If there is one thing that ALL of my clients have in common, it is that communication always needs improvement. It almost seems like no matter how much effort is placed on communication, improvement opportunities exist. In essence, just like in real estate where “location, location, location” is #1 to success; in business, “communication, communication, communication” is paramount.
In order to communicate effectively, here are a few tips to be as effective as possible:
- The Rule of 7 – the rule of thumb is that people need to hear a message 7 times before it is absorbed. Repetition is your friend!
- Varied messages – do not repeat the exact same message. Instead, vary the phrasing while keeping the meaning. Different phrasings might get through to different people.
- Varied media – different people learn (and remember) in different ways. Email appeals to some. Phone calls to another. Physical letters to others. Social media to others. TV / video works for many. Vary your media for different styles.
- Consider your audience – change your communication style to appeal to your audience. It is natural to use the style you are comfortable with; however, it is not what will be most effective. Find out what will appeal to your audience.
- Spend more time listening than talking – as odd as it might seem, listening will enhance your communication skills. Listening allows you to know how to tailor your communication to be effective. Presentations are often boring whereas discussions can be engaging.
- Consider pace – talking at 100 miles an hour can be very hard to follow; however, slow communication can be equally challenging.
- Remember tone – Have you ever heard someone drone on that could make landing on the moon seem mundane? We all have! Align your tone to the situation. If you want people to follow, be engaging and communicate excitement.
Those who communicate effectively will thrive. Undoubtedly, a strong communicator with medium technical skills will outperform a weak communicator with strong technical skills every day of the week.