Monday, February 18, 2013

Ten Worst Communications Mistakes for Your Career

By Virgil Carter

Want to convince the world that you are a capable and mature leader on the rise?  Who doesn’t?  According to a recent Forbes article, one of the surest ways to derail your leadership career is through serious communications mistakes.   What are the communications pitfalls to avoid?  Here’s Forbes top ten communications mistakes:

1.       Racially Biased Comments:  These remarks easily offend or insult, reflect poor judgment and reveal low emotional intelligence, according to the researchers.

2.      Off-Color Jokes:  Telling inappropriate jokes makes people uncomfortable, revealing an inability to properly read the audience and environment.

3.      Crying:  Rightly or wrongly, workplace tears do not communicate leadership potential.

4.      Sounding Uneducated:  Executives say it’s important for leaders to portray gravitas, worldliness and intellectual horsepower. Thus, sounding uneducated will immediately undermine your chances of career advancement.

5.      Swearing:  Cursing is a gender-neutral faux pas. It’s generally considered unprofessional and unfitting of a leader will undercut your professional reputation, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman.

6.      Flirting:  Nearly half of executives say flirting will undercut your professional reputation, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman.

7.      Scratching Yourself:  The study researchers found that fidgeting in general detracts from your executive presence. Fiddling with your clothes or mobile devices in meetings makes you appear ill at ease or as if you’re not paying attention.

8.      Avoiding Eye Contact:  Body language experts say avoiding eye contact makes it seem like you might be lying or have something to hide. If you’re in a meeting, it may also give the impression that you’re uninterested.

9.      Rambling:  If you can’t keep your message succinct and coherent, you won’t appear in control. You also weaken the power and impact of the points you’re trying to make.

10.  Giggling Too Much and Speaking Shrilly:  Leaders say that giggling or laughing too much is a top communication blunder for women, and speaking shrilly is a top problem for men.
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