Twenty-seven years in this business and I'm still amazed at what people will say or do. The sad situation is that many times, these unintentional faux pas are the things that result in slowing down or ending a promising career. We all need to take communication seriously and build in filters through practice to minimize communication gaps.
Two key causes of communication gaps:
Our emotions and lack of awareness
In an interview you are asked why are you no longer with your former company. Your response is, "I resigned." Do you believe that people are going to think this was a positive event or a negative one? You just created an information gap.
You're the CEO of a company and every time you leave your office to go to the lunch room you are in deep thought. You never acknowledge anybody along the way, you're just focused on your thoughts. What do you think the perception will be from those around you who experience this? You just created an information gap.
An information gap can be created by what we say, what we don't say, what we do and what we don't do.
It is unfortunately human nature to fill a gap with negative information. Real control is achieved when we're able to say things and act in a way that insures to the highest degree that the message we are sending is received as we want it to be received.
Best tactics to diminish information gaps:
- Increase your awareness of how your actions and statements could affect others
- Refrain from any kind of emotional response
- Practice softening your verbiage
- If you're not sure about what you are going to say bounce it off of a confidant
- Learn to recognize these gaps when you create them and close them immediately
Your words are powerful and they can hurt deeply as well as distort your real meaning. Learning to filter will allow you to say even the most challenging statements appropriately and still deliver your message.
For your career success learn to BRIDGE THE GAP!