10 Tips to Navigating Through Communication Conundrums
In our 24/7 world of communication have we forgotten how to communicate effectively?
How do we figure out the difference between simply commenting on something and actually adding something of value to the discussion? There is a fine line to balance between being friendly and just getting down to the issue at hand – between saying too little and saying too much.
Whether you're touching base with suppliers, associates and customers do you use the same rules as when you’re reaching out to build your LinkedIn network? How do you increase the likelihood of being heard and not tuned out?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Be Friendly Non Judgemental and Precise
In any communication precision likely wins every time. To get there, consider the following questions:
- What’s the core of my message?
- What is the hoped for outcome?
- What does the reader need to know to make a decision and take favourable action?
- What is the what, where, why and WIIFM? (What’s in it for the reader)
- Where can they get more information
- Am I prepared for questions?
- Engage, Don’t Monologue
Most people react better to a question or an opportunity to consider something. In sales we call it helping the customer to buy rather than selling.
- Don’t Sugar Coat it through Ambiguity
We’re all called upon to deliver bad news from time to time. People, whether they are life partners, customers or employees respond best when they know the facts and understand the specific challenges they present. Trying to temper the negative only sends a mixed signal that dilutes your message and will eventually require more communication to clarify. Never muddy a negative message with a false spin. Always strive to have your word be your bond.
- Anticipate and Invite Questions
All good communication invites dialogue, questions and follow-up. The key is to be ready for questions without losing your audience. Present and answer every possible question. Form letters and mass communication rarely works.
- Provide Resources for More Information
Not all of your employees and customers are concerned about the same things. Avoid hitting your audience with details they don’t need to know. Present only the information that is universally needed and then provide resources for each team or individual to get more specifics.
- Talk First, Text last
We all like one on one real live communication. In today’s world this often means a video call.
- Walk in Your Audience’s Shoes Before You Press Send
What is open to interpretation or hard feelings will likely be misinterpreted and generate hard feelings. The old axiom dictates praising publicly, thanking generously and criticizing rarely. Deliver communication in the tone you would like to receive it.
- Match the Message to the Media
The booming growth in ways to communicate hasn’t been matched with training on how to leverage the right tool for the right message. Whatever the goal of your message, distribute content that’s not only relevant to your customers—but also appropriate to the medium.
- Keep It Brief and Clarify your Call to Action
We all have notoriously brief attention spans, are inundated and have too much to do. Consider:
- What is the critical message?
- Why should I care?
- What do I need to do now?
- Be Grateful
We all like random acts of kindness and expressions of thanks and appreciation
Follow @SchulichExecEd or email your thoughts and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the conversation!