"Selling cookies helped me to realize that you needed to have a certain way to communicate with people. You also needed business skills. You knew you needed to sell a certain amount of boxes, so that gave me some business sense."
--- Maria Bartiromo
Regardless of what political side you stand, we probably all agree that communication skills are so very important in running the country. Currently the US is in the midst of brewing tensions with North Korea. If there was a time when great communication skills were needed, it is now. There has also been quite a shakeup in the White House regarding communications and who should communicate to the press about what is going on in diplomacy.
In the business world, communication is just as important. If a vendor doesn't communicate properly the terms of a purchase, things can get hairy very quickly. If an employee doesn't communicate a mistake made or the fact that he won't be coming in this week, that too can put a hurtin' on the business. So too if we, as business leaders, don't communicate well to others, whether it is our workforce, customers, or suppliers, we will really screw things up.
"Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."
--- Jim Rohn
Thankfully, there are so many resources available to us today to help us improve our communication skills. Personally, I believe it can't hurt to always be learning and trying to master certain things, and one of those is communication.
Communication skills in speaking and writing can be helpful in every aspect of business. Speaking at an association meeting helps educate others and brings in new business. Writing a good sales proposal or contract can help elevate any misunderstanding down the road. And writing effective emails, (without the emojicons), to send to a prospect can be more successful if you first read a few articles on the proper way to construct an email.
"I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself."
--- Elon Musk
Take the time this week to review some of your most recent correspondence and see if you need to improve on how you communicate. Ask your subordinates, associates, friends, spouse and family members how they view your communication skills and style. Solicit constructive feedback and if it is negative, don't be offended, but be overjoyed that you now have something specific to work on.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."
Another thing to practice this week, but what I found difficult to do, is to limit the amount of words you use in a conversation as well as a written document. You can usually say more with less words, but we all try to fill the gaps of silence with more words. The next time you are having a conversation, make an effort to communicate your point with half as many words as you think you might need.
Also, in your written communications, don't send that letter, contract or email until you've read it at least three times. On the third pass through, try to cut a third of the words out. The recipient of the letter or email will be thankful that you did.
"The ABC's are attitude, behavior and communication skills."
--- Gerald Chertavian
Do a search online on how to be a better communicator. The information you find can be very helpful for the future of your business and most of the material you find is free.