Stop miscommunications before they start

Stop miscommunications before they start

by Catherine Welborn

Problem: You recently gave someone on your staff an assignment that went awry. This employee is usually on the ball, so you didn’t watch over his shoulder as he worked on the task. But when the deadline arrived, the work he handed in didn’t come close to your expectations. After discussing the issue with the employee, it became clear that the two of you understood the parameters of the project very differently. How did this miscommunication happen?

Solution: As the supervisor, it’s your job to clearly communicate your instructions and expectations to your staff. Adopt these practices to ensure that you and your employees stay on the same page:

  • Choose the appropriate medium. Some assignments you can deliver orally, but others require written directions. In some cases an example is essential to explain what you want. Adapt your instructions to the complexity of each assignment. Also consider the employee to whom you’re giving directions. Know the person’s communication preferences. Some employees are happy to receive instructions orally; others easily forget what’s not written down. Adjust for each team member’s needs.
  • Expect questions. Some employees avoid asking clarifying questions because they don’t want to appear incompetent. Guide them to break that bad habit by encouraging them to ask questions. Don’t wrap up your instructions by saying “Do you have any questions?” Instead ask “What questions do you have?” Then pause to allow them time to think of questions to ask. 
  • Confirm understanding. Once you’ve given employees an opportunity to ask questions, ensure that they fully comprehend what you expect of them. Ask “What are your next steps?” or have staffers paraphrase the assignment in their own words.
  • Follow up. Don’t assume that employees will retain the information. Check on their progress to ensure that they are moving in the right direction. Schedule checkpoints and review first passes or drafts to ensure that the work is accurate and progressing as desired.

Find more great communication strategies in the multimedia training kit C3: Clear Concise Communication, described below!


C3: Clear Concise Communication

This toolkit will provide you with the communication strategy that will allow your team to thrive. You and your employees can work together to reach—and even exceed—your goals. You will learn how to communicate in a direct manner—across all channels—so that you get the results you want while avoiding the communication pitfalls that can wreak havoc in the workplace. 

You will learn how to:

  • Communicate effectively in any situation. 
  • Improve employee performance. 
  • Provide instructions that produce correct results. 
  • Gain buy-in from others.
  • Identify barriers that interrupt communication flow. 
  • Improve listening skills. 
  • And much more!

Learn more and order today!


The Ultimate Communicator Training Camp

This two-day workshop will take you through a carefully designed process centered specifically on the goals you want to achieve through powerful communication!

In February, we’ll bring that training to you at these locations:

  • Feb. 6-7: Orlando, FL.
  • Feb. 8-9: Dallas, TX.
  • Feb. 14-15: Charlotte, NC.
  • Feb. 16-17: Atlanta, GA.
  • Feb. 21-22: Birmingham, AL.
  • Feb. 28-29: Miami, FL.

Register now!

Bud to Boss Training Camp

This two-day workshop will help you navigate the difficult transition from peer to supervisor, avoiding the most common mistakes new managers make!

In February, we’ll bring that training to you at these locations:

  • Feb. 6-7: Orlando, FL.
  • Feb. 8-9: Dallas, TX.
  • Feb. 13-14: Charlotte, NC.
  • Feb. 16-17: Atlanta, GA.
  • Feb. 21-22: Birmingham, AL.
  • Feb. 28-29: Miami, FL.

Register now!

Click here to receive Bud to Boss: Take 5 once a month, delivered straight to your inbox!

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One Response to Stop miscommunications before they start

  1. Pingback: Questions to Ask for Clearer Writing | Better Writing in Business

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