Effective Communication. The Multipurpose Communication Solution
August 23, 2011 3 Comments
I bet you have a best friend. Why are they your best friend?
Likely it’s because they make you feel special – they listen to you. You know you can trust them. I bet you have a favourites store for the same reason. What both of these examples demonstrates is the result of effective communication and mutual respect.
What if I was to say all it took was a bit of experience and knowing how to use communication skills to build trusting relationships with your staff, clients and suppliers?
All it takes is to get into the habit of asking five simple questions – two of which are:
- What might my receiver be feeling?
- What might my receiver need?
Who has time for five questions? You’re already swamped….
The reality is that when you start using communication skills it becomes easy. In fact – I propose this approach saves time because you’re better able to resolve the whole matter at once… not in a series of email messages or phone conversations. And, the bonus is that this approach demonstrates you care about your receiver and their business.
Consider that most of us don’t take the time to reflect on what we’re feeling and why.
STOP. I’m serious. I’d like you to stop and to consider that most of us don’t take the time to reflect on what we’re feeling and why… especially at work. Our cycle is to react (not really considering what we’re about to write or how it might be received). Then, we immediately move to the next email message or phone call and react all over again.
Take the time to reflect on what you’re feeling and needing before you communicate with others. And, when you do communicate be aware of what your receiver may observe and feel… and what they need. And make sure customer care and expressing your core competencies is part of your marketing strategy.
Let’s use the following diagram as a map of most of our conversations. You’ll notice this identifies a one-way conversation – very typical of an email or Instant Message (IM). As you type an email or IM message you don’t get any positive or negative reinforcement / interaction (like you would during a face-to-face conversation), so you have to rely on your training… and your five questions.
An Example Of One-Way Communication (Email Message or Instant Message).
I like this simple model because it demonstrates there are many things that influence even a simple one-way message as it is sent and received. This also includes that different communication channels (email vs. phone for example), will impact the quality of a message (the red circle).
If you could show all of your clients and suppliers you care about them and their business (for free), wouldn’t you? Isn’t it also reasonable that when you focus on what matters most that your:
- Costs go down
- Stress goes down
- Employee absenteeism goes down
- Revenues go up, and
- Employee morale goes up
Effective communication is the multipurpose communication solution good for any situation and every business relationship. Communicating effectively certainly provides a Return On Investment (ROI).
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