What To Do When Messages Get Misconstrued

What To Do When Messages Get Misconstrued

What To Do When Messages Get Misconstrued

As a business owner, it didn’t take me long to realize that our most important asset is our people.  Particularly in the public relations space, where Agent99 PR sits, our team is what makes the difference between success and failure when rolling out a client’s campaign.

To that end, clear communication both internally amongst our team members, and externally with our clients, is absolutely imperative.  You can’t afford to be tentative in your communication, as it inevitably leaves gaps for someone else to fill. This often leads to disappointment when the vision for the outcome of any situation is viewed completely differently by the parties involved.

Learning from my past experiences, here are my top five tips for what to do when messages in the workplace get misconstrued:

1.    Mistakes are actually opportunities

See each mistake in your communication as a positive and an avenue to better your skills.  Learn from each ‘hiccup’ and ask yourself how you could have approached the situation better, and employ that tactic next time you’re there.

2.    We’re all different

Just because we’re in the same workplace, it doesn’t mean that we want to be communicated with in exactly the same way.  Get to know your team and try to understand how they are best communicated with.  Some are email folk who get concepts in a heartbeat and all it takes is a quick email exchange and the job is done.  Others are more aural and make for great listeners.  This might mean that the best outcome for the situation will come from a quick face to face chat.

3.    Sorry seems to be the hardest word

If something goes awry and you know you could have communicated the message in a better way, say sorry.  It isn’t a difficult thing to do, and your colleague will appreciate you taking ownership of your mistake, rather than playing the blame game.  It also allows for closure on a matter and puts you both in a positive space to be productive and come up with a new solution.

4.    We are not mind readers

Because some things are so basic in our own minds, especially if we’ve been playing the game in our industry for a while, we assume that a colleague will just simply be on the same page in each situation.  Wrong.  You are better off over communicating, then under communicating, and if it’s too much, it will become apparent very quickly.  You also don’t want to come across as condescending, so if you are unsure about where they are at, you might want to approach your conversation diplomatically by saying, “You might have thought of this already, but I believe the best way to go about it is… what are your thoughts?”

5.    Set clear goals and outcomes

Again, whatever your vision for the end result may be might not be the same for your colleague.  When you go into the conversation be clear about your expectations are, and if appropriate, set a timeline of when you expect to see the outcome.  And if you have set the goal, follow up on it in the timeline you communicated.  It keeps you and the other person engaged and motivated.


[author image=”http://www.woman.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Agent-99-Sharon-6-of-41-e1381304225197.jpg” ]Having worked all over the world on high profile brands such as Warner Bros. Pictures and Starbucks Coffee for over 13 years, Sharon founded Agent99 Public Relations in January 2007. An agency built on strong strategic and creative credentials, Agent99 is in constant pursuit of the unconventional, routinely implementing bold brand campaigns that capture national attention in unexpected ways. Committed to achieving unbeatable results, Sharon is always innovating to keep the agency one step ahead of the competition. Today, Agent99 represents an enviable list of lifestyle, consumer and business-to-business clients across the food and wine, travel, health, beauty, online and non-for-profit spaces. For more information, visit www.agent99pr.com [/author]



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