Walsh College

4 Communication Mistakes to Avoid

While there is no one-size-fits-all mold for effective communication, these four common mistakes should be avoided. 

  1. Wrong form

    Many of us are guilty of hiding behind email. We utilize email to avoid difficult conversations in much the same way we used to hope for voicemail to leave a message. Although face-to-face conversations can be uncomfortable, these free-flowing exchanges with non-verbal clues are actually more efficient for getting to the root cause of a bad situation. In our quest to avoid uncomfortable face-to-face exchanges, we may choose a more casual and succinct form, like text messages or even social media, to convey a thought. These more casual and public forms are especially ineffective for difficult exchanges and can even worsen the issue. With attention to the audience and the type of information conveyed, you are more likely to choose an effective form.   

     

  2. Lack of preparation

    Despite its obvious importance, preparation rarely makes our to-do lists. With YouTube tutorials and quality examples only a web search and Facebook feed away, we all have access to the information necessary to design good presentations. No longer is a graphic designer necessary to design an attractive flyer or promotional materials. In our race to complete a task, little time is left to take advantage of all the free and accessible resources available to communicators. 

    Preparation is critical to ensure meetings are productive. By preparing participants with agendas and documentation, you are less likely to waste time and more likely to hit the ground running.

    Other ways to prepare include proofreading and editing all messages to enhance your credibility and the credibility of the message. Whether you seek assistance using a presentation software or just need a second pair of eyes to proofread an email, avoid waiting until the last minute.

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  4. No goal or purpose

    Every communication, whether face-to-face or online, must have a purpose. Meetings should achieve two purposes: make decisions or improve relationships. If the meeting does not involve a decision or improve relationships, do not meet. Emails should include a call to action that clarifies the purpose. Even individual PowerPoint slides should tell a story with a clear message, which is evident in the words, images, and color of the slide. By recognizing the purpose of every communication, you can ensure that each element of the communication is consistent and helps you achieve the purpose. 

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  6. Forgetting the audience
  7. Communication is audience-centered. From text messages to email, we are inundated with communication. Consequently, we must be efficient communicators. Every word should be impactful, without the fillers and off-topic tangents cluttering face-to-face exchanges. In written communication, we must be mindful of the tone we convey. Plain English - avoiding excessive formality, long sentences and unwarranted exclamation marks - helps to achieve the conversational tone that audiences appreciate in written communication.

    To help you avoid these mistakes and use today’s communication tools and technologies more effectively, Walsh College is hosting a free webinar, “Less is More: Updating Communication Strategies to Engage Audiences,” on July 24 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Whether you’re starting your own business or you’re in a non-business role looking for opportunities to improve, a clear understanding of the basics of digital tools, video conferencing, and business communication can take you and your company to the next level.  

     

     

    Learn More & Register

     

     





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