We communicate almost every second of every day, but are we getting too comfortable in what we do? It’s time to re-evaluate these communications to improve your management skills. Here are some common bad communication habits and how to correct them.
Always Using Technology Over Direct Interaction
Technology, like email, texting and instant messaging is great and brings convenience to our lives. There’s certainly a place for it, but it can actually be a detriment if it gets in the way of direct interaction.
For example, you may end up writing out several lengthy paragraphs in an email what you could tell a person face to face in a few sentences. It’s important to be aware and not allow technology to hurt your communication with your employees and colleagues.
Using Filler Words
Filler words like “um,” “so” and “you know” used in moderation is fine. But it can quickly become a problem when used in excess. Communications expert Noah Zandan explains, “The optimum frequency is about one filler per minute, but the average speaker uses five fillers per minute—or, one every twelve seconds.” That’s far too many and can negatively impact your communication.
Fortunately, Zandan offers a simple solution. Replace filler words with pauses. He notes that well-placed pauses make you sound calm and collected, while giving you a chance to get your thoughts together.
Not only is interrupting someone mid-sentence irritating, it’s disruptive to the entire conversation. When it becomes a habit, it can really take a toll on your communication and potentially drive a wedge between you and your team members.
The key to correcting this bad habit is to be aware you’re doing it and make a conscious effort to wait until the other person has completed their statement before firing back.
Using “Unapproachable” Body Language
Leadership coach Randy Goruk discusses a bad habit that many people are guilty of—using unapproachable body language. Some examples are keeping your door closed during the workday, using short and abrupt answers for open-ended questions and failing to use proper eye contact.
These behaviors send the message you’re closed off and not open to communicating. Eliminating or at least reducing them should help you build better rapport and stronger relationships within your company.
Sound communication is an essential part of management. Making it a point to kick these bad communication habits should help you do your job at a higher level and reduce a lot of friction.
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