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13 Communication Pet Peeves You Can Change Today

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Contributing Writers: Stephanie Bickel and Madina Behori

A pet peeve is a behavior that generates annoyance in others. This could be chewing loudly, driving slowly, or -- in the age of COVID -- coughing without covering your mouth.

Pet peeves exist at work too, especially when it comes to communication. Oftentimes, our communication pet peeves are words or phrases that are overused or used incorrectly. However, they can also be actions that we are taking unconsciously.

How many of these communication pet peeves are you guilty of doing?

  1. Saying "um" and "like" too much

  2. Ending sentences with "does that make sense?" or "do you follow?"

  3. Not looking at someone when they are talking

  4. Scanning the room and avoiding eye contact when you are talking

  5. Being visibly distracted (especially during online meetings)

  6. Arranging meetings to discuss things that “could have been an email”

  7. Using too much jargon or buzz words

  8. Not having an agenda or not sticking to one during a meeting

  9. Interrupting others

  10. Not getting to the point quick enough or giving too much detail

  11. Reading from the slides during a presentation

  12. Using passive aggression instead of directly confronting a problem

  13. Having an attitude of self-importance

We all have blind spots. Hopefully, this helped to illuminate some of yours. However, if you're still not sure, share this list with a co-worker and see what they think or bring it to a performance check-in and discuss it with your boss.

Remember, awareness is the first step in making a change, and you are already there.


Would you like to learn how to stop committing these communication pet peeves? Speak by Design tailors our approach exactly to your unique communication needs to help maximize your personal effectiveness through your communication. Contact Speak by Design to discuss a program that could transform your leadership communication skills and help others succeed.

Explore our private coaching and group training options to understand how we help individuals, groups, and entire organizations get to the next level.

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