“There are bad habits in communication?”
Yes, there are! And a lot of us do them without even knowing that we’re doing them. They damage our relationships and hurt our team and we don’t even realize it!
Below are 3 of these habits and by pointing them out, hopefully we can get rid of them.
1. Cutting people off
This is basic communication etiquette: Don’t cut people off! But this happens all the time. In fact, I catch myself doing this unconsciously sometimes (Oops!).
Now, I know that a lot of the time, we don’t do it to be disrespectful. Sometimes, we cut people off because we’re just so excited to share what we have to say. But there are 3 reasons we should stop doing this:
- It makes the person we’re talking to feel as though they aren’t being heard or paid attention to
- We’ll be branded as rude conversationalists and poor listeners
- Eventually, people will also stop paying attention to what we have to say.
2. The okay-my-turn impulse
What does this look like?
The person we’re talking with is sharing something and because of the need to be relevant or for the sake of contributing, we respond along the lines of “Wow. Yeah, that happened to me, too! It was last weekend and…” or “Well, for me, I think…”
Now, don’t get me wrong: There is nothing wrong with contributing and carrying on the conversation. But the okay-my-turn impulse can convey an “I’m more interested in what I have to say than in what you have to say” message.
As a general rule, keep the spotlight on the other person, ask question after question after question after question (yes, that many), and be genuinely interested in what they’re sharing.
3. Daydreami… I mean “listening.”
“Be a good listener.”
This is, in my opinion, one of the most effective communication tips out there.
But let’s face it. A lot of time, when we think we’re being good listeners, our minds are actually wandering off to who-knows-where.
That is not good listening. In fact, it’s not even listening at all! This has the same alienating effect as talking too much. Good listening requires work, that’s why psychologists call it “active listening.”
Here’s the gist…
We’ve just outlined 3 bad communication habits that we are probably unaware of but we should definitely stop doing:
- Cutting people off
- The okay-my-turn impulse
- Daydreaming (poor listening)
If you’re starting to realize that you have these poor communication habits and can’t seem to shake them off, take a deep breath. The path to improvement (particularly in becoming a better communicator) can sometimes feel like taking a road trip on first gear. It’s slow, yes, but it will get you to where you want to go…
… Or at least it will get you somewhere…
At least start by improving on these bad habits and once they’re out of the way, you can build the right ones that will help you communicate better.
That’s it for this article. Thanks for reading and I hope you got the gist!