5 Verbal Communication Mistakes You Need To Correct Asap

Verbal communication is a cornerstone of our interactions, yet it’s often riddled with pitfalls that can hinder our success. As an executive leadership coach, I understand the vital role that effective communication plays in leadership and how they are riddled with mistakes.

In my experience here are the five common verbal communication mistakes that leaders frequently make and, more importantly, how to correct them promptly. These insights will empower you to become a more persuasive and impactful communicator.

Failing to Listen Actively:  Listening is an integral part of effective communication, yet many leaders struggle with active listening. Research by the International Journal of Listening highlights that active listening enhances rapport, comprehension, and problem-solving. Leaders should aim to be fully present in conversations, avoid interrupting, and ask clarifying questions. By actively listening, you show respect for others’ viewpoints and create a more inclusive communication environment.

Using Jargon and Complex Language: Complex jargon and convoluted language can hinder communication rather than enhance it. Research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that clear communication is vital for leadership success. Avoid using unnecessary jargon and opt for plain language that your audience can easily understand. Simplify your message without sacrificing its substance. Remember, effective leaders communicate with clarity and precision.

Neglecting Nonverbal Cues: Communication extends beyond words to encompass nonverbal cues like body language and tone of voice. Research by Albert Mehrabian suggests that nonverbal cues account for a significant portion of the message’s impact. Pay attention to your posture, eye contact, and facial expressions. Be aware of your tone and its alignment with your intended message. Effective leaders ensure their nonverbal cues reinforce their verbal communication.

Failing to Provide Constructive Feedback: Constructive feedback is an essential component of leadership communication. Research from Gallup emphasizes the importance of regular feedback in improving employee performance and engagement. However, leaders often avoid giving feedback due to discomfort or fear of confrontation. To correct this mistake, make feedback a regular part of your leadership practice. Offer specific, actionable feedback that helps individuals grow and develop.

Avoiding Tough Conversations: Leaders sometimes shy away from difficult conversations, fearing conflict or discomfort. However, avoiding these conversations can lead to unresolved issues and hinder team progress. Research from Harvard Business Review indicates that addressing concerns openly and respectfully can strengthen relationships and foster growth. To correct this mistake, embrace the courage to have tough conversations when necessary. Approach them with empathy and a focus on solutions, ensuring that your team members feel heard and valued.

Verbal communication is an indispensable skill for leaders. By addressing these common mistakes—failing to listen actively, using complex language, overusing filler words, neglecting nonverbal cues, and failing to provide constructive feedback—you can become a more effective communicator. Effective communication fosters trust, enhances collaboration, and drives organizational success.

Lead From Within: Correcting these communication mistakes is a step toward becoming a more influential and impactful leader.


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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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