What is success? The answer to that question is both personal and institutional for those of us who work in the bestbusinesscommunity world. In essence, success is the ability to accomplish the task at hand. Technically, it is “to achieve one’s aim to prosper”.
You need thriving business relationships to prosper. In fact, we can measure much of our business success in terms of the viability of business relationships. Relationship health is directly affected by the quality of communication. Use the following steps to achieve communication success and to strengthen your critical business relationships.
Step 1: Identify a few communication weaknesses.
Can you think of any communication challenges that you face? It’s time to brainstorm and quickly make a written list.
Here are a few questions to get you thinking about your own communication challenges: * Are your employees happy and satisfied? * Are your clients glad to provide referrals? * Are your partners and stakeholders well-informed and confident? * Do you feel motivated and inspired? * Do your conversations flow?
As you review the bulleted list above and consider your communication challenges, identify each challenge but don’t get bogged down with other details.
Step 2: Decide to address the most bothersome communication weakness.
This choice is yours to make. However, whatever challenge you choose, you will find that the other relationships are naturally strengthened as you develop proactive and positive communication skills. You do not have to fix everything at once in order to benefit from this exercise!
Now that you have selected your challenge, it’s time to stop and think about what makes it so challenging. In other words, if success was easy you wouldn’t be working on this right now. Many leadership or business management challenges are a result of busy-ness. Leaders don’t realize that others need communication that is: * Professional * Complete * Positive * Concise, and * Wholly relevant without any irrelevance
If you are a leader or a manager, communication is your job. People expect you to do it and do it well. The responsibility for communicating is yours. It would be literally impossible for others to compensate for your poor attention to communication.
In spite of the advice of gurus world-wide, there seems to be a reluctance to buy into this idea. We all want to believe that we can just do our jobs well and receive the kudos. We want to believe that we are responsible for our own success. The truth of the matter is that most of us will be hindered, more or less, when we ignore communication or become passive.
Communication may not come naturally, and you may need to work on it. Communication brings power to your professional and personal life. Critical relationships can thrive with your attention.
To gain an understanding of how to resolve the weakness, you need to look at your communication patterns. You will develop communication that is regular and has flow. Communication, however, is not just about giving out messages. Communication is listening and speaking, receiving messages and conveying messages. Typically, listening is the thing that gets us into trouble. We don’t do it.
Step 3: Listen to others for a week.
I know you’re grumbling! Is a week really necessary? Yes. We’re not just talking about passive listening either; you will ingeniously create opportunities for listening. Listening must be practiced, and acting on incomplete information may be more harmful than doing nothing.
Consider how long you have been without the power of listening, and realize that a week is a small price to pay. While you are listening, you are reserving judgment and allowing the answers to come to you. Others often already know where the problem lies. They may even have ideas as to how you can fix the problem. Active listening requires practice, so be patient.
You may politely and nonchalantly ask for input during this time, but keep things casual and neutral by not being too intense and by refusing to form or give your opinion. This gives others the freedom to develop their thoughts and express them without disagreeing with you. Be sure to take notes on potential solutions.