Effective communications in the business world has been a unique challenge. It takes lots of effort, constant repetition, great thought, and most importantly, it needs to come from the heart. Rather than classifying effective communication as a “check box” to complete before running the “real” business, leaders must change their mindsets – effective communication needs to be the idea that business leaders seek whenever they can.
While the workplace has changed from pre-pandemic, to the remote world, to a hybrid situation, some of the basic principles still apply to effective communication by successful, outstanding leadership skills.
To become a more effective communicator, try improving on some of the following communication skills.
- Learn the basics of nonverbal communication since the majority of what you say is communicated not just through words, but through physical cues. Therefore, just by adjusting your body language and adopting proper posture, one can communicate, confidently and clearly with nonverbal communication.
- You should over-communicate just to communicate. Studies indicate that it is likely that your audience will fail to absorb as much as you expect; therefore, it is important to communicate clearly, and to over-communicate when sharing new ideas.
- Always start and end with key points to ensure your audience understands key takeaways from your meetings. These can also be accompanied by a one-pager that includes the key points; which can be saved for anyone that is absent. Since many times
the same presentation will need to be presented multiple times, record important meeting presentations to save time and consistency among staff.
- Be a listener. Listen more than you talk if you want to really connect with others. If you listen, then you can provide a thoughtful reply that demonstrates that you have taken those ideas into account.
To create a culture within the employee workplace of effective communication and alignment, a successful CEO of Marketing Solutions suggested some additional strategies.
- Send weekly correspondence to all employees in the company about important topics for business. This also serves as an opportunity to truly connect and engage with the entire organization.
- Build comfort in talking about what is not working so you can dig in and get better.
- Hold town hall meetings (face-to-face conversations) with groups.
- Answer every employee email within 24 hours because your team wants to be heard and feel appreciated. After all, everyone is busy but you have to take time for communication with employees that work hard every day to serve the customers and help build the company.
On the other spectrum, communicating (or not communicating) with your customers, can make or break a business. Effective communication can lead to increased sales, repeated business, referrals…, but on the other hand, poor communication, can quickly lead to decreased sales, frustrated customers, and negative word of mouth. Hence, effective communication is the heart of human interaction.
The key is to improve customer experiences. Begin with first impressions. These are vital because potential clients can easily send their business to your competition if they dislike their initial interaction. For many businesses, the first point of interaction with a customer will occur over the phone. Therefore, the most effective means of better communication would be to put a professional automated answering service in place that is developed with customer experience in mind.
A recent study found that 83% of customers avoid a company or stop giving it business after a poor experience with an automated phone system. Hence, keep those hold times to a minimum. Make customer service calls a priority. Speak to your customers like real people and have positive, natural conversations with them.
By communicating better with your customers, you will create better experiences that will leave them more likely to buy from you, return to you, and refer other businesses to you.
The recent pandemic has taught us a need for new communication strategies. We must reach both internal and external stakeholders rapidly to share information, messages, work plans, updates, protocols, and other developments. As a result, additional strategies have become necessary for effective communication for the remote workforce, to fill in the gaps and help us connect. This doesn’t mean the pre-Covid strategies are null and void, they just need a blended, modified approach for success and culture-building. According to one Senior VP, head of a communication department, a leader must continuously focus on building the company culture that you want.
The consistent, cohesive culture helps the company weather issues and provide structure for your communication tactics. Leaders must take the extra steps to break down any walls when frustrations occur. Communicate changes quickly and select an initial spokesperson from your leadership team. Communication teams – both internal and external – should be in sync, feel personal, and engaged. Invest in Technology/multimedia- all forms of communication to seek precision. Include how-to manuals for those that need it, and best practices for team members to follow when engaging in conversational full attention. Make employees’ health and well-being, the number one priority, along with asking for feedback. This can contribute to a sense of belonging and positive work experiences, which leads to being more productive.
Working remotely can be a huge adjustment; however, a mission of effective communication provides connection and nourishment no matter how near or far the team members may be apart. As one can see, effective communication, remotely or in-person, is the backbone of the business structure and can successfully build the business or fatally destroy it by applying basic principles and creating a positive culture from a caring heart.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Coach Jason Ballard to schedule a complimentary goal planning session.