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Mistakes to Avoid When Communicating at Work

Anton Vdovin - Sep 21, 2017 4:26:16 PM

While you may want a corporate communications plan that is as flawless as possible, there are some mistakes that you may commit along the way. While some mistakes can be disregarded, others can be embarrassing or may even result in serious and dire consequences. Some mistakes may make you look unprofessional, while others may upset clients, tarnish your reputation or even result in lost profit.

Here are some of the common mistakes to be weary of and to avoid in the workplace:

1. Failure to edit your work.

Before sending out messages or work, make sure that you double check and edit your work. Mistakes in spelling, tone, punctuations and grammar make you look careless and ignorant. Be extremely careful as this may put a dent on your corporate communications plan.

While spell checkers are, of course, handy, it is always best to have another set of eyes look over your work. While you may not be able to see your errors, another person (such as a colleague) may be able to point them out. If there is no one who can help you out with this, read your work aloud as this makes it a lot easier to catch errors and typos.

2. Using email to deliver bad news.

Email is a great tool to utilize in any corporate communications plan. However, it’s not the best idea to use email to deliver bad news because written communication doesn’t allow for nonverbal language which can soften the blow of unwelcomed news. For example, don’t use email to let someone know that he or she is fired. Telling that employee face-to-face helps you deliver the news properly and helps the said staff member deal better with the news.

3. Reacting instead of simply responding.

“Reacting” and “responding” are two very different things. While “reacting” entails an immediate response based on emotions rather than thoughts, “responding” is more about reflection before action. If you want your corporate communications plan to be effective, it is important to promote “responding” rather than “reacting”.

For example, someone who reacts will snap at an annoying colleague; while a person who decides to respond will want to sit down with the said colleague to iron out their differences.

4. Being unprepared.

When one doesn’t prepare for reports, presentations or even emails, this may lead to friction and frustration; which could potentially tarnish your reputation as time progresses. Therefore, it is important that you are prepared with a carefully thought-out plan.

Use tools that will promote credibility and intelligence, and that will tap into your audience’s emotions as well as their intellects.

5. Utilizing a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Each employee is different. Each one is from a different background, has different views, beliefs, personalities and lifestyles. Therefore, the way you approach each staff members should be different. You have to address those differences as much as possible. This will help you cater and present to people with different learning styles, so that everyone can benefit from the message that you are intending to relay.

6. Assumptions.

Never assume anything. Never assume that a person is thinking one thing or acting a certain way due to particular beliefs or issues. Also, never assume that people have understood your message the way you want them to understand it. Always try to avoid confusion when relaying messages. For example, if you send out a message to your team, include a note saying that you would want them to ask questions if they need to clarify anything or if the message was not understandable.

Topics: Corporate Communication

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