While not every great entrepreneur is a great communicator, communication skills certainly come in handy in the board room, the break room and everywhere in between and, if you want to be a top-notch business leader – not just the ideas person – it starts with communications.
If being a great communicator isn’t in your genes, you can learn the skills. Here are three things to keep in mind as you move forward:
Actively Listen: To be a good communicator, you have to be an active listener. Actively listening and engaging in the conversation builds trust and respect. It also will help you truly understand the person, situation or need that’s being discussed, which will help you make better decisions and avoid miscommunication. So how to do you actively listen? Set down your phone, ignore your smart watch, stop looking at the clock and focus on what the other person is saying. If you are 100 percent committed to the conversation and actively listening, it will benefit you, the person you’re talking to, their team and, in many cases, the company, especially if you’re trying to diffuse a conflict or remedy a situation.
Observe: Chance are good that you’ve read – or sent – an email that wasn’t received the way it was intended. Why? There’s no inflection or body language in an email. Observing a person’s body language and facial expressions will help you figure out how you need you package your message, the inflection you need to use, the body language and facial expressions you need to be using and more. Humans are complex creatures and a true conversation is about much more than words. To be a good communicator, you need to be able to observe.
Ask Questions: Asking questions is important both for you and the person you’re talking to. Firstly, when you ask good, quality questions, you’re showing the person you’re talking to that you are actively listening and that you truly have an interest in what is being said. Whether you’re talking through a staff conflict or listening to report at a staff meeting, asking questions is vital. Also, when you ask questions, you might find that you’re able to learn new things about what your leadership or employees are doing, what projects are in the hopper and how you can help. Great conversations with good questions often inspire innovation and progress!
These three tips are just the start of the communications journey, but they will help you connect and build stronger communication skills. If you could use additional guidance, your local Growth Coach can help: https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.