Thursday, April 18, 2024

9 Bad Communication Habits to Break

Good communication is essential for the success of both individual and business relationships. The process involves encoding, transmitting, decoding, and receiving feedback for a message. It helps you effectively perform the four management functions: planning, leading, organizing, and controlling. Bad communication habits make it harder to interact with your clients, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders. Eliminating them is essential to improving your overall dissemination skills.

According to statistics, 28% of employees mention poor communication as their primary reason for failing to perform tasks on time. An efficient organization should aim to eliminate the following habits:

1. Constant Interruptions

It’s normal to interject once in a while to seek clarification. However, it gets rude and annoying when you do it regularly during a conversation. While you might feel like completing other people’s sentences is helpful, it might portray impatience and bad communication skills.

You might also interrupt their train of thought. It’s advisable to wait for a pause in the exchange before sharing your ideas. In most robust debates, the other party will also be keen to hear your input. They’ll do so by asking for your opinion at various points of the conversation.

2. Multitasking

The fast-evolving nature of technology penetration in the modern workplace makes it easier to perform more than one task. Although some employees like to brag about their multitasking abilities, it’s not always an admirable trait. Some research shows that it can reduce overall productivity by as much as 40%.  

When you multitask, you force your brain to change focus from one item to another. It’s easy to get distracted if you have a conversation while using your phone or other devices. This bad communication habit increases the likelihood of misinterpretation, assumptions, and translation issues. Consequently, make a concerted effort to be mentally present for every correspondence.

3. Narrating Similar Experiences

If a co-worker tells you about a problem they’re facing, you might narrate your own experience if it’s a common issue. You might rightfully believe you’re empathizing, but it may have a negative impact if they think you’re belittling their circumstances. The situation will worsen if you take up most of the time narrating an encounter that bears little to no resemblance to theirs. The best solution is to listen without unnecessary interruptions and offer your support.

4. Rambling and Using Qualifiers

Although you might have good intentions when initiating conversations, you’ll lose your audience if you don’t have clear points. A rambling speech creates the impression that you enjoy the sound of your voice. Another bad communication skill is the excessive use of qualifiers, which might come off as condescending.

Examples are words or phrases such as but, most, I know, must, and sometimes. If you accuse most employees of being lazy without specifying, the result might be low morale across the board.

5. Failing to Ask Questions

In as much as you’re not supposed to interrupt, it doesn’t mean you should stay completely quiet during a conversation. Doing so shows a lack of interest or understanding of the topic under discussion. It could also demoralize the other party since feedback is part of the communication process. Questions make it easier for the audience to follow challenging conversations. A good example is to ask someone to tell you more about a particular point they touched on.

6. Shunning Direct Contact

Email and text are some of the communication tools that project managers utilize. However, sometimes they’re too slow or ineffective. It doesn’t make sense to have a back and forth that might last hours or days when you can seek clarification via direct conversation. Communication accuracy also improves when you use gestures. These body movements reinforce your point and improve your confidence.

7. Gossiping

Although water cooler talk is part of a healthy relationship, it can turn into a bad communication habit if misused. Tensions are bound to rise when rumors and gossip become a persistent feature of workplace conversations. The affected employees will experience hurt feelings that will adversely impact their productivity.

You’re also less likely to achieve organizational objectives if the workforce relies on the grapevine rather than official communication resources. To combat this problem, ensure you outline preferred communication styles that your employees should use.

8. Relying on Fillers

Fillers include words such as “um” and “like.” These verbal placeholders can be distracting and annoying to your listeners. They also show a lack of credibility and intelligence. Your audience feels like you’re making things up as you go along. This bad communication habit is hard to break because it consists of words you use primarily in informal settings.

To overcome it, monitor your speech patterns over a given period and make a conscious decision to avoid fillers. You’ll appear more knowledgeable about the subject you’re addressing if you pause briefly instead of using them.

9. Ignoring Difficult Conversations

Do you tend to sweep unpleasant news under the rug in the hope that it will eventually disappear? This bad habit could affect vendor relationships and deadlines and ultimately impact your entire organization’s productivity. While evaluating potential outcomes, it’s advisable to consider both best and worst-case scenarios. That way, you’ll have measures in place to deal with bad news instead of wasting time hoping problems will resolve themselves.

Final Thoughts

Individuals and companies that break these bad communication habits tend to operate like well-oiled machines. Mvix is a company that provides the necessary modern tools you need to achieve your long-term objectives. They include tight integration of digital signage players, software, and associated services. These products are designed to ensure your clients, employees, and other stakeholders always understand your company mission and vision.

Contact MVix today for comprehensive answers to your communications challenges.



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