You may have some fantastic ideas for a new business floating through your head, but unless you can communicate them well enough so that others can share your vision, they’ll never make it into the real world.
Many people think that having communication skills simply means telling someone what you want or answering a Facebook notification right away, but that’s why they don’t have a successful business. Communication is a multilayered process, and it is always the key to gaining an audience and understanding their wants and needs.
Businesses fail for many reasons, but miscommunication in many forms is a big one. It is important to learn how to be an effective communicator to avoid common mistakes in your business, while allowing it to successfully grow.
The first step to gaining communication skills is gaining confidence. You’ll need the confidence to introduce yourself to others and create a strong, positive first impression to establish valuable relationships, creating a network that could come in handy down the line. Likewise, a lack of self-esteem and confidence will lead to a lack of communication. Unless you are able to talk openly, brainstorm, delegate, and be the person to take initiative, you simply can’t be a leader. Be careful, though — know the difference between having confidence and being arrogant.
- Consider Others
One of the best ways to ensure your business doesn’t fail is to include all the best people around you. When starting a business, you’ll need help from someone one way or another. Being a considerate person doesn’t take much, and will actually help you establish connections with people that may be able to help you and your business. You never know which unassuming person will be a lifesaving connections a few years down the road, so it pays to put your best foot forward and work well with everyone, every time.
This is one of the most important leadership skills. For a business to be effective, you’ll have to have open communication and respect amongst all members of the planning team, so not all of your ideas are going to be approved. Sometimes, not being the end-all-be-all is exactly what being a leader is about. Negotiating is essential so that everyone can consider thoughts and ideas — both your own and others. Your negotiating skills will define your decisions. You must learn to say “no” when you need to and consider other opinions that may drive you to change your mind. This will create conversation and communication amongst you and your team.
- Body Language
Don’t make the mistake of discounting the importance of nonverbal communication. A lot can be said through body language. Slouching conveys that you’re bored or uninterested. No eye contact is just plain rude, and a lousy handshake means you don’t care, or that you will not be a strong advocate and leader for your business. Remember to always smile and wear appropriate attire. Whether you know it or not, people will judge you and your business based on these signals. People want your trust and interest, and they won’t get it from poor body language. If you can’t give someone a good handshake, what makes you think they’ll want your business?
- Ask Questions
Engaging in conversation both ways is an essential communication skill. Sure, you are the expert, but you also need to make sure others feel that their opinions and ideas are respected. Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places, and you won’t want to miss the next big thing just because of a communication breakdown. Asking questions shows that you are actively listening and participating with your audience and your team. It demonstrates respect and understanding and it’ll help make sure you don’t make any mistakes in the long run, while helping clear up any miscommunication that may have happened.