Effective communication is the foundation of everything we do in life and business. Whether you leave the house for work or you work from home; you still communicate with others daily, both online or in person. How well you get along with people hinges on how well you communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. How successful you are in business truly depends on your communication skills. There are a few ‘rules’ you can apply to all of your communications.
Why Effective Communication?
We can waste a lot of time and energy communicating when we are uncertain about what is the message we are trying to convey to the receiver. Think about what you would like to accomplish in your communications. What message are you trying to get across? What is the outcome you are hoping for from your communications? Remembering why you are communicating will support you in achieving a better exchange of ideas and outcomes.
This can also be applied to your personal life, even idle chit-chat can have some type of purpose, whether it’s bonding or getting to know someone.
When others initiate a conversation, consider why it’s taking place. If you can’t understand the why try to gently guide the dialogue to determine the why. The purpose of this is to focus and understand the why to avoid rabbit trails and side issues which can detract from topic and a successful outcome.
Have you ever fallen out with someone over text message? Or watched a fight unfold on social media because one person read someone else’s tone wrong? If you’re dealing with a highly emotional issue, then you need to address the situation in person. If to conduct your conversation in person is impossible to do, then at least do so via video call. This goes for positive and negative exchanges. If you’re delivering great news then you want everyone to get sucked into your positive energy.
As far as bad news or negative conversations go, it will be received better if you do the job in-person.
I’m sure you’ve seen it, the glazed over look. People often lose concentration when they are being given facts and figures verbally. If you’re dealing with a finance issue, statistics, or otherwise, opt for emailing this information so the other person can easily look back on the numbers when necessary. This gives them the opportunity to gather their thoughts, create questions to ask etc. Using effective communication is not just for in-person or verbal communication; in emails you need to be impeccable with your choice of words.
No Talking, Just Listen
This is applicable to in-person communication. Stop spending so much time doing all the talking and start listening. Unless you are the one who came to the table to start a conversation, give others the respect they’re due when they are trying to communicate their ideas or feelings. My aunt always said, “If you’re talking, you can’t be listening.” Think 60-40, 60% you’re listening and 40% you’re speaking.
Simple Effective Communication
We live in a society of information overload so simplify your messages. You might use five sentences, but you can probably say it with one. Be concise, Be efficient with your words and time. Keep it simple and short.
Your small business success is dependent on you communicating effectively your message, your intention, and the benefits, solutions you offer. If you take to long to express this, you’ve lost them. If you use too large of words, you’ve lost them. Remember the K.I.S.S. method with your communication as well as mean what you say and say what you mean.