Communication is a vital matter in all types of relationships. May it be personal or professional, keeping a good mode of communication is important to ensure that people in your company or group stay updated with all the necessary activities and changes in your projects.
Unfortunately, communicating properly is a tricky thing, and not everyone can do it perfectly without committing several mistakes. There are do’s and don’ts, and any form of communication and the following are errors that you should avoid especially when you are talking personally to people.
● Not listening to what is said.
One of the most notorious mistakes people make when communicating is thinking ahead of the response they need to make rather than listening to the issue first. This is what we call the ‘reactive’ behavior. Instead of understanding what the speaker is trying to tell us, we tend to immediately think of how to respond.
Aside from inefficiency, it’s plain rude. And if the idea is to solve a problem, reacting even before you understand the entire thing is counterproductive.
● Not using eye contact
We must have heard of the importance of using eye to eye contact as an efficient way of communicating. In fact, this gesture has been associated with truth, sincerity, and confidence. Inability to retain eye contact when you talk can have a negative connotation. If you’re talking to business partners, this could be seen as a disrespectful gesture and can affect your overall credibility as a professional.
● Interrupting someone
This is probably the rawest form of disrespect during a formal conversation. Interrupting someone is rude as this destroys the line of thought or momentum that the speaker has. There are certain exceptions, though. Certain argumentative discussions such as those on court trials may allow interruptions to prevent one side from uttering more nonsense.
In a business setup, personal and even on a social gathering, however, interrupting someone is against etiquette, and it risks the chance of building a good impression and relationship with other people.
● Letting emotions rule over reason
It’s understandable how we sometimes get carried over by the intense emotions we feel. So strong are these emotions that we tend to let them affect our manner of speaking. The risky thing is, emotions don’t always combine with reason, and since it banks on ‘what you feel’ at the moment of speaking, there’s a big chance that you will sound rather imposing, angry, agitated and all other descriptions associated with heightened emotions.
Before opening your mouth to respond or say a rebuttal, it’s best to take a step back and examine how you feel. It’s natural to feel something intense especially if you’re talking to someone who’s hard to deal with. However, best results always come when you approach them rationally and not just by emotions.
● Treating all communication as an argument
Have you ever tried talking to someone who just seemed to be so angry and pissed that everything he or she says comes out like an argument? This is somehow related to communicating with the use of emotions alone. Being argumentative is characterized by the raising of voice, loud defiance against corrections and the tendency to be close minded.
Exuding this attitude does not only appear offensive but also feels uncomfortable especially to the person whom you are talking to. Even if you’re tasked to convince someone no matter what, it remains more efficient to take the conversation with calm rather than with heightened argumentative stance.
● Displaying negative gestures or body language
Much like the eye contact, your gestures could also say a lot about your message. In fact, people will most likely judge your message the moment they see your gestures. No matter how convincing your words are, if you’re not making the appropriate gestures to complement them, it won’t leave much impact.
The worst thing you can do when communicating is exhibiting negative gestures such as slouching on the chair, looking away as if uninterested, doing something else like texting or playing games and more.
● Being too narcissistic
Nothing’s wrong with saying something about yourself and sharing a part of your life story that is related to your topic. However, making the entire talk about you does not interest some your listeners. Yes, they may want to hear your story. But be sure you give something of value other than your experiences.
Being too focused on yourself and forgetting about the rest could draw away the attention and trust of the people you’re talking to. Becoming a good communicator takes time and practice. Grab opportunities to communicate with people and be careful not to commit any of the mistakes we’ve mentioned above!
Raphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino blogger working in an interpreter Philippines, Lexcode, a professional translation and interpretation company located in the business district of Makati City, Philippines.