The Top 5 Communication Mistakes You're Making
Good communication takes work. Many times, relationships crumble due to their lack of communication. Or problems may arise at work because something wasn’t communicated correctly. It can be frustrating for the person trying to communicate and the person receiving the information.
Not only that, but bad communication can - well - make you look bad. It can further severely limit your personal growth and development. And if you’re not growing, what are you doing? Get on that wellness lifestyle. It’ll better your life and the lives of the people around you.
So, what communication mistakes are you making? How can you improve your relationship communication at work and at home?
Mistake #1: You assume.
You assume you know where the person is going with what they’re saying. You roll your eyes in annoyance. You interrupt. Or perhaps you assume someone understood you. Yet, it never hurts to double-check. And sure, you might know what the person is going to say, but you also might not.
The lesson here? Never assume. Do you like when people make assumptions about you? Probably not. Don’t do it back. Ask questions to clarify. And don’t make assumptions until you hear the whole thing.
Mistake #2: You avoid having those difficult conversations.
This could be a part of your relationship communication at home or part of receiving feedback at work. Here’s the thing: Difficult and hard-to-have conversations make us better. They drive your personal growth and development. By making this communication mistake, you’re putting yourself in a stalemate.
If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you won’t grow. If you don’t talk to your spouse about problems, they won’t get better. It’s as simple as that.
So… how do you break the ice with those difficult conversations that you really don’t want to have? Start by playing it out in your mind. What are you going to say? What would you like to come out of this conversation?
If you’re looking to improve and learn at work, go into the conversation with an open mind, and accept that you will be critiqued. If you need to talk to your S.O. about issues you’re having, go into it with an open mind that it’s likely not fully their fault. Communication is a two-way street.
And remember, practice makes perfect. Play it out in your head. It really helps!
Mistake #3: You’re ready to react instead of respond.
You can’t believe that the person is saying what they’re saying. You’re angry. You’re sad. Whatever emotion you’re feeling - it’s taking over. You react by going for the low-blow. How can you make it hurt?
First off, you should never be actively trying to hurt someone with your words. Second, you’re reacting as opposed to listening and responding to what the other person is saying. You’re letting your emotions get the best of you.
To improve this communication mistake, work on managing your emotions. Understand them. But don’t let them take control. You need to get back in the driver’s seat and take a deep breath. Try using language involving team-oriented words like, ‘we.’ Push your emotions aside and aim to understand.
Mistake #4: You don’t paraphrase or re-state what the other person said.
This comes down to understanding and active listening skills. As the listener, it’s partially your job to understand. Remember, communication is a two-way street.
In order to ensure you got what they said, re-phrase it in your own words. Responding with “yeah” or “ok” doesn’t convey to the other person that you understood. Show them. Re-state it. They should correct you if you’re wrong.
Correct this one at work, with friends, or with your S.O. It also shows the other person that you were listening and you get it - which matters a whole lot since that’s the point of communicating!
Mistake #5: You talk about yourself all the time instead of asking questions about other people’s lives.
As far as communication mistakes go, you may not be aware that you’re even making this one. Or maybe you know that person - they talk about themselves all the time. They never show interest in anyone else’s lives. But what if it’s you?
Either way, it’s important to make an effort in any social situation to inquire into other people’s lives. It’s a great way to make new friends. And it’s a great way to not look totally self-absorbed. No one likes the self-centered person who only talks about their life.
This is also a great way to break the ice at social events. Ask other people what they do for fun or for a living. Ask them how they know the host. There are so many questions to put the spotlight on others. Have fun with it and be kind about it! After all, we all just want to connect on one level or another.
Fix Your Communication Mistakes & Improve Your Life!
Working on communication is never-ending. But it makes your life better by improving those social connections and making everything go a little smoother. It takes work! Yet, it’s so worth it.
It’s further important to ask yourself where you’re going wrong when things aren’t going the way you’d planned. Often, we tend to blame others, such as the other person’s lack of communication. However, sometimes it is us. It takes courage to own it. But once you do, you can improve and step into a life where things are just easier. Fail forward. It’s a sure-fire way to continue personal growth and development.
But maybe communication isn’t fully the issue in your relationship… Are you struggling in your relationship? Has the tension built? Check out this article to find out how to alleviate it and ease that stress.