Miscommunications are often taken as minor occurrences. At times, though, what starts small can quickly spiral into numerous mistakes and lower productivity levels, all of which can be a startup killer, according to entrepreneur Scott Crockett of Everest Business Funding.
All entrepreneurs must communicate clearly and effectively and teach their teams to do the same. While miscommunication can be deadly to a startup, there’s a lot that smart entrepreneurs can do to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Below are the most common causes of miscommunication and how you can avoid them.
Using the Wrong Medium
One of the great parts about work today is that communication can take place through multiple mediums. While the extra options can be extremely convenient and lead to greater efficiency, they can also lead to massive miscommunication if not used properly.
For example, what works for an email may not work for a collaboration app, and vice versa. Sometimes, messages need to be disseminated to the entire workforce in person, while other times, a casual note to one or two individuals would suffice.
Understanding the best channel on which to communicate is important in ensuring your message is well received.
Much of an entrepreneur’s professional life is open-ended. That’s one of the beauties of running a startup. But, there should never be ambiguity in communication.
When you leave a message up to interpretation by the receiver, a lot can go wrong quickly. Be direct in your communication if you want to avoid people misunderstanding what you are trying to say.
You don’t need to be cold and blunt, but make sure that there’s no way someone could read your message in multiple ways.
The cousin of being ambiguous in communication is making assumptions, as the results are often the same. When you assume someone else should know something, you leave the end result to chance.
There are times, of course, when assumptions are necessary to run an effective startup. Things can come at you a mile a minute, after all, and you need to be able to trust that everyone on your team has a baseline of knowledge about certain things.
That being said, you never want to assume that someone understands exactly what you want out of them or how you want it to be done. This doesn’t just go for when you’re delegating, either.
Never assume that someone has a full understanding of a topic or subject. There are ways that you can check to make sure you’re on the same page without making them feel as if you’re talking down to them.
Being Passive Aggressive
Think back to a time when someone in the workplace was passive-aggressive with you. How did it make you feel? How did you act afterward? Did you feel motivated to work or to help them? Did you fully receive their message? Or were you just clouded by their attitude?
The answer is you most likely focused only on the person’s attitude and not what he or she was trying to communicate. One of the biggest causes of miscommunication is people being very emotional, especially if they express passive aggression. That’s because the receiver of the message often feels like they are being belittled.
One of the most important aspects of clear communication is mutual respect. When you establish mutual respect, both the sender and receiver can get on and stay on the same page more easily. Scott Crockett says it’s important to sympathize and empathize with others, treating everyone how you want to be treated.
About Scott Crockett
Scott Crockett is the founder and CEO of Everest Business Funding. He is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in the finance industry. Mr. Crockett’s track record includes raising more than $250 million in capital and creating thousands of jobs. Scott has founded, built, and managed several finance companies in the consumer and commercial finance sectors.