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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rules of conduct for effective communication


For the last several months I have had the distinct opportunity to write a column that reflects thoughts and ideas in regards to business and effective measures that might enhance or give directive to our community as we journey through unprecedented times.

In a recent conversation with my peers, we began to address an underlying yet critical element of all business, communication.

With the current structure of our business environment, communication happens on many levels. It happens via email, text messages, over the phone, at lunch in person, and through third parties.

There is an unspoken communication etiquette that exists in business that if not closely adhered to could cost your company business or its stellar reputation.
Along with simple things like valuing what is important to your client and listening intensely to their need, there is always a need for someone in the office that can clean up communication mishaps.

What do you do about misunderstood emails? Or phone messages that might have taken the wrong tone?

Effective communication is a two way street.

After watching a colleague lose work because of a clear misunderstanding and reading about some of the mishaps television mogul Ted Turner highlighted in his book Call Me Ted, I have quickly learned that there are a few steps business owners and employees can take to keep the lines of communication between staff and clients clear.

Steps to effective communication are established with a person’s character. Always carry a forgiving attitude. In some cases you might be right, but have to yield your certainty for the sake of retaining a client that sees things only their way.

Most recently I forgave an out of state client a debt because I felt the relationship was more valuable than proving a point through gathering phone notes and emails to clearly highlight their error and I would like the same courtesy extended to me. This is not always the case.

Some people are hard to communicate with at any level. Like people who might not even offer you an environment to state your case or give off the heir that they are too busy to take time to clear the lines of communication.

Some situations where communication has become faulty may have to be let go, but not until you have tried every effort to extend the opportunity for open dialogue.

Here are some key points that might help avoiding communication mishaps.

Follow up critical emails with a phone call.

Have a third party in on all meetings

Listen and take copious notes

Follow meetings with documented meeting notes for review by both parties

If you lose a project always try to salvage the relationship whether you do work for that client or not

Give people the benefit of the doubt when negotiating, but always be clear in explaining your understanding of the circumstances

1 comment:

  1. Its a nice Post to be read. I was very weak in Communicating. I Learnt a course through e-learning Presentation and now I am very Proud to say that I Improved my Business with the help of Effective Communication.

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