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Practice Positivity to Avoid Communication Breakdowns

Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom under encouragement. ~ Donald A. Laird This quote reinforces the value of constructive criticism. People don’t like to be told that they’ve done something wrong.  But,  people do make mistakes. The way in which we communicate with each other to address these mistakes has a large impact on the success of any business initiative. The simple truth is that communication is not effective if it is not “nice.” It’s natural to tune out anything you don’t want to hear. A recent ABC News report revealed that Americans work more than professionals in other countries, take less vacation and feel highly stressed. This can make it very difficult to remember to be nice when talking to others, especially if a mistake by another reflects poorly on you.  One solution is to practice positivity daily so that being nice in your communication with colleagues becomes habit. Tips to Being Nice 1 – Take in interest in other people’s lives. Building positive working relationships will allow to you think of colleagues as friends rather than associates, or worse, as your enemies and you’ll naturally be nicer. 2 – Place blame on yourself. For example, if a project wasn’t completed as expected you could say “Maybe my directions were unclear…” to help others feel at ease and less defensive. 3 – Talk face to face. It is too easy to be harsh or inconsiderate via email or phone. Speaking to someone in person promotes valuable two-way conversation and facilitates conflict resolution. 4 – Critique, but don’t correct. Correcting someone’s work for them may give the wrong impression that you think they are incapable. Instead help others learn from their mistakes and improve their skill set. 5 – Smile. People are more receptive to news coming from a person with a smile on their face. It naturally injects positivity into an otherwise negative atmosphere, and encourages relaxation. Looking for other ways to promote effective communication in your workplace? Invest in a Quartet® DuraMax® Porcelain Magnetic Whiteboard. It the perfect tool to ensure your team is always on the same page. Record meeting notes, post a project timeline, and more! ~Kathleen Sales, Quartet Blog Author & Editor

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