We communicate in a very impersonal way with each other; we text, email, tweet, share documents, etc. We answer with emoticons and shorthand lingo. You may wonder if interpersonal skills are even needed anymore.
How you verbalize your ideas is still the most important skill you can have as a businessperson. The way you verbally communicate with your boss, your subordinates, your customers, your peers, basically every person you meet is the key to your success.
Work hard to make sure you are providing face to face or phone communication:
- More Regularly. Look at your text to minute ratio. If it is higher than 5 to 1, you need to call more frequently. People want to know that you value them. Talking to them is still the best way to do this. It reduces misunderstandings and it shows you care.
- More Efficiently. Make a five minute conversation with you more impactful. Be clear, concise, and cordial. Ask pertinent questions that elicit the answers and responses that you need without “dragging it out”.
- More Casually. Especially with subordinates, every point of contact cannot be a directive starting with “I need…” People want to feel like they are valued and cared about. Call just to check in or give positive feedback.
- More Productively. Be aware when you call or pop in. No one wants you to see you Friday at 4:30 pm. Call when the call will be well received to maximize its impact.
- More Digestible. Try the sandwich approach for conversations. Start with a simple question about a topic you know that person is into. Sprinkle in your business point- be it a project, task, or request. Finish with an input question like “How can I help you?”
The only way you will become a better communicator is with practice. Remember to be direct, but fair and to handle all situations with grace. What say and how you say it will ultimately lead to your success. Contact me to discuss further at 856-520-8655.