...You’re Getting Mixed Messages
What to say when you're getting mixed messages. So here's the situation. There are multiple people involved in the project you're working on and you're getting mixed messages, and you don't know who to listen to. Here's what you may be thinking and shouldn't say. "Is anyone is charge here?" Here's a solution. Get group consensus. As soon as this starts, pull the group together to discuss it. Explain the problem and try to get a group consensus. At the end of the meeting or conference call, ask the question outright, "Who owns this decision going forward?" It will make you look super organized and the group will feel better for having all been involved to hear the feedback at the same time. So here's what you could say. With curiosity. "Are you aware that the other person "is also telling me what to do "and giving me different instructions? "I think we need a meeting to figure this out together." Or, "I need you two to decide "whose decision is the final one." With generosity. "I'm goin...
g to take the liberty "of calling a quick meeting, "so we can discuss this together "to make sure we're all on the same page." Or, with humility. "I don't know whose instructions to follow "and I'm getting confused. "I'm looking for the most "cost-effective way of moving forward. "I think a quick call or meeting could resolve it." Or, humor. "Too many cooks in the kitchen. "Let's meet to discuss. "I'll bring the cookies." So the overarching idea here is that projects and teams usually work best when there is one point of contact and decision maker. But if that person is not designated, things will be chaotic, which makes for errors and miscommunication. So instead of waiting passively for them to resolve it, think about what you have the power to do to limit the potential for any problems resulting from those mixed messages. Being proactive the very first time you receive mixed messages or are not sure who the decision maker is can save the project. Make sense?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.