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As an entrepreneur, you know how important communication at work is.
And in order to successfully work with others, you need to clearly communicate your ideas, thoughts, and goals to others in a way that’s clear and concise. What’s more, you also need to be fully present and in the moment. Your full and undivided attention will allow you to quickly address current concerns and prepare for future challenges in your business.
Ready to give your communication skills a boost? Here are four thoughtful ways you can improve communication at work, any day of the week.
Structure your requests with the bigger picture
Doing a bit of pre-planning will help you gather your thoughts so you can effectively communicate with others. Think about your goals. What do you want to ultimately be, do, have, or achieve as a result of your conversation? How does your request fit into the bigger picture of your day, week, or month?
Next, ask yourself how your request relates to the other person. Consider where your request lies within the scope of your contact’s daily work. Does it lie within, or beyond? What exactly does the person need to know from you in order to have a fruitful conversation?
Taking the time to look at the big picture will ultimately help you structure your request in a way that benefits both you and the other person.
Communicate delays in a timely manner
People aren’t mind readers. That’s why it’s so important to extend a professional courtesy to others by immediately informing them of delays the moment they occur. It takes only a moment to ask yourself how sharing a point of information could help others. A simple message could potentially save another person-hours of labor, if not a full day of work.
Communicate quickly and succinctly. Take charge, lead, and act as the communicator so you both clearly understand the situation and next steps.
How should you communicate with others? Alert others via phone, message, text, or email to material delays, meeting cancellations, or updated information.
Open the door for questions and answers
Create an open and supportive environment for inevitable questions and answers. Lead by example, and ask the other person what questions, if any, they have about a task, project or assignment.
Don’t assume others don’t have questions, or will immediately have a question for you when asked. Sometimes people need to think and reflect upon a situation or event. Ask once, twice, or even a third time when necessary.
While group meetings offer a way for teams to connect, you should also consider being available to answer questions in a one-on-one format. Some discussions and conversations are more suited to direct personal conversations in a private setting. What’s more, a one-on-one conversation can dig much more deeply into issues, challenges, and concerns than a group discussion can.
Watch out for tone
Ever heard of the saying, it’s not what you say, but how you say it? Speaking in a more neutral tone will get you much further with others than approaching them in a confrontational manner. Remember, you want to build bridges, not put up barriers. Start with the intent of approaching others thoughtfully and with respect. Ask yourself how you can present information or have a conversation in a positive way.
Next, mind the tone of your words and message. Think about the different ways you can communicate an idea, information, or an update. If need be, put yourself in the other person’s place. Rehearse your message in your mind’s eye, or standing in front of a mirror.
Practicing tone can go a long way in communicating effectively and building stronger relationships with others.
So how is team communicating with your customers?
We’re sure it’s all the right things when your around, but what about when your not? We can provide that insight in order to help your team improve service levels and your business. We’re here to help and would love to partner with you.
BY RASHELLE ISIP AND CARL PHILLIPS