Last night I was in NYC attending the Women in Business 2012 Executive Leadership Program where the ability to develop and nurture relationships – on a global level – was discussed. Today I’m in Washington DC with a group of amazing executive women business leaders discussing the challenges which lie ahead for business. You can be sure we will be talking about relationship issues from many angles at today’s conference too. Therefore, today’s article is going to show you how to use communication skills – the single most important relationship tool you must have for building these essential relationships for success in your business/career and your life.
Women play many roles in our lives. We are entrepreneurs, career women, working moms, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. Our happiness and success in each of these roles – and the overall quality of our lives – is predicated upon the ability to forge relationships. Relationships can only be built if we know how to effectively communication. However the ability to effectively communicate is merely a tool needed for achieving the end goal of connecting to others. Therefore, if our communication is not connecting us to others, whether it is our clients, spouse, customers, employees, etc, it is not effective. So many marriages and business initiatives fail due to lack of effective communication. Spouses feel disconnected from each other and companies become disengaged from their customers – or employees.
Following are 4 easy steps needed to guarantee your communication connects you with the important people in your business and your personal life so that your relationships are healthy and endure.
1. Verbal Communication – the words we choose when communicating have consequences; therefore, choose your words carefully. Any trial attorney will tell you once you say something there is no “do over” – there is no taking the words back. So think before you speak to insure your words send the intended message you want received. And say what you mean and mean what you say!
2. Non-Verbal Communication – anywhere between 50-80% of all communication takes place via non-verbal communication -with body language being one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication. Therefore, be certain your body language is consistent with your verbal communication.
3. Active Listening – the most eloquent words in the world will fall on deaf ears if people are not actively listening to each other. My definition of active listening is the ability to listen without an agenda. When you are on the receiving end of a message -don’t assume you know what someone is going to say to you – listen with an open heart, an open mind and an open soul. When you are delivering the message, be certain you are being as succinct as possible and that your verbal (words) and non-verbal (body language) communication is consistent.
4. E-Communication – electronic communication is an integral part of how we communicate in both our personal and professional lives. I’ve developed an entire strategy of how to effectively e-communicate but for now lets just suffice it to say that electronic communication does, indeed, take on a tone and attitude – just as verbal communication does. Therefore, think long and hard before you hit that “send” button if you are writing something that is of a critical nature. And remember, once something is in writing – it remains in perpetuity. Therefore, do not write anything less than flattering about anyone or any situation, that you are not comfortable with being headlined in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. And never, ever send out an email or text or anything else in writing and send it if you are angry. If you must, write something – put it in your draft folder – let 24 hours pass and reread it. Then decide if you want to send this email – 9 out of 10 times you will be glad you waited to cool down.
The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,