You see a long pause … or someone doesn’t reply to an email you sent. You may get a strange look from the person you are talking to. Most people have come across this at some point in a business meeting, interview, or email.
While you can’t always control the response you get when doing business with other people, there are a few ways to minimize those awkward moments.
Communication seems like a simple idea, in fact, we do it on a daily basis. The problem is that we can easily fall into traps when dealing with people outside of our own circles. I want to share 4 tips to help you avoid those pitfalls as much as possible.
Tip No. 1
Be wary of using jargon and / or text speeches when communicating in a business setting.
I know, I know, the world is run by Millennials now, and that’s how we communicate. The problem is that there are still many people who do not accept the new trends in speech.
When speaking with a client, prospective employer, or anyone else you plan to work with, it is important to remember business speech etiquette. Whether you’re writing an email, talking on the phone, or meeting someone one-on-one, it’s important to be careful with your words.
For example, which of these two options do you think will get a better response?
– Hey, we’re crushing these numbers. By the way, I think we’re awesome enough to double up next month!
– Our sales figures have increased steadily this month. In fact, if we maintain this momentum, we may be able to double the profit next month.
(I realize this may be a bad example, but it gives you the idea.)
Just keep in mind that using too many slang terms or using textual speech in a business setting can turn some people away from you.
Tip No. 2
On the other end of the spectrum, being overly pretentious won’t do you any favors.
Some people, trying to appear more professional, will search the depths to find largely outdated words. While this is a great way to build vocabulary, it is generally not necessary in business settings. Common words work just as well, if not better, when it comes to getting your point across.
With these two tips the point is simple. If you want someone to take you seriously, be as precise and authoritative as possible. Write or speak clearly to make sure your audience understands your meaning.
Tip No. 3
Listens! Make sure you listen to what the other person is saying to you. This sounds obvious, but all too often we think about what we want to say next. This can prevent us from communicating effectively.
Let’s say you have a product that you want to sell. You have all these great ideas of how the person in front of you can be useful. He has talking points in his head, ready to express the need for this product.
But let’s say this person doesn’t see those same things as important. They want to tackle a different problem or see another possible benefit from your product.
If you don’t stop to listen to these ideas from the other person, you won’t care what they have to say. Hear what is important to them. If you give them that courtesy and address their expressed needs, they’ll be more open to hearing about the other great benefits later.
Tip # 4
Be willing to learn from others.
This is very similar to the previous tip. You may be an expert in your chosen field, but spending your time trying to convince others of this fact, without being willing to accept comments, is detrimental to your ability to convince them of anything.
Do you want someone who knows what you are talking about?
Most likely yes.
They also want someone who realizes that they don’t know everything.
Be willing to accept advice and remember that we always have room to learn something new.
For more communication tips, I highly recommend reading (or listening to) “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.