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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Signs you are failing at communication

Poor communication can be a big waste of time. The world we live in today provides numerous communication tools. However, if your message, at any point, is not properly conceived, sent, received, interpreted and confirmed then it is ineffective. How can you know, as the leader, that your communication is failing and what can you do to improve?

You are letting employees find out important organizational matters through media or second hand.

Not being the first to communicate company business to your employees is a failure. An atmosphere of distrust and anxiety will be created. Be consistent and frequent in face to face communication with your employees. Build trust and confidence by being the one that communicates vital organizational matters to them directly.

You keep changing direction.

If it’s all hands-on deck one month to focus on one thing and then the next month you send all hands back out again to change the focus you will create doubt and cynicism regarding your leadership abilities. Build a business strategy. Have a short-term and long-term plan. Hire a highly competent team to drive your organization forward. With this strategy available, each team member can confidently steer your company in the right direction, so the employees don’t feel confusion.

You find a high number of your employees are not engaged and you are not seeing results.

Oftentimes this means your employees are not well versed in your company’s culture, mission or values. Strategically communicate your company’s culture within the organization. Find ways to engage your employees.

Your meetings end without clear direction.

Attendees leave not understanding what you were trying to communicate to them and without a definitive direction. They begin to dread meetings because they feel their time is being wasted. When preparing for a meeting with your employees, be sure you have a distinct goal of what you want communicated during the meeting.

If your message, at any point, is not properly conceived, sent, received, interpreted and confirmed then it is ineffective

Other signs you are failing at communicating:

  1. You are not listening.

  2. You are listening only to react.

  3. You use inappropriate language.

  4. You use too much jargon, acronyms or technical terms.

  5. You or the other party are unwilling to compromise.

  6. You or the other party are unwilling to collaborate.

Every leader needs to occasionally check themselves on their leadership abilities. Think about how you communicate. If you find that you are ineffective in some areas take some time to refocus.

For more insights like these, sign up for the Monday Morning Coaching Memo.

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