Tag Archives: Four Fatal Communication Blunders

Bonus Blunder

In April I offered the Four Fatal Communication Blunders in which people think (and would certainly say) they are trying to do one thing, when in fact they are doing something totally contradictory.

Here’s one more.

Apologizing – Reconciling vs. Protecting

What’s the real point of your apology? Is it to reconcile and heal a relationship? Or is it to protect your own ego?

Many apologies start off well. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I shouldn’t have.”

But somewhere in there we shift into explanations for why the apologized for actions weren’t our fault and make perfect sense when seen from our view. That’s the blunder. That’s our ego kicking into protection mode, shielding us from the threat of believing that we did something truly wrong.

This ego protection destroys the apology. It takes us out of reconciliation and right back into disagreement. For an apology that heals we need to focus on healing.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have. How can I make it better?”

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Four Fatal Communication Blunders, pt. 4

There are Four Fatal Communication Blunders.

In each of these blunders people may think (and would certainly say) they are trying to do one thing, when in fact they are doing something totally contradictory. (Click to see blunder #1 or #2 or #3.) Here’s the fourth and final:

4. Speaking – Educating vs. Explaining

When you have an audience in front of you, what are you really trying to do? Is your goal to explain your topic? Or is your goal to educate your audience?

Many speakers are brilliant orators. They speak clearly and perhaps even entertain. Their logic is impeccable. They can speak flawlessly on their topic for hours at a time.

Of course, therein lies the blunder.

People don’t learn very well by listening. We learn by talking and doing and creating. We learn through action.

Next time you are asked to speak to a group, don’t be fooled by the title “Speaker.” If your intent is to educate, then spend less time explaining. Ask your audience to do something, to use your idea, to talk to each other. They will learn and remember more through their actions than anything they take away from your words.

 

Four Fatal Communication Blunders, pt. 3

There are Four Fatal Communication Blunders.

In each of these blunders people may think (and would certainly say) they are trying to do one thing, when in fact they are doing something totally contradictory. (Click to see blunder #1 or #2.) Here’s the third:

3. Listening – Learning vs. Planning

What is the point of your listening? Is it to plan out your own next comment? Or is it to learn something about the other person, their ideas, their views?

Dialogues often look like ping pong matches with the back and forth so fast it becomes a blur. We spend our listening time thinking of what we will say rather than trying to absorb what the other person has to share.

That is the blunder

When we seek to learn we ask more questions and allow more silence. We gain trust and respect from our dialogue partner. We gain knowledge for ourselves.

Next time you set out to listen to someone, give yourself the goal of learning. Set out to discover and explore. And let your plans drift away.

Four Fatal Communication Blunders, pt. 2

There are Four Fatal Communication Blunders.

In each of these blunders people may think (and would certainly say) they are trying to do one thing, when in fact they are doing something totally contradictory. Last Monday I offered the first. Here’s the second:

2. Dialogue – Influence vs. Expression

When you are talking to someone else, what is your real purpose? Is it the joy of expressing yourself? Or is it to influence another person’s opinions or actions?

If the goal is expressing yourself, one size fits all. Voice your views. Speak early and often. Focus on your message.

Of course, that’s the blunder.

Because it doesn’t change anything or anyone. Yet that is how most dialogue looks.

If your goal is influence you have to answer questions about the other person.

  • What are her current views?
  • How did she get them?
  • What kinds of information will convince her?
  • Is it even possible to influence her on this at this time?
  • Is influencing her on this the best use of my time and energy?

With answers to these questions you’ll be on your way to the influence you desire.

Four Fatal Communication Blunders, pt. 1

There are Four Fatal Communication Blunders.

In each of these blunders people may think (and would certainly say) they are trying to do one thing, when in fact they are doing something totally contradictory. For the month of April, each Monday will be dedicated to one of these Fatal Communication Blunders. Here’s the first:

1. Feedback – Delivery vs. Insight

When you provide feedback, what is your real purpose? Is it for you to have spoken? Is it the stating of the critique or an intended impact on the recipient?

Most people offer feedback as though the purpose of the conversation is the delivery. It doesn’t matter what the other person thinks. So long as I delivered my criticism, I served my purpose.

That’s a fatal blunder.

The other person didn’t learn. They didn’t change. They’ll repeat the same mistake. And part of the reason is that the feedback conversation served your needs of delivery rather than seeking to help the other person attain some insight.

This is the first fatal blunder. Click here for more on this blunder (including a 5 step process to revolutionize how you offer feedback).

Check in next Monday for Fatal Communication Blunder #2.