Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Why does communication so often go wrong

Why does communication so often go wrong? Here are the top four reasons for breakdowns in communication:

1. Poor Listening Skills. Poor listening skills top the list when it comes to barriers to communication. Poor listening skills can result from:

* Lack of involvement with the other person or the topic at hand: you just don’t care enough to listen.

* Distractions in the environment such as excessive noise or activity.

* Disagreement with the speaker, resulting in mentally “shutting off” the other person.

* Passive listening rather than active involvement with the speaker.

2. Assumptions. There are many assumptions we make while communicating with others.  For instance, you might think that you know what the other person is going to say, so you simply “leave” the conversation.

3. Non-Verbal Signals. One recent study showed that only 7% of our communicating is tied to what we actually say! A full 55% of communication happens through non-verbal signals, and another 38% is based on tonality. So if your non-verbal signals are contradicting what your mouth is saying, people are going to remember what you didn’t say.

4. Improper Use of Questions. Many people believe that if they ask a multitude of questions, they are communicating well and connecting with the other person. This may or may not be the case!  We must ask the right questions at the right time to get the information we need to communicate effectively. That means asking open-ended questions – questions that begin with who, what, when, why, where, and how. Open-ended questions help true discussion and understanding to take place.

© 2008 Timothy I. Thomas

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. This article is not to be sold or included with anything that is sold.

It is important to understand your role in the conflict as, undoubtedly you have a part in it, no matter how big or small you think it is

It is important to understand your role in the conflict as, undoubtedly you have a part in it, no matter how big or small you think it is. When a conflict happens, it is a passionate affair, and it is easy to lose perspective on what you would like to do, instead of doing what is called ‘reacting’ to the situation. There are always two sides to a story and this is true when a disagreement presents itself. You will often find that if you ‘react’ to the stimuli, you will act in such a way that is not by choice, and therefore have an equal blame in the circumstances. It is very important that you define who you are in this conflict by your own terms, and not ‘play ball’ just because the team member who annoyed you did. It is best to avoid heated decisions such as angry emails, or involving office members and inviting them to take sides. Don’t forget that having something in writing can be used against you in the future. It is a good idea to step back, and try to resolve the conflict through verbal communication, which in turn can help you focus on the real issues, and can bring in to focus some points you or your team member may have previously overlooked.

If you work in a business environment, chances are you will have to take part in a team effort at some point in your career

If you work in a business environment, chances are you will have to take part in a team effort at some point in your career. You may even find yourself as the leader of a team, in which case you will need to cultivate some valuable skills in order to lead effectively. These skills will help create a cohesive, creative group with a high success rate. Here are the top five tips for becoming a successful team leader.

Establish Authority

While it may be tempting to be seen as “one of the guys”, this is not the best way to be a successful leader. As a leader, you need to make sure your authority is never in doubt and that you have the ability to guide the group. At the same time, it’s important not to come across as a dictator, and someone who is out of touch with the rest of the team. Take a look at what your group needs from you in order to find a balance between making everyone comfortable while also keeping them on their toes so that they work as efficiently as possible.

Involve Employees

Your role as a leader is to make sure the group feels like they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Part of this includes involving your team in the decision making process. Guide them, but also give them an outlet for their thoughts and ideas while giving them feedback. By getting them involved in setting goals and objectives, you are making it easier for them to feel like they are making an important contribution to the team.

Communicate Effectively

Good communication is one of the most important traits to have as an effective team leader. It is very important to clearly and routinely communicate to the team regarding the goals and vision of the team objectives. There should never be any doubt about what each member should be doing, the timeframe for achieving certain projects or the process of achieving the goals themselves. Good communication also involves listening to what your employees have to say, so if there is ever a problem you can tackle it right away instead of letting it slide until it’s too late.

Encourage Unity

The idea of having a team of employees work on a project is that it makes the work go much faster and more efficiently than if each person worked on their own. Because of this, the unity of the team is incredibly important. As a leader, you must work to create symbiosis and synergy within the team. Each person should have a role that is important and vital to the success of the team as a whole in order to motivate them and make them feel like a valued member.

Keep Moving Forward

No matter how great your team is, there will likely be a time that you run into problems. As a leader, it’s necessary for you to evaluate what went wrong, make the necessary changes and then start looking forward again. You will need to motivate the team to keep them on track and keep them from getting discouraged.

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