Poor Communication at Work

Poor communication is the root cause of so many problems. Which is a shame because it's a problem that is easily solved. How? By listening.

Listening is one of the most important interpersonal skills.

If you are being misunderstood – the problem is usually that you haven’t bothered to find out what the other person’s frame of reference is. Instead of getting frustrated, step back from your need to be heard, and start asking them questions. Finding out what the other person is thinking and responding too goes a long way and there is a reason Socrates encouraged the asking of questions.

The other thing to do is to let go of your ego. When we have a disagreement with someone we tend to view this as we are right and they are wrong and we ascribe a moral dimension to the conflict. It is imperative we win. When we let go of our ego we no longer need to be right.  It allows us to view the other person, not as an enemy, but as a coworker who simply has a different opinion. We can then start asking questions (to find out what they know that we don’t) so that we can hopefully solve the problem. A person who is focused on problem solving isn’t focused on being right. They are focused on learning what they need to learn to solve the problem. This shift in mindset solves most of our communication problems.

Regarding dealing with someone else who is a poor communicator. Again, ask questions. Seek clarification. Communication takes 2 people.  Don’t put the onus on the other person to improve so that you can understand them. Make an effort to understand them and you do that, by asking questions!!!! Without an ego!  Genuinely seek to find out what they know and why they think they way they do. Not so you can win an argument, but so that you can more effectively communicate with them by finding out from them, what they need from you to be understood.

I teach humanistic management and do offer online communication courses and courses in socratic jujitsu as well as programs for managers on how to communicate effectively as a manager.


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