7k0a0947One of the things I stress to my clients is that what you think you’re saying may not be what the reader or listener takes away.

In our crazy and distracted world, it can be hard to get through to people. Or to make yourself focus on the conversation at hand.

Carol’s latest post on the Nextiva blog, “Break These Negative Communication Habits,” makes some suggestions for communicating more effectively. She begins:

“It seems like a long time since good grammar and a bit of “Miss Manners” drove good communications. But nowadays, text messages have tossed spelling- and words altogether- out the window and Jimmy Kimmel has made mean tweets something to aspire to.

In the business world, however, strong communication remains essential. Technology has relaxed the rules, but your team members can’t do their jobs well — and clients may run away — if you don’t communicate effectively.

Technology can be friend or foe in communications. Become aware of the following 5 communications no-no’s, and you can improve your message to the world.

#1. Succumbing to electronic interruptions

Electronic devices now appear on every flat surface, from lunch to conference room tables. It is not unusual to see people interacting with their phones, rather than with the people seated around them. When you give priority to the phone over an employee receiving a performance review or a client who took the time to meet with you in-person, you deliver a very powerful message: your phone is more important than live people.

Unless a serious emergency requires you to stay connected, turn all sound off (yes, vibrate is still a sound), and focus on the people around you. If the temptation is too strong, hand devices that you don’t need for the meeting to a trusted person outside of the room.

#2. Providing incomplete information

Your employees may know how you think, but they can’t read your mind. Yet, how many times have you assigned a project based on desired outcome, rather than clearly communicating vital details?

You won’t get the results you expect if you don’t clearly define the required activity and quality checkpoints. Your need to plan the who, what and how, and broadcast that information to your staff.”

You can read the rest of the post here.