Effective communication skills are vital to a successful, rewarding business. You need to communicate well with your clients, staff, partners, associates, and vendors. Improving your communication skills will let you express yourself with more confidence; more confidence will help you attract more clients and influence your peers and referral sources.
You probably feel that you already have mastered effective communication, right? Most of us think we have it all figured out, but very few of us actually take time to consciously and critically take a look at our strengths and areas where we can improve. If you take just a few minutes to consciously master effective communication, your career and personal life will be more enjoyable, because if you are communicating well with people they will trust and like you, and that will make it easier to like – and enjoy helping – them. Your business will also be more profitable, because clients will be more likely to pay your bill.
Verbal Communication – Don’t grow dependent on email. Some things are best handled by picking up the phone. Bad news especially should be given by phone or in person, rather than by email.
Negotiations are more likely to be successful when handled in person or by phone. Discussing a problem verbally with a colleague or client gives you the forum to engage in the other six communication skills which will help you in maintaining the client’s trust. Never rely on email to handle the difficult conversations or nuanced negotiations! Bravery and forthrightness comes in one form, and that is standing up and being honest with others.
Calls that you might be tempted to avoid making include letting a client know that a matter will not be completed by the promised date. As soon as you know the matter won’t be completed on time, meet your colleague or client in person. If that isn’t possible, pick up the phone and talk to them. The sign of a confident, competent leader is one that handles problems through honest, prompt communication with clients.
Good Listening – Good listening skills are crucial for effective communication. When clients are listened to, they feel understood and are more trusting of you. To connect with your clients and others, and to have them experience you as an effective business person, polish your listening skills.
Curiosity – When we ask questions, we convey our interest. Being curious about someone helps us engage and validate that person. Questions also give us the opportunity to really understand what is going on with the person — a crucial factor in delivering sound business advice.
Persuasion – To be successful, a leader must be persuasive. Persuasion is important when negotiating, hiring outstanding staff, and responding to client requests for a proposal. To be persuasive, you need to be inquisitive and open, so that you understand your audience’s thoughts and beliefs and can align your arguments accordingly.
When you can, conduct your important discussions when you are feeling most confident. Be calm, prepared, and detached. Do not let uncontrolled emotions run the conversation. Before your meeting, give yourself five minutes to strike a confident pose. This will increase testosterone in your body, which will also increase your confidence.
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
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