Communication is a general term. In its more specific form it’s an art. The art form of communication needs to be learned, and practiced in order to be mastered, as it is the gateway to just about everything and anything within the human interaction. So learning the next 10 Communication Mistakes can be of great benefit to you.
There are many examples of where communication has played a super important role in world affairs, from politics down to the very simple (or not so simple) human-to-human relationship on a personal level. And very often, had these people learned and adopted what can be learned from the following 10 communication mistakes, world conflicts would have been prevented and possibly many human lives would have been saved.
You must remember that Every individual person or many people you communicate with, whether verbally or with the written word, are YOUR audience!
In fact your listener is your main stakeholder, and it’s upon you to adapt, get on their frequency and mirror their style of communication.
After all, if your listener does not understand you then your communication with them didn’t reach them. No matter how important or profound it was, it never connected if you didn’t “speak” their language….think about it!
Let’s take a look at 10 Communication Mistakes that you need to be aware of, in order to better connect with your audience…
- Listening before you speak
The greatest mistake in communication is not to listen to people prior to speaking to them. Clearly, listening means much more than a shallow level of hearing. To really listen is to get to know your audience at depth. A good communicator listens to people and then crafts their message. The act of listening allows the communicator to be in tune with their audience.
- Speaking to people is about THEM not about you!!!
Make your audience the center of attention. Very often leaders talk endlessly about themselves and quickly lose their audience.
- Speaking too fast
Communication is Qualitative not Quantitative. Fast speech speed engages the brain on surface level only. So…SLOOOOW DOOOWWWN – talking fast is unproductive- people just don’t get the message at depth and will tend to forget. Realize that fact once and for all! Greater word speed does not achieve better retention. Even if your audience is pressuring you to get to the “meat of the matter”- resist that at all cost because in the long run your ability to communicate in the right speed will help them and…you!
- Not involving your audience
“One-way-street” communication is dominant and does not work well these days, it does not allow for interactivity, which is the key to dynamic speech. Furthermore, it alienates your younger crowd that is far more dynamic and prone to boredom than previous generations. So make sure you don’t preach but rather solicit interaction, views and questions.
- Getting to the point too fast
Not realizing that speaking to people is an opportunity for “theater of humanity” that goes far beyond the message you want to deliver. Therefore, getting to the point too fast and failing to take the time to warm people to your message is a mistake that will result in alienating your audience. When speaking to your audience you must give people the feeling that you say “Yes” to them and that they are important to you, and you do that by warming them up to you!
- Using too much explanatory language
This is booooring… and is a sure way to lose people! You must not give them the painful experience they remember from their school days. (In my humble opinion this is one of the main reasons why Hillary Clinton lost the presidential elections; she tried to explain to the brain, while Trump moved people by speaking to their emotions…the accuracy of the message didn’t matter!)
- Losing the human contact
Eye contact, feeling contact “it’s us together in this”, and being at the point. Stop relying too much on power point and… reading to people – that is not what they came for!!! When you communicate you give YOU, so make sure It’s YOU they get not some rehashed information they can Google on their own.
- Being too tense and infecting the audience with your nerves
When you are tense you try to do too much because you keep getting the feeling that you are not doing enough, THIS IS YOUR FEELING! THE AUDIENCE DOESN”T WANT THAT! Instead you will infect the audience with your tension because communication is a highly conductive method. Once your audience becomes tense and nervous the amount of retention in tremendously minimized, and you will be missing out on getting your point across!
- Monotonous tone of voice that doesn’t match the message
A tone of voice that does not match the words – for example saying “good morning” without providing the feeling of good morning in the words. People don’t respond to words – they respond to the emotions that travel with the words! Therefore, learn to incorporate the right kind of emotions that belong with the message. Humor has an important positive influence on communication as it “spices up” the message and increases the level of openness of your audience to you.
- Body language that doesn’t match the message
Remember that body language that is contradictory to the message creates dissonance with your audience – for example to talk about the bright future full of promise with a serious facial expression, will create contradiction and you’ll come across unreliable.
- Talking in negative terms
Negative seems to work but in the end it always backfires. Try and endeavor to cultivate a positive message and never criticize others without positive balance – Be careful because there is a law that never fails “those who live by the sword, die by the sword”!!!
This is only but the tip of the iceberg, as all of the above points can and need to be expanded upon in explanation and particularly in workshop style to bring home the message!
Please feel free to contact me for professional training seminars that make a difference.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and should you have any questions or comments please write them below.
The Thinking Coach™