A few weeks ago, I sent out an article with the subject as “we need to talk.” Not realizing the heart attack I was going to give my husband, I sent it out without thinking. Needless to say, he was a little miffed…in a “oh you got me there” kind of way. Talk about some unintended miscommunication!
How many times have you had unintended miscommunication with the people you work with? Have you said any of the following?
- Got a quick minute to come to my office?
- Can you come in my office please?
- Hey, let’s go chat over here real quick.
- Can we meet this afternoon; there are some things I want to discuss.
Now stop and think, how many of those times was it a bad thing that needed to be discussed? I asked around a little bit, and the people I talked to said that it hardly ever was bad.
Guess how many times the person it was said to thought it was going to be bad? Almost every time!
Unintentionally, you are sending a negative message to the other person. They may get nervous, on edge, guarded, and even angry! The fear of the unknown can be a powerful thing!
In one of my jobs, I had a boss that would do that to me all the time. A majority it was over instant messaging. He did it to just about everyone he worked with, except his boss. The conversation would look something like this:
Boss: u here?
Boss: pls come here when free
After a while, it got to the point where I would tell him I couldn’t come to his office, ask him what for, or just push back in general. First, it seemed odd that he didn’t know if I was in the very small building we worked in. Second, if it was just a quick question couldn’t he walk over and talk to me? It just didn’t sit well.
Rarely was it something bad that he wanted to discuss. But it put me on edge. Be careful of unintentional miscommunication! It’s so easy to do when we are busy or in a rush and we are thinking of 101 different things.
Here are a few ways you can try to make it easier on your peeps…
- Got a quick minute to come to my office? I wanted to ask you about the XYZ project.
Can you come in my office please?Pick up the phone and ask the question, or walk to their desk. If it’s too distracting to others then ask to move it to your office.
- Hey, let’s go chat over here real quick about the great feedback I got on your report.
- Can we meet this afternoon? I just met with the ABC team, and want to get you the information before I forget.
Try these out and let me know how it goes.
Just going that extra little step will make people enjoy working with you that much more! And when people enjoy working with you, they do great work!