Let’s be honest, communication could be portrayed by many as one of the most important factors of relationships — both business and personal. I’m here to tell you that even though communication has been around for thousands of years, it has yet to find perfection.
Let me narrow down the field of vision a bit, specifically, communication in the workplace. I’m a Millennial. I value communication. One form of communication that is very important to me and is a huge part of my value system is the idea of feedback.
I’ve always received feedback: teachers, parents, coaches, friends, other family members, strangers on the street, social media acquaintances, and so on. I thrive on feedback. I want to know how I’m doing all the time. It’s how I attribute success.
“When I hear I’m doing a good job from others, I truly believe it myself.”
Communication mishaps happen all the time, especially in the workplace. Even if you have the best boss and coworkers in the world, there’s bound to be some communication confusion at one point in time.
Here are some things to keep in mind for effective communication:
Ask questions. One magical thing about human beings is that each person has their own mind and their own thoughts. It’s okay to ask for clarification. One common mishap occurs when there’s confusion with the messages. Not everyone is a skilled communicator. It’s important to clearly understand the message being conveyed. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.
Don’t assume the worst. Oftentimes, communication mishaps stem from misunderstandings. It’s taken me 28 years to realize that by assuming the worst (or assuming anything, for that matter), my preconceived notions only hurt the situation. Try approaching it with an open mind and the best intentions to start, then go from there.
Keep your emotions in check. This is the most important lesson for me. When approaching communication misunderstandings, my first reaction and response is to take things personally. This only gets in the way of finding a solution. The communication mishap is then spun into a personal attack on my character, which trust me, never ends well.
Communication is a complicated matter. But it doesn’t have to be. Being clear and asking for clarification can make all the difference.
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Emily Hinderaker, Contributing Author and Former Team Member at DJHP
For 3 years, Emily was the People and Project Assistant at (DJHP) Dr. Jan Hoistad Partners where she and other team members provided support services to busy professionals in need of a helping hand. She wore many hats in the organization and was passionate about helping busy professionals who are also passionate about what they do. Projects include writing, editing, researching, creating power points, strategic planning, and scheduling. QuickBooks, project management, email campaigns, creating visuals, contact management, event planning and coordination and much more.
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