Communication is key to successful relationships both with your customer, employer and your colleagues. This blog post will explore what effective communication looks like and how to use it for your best advantage.
We'll also look at how to handle difficult conversations, such as addressing inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and how to stay calm when you're feeling emotional. Communication is key to successful relationships both in your career, your business and your life!
Why is communication so key to business?
Communication is one of the most important and powerful skills in business and life. A single poorly worded sentence can make or break a relationship. It can cause tension, create misunderstandings between co-workers, and sabotage the success of a project.
However, there are instances where communication breaks down and it becomes difficult for people to speak openly with each other.
The Importance of Interpersonal Communication
In order to communicate effectively, it's important to understand the foundations of your communication so you can clearly articulate your message.
The first step is to establish a goal or an objective. What are you hoping to accomplish through your communication? This will help you organize your thoughts and come up with a plan of action.
Next, remember that people listen more closely when they feel that what they're hearing is important. If you're not sure how to start off your conversation, ask yourself: "What do I want them to know?" and "Why is this important to them?"
If you have a question for someone, consider phrasing the question in terms of what you want them to learn from their response so that it's clear what outcome or benefit is desired from their answer. It's also helpful to phrase your questions in such a way so as not to put any pressure on them--they don't have to answer any questions if they're too uncomfortable doing so.
Effective communication shows respect for the other person's time and attention, and will help build trust between sender and receiver. It also helps senders feel respected by being heard and understood by receivers.
Effective Interpersonal Communication
If you're looking for ways to strengthen your interpersonal communication skills, here are some of the most effective techniques.
Active listening. One of the best ways to improve your interpersonal communication is by actively listening to what others are saying. This means that you focus on really hearing what someone has said and not interrupting them with your own thoughts or opinions.
When you listen actively, you're able to tune into a speaker's tone, body language, and more and respond accordingly. There are many ways in which you can implement active listening, such as repeating back what someone else has said, paraphrasing their message, or asking open-ended questions.
Another way in which active listening can help is by identifying what emotions people are feeling throughout the conversation. Research shows that people who take emotion into account during communications do better than those who don't (Hilton & Rothwell).
Introducing Difficult Conversations
There are a few types of difficult conversations in the workplace: those that are uncomfortable, those that are necessary, and some that may come up between you and your boss.
The types of difficult conversations which arise at work include the following:
- Addressing an inappropriate behavior
- Asking for a promotion or a raise
- Dealing with high stakes negotiations like critical sales pitches
- We'll discuss how to handle these conversations to ensure they go well!
Although difficult conversations can sometimes be uncomfortable and high pressure, they're often necessary. They're important because they allow us to achieve positive outcomes for ourselves and our business.
To start we need to identify the situation, the players and then the desired outcomes so we can then take steps to improve our chances of success. Also, so they are more productive and effective for everyone involved.
Take as much time as time allows for up front analysis and preparation prior to the meeting. Ensure you have all the facts and that you understand what your want from the discussion. It helps if you understand the counterparty’s position to be able to reconcile the gap and ideally be able to explain why your position is better for the other person.
If a mutually agreeable outcome doesn’t exist then you need to be able to set up your position so you can increase your chances of achieving the results you want. When negotiating employ active listening and be present so you can pick up the signals both verbal and non-verbal and look out for signals. Orienting the outcomes to things which matter to you will increase your chances of success.
Whether it’s for relationship building, problem solving or negotiation having great communication skills will set you up for success in your career, business and life in general. The key reason is that it’s an essential channel to influence others through getting their attention.
The clearer you are at communicating the better able you will be at sharing knowledge, expressing emotions appropriately and building effective relationships.
The stronger your communicating skills the better you’ll be able to effectively transmit the right messages and reach your goals!