In a virtual office environment, as in offline offices, communication mistakes can be quite common due to our heavy reliance on non-verbal communication tools. Sending out an email without checking it for correct spelling or grammar, for example, can be embarrassing. However, there are a few other communication mistakes that can cause more than a little embarrassment.
Avoid these top 10 critical communication mistakes.
1Not Editing Your Work. We are an email society. Mistakes in tone, spelling errors, and grammatical errors can make you seem unprofessional and sloppy. Don’t rely on spell check, they don’t always pick up on grammatical errors and the improper use of words that have multiple meanings depending on the context of the sentence.
2Assuming Everyone Understands Your Message. A common communication mistake, is not following up with all employees involved in a communication to ensure they all understand what was said and what is expected of them. Encourage others to ask questions and make yourself available for later inquires.
3Nasty Grams or Bad News Emails. This is one of the most common communication mistakes made by management. Too often managers use email to scold or discipline employees. This creates tension whenever employees receive management emails. It also builds resentment and embarrassment as often time’s email accounts can be accessed by others who can also read these “nasty grams.” Also try to avoid sending bad news via email. Some news requires a personal touch, via a telephone call or Skype session.
4Violating the Privacy of Others. Many individuals share email accounts and have access to the passwords and computers of co-workers. In this environment it is easy to read correspondence that is meant for someone else or to accidentally resend your private conversations with others out to unintended audiences. To avoid this mistake, write private messages before choosing recipients. Also avoid hitting “reply” or “reply all” until after you write the message.
5Reacting instead of Responding. Sometimes work can be frustrating and we sometimes react without thinking. This communication mistake can be quite costly in terms of your image and reputation. When encountering an unpleasant situation, take time to breathe, think, and then respond verbally or via email.
Stay tuned for part two of our top 10 list of critical communication mistakes.