Pitfalls of Routine Communication

Habits (especially bad ones) are such an overwhelming part of our life that we tend to overlook their impact. And when it comes to communication, we do well to avoid the pitfalls, especially when they come from our routine.

Pitfalls of Routine Communication

  1. Predictable vs. Novel behaviors Although it can be fun to be able to anticipate or predict someone’s behaviors, when we communicate so routinely that we are no longer novel or interesting, we need to change things up. We like novelty. It’s attractive and engaging. Novel communication is an unexpected note or phone call that generates curiosity and surprise. Without variety in our patterns we lose attraction and interest.
  2. Forced or Pushy impact Routine can drive us to doing things with such familiarity or lack of thought that we appear rude and disrespectful. When we push our own agenda during a meeting and not allow for questions or discussion, when we regularly have technology distractions around us and avoid focusing on someone who enters our office to ask a question, our behavior communicates selfishness.
  3. Superficial vs. Meaningful conversations Especially when we are in a rush, we rely on routine conversations that are nothing more than greetings, or place-keepers for others to hold a spot for us in their day. “How are you?” “What’s going on?” “Morning!” are all spoken utterances, but without our slowing down to get past these warm-up efforts, without our willingness to take the time to dig a little deeper into what’s important with people, our conversational efforts demonstrate we don’t take time with people or don’t care about being effective.

On the other hand, without communication routines, we run into issues which could be avoided. We forget what we promised and fail to deliver; we forget to follow up; we do little to create visibility or build trust and we rely only on our own perspective.

Get out of the routine of communication and into a system of communicating regularly.

  • take interest look at the communicator, ask questions, seek clarity, nod
  • get out of your head write it down, share it, say it aloud
  • say something meaningful observe the good/the novel/the profound and speak to it; motivate; congratulate; talk about what’s important
  • repeat the above

To address your own specific circumstances, seek Individual Communication Coaching.

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On September 24th, 2013, posted in: communication, impact by