Businesses revolve around a series of communications. Our relationships are built with vendors, clients and employees through communication. How can we be successful communicators?
What is communication? Communication is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as "An act or instance of transmitting: information transmitted or conveyed: a verbal or written message: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior: exchange of information."
We are all natural communicators. As humans we fall into this definition with every move we make. We communicate with others in some way from the time we wake up to the time we rest our eyes again at night. Today, technology plays a huge role in our communications with phone calls, messaging, e-mailing, texting and postings at our fingertips.
How can we be more successful with our communications? Pay close attention to your method. Your approach including body language, voice, tone and wording can make or break a communication before it even gets underway.
Most communications are judged and prioritized before the entire message is even conveyed? Think about it... most of us look for three key points: What does the person want to discuss? How long is it going to take? And when the communications are over, what are the expectations, benefits, or deliverables?
Remember your manners. Simple things like phone manners are easily overlooked. Remember to treat every call as if it were a meeting. Have a set purpose or agenda and gather all of your thoughts before you pick up the phone. Decide what you will do if you cannot get through like leave a message or call back later. If the call is a scheduled meeting, be at your desk at least 15 minutes before the call time to settle in and prepare. Also, learn the names of the people who answer the phone or write down their name when the call begins to remind you later. Your close attention to detail will show commitment and respect. Finally, be pleasant with everyone you come in contact with using basic manners like "please" and "thank you".
E-mail etiquette is essential. E-mail communications with clients, coworkers and vendors should be clear and concise too. It’s ok to be informal but, don’t be sloppy. Keep your messages brief and to the point with complete sentences, correct spelling, and a defining subject. In addition, remember e-mail is not instant or completely private. Your tone can’t be heard in an e-mail. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or schedule a face-to-face meeting for urgent or sensitive communications.
Use communication tools that work. There is nothing worse than dropped business calls, disconnected web meetings and undeliverable e-mail. If you are having trouble with your current business solutions, it may be time to find something new. Give us a call to explore options.
Success in business is directly impacted by the way in which we communicate. Ongoing practice, patience and persistence with a few good tools in your pocket will help you develop your skills as a good communicator.