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By definition, communication is the exchange of information. Countless books and articles have been written addressing how to better understand and communicate with your customers, but these same tips are just as helpful when it comes to internal communication with your coworkers. Here are a few tips and tricks to transform your interactions, both inside and outside the office, and separate yourself from the competition.

Make your presence meaningful:
Add value to every interaction. Make sure you are making the most of your team member’s or your customer’s time and be mindful of how you can help them work better. Do you have success stories to share? Is there an upcoming training or webinar you could attend or promote to your stakeholders? Thoughtful, detailed, and honorable service is something that cannot be bought.

Be an active listener:
When your teammate or customer is speaking — are you listening or piecing together your response? Stop, digest the information, and ask questions. Especially when it comes to working with customers, their success is your success, so expressing a sincere interest will go a long way to strengthening important sales relationships.

Think before you speak:
Once you have digested the speaker’s needs, be sure to think before you respond. It’s okay not to have all of the answers, but it’s not okay to tell people only what they want to hear. Good service is exponentially more valuable than fast service.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Benjamin Franklin

Be mindful of email etiquette:
Email etiquette is simple. Whenever possible, address people by name (spelled correctly, of course!). Respond promptly, even when you can’t provide a detailed response – it’s okay to say so and seek out a subject matter expert who can assist.

Deliver more than expected:
Following these prompts should create a deeper connection with both your teammates and your customers – go the extra mile to make it personal. Give more than expected by tailoring the sales experience, being mindful of how you can help those you work with, and always following up after a project has closed. Customers and coworkers want to be understood – be the person that gets them!

How do you bring the ‘wow factor’ in your office?

Communication is important in any environment, and is especially important in the workplace.  Miscommunication can result in low employee morale and motivation, decreased productivity, and increased employee conflicts.  As simple as communication may seem, it is not always easy to communicate at work. It is important to choose your words wisely, listen intently, and verify that you are understood.

Here are a few simple tips you can use to be a more effective communicator:

1. Don’t just hear—Listen.  This includes paying attention to body language if you are speaking to someone in person.  When a coworker approaches your desk, make sure you fully focus your attention on him or her.  If you do not have the time to do so, offer to schedule time to meet with the person later.

2. Be comfortable with resolving conflict.  No matter how well employees get along, there is always a chance that people will disagree. If you are a manager or leader in your office, help create an environment that allows your employees or teammates to discuss potential issues, and find a way to resolve them. Be sure that any conflict resolution focuses on the problem and not the personalities involved.

3. Be open to constructive criticism or feedback and be prepared to give it in return. Be appreciative of feedback that you receive, and make necessary changes to drive improved performance.

4. Use language that is easily understood to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.  Make sure you are aware of any cultural communication differences.

5. Follow correct grammatical guidelines and use spell check.  This is key, especially if you are communicating with customers or people outside of your business.

6. If you are conversing over email and have questions, speak to the customer or fellow employee in person or give them a call.  Although emails are a quick and easy way to communicate, they can also be misunderstood at times. Never be afraid to verify!

7. Always be aware of your audience and setting.  Make sure you consider what is appropriate to discuss in a workplace environment, with your coworkers outside of work, or on social media.

Remember, effective communication is key to the continued success of any company. Set clear guidelines around workplace communication, and ensure all of your employees or teammates understand them. This will only improve the overall effectiveness of the company or department.

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