January 29, 2016 – When you meet an exceptional communicator, you usually know it within seconds of talking with that person. They radiate a confidence about their message that typically resonates with you. From the tone they speak with to the body language they use, it is clear they have dedicated time and energy into making sure their words are heard and better yet, that those words inspire action from those they are speaking to. So, what’s the secret to becoming a great business communicator? It starts with focusing on a few key business communication solutions, including:
Always Consider Your Audience
Walking into a room full of people who are eager to hear what you have to say means scaling back on trying to sound like an expert or bragging about your accomplishments or expertise. Truly understanding your audience means knowing what that audience wants and providing them with quality information they can actually do something with. A word of caution though, this doesn’t mean simply telling your audience exactly what you think they want to hear, you need to be honest and thorough, even if it means the content they receive isn’t exactly what they had hoped for.
Open Ears Creates an Open Mind
Excellent business communicators know how to use their ears, too. Communicating is a two-way process and great leaders know that often what they hear from others is more important than anything they may have to say. Great communicators don’t interrupt or try to formulate what they are going to say next before the other person has finished speaking, they wait until the other person stops speaking so they can fully process the other perspective.
Take Responsibility for Your Words
When a great communicator says something wrong, they admit it. They aren’t waiting around for someone to point out what they did wrong, they take ownership of it before it becomes a distraction from the rest of the information they are trying to convey. Accountability is important for both the words used as well as the actions taken. This is true even if it would have been easier to not point out the error at all. Also, when a great communicator admits a mistake, they do it with humility and tact.
Ask for Feedback
Experienced communicators know that there is always room for improvement, so they are constantly asking for feedback (both positive and negative) to learn and grow from. They verify their message was understood by the audience and they humbly accept suggestions as to how that message could have been conveyed more clearly. They also never blame an audience for the lack of understanding, but they adjust their message to better meet the needs of their audience.
One of the main similarities between all great communicators is their ability to be honest and authentic with others. They value the importance of communication in the workplace and with an audience and because of this, they excel in many other areas of leadership.
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