Top 10 Business Communication Bloopers

We all love to watch the blooper reels from movies and TV.  People embarrassing themselves can be pretty funny.  However, in business communications, bloopers can destroy all your hard work.

Blooper 1:  Never edit your work.  Don’t worry about spelling (isn’t that what spell check is for?).  So what if it occasionally uses the wrong word?  That only makes it funnier!   Don’t worry about tone or grammar either.  The reader will assume you are so successful and busy that you can’t be bothered.

Blooper 2:  Always deliver bad news by email.  Not only do you avoid the need to take responsibility if it’s your fault, but you also don’t have to worry about answering any questions they may have, even if it could clear things up and make them feel better.

Blooper 3: Never have difficult conversations, such as providing negative feedback.  Sure, this will probably allow the problem to fester and grow until it blows up, but hey, you may not even be working there by then.

Blooper 4:  Don’t assert yourself.  If you leave them guessing about what you need, you’ll see if they really can anticipate problems, which is a real plus in co-workers.  Besides, if you act assertive, you might get noticed!  You know what they say about people in foxholes!

Blooper 5:  React immediately to every issue, problem or perceived slight.  This way, your true emotions will be expressed.  Don’t stop to think it through.  After all, when you take a test, don’t they tell you to go with the first answer that comes to mind?  If that is usually right, shouldn’t it work in other situations as well?

Blooper 6:  Always fly by the seat of your pants.  People love to see this – it shows what you’re made of.  Anyone can research and be thoroughly prepared, but you’ll want to show them that you can handle things on the fly.  If it starts to go bad, get emotional.  This has the added benefit of demonstrating how passionate you are.

Blooper 7: Always use the same mode of communications.  The “one-size-fits-all” approach.  Again, this will demonstrate how busy you are.  Don’t think about how other people process information.  That’s their problem, not yours.

Blooper 8: Adhere to the adage “people are people.”  Sure, there are different ethnicities, religions, ages, sexual orientations and viewpoints, but again, that’s their problem not yours.  Don’t worry about getting to know them.  They should get to know you, and then they’ll understand you.

Blooper 9:  Keeping with the “you’re a busy person” theme, communicate once, and assume the message was understood.  If they have questions later, they can ask.

Blooper 10:  Don’t worry about privacy issues or whether or not it’s a sensitive topic.  Get it over with.  Send the letter or email as quickly as you can.  (After all, you’re busy.)  If it gets to the wrong person by mistake, well then everyone gets a good laugh.

Bonus Blooper:  Don’t listen to others.  You know you’re right and that your way is best.  Compromise shows weakness!





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