Do you find people seem to misunderstand something you said or even a decision you made? It happens to us all. I’ve been misunderstood before and I’ve also misunderstood others, so as I was thinking about that, I came up with these 5 tips that might help minimize this from happening.
- Make your intentions clear. Try not to mix words, don’t beat around the bush or come off sounding wishy washy. Say exactly what you mean. And, you don’t have to have a direct or “in your face” tone to get your point across. In fact, I actually don’t like directness, it turns me off.
- Ask if the person understands you. There’s nothing wrong with asking if the person understands what you said and to give you feedback. This way, you can discuss any problems or confusion beforehand.
- Watch the body language. Our words can contradict our countenance. I would rather be transparent then to say one thing while thinking another. And being on Zoom counts even if all the person sees is your upper self!
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. I had this problem all through school. Whenever I had a question, I was too afraid to raise my hand. I don’t know how I managed to get through grade school. It wasn’t till after high school that I overcame that. I find it’s much better to ask questions even if I have to ask more than once so that I totally understand.
- Use direct contact when it becomes necessary. Now, don’t get me wrong, I text and email all the time, but I have been in situations where a phone call or face meeting was needed. This happens when working on a deadline or when a business decision needs to be made and it’s too long to text or email.
We can’t always avoid misunderstandings or miscommunications but I think following these tips can at least cut down on them.
Nothing’s worse than acting on misinformation and having to go back and correct mistakes that may have been avoided.