In this article we are going to discuss Poor Communication Skills
We see many people in our lives who get way more successful than the others. We see that their higher-ups appreciate them way more than the others. They get their promotions at a very young age and if they are made group leaders to do particular projects then we see that those projects produce way better results than the others. Why is that? We may think of reasons like they may have a higher educational qualification, or that they have way more experience than an average person does, or that they may have higher skills. But the answer is simple and is shockingly unexpected, i.e. Good Communication Skills.
People who are successful communicators produce outcomes, that way surpass their expertise, mastery, and their practical skills. Bad communicators or as we call them poor communicators feel reluctance and obstruction in everything they do and tend to, irrespective of their potential. They fail to make their listeners react according to their desired ways. They fail to achieve accuracy in their communication, and they also fail to convey the message’s meaning in their desired way. So poor communication skills effects not only their professional careers but also their social lives as well.
Poor Communication Skills definition & Poor Communicator:
As we know that communication basically means the normal activity of all human beings, by words (written or spoken), body language, or signals, to communicate thoughts, emotions, knowledge, and ideas to others, in contrary to this, poor communication means the inability to perform all these activities and getting no intended results at all. Communication is basically as we all know, the name of getting a response, so if you are not getting any response at all, this means that you are a poor communicator. You may lack the confidence to speak to another person. You may be a guy who has a lot of knowledge but is inexpressive and who lacks clarity, preciseness, conciseness, fluency and comprehension. Your grammar may also be incorrect, and your body language and your listening skills may also be at a level of pity.
What causes poor communication skills?
As we are all human beings and in order to do something, we communicate with each other and help each other out, so one can easily say that in order to have a successful and a well-established life or a business, good communication skills are highly required. Sometimes it becomes the main reason for the downfall of a business and sometimes your own social life. But if the causes are pointed out, one may start to work way more efficiently as well as effectively. These causes sometimes are:
Ego or Self-esteem:
Ego or self-esteem is your enemy while you communicate with others. Think of it as a wall that builds around you and prevents you from listening to others, whose point of view might be critical and essential than yours. It takes you far away from reality and makes you think about the results rather than your efforts. Your Ego makes you overstate your own skills and importance and overlook the commitment and ability needed to accomplish your goals and makes you entirely dependent on other’s validations and praises.
Another one of the reasons why we fail in communication is because we fail to understand the ethnicity and the cultures of each other. Cultures, or as we know them, the moral values, are the patterns according to which we think, speak and react. Every culture has its language, signs, symbols, and gestures. It decides how would society react towards a certain decision. So, all these elements become barriers to effective communication. For example in Japan people bow their heads (sometimes touching the floor with their foreheads) in order to apologize or to make a request the other while in Pakistan this deed is considered to be a very sinful deed cause in Pakistan people believe that only God is the only one who should be bowed down upon.
Another one of the causes of poor communication is noise. There are four types of noises that affect our communication. These types can be of an external or internal source.
It is the noise that is external to both the sender and the receiver. In physical noise, you and the person whom you are talking to maybe in a very noisy environment. Take bus stations, for example, you and your partner may have a very tough time while talking to each other inside that bus station. Similarly, if you’re near a construction site and you are talking to your friend through a mobile phone then your friend might not entirely get what you are saying because of the continuous construction noise.
Physiological noise is the noise that is created by the sender and the receiver; thus, it’s an internal source of the noise. It may be due to the listening problems of the receiver. They may have an issue listening to the high or low tones of the sender. Other reasons may include the way the sender conveys his or her message; he may not breathe while he talks or talks fast or doesn’t put pauses into his sentences while he talks, mumbles, or may have some articulation problems.
Psychological noise is nothing more than a lack of concentration and focus. You may have experienced this that when you try to give someone an abstract idea, he kind of gets lost in his own thoughts and starts to wonder about the stuff that may be irrelevant to the topic. Another one of its examples is that when you are trying to talk to someone and you have multiple points to clear to him, but in the end, you fail to clear all those points because you may forget some of them or you get too deep inside one of those points that you lose time to describe to him the remaining points. So psychological noise involves concentration and true focus of sender and the receiver. Also, sarcasm is also known as psychological noise as it guarantees to stop true communication.
