Ears to Hear Part 1

“He who has ears, let him hear.”

This statement from the Gospel also applies to business.

A key to success in your business is being able to effectively communicate, plain and simple. It’s the glue that binds your team and customers together, helping them to trust you and build strong working relationships. Without it, you might as well be the blind leading the blind.

Let’s look at a few tips to make communicating easier and more clear.

Active listening and understanding the needs of others

You have heard it before but it all starts with active listening. Don’t just passively listen on the surface to what your team members, clients, and customers are saying – actively seek to understand their core needs, wants, and desires.

Do they really care about the battery and circuitry of your fire alarm? Why bother talking about it – they just want to know if your fire alarm will keep them safe by warning them in time and keep them sane by not going off all the time for no reason.

Put aside your own preconceptions and assumptions, and listen. I know a woman who did mystery shopping for Apple. She’s young and petite, and when she went into some electronic stores, they told her to get the MacBook Air because it’s lighter. They said the MacBook Pro was too “professional” for her

When people feel heard and understood, they will trust you more, work with you more frequently, and be open to your ideas. So take the time to listen actively and understand other peoples’ needs.

Clarity and conciseness in your messages

I have an MBA from the University if Chicago, but I had to learn how to write for business the hard way – in the office with annoyed bosses telling me to cut out the fluff and get to the point.

Who has the time or patience to read through long-winded emails or messages? It’s not essay time at school where you get points for word count. Keep it clear, concise, and to the point. Avoid using jargon or acronyms, and instead, use simple and easy-to-understand language.

Body Language and Non Verbal Communication

Did you know that up to 90% of how we communicate is non-verbal? That means your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions can have a huge impact on how you’re perceived and understood in business.
I had a friend who worked at one of the large banks in the region. High Net Worth Private Banking Clients would leave meetings early or refuse to come at all to the office because many of the staff and conference rooms smelled really bad.

The body odour dominated any pitch or any presentation and so the bank eventually had to swallow the pill of insensitivity and insist the Pepe LePew fan club wear a clean outfit and deodorant every single day or be banned.

So, in addition to how you smell, pay attention to posture, energy levels, and tone of voice. Your body language should be aligned with the message you are sending.

Tomorrow we will go into some additional tips.

To your Success and Sanity,
George

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