Are you making these mistakes when speaking?
Also, because less prior thought tends to go into speaking in conversation than into writing, the spoken word can be particularly prone to misinterpretation.
Though we put phrases like, ‘excellent communication skills’ on our CVs, few people take the time to develop the clarity of their communication, assuming it is simply a matter of being able to talk or write.
Many people are ignorant of the implicit messages in their communication that alter meanings and shape perceived intentions.
Here is a list of speaking errors: words and phrases, as well as particular uses of the body, that communicate messages you don’t mean.
Are you committing any of these communication offences? Or is someone you know?
” Seriously, do you, like, totally want to sound like your fifteen year old daughter? “
Repeatedly saying “sorry”
I knocked a man with my trolley at the supermarket the other day and he said sorry to me.
What he meant to say instead was “excuse me”.
Using sorry instead of “excuse me” is a common speaking offense.
The problem with repeatedly saying sorry is that you are using a language gesture to diffuse your agency over a situation. So, if you are asked to fix something at work, don’t apologise for doing it the way you had (because of course you are diligent and well-intentioned), simply say, “I can see what needs fixing and I will see to it.”
“In my opinion”, “I believe”
These phrases make communication less crisp and fresh. If your intention is to hold people’s attention, get rid of unnecessaries.
“No offence but…”
Same goes for “Apologies but…” and “With all due respect…”.
These phrases imply that in fact you have little respect for the recipient of the message. Phrases like this can potentially be taken to mean “f-you altogether, I’m saying whatever I want and I don’t care how you feel about it.”
When you put “but” at the end of a phrase or clause, it diminishes the importance of what you’ve just said, “I think you’re beautiful but you could do something with your hair” is not interpreted as “I think you’re beautiful” but as “You could do something with your hair.”
Most of the time what you mean when you say “but” is “and”. Think of the change replacing but with and makes to the sentence above: “I think you’re beautiful and you could do something with your hair.”
Your Eyes Wander
Basic stuff. Look a person in the eye when you’re talking to them. Don’t look a) at other parts of their body b) at other people passing by.
Again, this habit probably develops to soften the perceived harshness of something you’re about to say. It undermines your authority and assertiveness. If something’s worth saying, offer it with confidence.
Your mother told you swearing demonstrates a limited vocabulary. And she’s right. There are moments where a swear word is the most appropriate word, but this is rarely at work. Keep your potty mouth for casual chats with friends.
Seriously, do you, like, totally want to sound like your fifteen year old daughter?