Business owners are proud, emotional people. They like to be listened to and respected. Even though business owners tend to be good talkers, but they also need to be good listeners. Learning to be listen and not talk is an important skill.
Many business owners struggle with listening and they need to practice listening. If you haven’t already realized from previous mistakes, there will be time that you will have wished that you did speak so soon. Here are a few tried and true ways to help yourself communicate more effectively:
1. Business is Business. There is nothing personal about it. Instead of jumping to conclusions and going right to the lawsuit. In most cases, disputes can be solved with conversations instead of hiring lawyers. Business owners tend to become overly emotional and act before they think which can lead to long, drawn out legal problems that you might regret. It is better to pause and think before you act. No business owner made a good decision based on emotions.
2. Make a call. When you rely solely on email, you are bound to have a misunderstanding. If you call and actually talk to the person you are trying to communicate with, you will have more success saying what you need to say. You can share the nuances when you talk rather than when you just email.
3. Delete the argument. If you are trying to win an online argument, think again. People are not kind online and they do not care who they insult. If you are involved in an online argument, just stop typing. People love to make others mad and irritated with their Internet comments. When you do not reply, the conversation will die. If you feel drawn into an argument, step back, breath, and then hit the delete key.
4. Swallow your pride. There is no need to be the last one to speak. No one looks good when they are gloating. Even if you have the opportunity, do not do it. People who gloat usually get caught doing things they should not do. In many cases, it is best to stay anonymous by flying under the radar, especially in business situations. There are too many people watching for missteps. Instead of pointing out other people’s weaknesses and flaws, just focus on your own success, quietly.
5. Simple is often better. Instead of answering a simple question with a long and drawn out answer, just answer the question simply. Brevity is always appreciated, especially in meeting, emails, and other communications. We are all busy people and do not always have the time to listen to a long talk.
6. Save your opinions for someone who cares. There are times when it is better to keep your opinions to yourself. If your opinion will end up insulting people who actually help you, then do not say it. When you share opinions, you are bound to drive business away because there will be people who do not agree with you and therefore will not support your business.
7. Accept the uncomfortable silences. If you are negotiating, always let the other person speak first. Always know that the other person is expecting that you will speak first. Therefore, you just have to wait. Don’t give into the silence. Love it and take the time to think. Usually, the first speaker comes out last in the argument. Just wait, no matter how awkward the silence might be.