As we move up in our professional life, interpersonal skills become more important than our job skills and expertise and we need to master the art of communication. Our negative interpersonal habits can make us difficult to work with and hurtful to others.
Marshal Goldsmith, named the #1 expert in leadership by the Harvard Business Review , has been a personal development coach to leaders around the world. Here are six communication flaws he brings up that we can focus on for our personal and professional development.
1. The need to always win - Winning isn't always the most important thing, and in many situations the need to win or be right about everything is very harmful. It can make other people feel intimidated and less important, and gets in the way of honest communication.
2. Adding too much “value” - You don't always need to add your two cents in to every decision made. Resist the urge to always add your own ideas and opinions on every issue, unless you feel they add real value.
3. Passing judgment unnecessarily - Don’t compulsively judge others, holding them to your own standards. Try to catch yourself when you judge and rank other people like this – remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it's easier to notice the bad than the good.
4. Making destructive comments - When you feel the urge to lash out with a sarcastic or biting remark to a co-worker or friend – don't.. Often, we use these comments to simply prove that we're better than the other person, but they just damage our relationships.
5. Starting with 'no,' 'but,' or 'however' – When we overuse negative qualifiers like these we’re telling everyone that they’re wrong in some way. This can make people feel less intelligent or valued, and, sooner or later, they'll stop offering their own ideas and opinions.
6. Telling the world how smart we are - Sometimes we say or do things just to show off. This is usually because we feel like they don't appreciate us for the geniuses that we are. Resist the urge to constantly demonstrate your superiority - it's irritating to others and undermines their opinions of you.