Do your employees and clients tend to run over you? Does no one seem to listen? Effective communication a common problem with female entrepreneurs. However, it is quite easy to improve your communication skills so people pay attention.
Think Before Speaking
You obviously don’t want to seem like you’re not listening during a conversation. If you respond too quickly, your response might not make sense. You need to take at least a few seconds to think over what was said and ensure your response is appropriate. This makes you more professional and confident in effective communication.
Your professional life is not the place to be subtle. If you want an employee to do better at their job, tell them what you want. Don’t give hints and expect them to understand. Women sometimes avoid being direct to prevent hurting feelings or to avoid seeming to forceful. Direct just saves time and prevents unnecessary misunderstandings through effective communication.
Keep Energy in Your Voice
A dull, monotone or tired voice bores the listener. This means they’re probably only half listening – at best. If you want your message to get across loud and clear, put some energy in your voice. Once you sound excited, happy or passionate about something, then others will pay attention.
Ask For Examples
Has someone ever say something to you that you did not understand? It is never wrong to ask for clarification. If you’re not sure what a client or employee is talking about, ask them. For instance, if you hired a new assistant and they say they don’t have enough time to finish everything, ask why. The better you understand the situation, the easier it is to solve a problem.
Start With What is Important
If you are pitching your services to a client, you don’t want them to get bored before you reach the most important parts. The same goes for all business communication, start with your most important points first. Making these a priority ensures your listener is getting the most information from you.
I recently had a sales conversation and I had to remind myself to stay on task. Anticipate questions, but don’t answer before they are asked.
It is not unusual for women to be long winded when they’re trying to get a point across. Too much conversation can cause listeners to tune out. This includes potential customers and clients. Imagine every conversation has a relatively short time limit.
Be polite and respectful, but ensure you have said everything that needs to be said before the time is up. Only continue the conversation if the listener is asking questions or talking to you. This shows you respect the other person and it makes them pay more attention to what you are saying because they know it will not take up too much time.
Follow Up On Conversations
Your words sounded clear to you, but someone else might have misunderstood. Don’t expect everyone to think the same way you do. Ask people to explain what you have just told them or asked them. This helps you understand clearly how to use effective communication with them in the future so there are no misunderstandings.
Find out more about Communication Challenges here.