September 15, 2019

“Think of one person in your world you’ve been meaning to connect with: to get to know better or to actually make time for.  Surprise them: write them a note, find time to talk, or tell them about something that made you think of them.  Ask them about something they enjoy, and find out why they like it….” – From the book The Happiness Hack

Honest, thoughtful, clear communication creates the foundation for fulfilling, lasting personal and business relationships.  Those bonds, in turn, become the foundation for our success in life. And whether you realize it or not, people really DO notice how you behave when you communicate (or don’t) and judge you by your words AND actions.

Over my fifteen years of coaching, I have witnessed a number of less-than-optimal communication “manners” among my clients that I know can limit their success. So want to share with you, too, a few practical tips for making your own communication habits more effective, successful and enjoyable:

  • Give them your undivided attention. When I coach, I sit at my desk, listening intently and taking notes about what my clients are saying, occasionally taking a sip of water (as quietly as possible) when my throat gets dry. Most of them give me their undivided attention, too.  But over the years, I have heard some clients banging pots and pans, running water, dragging furniture, chewing gum (or food) and slurping beverages. I often wonder if they do the same things while talking to their customers, colleagues and loved ones. The message this sends to your conversation partner is that “You are not important enough to me to give you my undivided attention.”  So please don’t multi-task while you are on the phone. (And PLEASE don’t be looking at or on your phone in the presence of someone you are supposed to be paying attention to – including your kids!)
  • Don’t avoid a conversation. Many of my clients are used to texting or messaging their friends, customers and prospects. Rarely do they pick up the phone, even if the conversation is likely to have extended back and forth questions and answers. If you want to speak to someone, CALL them and leave a voice mail if they don’t pick up.  In this text-happy world, leaving a voice message conveys to your listener that they matter SO much to you that you actually wanted to have a real conversation them! One of my clients who took my advice to CALL her prospects reported that the ratio of replies she got was triple what her texts had always garnered.  REMINDER: texting is to be avoided at all costs when you have a complicated or difficult situation to work through with someone.  One of my clients had a minor issue blow up into a huge dramatic to-do because she tried to handle it via text instead of talking it out with the other party.  Your positive energy rubs off on others when you use your VOICE, not typed words on a screen.
  • Answer messages promptly. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you want your teammates, customers, prospects and loved ones to return YOUR messages, ask yourself how promptly YOU respond to emails, texts and voice mails. Many of my clients complain about lack of response from others, but when I send them an urgent or critical email, I have learned to put PLEASE RESPOND in capital letters in the subject line – and some of them still never answer. Causing other people to wonder and worry about whether you got their message or something is wrong between you will not make them enjoy communicating with you.  Is your voice mailbox full?  Do you have a week’s worth of emails or 20 texts you haven’t looked at?  If you don’t respond to others in a timely manner, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) dictates that others will not respond to YOU.
  • Keep your word. This is the #1 MUST for effective communication.  If you made an appointment to meet someone at Starbucks and then just didn’t show up, you can imagine how they will react!  Is it any less of an affront if you stand them up for a phone appointment they planned on and made time for?  As soon as you realize that you are running late or can’t make it, CALL or at least text them.  They will forgive you if you apologize and give a BRIEF explanation (not a rambling, self-serving excuse). But if they call and you are just not there, they will get the message loud and clear that they don’t matter much to you.
  • Be clear and concise. Don’t beat around the bush with a long preamble or let yourself wander off on tangents containing lots of details that are not important to your central message.  Trying to follow your meandering thoughts, waiting for you to get to the point, wears out your listener and assures they will tune you out and just pretend to be listening.  A tell-tale sign that you are inserting too many inconsequential details into your speaking is if you regularly interrupt yourself with “Well, anyway….” Or “Long story short….”  My favorite reminder to stick to the point comes from my friend and mentor Leslie Zann, a talented speaker and ace trainer for the network marketing/direct sales industry.  Leslie always teaches, “If it’s not necessary to say, it’s necessary NOT to say it.”

I hope these communication tips will help you to create relationships built on mutual trust, honesty and respect. Those are bonds that last and will bring you rich rewards!

*****************Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled *****************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, please email me TODAY at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.