Communication Mistakes: Why Good Communication Makes a Happy Workplace

In this guide, you will find some simple communication mistakes that can be detrimental in the workplace and some simple ways to avoid them and even fix them.

Effective and thorough communication is extremely important in the workplace. Pragmatically, communication is vital to establish deadlines, boundaries, and objectives. Ambiguous or unpalatable communication can leave your business in a rut of confusion where projects and accomplishments get lost in the shuffle. The first piece to the communication puzzle is a good coworking space, but we will get to that in a bit. Communication can define relationships and make or break your business. 

Why Is Communication Especially Important in Business?

One of the more obvious reasons that communication is important in business is that customer service relies on it. You cannot expect your customers to know about your business, your products, or even how to get them. You must communicate those things. If you expect that your potential customers already know anything about you or your business, you can expect communication problems right away. Communication is also vital within your team. The relationships, morale, and overall effectiveness of your team rely on communication. Good communication practices can also prevent conflict and promote a positive working environment for everyone. Keep reading for a list of communication problems and mistakes as well as some business communication tips.

Common Communication Mistakes in Business

Failing to Take Responsibility

Everyone makes business communication mistakes. We are all human. Failure to admit those mistakes and take responsibility for them can be detrimental to your business, your brand, and your team of employees. If, however, you can take responsibility for your actions, doing so can have major, positive repercussions. The first of these is earned respect. If you can admit that you have made a mistake instead of making excuses and passing blame, you will earn respect from your team and even your customers and future clients. The gesture will also show vulnerability and thus strengthen your team. Showing them that you are all humans working together will tighten your workplace relationships and set a good example for your entire workforce to follow. It will also set a precedent of trust that is essential to an efficient workforce. This is one of the most important business communication tips.

Inefficient Communication

Inefficient communication is a waste of time and energy as well as an opportunity for confusion. Good leadership will offer clear communication without wasting resources to express it. A succinct directive that is communicated with no-fluff to everyone concerned will allow your team to know exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how they are to accomplish it. 

Clear communication will also decrease workplace drama and wasted effort. It is also a good idea to view efficient communication as a means by which to protect your valued employees. If you have employees you want to keep around, you should set them up for success with clear and efficient communication and directives.

Vague Communication

Achieving the aforementioned clarity means that you will have to take special care to avoid vague directives and vague communication. Avoid passive phrases like “you will probably need to…” or using too much jargon. Passive and vague communication leads to confusion, and, whether you mean it or not, tends to hide the truth and facts that are necessary for motivating your team or coworkers to do what they need to do. Using short sentences and avoiding complicated terms and phrasing will help you to avoid vagueness. It is also helpful to lead with your main point. Go ahead and say what you mean to say right off the bat so that there is no question as to what you are trying to accomplish.

Dishonesty or Lack of Transparency

Dishonesty, even accidental dishonesty, will also lead to problems. Be sure that you are clear with your reasoning so that people understand what exactly is happening. Not only is transparency important in the process of providing clear directives and decreasing confusion, your reputation and earned respect also depends upon it. You cannot expect to be trusted or respected if you are omitting the truth or hiding it with confusing communication. Be transparent about what is going on and what you need to be done. This way, you will maintain a level of trust and respect while communicating the necessary things to keep your business running smoothly.

Coming Across as Ignorant or Uninformed

One of the biggest and easiest mistakes to make in your business communications is to sound like you have not done your homework or that you are letting your pride talk for you. When you need to communicate an important point to your coworkers or your team, make sure that you know what you are talking about. If you hurry to make a statement, people may feel as though you are ignorant or have not prepared your thoughts. It’s possible that they will quickly shut you out or quit listening. However, if you sound informed and considerate, you are more likely to be heard and respected. 

Giving Tone and Emotion Too Much Power

Another trap that is easy to fall into is letting your emotions show and railroad your communication. Again, this is one of the easiest ways to shut your listeners off. If you let your anger or disappointment show, it can be viewed as a personal attack or just plain annoying. 

If you have something that needs to be communicated, you will have to keep your listener’s attention while also posing no threat to them. It often helps to reallocate your emotions by operating in a just-business fashion. After all, it is business. Your business should be run on facts and clear communication, not emotion.

Business Communication Tips for Improvement

In addition to avoiding the above communication mistakes, there are still some areas in which an active effort can always be made towards improvement in your business communications. The first thing to keep in mind is that collaboration can go a long way. When you dominate or excessively explain, it can lead others to feel unconsidered or unimportant. When you hold meetings or otherwise try to express concerns or directives, try to be inclusive. Allow others to interject or even ask for their collaborative efforts. This way, everyone will feel important, remain interested, and there will be room for growth with new ideas being brought to the table. In this same spirit, always be sure to reach out and give a voice to quiet or inhibited employees. 

You should also be aware of the boundaries set by others as well as the boundaries that you need to set for yourself. To this end, and for other reasons, nonverbal communication is also important. You should also lead by example when possible so as not to overload your employees with lip service. Lastly, you should be direct and leave no room for confusion. Identify a common goal and communicate it succinctly. Be sure to tackle sensitive or pressing matters as soon as they arise, if possible.

The Best Scenario

Communication is an in-depth concept that lends itself to a lot of room for growth. If handled incorrectly, it can lead to devastating consequences. The main thing to keep in mind is that everyone is human and everyone should be handled with grace. Let business be business and communicate clearly and efficiently. Listen to others and include the quiet ones. It might seem simple, but communication requires constant effort. The phrase “actions speak louder than words” applies often as well. Lead by example when you can and do not be afraid to tackle the issues.

Another key factor is the physical space in which you communicate. Sometimes, real interaction cannot be substituted. If you need a physical workspace in East Plano, Plano Legacy, North Dallas-Addison, or Downtown Fort Worth, TX, the Offices of City Central can provide you with coworking space as well as virtual offices and more. There is something to be said about having a physical space or a designated virtual space in which your employees can meet, exchange ideas, and foster open lines of communication. If you need a space for your employees and a physical location to use for your business, CityCentral can help.