Effective communication can make effective delegation, increased productivity and an enjoyable work environment . The tips below will help you become more productive communicating effectively in every interaction you have in your small business.
1. Limit Distractions and Listen. Effective Communication is the Key!
Listening is the key to effective communication, but it’s not always easy. One way to become a better listener is to try limiting distractions during your conversations that make it difficult to hear and absorb what others are saying. That may mean closing your email client, turning off your telephone ringer, or closing the door to your office. By doing these small things, you ensure that the person you’re speaking with has your full attention. Establish a give-and-take that allows both parties to have their say.
2. Be Responsive
One of the worst things you can do when a conflict arises or someone has a complaint about your business, products, services, etc. is ignore it. In most cases, some kind of response should be issued immediately, even if it’s just a brief statement that you’ll look into the issue.
3. Ask the Right Questions
So much of communication relies on getting the information you need, and many times this means you need to ask the right kinds of questions. There are clues about which questions you should be asking in every part of the conversation you’re having. You need to be able to listen and zero in on those clues to figure out which questions will unravel the information you need, this will lead to effective communication.
4. Make the Most of Meetings
Meetings are notorious for being time wasters if they are not well-planned and thoroughly organized. If you are the organizer, the first thing you should do to respect everyone’s time and make your meeting as efficient as possible is to schedule it in advance. Then, take time to prepare an agenda that outlines focus points and sets a structure for the meeting.
5. Combine Communication Methods
Even if most of your communication takes place over the phone or at networking events, you can create summary emails that outline what was discussed, what the next steps are and who is responsible for what. This can be a great way to combine different communication methods for more effective communication.
6. Focus on Customer Service
Good customer service depends on two-way communication. Often when conflicts arise with customers, the key to resolution is communicating to uncover the problem, then continuing to communicate until a solution is identified. Effective communication!
7. Use the Feedback You Receive
If you are already communicating with your clients, you will probably receive feedback regularly, even if you don’t solicit it through formal methods. This can be a goldmine of useful information about how your business, products and services are perceived by clients and potential clients. In order to be effective, though, you have to use this data to change and improve your processes. Create a process for collecting the feedback you receive in one place, then set aside time every month or two to analyze the data and create a plan for implementing and tracking improvements.