How many times a day do you consciously or even subconsciously communicate with people, via face-to-face interactions or digitally? In the scope of the business week, chances are if you are working over 30 hours a week, especially as an entrepreneur, you will constantly be communicating.
But are you aware of how efficient your communication is? You need to be able to convey exactly what you need and what your thoughts are intuitively based on the person or people you are interacting with. Chances are, even for the most outgoing and skilled business owner, this can become hard work and tiresome, especially if you are repeating yourself constantly to smooth out any issues or miscommunication.
Firstly, taking stock of how often you communicate with people is a must. How much time exactly do you spend contacting and conversing, and is there any way you can reduce this?
Sure, well-thought emails, using collaboration apps such as Asana and Slack to relay information to multiple people at once will reduce your need to contact each person individually. You can also use a phone answering service to handle calls for you and allow a third party to man the phones to speak and free up more of your time, leaving you free to focus on replying to them most important tasks or clients easily.
Improving Your Communication Skills
One way to lose your train of thought and effectiveness is to allow your mind to be distracted and start to bring too many variables into the conversation. Stay on track and practice removing unwanted thoughts from your mind to allow you to stay focused. Speak clearly and adapt your language and speech to your audience.
Even if you sound confident, your body will portray this and reduce the effectiveness of what you are trying to say if you don’t feel confident. It takes practice to be fully aware of your body language, especially if you are nervous. However, getting your body on board with what your mouth is saying can help you be more effective in communicating when talking to people.
Being an effective communicator is also mostly about listening. It isn’t always what you are saying, more how you are responding to your environment. Allow yourself to really listen to what others are saying and take in the information. Really listen to the emotion in their voice, giveaways in body language, and how they convey what they are saying. Once you fully understand what they are saying and appreciate how they feel, you can respond more efficiently to solve the problem.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pause
Rushing to respond without all the information you need or before a person has finished can lead to mistakes, heated emotions, or important details being missed. If you are unsure of how to respond, you feel like you can respond adequately, then don’t be afraid to ask for more information, for the question to be repeated, or even pause for a second. Allow yourself the time and space to deliver your response effectively without rushing and taking the whole situation into account.
Avoid Communicating When Stressed.
When you are stressed or emotional, chances are you will allow this to affect how you communicate. There is no way to avoid it and very few people are adept at keeping emotion out of their communication. Take some time, step back and evaluate how you feel. It may be that you need to change your method of communicating to allow for the heat and emotion of the here and now to be removed. It could be you need to rearrange a face to face meeting to another time. Allow yourself to avoid overly stressful situations by taking your stress levels to a more manageable place before communicating to others around you.
Wrap It Up
Don’t be afraid to wrap it up quickly if you feel like your message is getting messed up. Not everyone can concentrate throughout long periods of talking and as such, you may need to keep what you are saying short and snappy.
Don’t focus on what you should be doing, focus on the words you use and the directness the situation requires. Keeping information bite sized will help people engage more and keep your information pure and undiluted.
When it comes down to it, communicating effectively is about more than talking, you need to be able to confidently take into account how you present yourself as well as what id coming out of your mouth. Being able to respond towards your audience will allow you to ensure you are communicating effectively.