Communication is a skill that can make or break you in business, especially if you are in executive leadership. As a coach in this area, I focus my sessions heavily on improving communication skills for better negotiations, strategic partnering and referral opportunities.
Here are three tips that will help you immediately improve your interpersonal and business communication skills.
Focus On Their Needs. Regardless of whether you are meeting new contacts or long-standing partners at the conference table (or coffee shop couch), you should focus on their needs and goals first, then think about how you can help them achieve those goals. The ultimate objective of any meeting should be to create a win-win situation or resolution.
Adapt to Different Communication Styles. Just like leadership styles, everyone has different styles of communication. Great communicators observe and note the stylistic differences of the people across the table and adapt to them. Some great salespeople even feed off these differences. Adjusting to their communication style makes them more comfortable and more willing to work with you.
Smile. It may seem obvious, but it is so common in the business world for people—especially executive leadership—to leave their humanity at the front door. People want to do business with people they like and trust. Keyword: like. Smiling, laughing and even a little joking can diffuse situations, make people feel at ease and create instant report. So be likeable.
These steps are just the tips of the iceberg of tactics for more effective business communications, but they are a great place to start. The next time you have a meeting remember these steps and reap the instant rewards.
What other communication tactics would you add?
Howard Shore is an executive leadership coach who works with companies that need leadership development and strategic business coaching. Based in Miami, Florida, Howard’s firm, Activate Group, Inc. provides management coaching to businesses across the country. To learn more about executive leadership coaching through AGI, please visit www.activategroupinc.com, contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.