To be successful in today’s dynamic, international business environment, you’ve got to be an excellent communicator. It is a core competency whether you are an auditor, a CFO, an engineer or an account manager.
How do you know if you are an excellent communicator? Were you born with this skill or did you learn it?
A lucky few might be “born communicators”, but most of us learn as we go. We study tools, techniques and strategies, try them out, see what works, make mistakes, refine, try again, and then continue our learning journey with more/different/new/inspiring ideas.
I believe that to be an excellent communicator, communicating well has to be important to you. That’s the starting point. If YOU don’t care, why should anyone else? If you DO care, you pay attention: to those around you, to improving yourself, to what works, and importantly, to what DOESN’T work.
Excellent communicators get excellent results. They do things other people don’t do. So if you do all of the things listed below, then CONGRATULATIONS! You have what it takes to be an excellent communicator:
1. You check your ego at the door.
You are empathetic and authentic. People WANT to work with you because they trust you. You are aware of what is going on around you, you sense how your business partner is feeling during your interaction, and you put yourself in their shoes.
2. You build bridges.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are successful business relationships. You learn as much as you can about your potential business partner, find common ground, and then build depth. Respect and consideration are paramount.
3. You manage your mental state.
You are mentally prepared and ready for every challenge and opportunity. You control what you think, what you feel and how you present yourself. Let’s face it: nobody wants to work with someone who drains the energy in the room, even if they’re just having a bad day.
4. You know when to keep your mouth shut.
You listen and ask questions so you can gather information, clarify and confirm. Critically, you’ve are able to read between the lines. It’s not just what is said and how it is said; you realize it’s what’s NOT said that often influences results.
5. You read the environment and adapt your strategy.
You’ve done your planning and preparation, researched your business partner and know your desired outcome. You can read the situation, rethink your strategy, and adapt as necessary when the level of engagement is falling short of what you want.
6. You add value.
You share your enthusiasm, your passion, your ideas and your time. You add value by helping to bring about positive change to the people around you and the organizations you work with.
7. You communicate your key messages clearly and concisely.
You consistently avoid vague and ambiguous language and structure your arguments in a way that your business partner can follow. You realize that miscommunication and misinterpretation are not inevitable but are symptoms of a lack of clarity and conciseness.
In the Comments section below, tell us what YOUR secrets to being an excellent communicator are. Remember, the key to excellent results is to do what other people don’t do or won’t do, consistently and consciously.
If you are striving for communication excellence, imperfect action will take you to the next level.
P.S. How many of the 7 points do you do? If you are not perfect, don’t worry. We are here to help! It takes effort, learning and practice to be a great communicator. What are your secrets to be an excellent communicator? Share with us by leaving a comment.
P.P.S. Contact me today for a copy of our International Communication Skills Training Catalog. The next open workshop dates start in April 2014!
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