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The seven deadly sins of communication!

We are mostly pretty good at talking yet if you ask companies what is amongst the biggest cause of problems in the workplace they will tell you that it is communication. In this blog I thought it would be useful to give you a heads-up on the communication that creates issues that you didn’t plan for; a bit like Pandora’s Box – open the lid and you just may regret what you find!

1. Gossip: Do you like a bit of gossip? Lots of people enjoy a bit of ‘he said, she said’ or ‘you’ll never guess…’ It can make people feel better about themselves, usually at the expense of someone else. The trouble with gossip is that often it is a situation where trading takes place – I will share something now you share something back… My advice – think twice. As a consultant you are rarely one of the team when push comes to shove, and you may just find the gossip you shared being used to illustrate the type of person you are (and not in a positive way).

2. Judging: One of the best skills that you can learn is to ask questions. Curiosity is at the source of great learning and when you learn facts rather than relying on what you think you know you will find that you are not only wiser, but you are better thought of. Being open minded is a gift – use it.

3. Negativity: Consultants work in tense situations; you are there to be a realist, optimistic and able to bring solutions to the party. The negative consultant will not be a positive addition to the team – negativity leads to judging and gossip!

4. Complaining: “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” Theodore Roosevelt. Do I need to add anything?

5. Excuses: Are you a bit of a blame thrower? An unattractive trait, not useful, not productive and will not see a consultant rising to the top!

6. Embroidery: Adding to the story facts that are simply untrue but which make the story seem more dramatic – often accompanies an excuse or lights the fire of the blame thrower.

7. Dogmatism: Expressing opinions as if they are facts. The person who is dogmatic doesn’t need to be curious and ask questions because they know all the answers. They can be perceived as arrogant, narrow minded and shallow. One of the biggest skills that you can develop is to become an expert at asking questions rather than a bore thinking you have all the answers! 2 ears, 1 mouth and all that.

Penny Whitelock FinstLM

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