Effective communication is one of the most powerful skills an entrepreneur can master to guarantee success. Business is based upon human connections whether it is in leading your staff and advisory team, marketing your brand, selling your products or working with business partners. Communication is an essential part of business. A common mistake is not learning how to master the art of communicating.
In your powerhouse role, you need to be able to communicate your vision, passion, direction and expectations being the 3c’s -clear, concise and consistent. As a leader, you must be able to connect with everyone in a way that they understand what you expect of them. By not being an effective communicator your message will be unclear, wrong actions will be taken and could result in serious issues being developed in your business. A simple task is to ask who you are speaking with to recap your discussion, action points and timelines. This way, you are able to assess if you have a meeting of the minds and if you communicated effectively. Individuals process communications in very different ways, don’t assume just because you are speaking, your staff understands.
Here are some useful tips:
- Deliver your message but do so in the context of your audience. Know who you are speaking to and what point of reference they are approaching your communication. Keep your message focused. If you need to convey a 30 word point and it takes you 300 words to deliver your message than 90% of what you said is wasteful. Do you want to leave it up to your audience to pick what 10% is useful. Be clear and to the point.
- Body language is just as important as the spoken word. Be aware of your posture, eye contact and hand gestures. Chances are if you are not making eye contact because you are scanning the room while you speak to someone, they will conclude you are either distrustful or not interested in the conversation.
- Communicate frequently. Your team, staff and business partners need to hear from you often. Although email is a quick and easy way to communicate, business is based on human interaction and connection. Pick up the phone or hold a meeting just as often as you email.
- Be sure to ask for a recap. Most times not everyone is on the same page and if someone (other than you) provides a recap, you can get a sense if all understood your message.
- Be aware of your tone. Evaluate if your tone suits your message and speak appropriately for the topic, the audience and your surroundings. Screaming in the middle of a room isn’t a trait of a strong leader.
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
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