Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Communication Pet Peeves

Guest blog by Eliza Shepherd

Growing up, my dad instituted a “don’t use the word ‘like’” rule: every time my sister or I used the word “like” we had to go to bed 15 minutes early. This should be easy, right? Wrong. Day one of dad’s new rule, I was in bed at least three hours early! My dad did me a huge favor by bringing my bad communication habit to my attention. Without his feedback, I wouldn’t have realized my communication faux pas.

A blog by Matthew Hutson on Psychology Today reminded me of my dad’s lesson in “Effective Communication 101.” The blog pointed out that in an interview during her brief bid for New York Senator, Caroline Kennedy said “you know” 12 times in the first 49 seconds. I’m guessing she was surprised to hear that fact.

Most of us are unaware of our verbal (and nonverbal) communication habits, such as “like” and “you know.” To be effective communicators, we need to be aware of our speech patterns. Ask a friend, coworker, taxi driver, anyone for feedback on your communication habits. Tape record or videotape yourself speaking. Feedback plays an essential role in communicating effectively. Keep yourself aware of a bad habit (for example: leave yourself Post-it notes on your desk, in your car, etc.) until you break it!

Next time you listen to a friend, spouse, or that crazy neighbor you can hear through the wall, try and find what their bad communication habits are. You may be surprised by what you hear! What do you notice? Because the faux pas are so common have we developed a tolerance for it? At what point does it become a pet peeve?


Anonymous said...

Good advice for parents. Like, totally.

CJ said...

Has anyone else noticed that the phrase "no problem" is showing up more and more? It is being used (in my opinion) in place of "You're Welcome"! Not sure how I feel about it...but I do find it annoying.

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