How not to communicate in the office

2013-11-21 13:06

We are a culturally rich country with equally diverse workplaces. I love the spirit of inclusivity we’ve fostered in SA but it doesn’t come without its problems. A big stumbling block that immediately comes to mind is the issue of the lack of effective communication in our companies. Do you recognise these archetypical employees in your organisation who you need to kick back to communication 101?

I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your office down!

Beware of the arrogant employee who bursts into your office and immediately, with all guns blazing, starts shouting at you, volubly demanding why you’ve taken a particular action when, in previous discussions, you two ‘agreed’ something completely different (more often than not, huffy twists things around to suit himself).

Don’t, whatever you do, start shouting at this person with equal velocity or, worse still, break down into tears of frustration. This won’t solve anything as, more than likely, it will encourage huffy to keep on going. Rather, let him say what he needs to say so he runs out of steam and then, when he’s finally winded, state your side of the story. Don’t even attempt to try and play the same underhanded game he’s spent years perfecting – chances are very good that you won’t win.

I’m going to stick my feet where they don’t belong

There’s another sneaky employee – I like to call her big foot - who will try to manipulate another employee – her non de plume will be Taylor Swift - to do what she wants. However, the tragedy is big foot gets away with her lies and manipulative acts because Taylor believes that big foot is her friend and she is ‘looking out’ for Taylor. The scary part is that when BF has a vendetta against another employee, she will use Taylor against that person.

If you’re in the unfortunate position of being on the receiving end of a BF special, don’t react to them emotionally! If needs be, wait until you have calmed down and are able to deal with them unemotionally and rationally. If you’re in the equally unfortunate position of being in the Taylor Swift position, don’t feel guilty that you let yourself be used by a big foot-lookalike: she is highly manipulative and it’s not easy to discover what her real motives are.

The bottom line is that we need to treat each other with courtesy and respect, and if we do this, effective communication will follow. We need to stop fighting against each other and realise that we’re all working towards a common goal.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.