Lack of effective communication skills can have grave effects when entrepreneurs face business challenges, especially during rapid growth. Entrepreneur Guest Writer Josh Steimle offers a checklist of 15 ways to keep the communication channels clear and maintain solid, trusting relationships with employees and clients.
1| Be direct with assignments.
Most people are hard-wired to be passive bystanders. Instead of asking for a volunteer from the group, be direct and give specific team members opportunities to contribute.
2| If you say it, mean it.
Be an empathetic, respectful leader when addressing challenges and always deliver on your promises.
3| Think globally; speak simply.
More businesses than ever are doing business internationally. The secret ingredient to effective communication globally is simple language. Avoid sarcasm, which can be easily misinterpreted.
4| Keep it personal, easy on digital.
Building solid relationships often requires you to step outside of emails and texts. Remember to pick up the phone and set up in-person meetings too.
5| Study, adjust your body language.
Pay attention to visual cues that may indicate your listener is present or drifting off. Relax your posture, uncross your arms, and keep your tone warm, calm, and approachable.
6| Save it for later.
People don’t always need to know your opinion. Save your advice and comments for appropriate times and avoid unwanted interjections.
7| Listen closely.
Listening is the key to effective communication. What you learn about another person’s perspective and personality while listening can build more solid, trusting relationships and deliver your desired results.
8| Keep it simple.
Streamline and practice key messages, so your audience is clear on your valuable perspective and more likely to accept it.
9| Be emotionally aware.
Take time to study your audience’s response, so you can more effectively navigate the emotional complexities of a situation and guide them to positive outcomes.
10| It’s ok to say no.
Don’t let your desire to be a people pleaser put you in awkward, unwanted situations. You’ll earn greater respect from colleagues by politely disagreeing or taking a pass when you need to.
11| Effective communication is a two-way street.
Hit the pause button and invest time in understanding what your audience wants before offering a solution.
12| Keep it short and sweet.
Assume your audience has a short attention span and include your request or proposition in the beginning of your discussion or speech.
13| Ask: “Am I adding value?”
Before speaking, check your value barometer. Avoid speaking to fill the silence. Your input is either adding value or distracting from the end goal.
14| Be consistent.
Paying attention to tone and choice of words helps you reach through the clutter and make your comments more memorable.
15| Speak with integrity.
Honesty is the golden rule in effective communication. When you speak with integrity, you build confidence and trust with your employees and clients.