Miscommunication within the company can lead to a lot of problems. It can be as minor, only causing resentments. Or, it could be a costly mistake to order the wrong very expensive machine. So, what are the most common reasons for miscommunications at work? Well, that’s what is going to be covered below.
When a file must be distributed, the context comprises the file, where and when it must be provided, and who is in charge of circulating it.
Yellow Pages made one of these mistakes when it advertised the Korean dish Bibimbap by showing noodles instead of rice in one of its ads. The lack of awareness of cultural context on the part of the ad creator led to a negative outcome for Yellow Pages.
It is essential to provide employees working on a particular project with the opportunity to evaluate their progress and ask questions to avoid misunderstanding and confusion. Managers must assign dependencies to each employee on a single platform. This will give you a holistic perspective of the responsibilities held by all workers. Therefore, a sophisticated platform is required to fill in these communication voids before moving forward.
Internal communication assumptions develop when some facts are presumed to be accurate but never tested. There’s a tendency for people to assume that they know what the other person is going to say. This is especially common in text or email messages, where the communication medium is very limited compared to a person-to-person conversation.
Confirming what you’ve heard and using your words in a specific manner is an effective strategy for dealing with this situation. For example – instead of “we have a weekend office meeting,” you could say “Saturday meeting, 1 PM at the office conference room.”
Poor Active Listening
While feigning interest in what our colleague is saying, we are typically too absorbed in formulating our reactions. This is an example of how not to do active listening.
Active listening is all about when the other person has finished speaking; you can begin to understand what they’ve just said. Keep your attention on the conversation at hand and refrain from unnecessary interruptions like checking your phone or sending texts.
In crucial moments, it’s best to practice asking for confirmation. To do this, after the other person is talking, you say something along the lines of – “So, what I’m hearing is …”. And end it with “did I get that right?”
This allows you to summarize what the other person is talking about and confirm that you are getting the true message correctly.
Employees or unmotivated colleagues will also likely not properly communicate or understand. And, this will slide to miscommunications.
This frequently results in a loss of productivity on the part of the employee, who chooses to focus their efforts elsewhere rather than on contributing to the firm’s growth. It is possible to recover overall productivity by reassessing the culture of the firm and thinking about what it takes to establish a collaborative working environment. This ensures that its employees are personally committed to working with a pleasant attitude.
Lack Of Leadership
Employees look to their managers for advice and guidance in the workplace. The inability of managers to respond to questions or provide clarity on issues can contribute to poor leadership communication since it leaves employees feeling even more confused than they did before.
Because of this lack of clarity, the workers may wind up communicating with each other in contradictory ways. To avoid such situations, upper management should monitor employee communications and pinpoint potential communication challenges or blockers before they happen. This might be enhanced by offering the team a helping hand and a few recommendations.
Internal Communications Problems
Even a word as straightforward as “no” can be interpreted in several different ways depending on how it is delivered. Thus, when it comes to delivering diverse meanings, verbal communication is best. Written messages only work best if the message or meaning is precise.
Hence, when forming the company culture in this context, there should be a guideline on what messages are best for what mode of communication to limit the chances of miscommunication.
Wrapping It All Up
Generally, the better the communications within the company, the better the productivity will be. Ultimately, that would lead to increased profits and competitiveness. Hence, it’s crucial that a company should spend effort on streamlining communication and avoid miscommunications. The topics mentioned above are a good starting point to keep in mind.