Whether you are communicating at home to the family, over the phone to friends, in a meeting, when shopping or to clients, these 5 tips can take it up a level and make the process and the outcome better.
You are probably doing many well anyhow but hearing things again, increasing awareness and tweaking our approach and practice never does any harm. And… you may just find one small change brings big rewards.
1. Be a great listener.
Two ears, one mouth so that we listen twice as much as we speak. It’s a good point to remember in communication as too often we jump in, sure that we can do what’s needed. If we’re not listening carefully, we may have heard a key word but perhaps not as we expected, and by quickly moving on we can get it wrong.
We need to question those we communicate with about what they want. In this way they feel listened to and their connection to you will strengthen.
It’s as important to listen for what is not being said as what is. To be aware of all aspects of speech so we notice change of tone, pauses in their sentences and intonation.
All of this gives you information that you can then use as you give guidance, negotiate challenging times, recommend the right service or product for them or tailor something more bespoke that meets their needs exactly.
2. Keep people informed.
Often people need to hear information over and over again. It doesn’t matter whether you are sharing information about a home issue to the kids or quoting figures to a client, repeating and checking understanding is important. Remember the need to present information in a range of ways so that everyone hears it whether they tend to be auditory, visual or kinaesthetic.
In business, regularity is key and you then put yourself, and keep yourself, front of mind. Invite new or potential clients to join your mailing list and give value in terms of information, occasional discounts and offers.
By providing information you are establishing yourself as an expert and also being a great resource for your clients making you the person they go to. At home you can also be the expert and the wise one.
3. Be there.
When people want to talk to you, they want to have the phone answered or they want a response on email or social media. They want and need you in that moment so can you be there?
As a mum I had to set aside my tiredness in the evening because bedtime was always when my daughter wanted and needed to talk. Perhaps that will happen too if I get the opportunity to be a grandmother?
Many people hate leaving voicemail messages so if you cannot be there get an answering service to do it for you.
In business set clear guidelines to inform enquirers when you will get back to them. Have a system for dealing with your social media. Put clear boundaries in place and do all that you can to be there for the people who want your guidance and response.
4. Smile when communicating (unless inappropriate).
This is so easy to do and its effect is immediate and uplifting. It’s very hard not to respond when someone smiles at you so make sure you put that smile on even when you’re not feeling 100% – it will make you feel better too.
A smile can be effective over the phone so use it and stand up as well. It gives you better presence and confidence.
5. Be You
You are unique, no-one can be you, weave your magic as a friend, partner or parent or do what you do in the way that you do it, so remember that as you move forward and believe it. Don’t try to be someone else, to write like someone else or act like someone else. Have faith in you and your abilities.
Be aware of when you function best, how you function best and design your business around that. Communicate in the way that best demonstrates your strengths. Yes, you need to be aware in business of which platforms your clients are on and you need to be there too but if newsletters, for instance, aren’t your thing find an alternative that suits you better.