Miscommunication is common in the workplace, and it is usually the cause of internal conflict and employee dissatisfaction. 86% of employers and employees believe that lack of effective communication is the main cause of workplace failures. Miscommunication can cause conflict and stress, so here are some ways to avoid miscommunication.
While the word “overcommunicate” may sound daunting and extreme, it will help resolve conflicts in the workplace.
Overcommunicating means repeating relevant information until employees acknowledge and understand the message. Overcommunicating does not mean micromanaging your employees, it means delivering essential information at the right time.
For example, overcommunication is beneficial during a time of change or crisis. Without constant and clear communication, changes in the workplace can cause employees to be confused, anxious, and frustrated. So, it is important to frequently communicate with employees to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Pay attention to body language
It is important to pay attention to posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures to interpret someone’s underlying moods and emotions.
Reading someone’s body language can help us have more of a conscious understanding of someone’s mental state. For example, if you notice an employee appears frustrated or distracted when you are trying to provide important feedback, ask questions to understand what else might be impacting performance.
Paying attention to body language and addressing concerns can help avoid miscommunication.
Practice being an active listener
Today, there are so many distractions around us, which makes it difficult to be an active listener. Being an active listener means to be fully engaged in what someone else has to say.
Being an active listener is a skill that takes time to develop, so here are some ways to practice:
- Be curious
- Ask questions
- Remove distractions
- Talk less
- Validate their words
- Keep eye contact
Listening to your coworkers can help you avoid miscommunication because you are taking the time to hear them out.
If managers do not directly say what they mean, their message can get lost. This often happens around performance conflict. If managers appreciate an employee’s hard work, they should be direct and share that with them. If an employee is working hard to impress their manager and there is no appreciation or validation, this can cause miscommunication.
Being direct is also important if an employee is not fulfilling basic requirements. Managers must be direct and address their concerns as soon as possible so there is a clear understanding of performance expectations and consequences if goals are not met.
Communication must be clear, concise, and direct to help avoid miscommunication. Lack of effective communication is the cause of many conflicts in the workplace. Practice these tips to avoid miscommunication to help prevent unresolved issues and employee dissatisfaction in your company.