Most of us think we communicate well enough. After all, we talk to colleagues, customers, friends, prospects and so many others on a regular basis. Heck, thanks to social media, we talk to people we’ve never met! But, that doesn’t make us good communicators, and more importantly, it doesn’t mean people get what we’re saying or that we will get what we want.
Communicating in good times is tough enough, but connecting in not so good times is an even greater challenge. If you’re concerned about how the economy is affecting your business, then it’s important to think about how your communication style affects people who are as worried as you are.
I’m conducting an upcoming teleseminar called “Recession Proof Communicating,” to help all of us understand how to more effectively win over important audiences to get results. While there are no magic bullets, let me give you a couple of highlights for thought and possibly discussion.
- Leadership is as much about what you don’t say as what you do say because quiet understanding can be deafening.
- In today’s business world, people are clamoring for authenticity, which is why communicating as frequently as you brush your teeth is essential, especially when times are tricky.
- When I was a reporter, I used to preach simplicity, because if I didn’t understand what someone was saying, I couldn’t explain it to the viewers. Thanks to digital and social media, you don’t have to be a reporter to communicate, so think “Twitter” to understand why simplicity is more important than ever if you want your message to be understood.
Finally, when you show interest in what someone else is saying, you have a better chance to gain support, prevent an us-versus-them atmosphere and instead create an environment of collaboration and trust. Think about some of the people you’ve worked for, the ones who made you feel crummy. That’s a great lesson in what not to do.
By Karen Friedman is an international communications coach and former award-winning television reporter who helps executives, spokespeople and celebrities shine in every interview, appearance and presentation. President of Karen Friedman Enterprises, Inc., and co-author of “Speaking of Success,” she is frequently quoted by publications including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Join Friedman for Recession Proof Communicating: How to Be More Convincing to Seal the Deal, on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 3 p.m. EDT!