again. Here are three not-so-obvious signs that you’re communicating all wrong:

1. Co-workers need constant clarification. If you often hear “I want to make sure I understand you …” or “Just so we’re on the same page …,” it’s highly possible that you aren’t explaining yourself clearly.

If you hear that frequently, it’s time to fix it. Here’s how: Before you go into a discussion, write down the key point you want to make, and once it’s crystal clear in your mind, begin the conversation. Explain yourself thoroughly, and then clarify as needed.

2. You communicate one way only. You insist on always talking with people face to face, rarely responding to email messages via email. Or you can’t remember what your co-workers look like because you only use email or instant messaging.

Effective communication requires a balance of in-person, over-the-phone and electronic communication used in the appropriate situation.

3. You never share feedback. During meetings and other situations, you keep your opinions and ideas to yourself, especially if they’re negative. Not only are you missing key opportunities to prove that you bring value to the group, but perhaps worse, you are not offering insight that could prevent bad decisions and mistakes.

You don’t need to share your thoughts on everything, but you do need to contribute—or you risk becoming nonessential.

— Adapted from “3 Signs Your Communication Skills Need Work,” The Muse, www.payscale.com.

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