Let’s face it…we all could use an improvement in our communication. We live in a very reactive society and communication is one of the first things to break down. Inability to communicate effectively is costing companies billions of dollars annually. Its often a result of several factors. Unclear instructions from superiors, pointless meetings and other stressors can snowball into larger issues with widespread impacts on the business. Poor communication is like a virus – it starts small and multiplies, eventually spreading and infecting the entire organization’s financial health.
To address poor communication, companies must understand the root causes. The three most frequently cited causes of poor communication, according to a recent study:
1) Different communication styles (42%)
According to the study, nearly a third of millennials (31%) say they use instant messaging at work every day, compared with only 12% of baby boomers. The problem with using technology to communicate is it creates more opportunities for miscommunication or failed communication. As we highlight in The Bullseye Principle, email or texting removes body language and vocal dynamics from the communication equation, further reducing the odds your audience will receive your message, as intended. That’s because written messages don’t convey traditional intention cues such as facial expressions and vocal tone. That assumes your recipient reads the email. One study found 60 percent of people who receive an email read only 50 percent of the message.
The solution: communicate emotional messages in person. Boost training will help you learn how to do this effectively
2) Unclear responsibilities and useless meetings (34%)
Not knowing what to do or who is responsible for what causes stress. The most common place this happens? Meetings. According to a study, middle managers spend up to 35 percent of their time in meetings and senior level executives spend up to 50 percent. Most of these meetings are unproductive. When asked if workers leave meetings with a clear understanding of the next action item, 46 percent of participants answered: “some of the time,” “rarely,” or “never.” Not exactly an encouraging response.
The solution: reduce the number of people in your meetings and create a system of accountability and define specific measureables, time-based next steps for attendees. Delegate tasks and get confirmation that attendees can and will deliver.
3) Time pressures (31%)
Everyone is struggling with time management. We live in a time when we are flooded with expectations and opportunities to sabotage our precious time. Time pressures create stress because most aren’t equipped to deal it. When emotions are high, it becomes difficult to think clearly. We shift into “fight” mode and our defenses go up. When this happens, our brains get overloaded and we react emotionally before the rational part of our brain has had a chance to consider the words we just spit out. The solution: practice mindfulness. Mindfulness reduces stress, improves memory and helps regulate fear or anxiety. To control of a moment where you feel overwhelmed, follow a simple process we call BAMO (Breath and Move On) When you start to feel rushed or anxious, acknowledge your feelings and accept they are valid. Stop whatever task you are doing and focus entirely on your breath. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for 4. Look. Notice everything you see and hear from the buzz of the air conditioner to the trash in the wastebasket. If you feel your attention start to drift or distractions start to pull you away from your present moment, put your focus back on your breath and let it ground you.
Did you know?
Poor communication is leading to:
- delay or failure to complete projects (44%)
- low morale (31%)
- missed performance goals (25%)
- increased stress (52%)
- lost sales (18%)—some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars
Boost training can greatly improve your ability to communicate! Our results speak for themselves
Additionally, programming has improved 25% improvement in anxiety/self-control
36% improvement in managing emotions 40% increase in communication skills
EIU Perspectives: Barriers in the modern workplace