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  Common Communication TrapsFriday, June 21st, 2024  

Open communication is critical if you are going to manage well. Following is a partial list of communication roadblocks, examples of how they are used and the problem-solving detours that can result.

1. Ordering: "You must . . ." "You have to . . ."--Make an employee feel resentful of the manager's power. Put down or frustrated, the employee responds with anger, refusal or dissent.

2. Warning: "You'd better . . ." "If you don't, then . . ."--Place a threat on the future and make the employee feel humiliated or embarrassed.

3. Moralizing: "You should . . ." "It's your responsibility . . ."--Attempt to make employee feel guilty and communicate lack of trust in his or her judgment.

4. Advising: "What I would do is . . ." "It would be best for you if . . ."--Imply superiority and can make a person feel inadequate and encourage dependency. If the manager's suggestion turns out to be wrong, the employee can duck responsibility.

5. Persuading with logic: "Here's why you are wrong . . ." "The facts are . . ." -- Label another person as "wrong" and foster defensiveness as well as feelings of inadequacy.

6. Judging: "You are acting foolishly . . ." "You aren't thinking straight . . ."--Make an employee feel incompetent and stupid and if used often enough may become incorporated into the employee's self-image. A defensive reaction in the future may be to decide not to tell a manager about a problem.

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