5 Big Communication Blunders to Stop Making

December 19, 2016

Improve your communication skills with your coworkers and clients. Inc. recently offered some tips on how to communicate more effectively with one another in the workplace and with clients, including:

Breaking a promise.

“Failure to be your word may lead to your people questioning your integrity or distrusting you,” the article notes. Follow through on any promises you make with a clear plan of action that you articulate to your customer or co-workers. If you end up not being able to fulfill a promise, be sure to be upfront about it and explain why with an honest conversation about it.


Practice active listening skills. Keep an open mind as you listen to other peoples’ ideas. “Listening with other people’s needs in mind tells the listener that you value them and their opinions,” the article notes.

Reacting instead of responding.

“We often react when triggered by negative events in the past that cause us to get defensive or act out in fear,” the article notes. “Once we get a handle on the root cause of our negative reactions, we can respond with confidence and self-control.” If you’re being pushed to react, consider what may be causing that feeling. Stay calm as you process your emotions so you can arrive at a more tactful response.

Using negative metaphors and clichés.

Abrasive language can be a turn-off and win-lose metaphors (e.g. “let’s utterly destroy the competition”) is not something all can relate to. Instead, choose sincere and positive language to earn more respect

Not giving feedback gently.

Sometimes you may need to offer up some negative feedback. If so, do it by providing detailed examples and asking questions for further clarification. 

Source: “7 Quick Leadership Tips for Masterful Communication,” Inc. (Dec. 16, 2016)