7 Common Communication Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
It’s quite common for people to think that home-based jobs are easy simply because home-based workers don’t deal with the usual office dynamics. One might imagine a serene atmosphere right in the comforts of their home while producing work for their online jobs. No coworkers around to bother them, no gossip mongers and no strict manager in sight who will reprimand them at any given time. In short, not much human interaction.
It’s time to break the stereotype of virtual assistant jobs. Online work still requires human interaction, albeit digital and impersonal. The challenges are plentiful. A virtual assistant must practice excellent communication skills to be able to be understood by his peers and clients. Here are 7 common communication mistakes for VAs and how to avoid them:
Being too forward
The most common mistake a VA makes is being too forward. There are topics that should not be talked about in any professional setup such as asking about someone’s income, religion, political beliefs and sexuality. Keep things within the scope of work only, and do not cross boundaries when it comes to personal information.
Assuming people can read your mind
The root cause of this is plain laziness. Sometimes, people fail to say what they really mean because they don’t want to communicate. This is the fastest way for misunderstandings to happen. Always clarify if your point has been understood, and be patient when it comes to expressing yourself. Not everyone can meet you at your level. There are times when you need to simplify your words to cater to everyone.
Being too reactive and negative
When someone is speaking to VAs, some tend to nitpick. This leads to a bad habit of always finding faults and errors. A bit of open-mindedness and patience are both needed to avoid this. Always consider the points of others before you assume that their ideas are inadequate. You might end up being pleasantly surprised that a point you never even considered might be a great idea.
Using inappropriate language
Using foul and vulgar words is a sure way to an argument, so never take this lightly. Even if it is just a form of expression for you and you do not mean anything by it, others might find it offensive. Be professional and use diplomatic and respectful words at all times.
Being overly sarcastic
While wit and humor can be funny and interesting, extreme use of sarcasm might give a negative impression to others. Always have empathy when it comes to your teammates or coworkers, and try to put yourself in their shoes. You definitely want to be spoken to in a pleasant manner, so keep this in mind the next time you want to display your wit.
Nobody likes the person who talks about nothing but himself. Being a virtual assistant will require you be sensitive to the needs of your clients and team members. Misunderstandings easily happen when a person does not know how to listen to others. At the end of the day, a self-centered virtual assistant has poor comprehension simply because he or she didn’t listen and did most of the talking.
Not asking questions
This is the most rampant reason why misunderstandings happen. Usually, a VA is embarrassed to clarify and ask about a point that he or she didn’t fully understand. This is because of the fear that others might think less of them. Avoid this at all costs. Clients actually appreciate your questions because it means you practice critical thinking and you show genuine interest in what they have to say.
Misunderstandings may still happen, but each mishap must be taken as a chance to learn and commit to be better. Remember, excellent communication skills make a virtual assistant marketable and a joy to work with.