On any given day we are on the phone, in face to face meetings and writing important one-off chance messages. Everyone is working towards personal or group objectives to fulfill and achieve goals. Things can get emotional, chaotic and stressful, especially the way the economy and other developments unfold for everybody in today’s world. For me, it’s no different and when it gets intense or an important moment of communication is about to arrive, I whisper to myself 3 key things.
- “Speak Short / Write Short” – the receiver of your communication will fade and lose attention after the third or fourth spoken sentence. Introduce the “message” in the first sentence, get to the point in the 2nd and 3rd; and get “confirmation” in the 4th sentence by looking at them eye to eye, asking a question or moving into action to confirm. Have reciprocity and interest. If it’s in writing, e-mails of over 250 words will also lose the attention of the reader. E-mail is for 24-48 hour communication cycles.
- “Tact & Diplomacy” – no matter who you talk with, write to, have reciprocal communication with, it is always better to be calm, even and think before you communicate. How you handle yourself can create conflict and yield unintended conflict, cause other sidetracking issues and results. Think of yourself as a tactful diplomat at the beginning of all relationships, especially for business, and maintain that “aura”. Remind yourself during the course of communicating if you can.
- “Happy Smiling Voices” – When I speak I want to set the tone and mood and “invite” that same feeling in the person I’m interested in talking with. Smile, be respectful, be warm, be courteous, be happy and communicate “parity” with the other person; even if it’s guy to guy. We are all human beings regardless of role or status, homeless or Chairman of the Board.
Practice these 3 keys, say them before a meeting, think of them while writing and you’ll dispense with conflict and possibly “polarizing” the relationship in the precious moment it begins.