The miscommunication that arises in any workplace may be shaped by the unique aspects of the environment, including the long hours many people spend working, the hierarchical structure of the organization or being in intellectual or view-oriented disagreement with the others. Most of the time the communication has been misconstrued which causes people to assume things, instead of asking questions concerning the miscommunication to sort it out. Any kind of misunderstanding in the workplace, big or small, always has a negative effect on the company, and the areas that start indicating this are incomplete tasks, badly affected productivity, poor performances and the downfall of the company’s reputation in the eyes of the employees and the public. Also, there will be a lot of negative vibes in the office due to miscommunication which will directly affect the productivity and the final outcome. Read on to know what causes miscommunication in the workplace and how to resolve it without having a blood bath.
Causes And Solutions For Miscommunication In The Workplace
- Assumptions: People tend to make a lot of assumptions and ask fewer questions. In order to understand what is being asked of you, you must ask questions and have a clear understanding of what is being expected from you.
- Office Romances: This one of the most prominent cause of misunderstandings at the workplace. Office romances are dangerous because they can lead to conflict within the company. Public displays of affection can make colleagues uncomfortable and accusations of favoritism may occur, especially if it is a supervisor-subordinate relationship.
- Non-cooperation: Less cooperation or no cooperation at all between the management and the employees or between different employees can lead to miscommunication in the workplace.
- Finger Pointing Or Criticism: Criticism and back-stabbing is very common to human nature. So experiencing this in office premises isn’t an exception. Employees are inclined to blame each other for things that go wrong and this leads to distrust and lack of confidence in others.
- Peril Of Favoritism: It is a very common belief that higher authorities are being more favorable towards certain employees. This can lead to misunderstandings and the urge to work may lessen among the many other sincere employees, as a direct consequence.
These were just a few examples of what could cause misunderstandings in the workplace. Passive aggressive behavior, personality clashes, messages not being returned or answered promptly, etc., are some of the other causes for misunderstandings in the office.
- Communication Is The Key: Every problem is due to lack of communication. A vague message or an unclear direction is one of the most common ways by which miscommunication can take place. Be crystal clear about your message. Don’t leave any room for interpretations because many times employees interpret things according to their convenience.
- Ownership Of Responsibilities Through Self Actualization: Make the employees realize their value and potential. This way the staff won’t become negatively empowered but will become more confident and will also become more aware of their responsibilities.
- Be Receptive: This proves that you are open to different thoughts and ideas. Don’t ever confine the flow of thought by an insufficient amount of communication. Do not send across a message that whatever the opposite person says or believes will be judged and criticized.
- Perfect Medium: Think of the perfect medium for sending across the message to the employees. A way in which the message reaches all and is understood by all is the best. Find out what medium suits your company most - Conference? Meeting? A generic mail? Or appointing a contact person who has a great rapport with employees and hence is good at communicating things? Once you have the ideal medium, there will be less chances of misunderstandings.
- Stick To The Point: Always stick to the point. Do not beat around the bush and discuss topics that are not important. The message should be brief and clear. Not sticking to the point will create lot of confusion and thus will lead to miscommunication in the workplace.
- Acquire Feedback: Once you know that the employees have received your message, do not sit back and relax. Get the feedback asking whether they have understood your message or not.
- Be Genuine: Honesty is the best policy. It builds confidence not only in the person talking but in the listeners as well. It is very easy to differentiate between a real and a fake person. So always be your honest self.