When it comes to business, sometimes people think you have to be sneaky, manipulative, or cunning but in reality it is much easier to get what you want if you are straightforward. When you are clear about your wants, needs, and expectations there is no way for you to be misunderstood, and less room for error.
Communication is key in any relationship whether it is with a client, employee, or friend since better communication will help build a bond and trust. However, just saying what you think does not create effective communication because you must think about what you are going to say first.
Just because you are communicating with someone, doesn’t mean you are effectively getting your point across. This article will help you learn the importance of communication and some techniques to practice which will build your communication skills.
1. Understand who you are talking to
Every person handles communication differently. There are however four main personality categories that people fall into. Using these categories, you can better understand who you are talking to, and how to effectively get your point across.
- Red– Very blunt to the point, drivers, strong-willed. Can be seen as rude but they are very direct.
- Yellow– Follows their heart, emotional, very caring. Will tend to think of others even if it ends up inconveniencing them.
- Green– Very analytical, enjoys knowing a lot. May find it hard to speak without knowing all angles first.
- Blue– Will speak their mind, loves to have fun. Speaks without thinking things all the way through.
People generally have a primary color, and a secondary color. My main color is red, but my secondary is blue. Each one of these people have different ways of communicating effectively. For example, I’m not going to go to someone who is yellow and speak to them like they are red. With someone who is more yellow, I approach with more subtlety because you can not communicate effectively with someone who is offended or angry.
I will not go to a red and be subtle, because they expect people to be blunt with them. When you know the person you are talking to, you can tailor how you talk so you communicate most effectively.
“Write To Be Understood, Speak To Be Heard, Read To Grow.” – Lawrence Clark Powell
2. Think about what you say
Have you ever said something you didn’t really think about, and what you said ended up being totally different than what you said? What would have happened if you stopped and thought about what you said first? How much stress, and fuss could have been avoided if you took a second to make sure what you were going to say is what you meant? When you think about what you are saying, there are a few questions you want to ask yourself.
- Am I being honest?
- Does this convey what I am trying to say?
- Will this enrich their life?
The first thing I ask myself before speaking is, is what I am saying honest? In business, our word is our bond. If you speak without making sure you are being honest, you can end up making promises you can’t keep, giving false expectations, and flat out lying to people. All of these diminish your value as a business owner.
The next question is does this convey what I am trying to say? This may seem like an obvious question but many misunderstandings could be avoided if we just asked ourselves this before speaking.
How many times have you said something then immediately realized how it must have sounded to others? Think about the words you use, and how you are saying it because once you say it you can’t unsay anything.
The last question I ask myself is will this enrich their life? Needlessly saying something does nothing for anyone, it doesn’t help others, it doesn’t help you, and you are just speaking for the sake of speaking. The more you speak to give value to others, not only do you help them, but you also help your image as well. Stop and think about what you are actually saying so you can ensure a clear message from you allowing for complete understanding.
“Good Communication Is As Stimulating As Black Coffee, And Just As Hard To Sleep After.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3. Just say it
Previously, I told you to make sure you think before you speak, but there are going to be times in your life that you just need to come out and give your opinion. Making sure it is true and does help others is important, but go ahead and speak up if that’s the case.
Is one of your employees overstepping their bounds? Tell them, because you can’t expect things to get better if you don’t say what you mean. Every one of us has swallowed our voices before not allowing those around us to know what we feel. This helps no one. When you hold things in, it only does damage.
Find your voice, and make sure that when something is bothering you, you use your new communication skills to express what is happening, what your problem is, and leave a line of communication open so you can solve what is happening. When you own your own business you have to learn to be outspoken enough to get your point across, but also calm enough to understand the situation fully.
The last and most important thing I can tell you is don’t talk too much. When you are learning to communicate, don’t only listen to respond, but listen to fully understand.
How do you make sure people truly understand what you are saying to them? Let us know some tips in the comments below!