Semantic noise is when the sender and the receiver have different meaning systems. The sender may say a word that has a certain meaning inside the sender’s mind, but for the receiver, that word may mean something else. Jargons are the best examples of semantic noise. They can make communication way faster and easier if its terminologies are understood clearly, and similarly, they could become noise if the terminologies aren’t that clear.
Wrong and Unclarified Assumptions:
Sometimes we make assumptions about people, and mostly these assumptions come out to be absolutely wrong. We may assume that they will see the situation entirely as we do, or think about it as we do, or feel as we feel about it. So, these wrong assumptions become the cause of poor communication. Thus, they should be verified whenever possible.
Our emotions may also become the cause of poor communication. We all have experienced that if you talk to a person who is angry at the moment, he will take almost everything you say in a wrong and a negative direction. And if you try to talk to a person who is happy and is in a good mood, there is a big chance that he will laugh at everything you say. So, emotions also affect your way of communication. Other emotions that affect your communication are fright, jealousy, uncertainty, and mistrust.
Poor retention is basically your memory loss. Our brains only store those stuff which it finds to be useful, and because of that, we forget things which weren’t back in the times not that much important to us than they are now. Also, time plays a very big role in our memory loss. Often times, we forget old things. Thus, this memory loss becomes a cause for poor communication.
In businesses, status consciousness is one of the major causes of poor communication. We have seen that in an organization’s hierarchy, the most superior one may not tend to listen or write directly to his subordinates or if he does, he will give them selected information. This is entirely because of the status or the rank that he has in that organization. This affects the organization’s vertical communication.
Credibility also affects the way you communicate. Credibility basically means how much a person is trustworthy. If the sender’s credibility is good, then you can say that he will be able to convince the other person with much greater ease than the one who isn’t that credible. You only listen and accept the reasoning of those people with whom you have mutual trust. Thus, for better communication, both the sender and the receiver must have mutual trust.
What are the effects of poor communication skills?
In an organization, people work to achieve the same ultimate goal. This goal can only be achieved if the people in that organization have good communication skills, but if they don’t, they face enormous consequences. Some of these consequences or effects are:
Misunderstanding is one of the major effects of poor communication. How many times in our lives have we done things wrong only just because we have misunderstood someone’s point or his or her guidelines. In businesses, misunderstanding could do some severe damage to the organization. For example, if an employee isn’t told what he or she is supposed to do and what are their responsibilities then there is a greater chance that they might not end up doing their jobs the way they should thus leading to a great loss of the company or that organization.
Lack of good communication can also lead to multiple missed opportunities. If an employee fails to tell his boss or the CEO about his potential or his qualifications, then he may not get the promotion that he deserves. So poor communication can bring everything you did for your company with your blood and sweat, to an absolute zero.
We have seen that in organizations and companies, employees may end up in a conflict that would be entirely unnecessary and useless. For example, one employee may end up doing ten times more work than the others, thinking that the others won’t do their jobs but, in the end, finds out that they actually did. Thus, wasting a huge amount of effort and time. A company employee may also feel unsafe because of their CEO laying off most of the employees without reasoning, thus creating unnecessary conflicts. This all happens due to poor communication between them.
It could also lead to numerous rumours. You may say something that the other person might not understand and interpret as something else. In business, this act could lead to some serious consequences like panic, disarray, mistrust, anxiety and could also damage the morale of employees.
Damage to the company’s culture:
A company’s culture affects the company entirely. It affects the company’s results and the people about how they feel about their company, its values, its norms, and how they share their same goal in that very company. Thus sometimes not having effective communication within that company could highly damage that company’s culture and may result in its economic downfall.
How can I improve my poor communication skills?
In order to gain success in your own personal life as well as in your business life, it is a must thing to improve your communication skills. Following are the ways through which you can improve your communication skills:
Try to listen to people:
One of the most important ways to improve your communication is that you need to start listening to people for what they have to say. It is very important that once you have made your point, you need to ask people for their honest feedback. Listen to those feedbacks as it will surely clear all those shortcomings and those misunderstandings that you were unable to clear. Keep in mind that listening doesn’t mean that you are just hearing the words that are coming out of their mouths but seriously trying to pay attention to what they have to say to you.
