Don’t Get Fired for a Misunderstanding: 5 Common Workplace Communication Issues


Miscommunication is the cause of many arguments and the workplace is not excluded. Communication issues will arise, and unfortunately you will have to deal with them. It’s part of nature; drama doesn’t leave us in high school as we hoped. Spending 30+ hours a week in the same place with the same people is bound to lead to communication issues. Luckily, we’re here to help you limit these headaches as much as you can. Here are five common workplace communication issues, and how to avoid them.

  1. Lack of Feedback
    Everyone needs a bit of constructive criticism. How are you supposed to grow if you don’t know how to improve? Nobody’s perfect. Employees and managerial staff alike should provide each other with feedback. Make sure that you’re getting a review every six months. If this isn’t part of your office culture, start it. It’ll show your boss that you care about your improvement and your work.
  1. Too Little or Too Much
    Information can get lost in the shuffle or left out altogether in both of these situations. If too little information is shared, you may not have all the facts needed. If too much information is shared, necessary information can get overlooked. To avoid this, make sure relevant information is conveyed both in a timely manner and in an appropriate amount that contains everything without extra-added fluff.
  1. Mixing Personal & Work
    Some of your colleagues may become your best friends, but that doesn’t mean  the entire office needs to hear your personal business. Additionally, there are some employees who feel the need to tell the entire office their personal business. Not only is this a distraction in the workplace, but it can also be inappropriate. Save your conversations for your lunch break, happy hour, or through GChat to your work bestie.
  1. Assumptions
    You know what they say when you assume…The workplace is not a place to be making assumptions. This can easily snowball into untrue rumors that greatly affect your coworkers. Be sure you know your facts before going around the office sharing the latest news.
  1. Poor Listening Skills
    In the words of businessman and author Harvey Mackay, “You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen – not just money, but respect.” Listen more than you speak. Not only are listening skills vital in every part of life, but they are vital for the workplace as well. If you fail to listen properly, you can mishear information, create assumptions (see above if missed), and start rumors. Don’t be that person.

Workplace conflict can arise from a plethora of reasons; don’t let this worry you. Keep these five common communication issues in mind to avoid miscommunication and limit drama in the office. Want to try and erase workplace conflict from your life as much as you can? The simple advice is to stay out of it. However, we know that’s not always possible. Here are a couple more sources of workplace conflict and how to avoid them, as well as five tips for managing conflict in the workplace. We’ve got your back.


About Author

Michelle is a proud Fordham alum who has currently found herself in the midst of the nonprofit world doing all social media and event planning for The Parent-Child Home Program. When she is not glued to twitter, you can find her on her third iced coffee of the day, arguing about sports, or pretending she's in Greece.

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