While businesses are always looking for ways to improve communications, ineffective communication practices can still occur in the workplace. At the core of ineffective communication is the lack of respect for staff members and colleagues which could either be conscious or subconscious.
Here are some of the communication methods that are common in the workplace that can lead to the breakdown of relationships in the workplace:
1. Lack of one-on-one communication
Taking the time off to communicate with your employees on a one-on-one basis can improve communications, while disregarding the practice can ruin work relationships.
At the core of human relationships is the need to spend time with one another and interact. On the flipside, when people refuse to interact and communicate with others, thoughts and assumptions creep into the psyche of people, leading them to believe negative things about the other person. The lack of one-on-one communication may lead people to jump to conclusions that may or may not be true. In order to truly build and strengthen your relationships with people in the workplace, make sure to take time off to get to know who you work with, and their thoughts on issues that affect work and the company as a whole.
2. Too many ideas thrown around too fast and too often
While sharing ideas in the workplace certainly helps improve communications, too much too fast and too often can overwhelm staff members, leading to the breakdown of lines of communication. For example, if you are involved in a brainstorming session with other team members and you are the one constantly giving ideas and then elaborating on the ideas of others, other team members will be quick to resent you for it, roll their eyes at you and shut down the ideas that you have.
Although it is certainly commendable for you to try your best and to share what you think, sharing too much and too often won’t really get you on the good side of other team members.
3. Constant criticisms
Speaking up and giving constructive feedback don’t only help improve communications, but also allows other people to improve and be more productive. However, criticizing people too often will make them feel incompetent and untrustworthy. Constant criticism can lead people to feel resentful and can also backfire on you.
Instead of constantly choosing to criticize other people, choose your battles. Choose to speak up when the occasion truly calls for it. Don’t nit-pick on the most mundane things.
4. Building walls around conversations
Open lines of communication builds trust and camaraderie; on the other hand, not allowing people to have a say or a voice in issues can result in negativity and a breakdown of work relationships.
Allow staff members to truly participate in discussions and meetings. Listen to what they have to say. Take note of their ideas and help them align their efforts to the ultimate goals of the team and the company. This will not only help increase the team’s creativity and productivity, but will also boost the morale and engagement of employees.
5. Lack of awareness when it comes to attitude and tone
In order to improve communications, you have to be aware of what you say and how you say it. You have to be fully aware of the tone of your voice as well as the attitude you give off. For example, saying “Do you mind helping me out with this task?” is very different from saying, “Hey you, come here and help me figure this out. You’re slacking off anyway.”
6. Fake listening and false praises
What is worse than communicating in a disrespectful manner? Pretending that you are showing respect when you are obviously not. While you may think that nodding and smiling with glazed over eyes makes other people believe that you are listening to them, you’re inability to listen and to actually mean your compliments isn’t fooling anyone.