Deadly Communication Sins to Avoid

Deadly Communication Sins to Avoid

This is a list of all of the things you don't want to be doing when communicating with others. If you want to come off with charisma, grace, equipoise and equanimity, stay away from these many deadly sins in your conversations!

(comic strip) I'm inviting you to my seminar on Improving Your Communication Skills. Grunt once for yes, or twice for no.


This includes flattery for its own sake.


Don't cast judgment on others, or offer unsolicited advice.


Show empathy, and try actively not to be abrasive.

Doesn't matter what you heard on the grapevine... keep it to yourself!


Don't be a blabbermouth or a chatty Kathy.

Punching Down

If you make fun of someone, make sure they're of equal or greater status.


Don't play Devil's Advocate just because you can. Use the Socratic method.


Avoid finding reasons why you can't, and find reasons you can. Quit the self-pity party.


Assume you don't know many things, and be ready to learn from everyone else.

Being Mushy

Don't patronize people or talk to them like you would to an infant.

It doesn't count as communication unless the other person can understand you: speak plainly!


Rather than using flowery language, aim to speak simply, precisely and directly.


Nobody likes self-aggrandizement. Let your actions and friends speak to your character.


Don't exaggerate, unless for humor's sake. Be honest and candid. Never lie.


People will only want to be around you if you make them feel good.


Never focus on unnecessary details to the detriment of the underlying message.

Limping In

Speak with conviction. Don't make statements sound like questions.

Don't intimidate people by coming at them too rapid-fire, like an auctioneer!!


Remember to smile and lean back. Don't "lock in" too soon. Use push/pull to give people a sense that you aren't over-interested. Don't speak too rapid-fire... low in speed and low in pitch is usually best.


Don't be tacky or inconsiderate, especially with humor.


Don't hide behind weasel words or dance around the subject with "FedSpeak".


Avoid "TMI" moments, and respect the boundaries of each relationship.

Nobody will ever respect you if you don't make them feel like an equal when you talk to them. Treat people with the same respect you want given to you.


Don't take a tone with people that makes it seem like you're better than them.

Too Much Text

Many people do poorly with a "wall of text". Meet face-to-face, or via phone calls.
Yes, I recognize the irony of putting this rule in the middle of a wall of text.


Not engaging in communication early and often, or not using kinesthetics for connection.


Your actions should be congruent with your words.

That's MY list... what other communication sins can you think of?

Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading.

Picture of a (presumably) terrible communicator, who everyone hates.
Lorraine is a TERRIBLE communicator. Don't be like Lorraine.

Since this is such a popular post, I'll be starting a video series about these soon!

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