If you aren’t consistently improving effective communication practices in your professional life... please... for the sake of everyone you will work with... QUIT! (or change)
***The following rant is not directed at any particular events or persons. It is collective observations and experiences that have led me to where I am today... with an effective team that rocks at communicating.
On the flip side of that I have worked with some horrible communicators. This breakdown in one of the most vital elements of team success will completely derail momentum and/or entire projects. It’s happened to me and chances are it’s happened to you.
DIVE IN! Acknowledgment!
The best way to get better at effective communication is to START effectively communicating. Not sure how? START! I tell my team to “over-communicate”. If someone’s waiting on you and you’ve made no progress on a particular project, acknowledge them. I’ve literally emailed people just to tell them I was emailing them. “I’m here, I got your message and this is my plan.” Adopt an “always respond immediately” mentality… even if you don’t have all the answers or information at that very moment. It will mean a great deal to your team/ clients. You’ll find you cannot always respond right away but your response times will get much quicker.
People appreciate being acknowledged!! If I’m late on a deadline I do my best to reach out and relay that info to my team or the client. It’s so much better to get ahead of problems with great communication then to wait until there’s an even bigger problem.
Time is your most valuable resource. When you delay directing our attention to tasks, events and clients you’ll miss opportunities. While you’re waiting for the “perfect” response, someone else got the job, made it happen. I’ve closed countless deals just being there faster and communicating while the “other guy” was no where to be found. This concept is so important.
What is the best way to reach someone? Should you call, email, text, social message? YES! The answer I YES! Whatever the best way to reach them is. Do that!
I’m always looking for the shortest distance between ambiguity and clarity.
Learn your teammates’ and clients’ favorite mode of communication and use it well.
PICK UP THE PHONE!
This seems old fashioned to some people and intrusive. But I am telling you (and many successful people will agree) the phone is the fastest way to communicate back and forth the largest amount of information. I’ve cleared up weeks of texting or messaging on a 2 minute phone call. You don’t like the phone? Change! It’s good for you and for your growth in effective communication.
Listen, pause, respond
If you’re making moves and taking massive action a large percentage of your communicating will be problem solving and conflict resolution. This is where the best ideas and growth happen. Always here people out. Always agree with their ideas or objections (It doesn’t mean you’re saying their right when validating their perspective and their right to have it). When something gets you all fired up inside, pause first, and then respond. Maybe you need a day to cool-off. Allow conflict, allow objections and allow problems on your team and you’ll see so much more growth. Learn to steer into the adversity and learn to overcome it and you’ll be an unstoppable communicator.
There are thousands of books written on this topic and I encourage you to study up. There is no way I could tell you how to communicate in one Revo Rant, nor am I the best at it.
It’s something I commit to improving every day and I want to challenge you to do the same.