Assessment & learning non-verbal communication:
80% of the communication that we do is non-verbal. Some people may think that by non-verbal we mean “body language”, but it is way more than that. It includes intensity and pitch of the voice, body pose, facial expression, bodily changes such as sweat, etc. So, in order to communicate properly you need to be confident and try not to do things like folding your arms, tapping your foot, speak too fast or too slow, bite your own nails, etc. Because these small acts may reveal to your audience that you are in a state of confusion, so they won’t take you that much seriously as they should, instead try to fill up the space that is being given to you and for that, the best thing for you to do is to practice your non-verbal communication.
Study the Timing:
Improving the timing to talk to somebody about a particular subject also improves your communication skills. Sometimes we don’t quite get the desired reaction of people that we so desperately need; this is because of the wrong timing that we chose to talk to that person about a particular topic. So, in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen you need to ask yourself whether you should talk to that person about that particular topic or just leave it for another time. Another one of the best ways to encounter that is that you ask his permission to talk about that particular topic. You may say “Sir, can I talk to you about (Topic)”
Know your audience:
Knowing your audience is another great way to improve your communication. One would never talk to his children as he talks to his boss. Similarly, he won’t talk to his boss the way he talks to his children. So, it is best for one to know and understand whom he is communicating to so that he could be more relevant in his communication as he talks to them.
Minimize what you have to say:
We often face people in most of our lives that when they talk to us, we get a bit sleepy, tired and starts to get bored because of their avalanche of words. These people may be very knowledgeable, but what they don’t have the knowledge of is that when you talk to someone, you need to be precise and clear. And you should minimize your words so that the other person may not get confused or bored. Thus minimizing what you have to say also improves your way of communication.
Poor Communication Skills at a workplace:
There might also be a vagueness created at a workplace between what you wish to convey and what has been conceived. It usually happens due to ambiguity created in the written document because a person might not be able to understand it. Multiple interpretations and ambiguities can be lessened by either adding FAQs or well-written notifications. This will avoid any kind of misconception created due to rumours that easily trend at a workplace.
Poor Communication Skills in a relationship:
Poor communication skills in a relationship or simple lack of communication, silent treatments may cause passive-aggressive behavior; where one partner throws sarcastic insult rather than confronting head-on. In a relationship, good communication is the key to happiness and prosperity. Poor communication also leads to finger-pointing and placing the blame on the other person.
What are the poor communication skills examples?
Following are some of the poor communication example that you should try to avoid:
- Interfering people in their communication:
Interfering people in their conversation thinking that you are engaging in their conversation but actually what you are doing is that you are pissing them off. So, don’t interfere with others while they are talking.
- Doing multiple tasks while talking:
It is another one of the greatest examples of poor communication. How many times has this happened to us that someone is trying to tell us something very important, but we are busy purposelessly trying to scroll down our Facebook wall page on our mobile phones? So this may also affect our way of communication.
- Unnecessarily telling others about your personal experiences:
How many times has this happened to us that one of our friends tell us that he is going through a very tough time and you, in order to empathize with him, tell him that you know exactly how he feels, and then you start to tell him about your own personal experience that you think is related to what he is experiencing right now, but the matter of fact is that yours and his’s experiences are totally different from each other and has no relevance in them whatsoever. Thus, wasting yours as well as his’s time.
- Floundering aimlessly:
Another one of the examples of poor communication skills is floundering aimlessly. When we say floundering, it basically means rambling on without having any point. Some people do this just because they like the sound of their voice. Thus it affects two-way communication very badly. So, in order to encounter this, you need to be more concise and more clear and allow others to talk as well.
- Refrain from overt communication:
For some people, it is very difficult to write a text message rather than just making a phone call. So, this difficulty also affects their communication as it requires more time and effort than a voice call or better, a video call. So, trying to choose this difficult path is also another one of the examples of it.
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