I’m sure you all remember playing the game telephone as children. Your teacher would whisper something to one of your classmates and then you would take turns passing it along. Usually by the time you reached the last student the original message had been modified to something more amusing. Then your teacher would proceed to educate you on the importance of being clear and concise in your personal communication to avoid errors in the future. I bet your teacher never realized just how important that lesson would be in today’s business world.
Here are a few easy tips to remember when communicating with your clients and coworkers.
1. Be Clear & Direct. Be certain the information you need to convey is clear and directly communicated.
2. Actively Listen. Make a conscious effort to truly hear what the other person is saying.
3. Paraphrase. Use a variation on “What I hear you saying is . . .” to accomplish this.
4. Face-to-Face. Regardless of the conversation, try to keep it positive. Even the harshest feedback can and should be delivered in a positive, supportive, team-centric manner.
5. Message & Medium. When you need to deliver a message, consider whether it should be spoken or written depending on the content as well as the preference of your receiver.
6. Tailor Conversation to Audience. Communicating with your boss, co-worker, customer or supplier may require a slightly different style.