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When it comes to work and getting things done, effective communication is about more than getting along with your teammates. In a business context, communication can affect not only the interpersonal relationships of the people who work there, but also the speed at which a project is completed, the quality of a product and even the rate at which employees leave the company. Effective communication, then, acts as a solid foundation necessary for any business to thrive.

To help build up this foundation, you’ll first need to clear out any of the mistakes, such as those listed by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, they share some of their biggest communication pet peeves in business, and what people can do to communicate more effectively at work.

1. Imprecise Language

Almost daily, I receive written correspondence from customers, employees and vendors where the ask is unclear or the problem has not been communicated well. As a result, this initiates a back-and-forth game to get further clarification that is a total waste of everyone’s time. To remedy the situation, I try to push everyone to over-communicate. Especially with everyone working remotely, written communication is becoming the norm. However, with written communication, we must take extra care to be as clear as possible. There are so many things that can be lost in context when we are talking via email or chat. If you don’t have the time to over-communicate so that your thoughts are clear, pick up the phone or hop on a video call! – Arian Radmand, IgnitePost

2. Incomplete Answers

It’s usually very frustrating to not hear back from someone in a timely manner, but it’s even more frustrating when you only hear back on one of the three or four questions you asked. With an incomplete answer or instruction, it’s impossible to move forward and complete the task. Everywhere we turn there’s something demanding our attention, from social media to our emails, and there is such emphasis on everything being done quickly—or yesterday. It’s important to slow down and make sure we really understand what is being said and what the other person intended, really putting the individual person back into communication. Making the extra effort will help projects go more smoothly, as well as build stronger professional relationships. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

3. Indirect Asks

One of my biggest communication pet peeves is when people aren’t direct and, instead of asking for something, try to skirt around the issue until you suggest the solution they were looking for. If you know the outcome that will help you solve the problem, ask for it; if you don’t, explain the situation and ask for suggestions. This issue often stems more from a company’s culture than an individual’s communication style. If there isn’t a culture of open communication and support among employees, it can be tough to come out and ask for what you need. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

4. Heavy Reliance On Written Communication

I cannot understand it when people rely strictly on chat to communicate at work. I much prefer face-to-face communication or even a phone call. There are a few reasons why I feel this way. First, it’s often difficult to gauge someone’s tone over chat. Second, chat is often too brief. For me, chatting just feels impersonal. I like to see the person I’m talking to and read their body language. It helps me to better understand what they’re saying. While chat can be great for quick back-and-forth discussions or small updates, if you’re working on a project with someone and you need to give them feedback, it’s much more effective to do that in person than over chat. The same goes for difficult conversations or anything that could be misconstrued in written form. – Abhijeet Kaldate, Astra WordPress Theme


5. Failure To Follow Up

One of my communication pet peeves is when people say they will get back to you but never do. If you tell someone you’re going to reach out to them, whether it’s for a quote, help with a product or even to show a demo, follow through on your word. People will lose respect for people and businesses who cannot maintain this fundamental promise. If you have trouble remembering when you said you would contact someone, make a note! I use sticky notes so I can tie up any loose ends before I clock out for the day. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Use Of Jargon And Acronyms

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use jargon or acronyms without explaining what they mean. This can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the terminology. When communicating at work, it’s important to be clear and concise. Use simple language that everyone can understand. If you need to use jargon or acronyms, make sure to explain what they mean. This will help everyone stay on the same page and avoid any confusion. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Overcomplication Of Information

One of my biggest communication pet peeves is when people try to complicate things unnecessarily. Sharing information is good, but you can skip details that don’t concern others. This often happens when people go into the technical nitty-gritty when trying to get their point across. It’s best that you relay your message in words that are easy to comprehend. As Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Lack Of Context

It can be frustrating when people share what they did or what they want to do but don’t share why. I want to know the reasoning behind their actions so that I can understand their thought process. Without that context, it’s difficult to have a productive discussion. If you’re communicating with someone at work, try to include the “why” behind your actions. It will help your listener understand your perspective and could potentially make for a more productive conversation. – Sujay Pawar, CartFlows

9. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

Be nice! Passive-aggressive behavior is by far my biggest pet peeve in company communication. Take a deep breath and go for a walk if you need to. There’s never a reason for you to be rude in a work context. Not only does it make things unpleasant for everyone, but it can also be a huge waste of time and a distraction. To improve company communication, setting values and communication guidelines can help, but you also need to police negative or rude behavior because it can spread. – Brandon Harris, Playmaker


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