Be Politically Aware
Do you know the influential stakeholders in your domain?
To be in their good books, you have to be aware of the powers that be and recognize them. Otherwise, it will be a wild goose chase to discuss contracts with those who cannot authorize the resources that you need.
Identify the decision-makers to structure your communication strategy appropriately. It does not mean that you should despise low-ranking stakeholders; you also have to carry them along since they are part of the team and could help you establish formidable rapport with influential stakeholders. Besides, people with low influence could jeopardize your hard work, so carry them along also.
Use Feng Shui
How well does your facility support employee productivity?
Feng Shui is about the placement of objects to balance the flow of energy so that you can be your most productive and prosperous (Patricia, 2019). According to feng shui, work performance and business wealth can be increased by decluttering and establishing order on your desk (Patricia, 2019). This implies that good housing keeping has the potential to communicate "success" in the workplace. “How well a facility supports employees has everything to do with productivity levels,” writes Dukes (CONTROL SOLUTIONS INC, 2016). Organizations over the years have used different facility layout patterns and designs to communicate their vision, mission, culture, values to their stakeholders. Such calculated arrangements of objects in the workplace are necessary to constantly communicate the atmosphere required for the desired level of work performance.
Do your questions draw forth solution answers?
Questions create the challenges that make us learn (Maurice, 2014). You are not necessarily inexperienced when you ask questions to understand stakeholder requirements. Even if stakeholders show disappointment at your ignorance, do not bother; concentrate on the fact that you are sincerely portraying your willingness to satisfy them by asking, to be better informed. To clear any misgivings, ensure you give convincing explanations for your inquiry. Again, when you ask questions, you bring people out of their shells to ask their questions too, for clarity which reduces the cost of ignorance.
Choose Your Words
What do people say about your choice of words?
To sound professional, you have to learn the ropes. The essence is to connect with your professional audience, so they trust you enough to work with you.
Use words that are familiar to your target audience to facilitate comprehension and response.
Be Humble and Apologetic
Does apology portray you as weak?
Being humble doesn’t mean self-effacing or down on one’s skills, it simply means that when you have humility in your work, you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and help, even if it’s not your job (Maren, 2021). Humility helps you communicate politely-a mannerism that attracts all and sundry. It is essential for communication efficiency among people.
Remorse strengthens communication, but as much as you can, limit the circumstances that create scenarios for such apologies for good reasons. Again, people are more disposed to communicate with you when they hold nothing against you because unforgiveness can be a barrier to effective communication since people tend to frustrate the efforts of their offenders when they are begrudged.
Don’t fire; find out why through counseling
Do you condemn others too soon?
Counseling is necessary for effective communication. With it, disloyal and demoralized staff will most likely open up grievances, creating room for reconciliation. Companies have run into losses in thousands of dollars by not using this tool to cushion employee-related gripes that resulted in lawsuits. When you counsel a staff, you give them a sense of belonging to trust and work with you effectively. You also have the opportunity to understand them better and relate with them more productively.
Use Emotional Intelligence
How well do you interpret the reactions of your stakeholders?
Emotional intelligence is being in tune with others’ feelings and emotions. It can be as simple as noticing and taking extra care when someone is having a rough week, or as complex as understanding the historic or social issues that may personally affect someone (Nick, 2015).
Have you ever noticed an uninterested person while you did a presentation, or have you been made to react overboard to the surprise of your stakeholders? These occurrences are possible in business. You need to observe people, and if necessary, act likewise. Self-awareness is the first thing you need to learn to be emotionally intelligent. Understand yourself first so that you can manage your emotions (self-management).
One of the striking attributes of a successful businessman or woman is respect for language, culture, and other forms of diversity. Respect for others paves the way for higher achievements in business.
Leverage on Silence
How often are you silent on issues?
In business, communication silence is an often neglected yet powerful tool (Emma, 2016). Silence can communicate beyond words in many ways-during negotiations, requirement elicitation, business presentations, and listening because it gives one the decorum to maximize such situations. Sometimes, when you keep quiet, you make other people use their initiative instead of bugging you and distracting you over trivial matters. It also commands respect to be silent when there is a storm or when stakeholders expect you to react incoherently.
For fear of the unknown, people tend to act with caution and discipline when you keep silent, which helps you achieve good results in less time.
Constructive silence moves a conversation or discussion forward. Destructive silence shuts down communication and creates barriers that discourage speakers from expressing their thoughts. Thus, silences can be ‘laden’ and they can also be ‘golden’ (Dr. Farida, 2019). Constructive silence keeps you from talking too much as to demean others with your words or poke your nose into their affairs. It helps you refrain from impulsive or presumptuous statements that may lack purpose.
In business, facts count, not perceptions. If you lack insight, it is better to stay quiet and learn than to speak without proof.
What did you discover in your last face-to-face that you did not know before now?
If you have a significant deal to seal, do not strike it in absentia, do it face to face.
Slow-moving items require one-on-one with prospects. If you need an uncommon favor for the first time from a stakeholder, a face-to-face meeting could do the magic. Of all communication forms, man-to-man explains, validates, approves, or disapproves the most. Should the need for a handshake arise, make it firm and comforting, with a confident look in the eye to show seriousness.
Use Visual Aids
Is a picture a magical way to communicate?
Business leaders achieve success quicker when they represent complex ideas with diagrams and charts that facilitate stakeholder understanding. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When it is difficult to reach an agreement, a pictorial representation can do the magic to verify and establish the requirements. Designs also unveil limitations to drawings for corrections before implementation.
Maximize the social media
Have you considered using social media?
Social computing has become prominent in recent times as an effective tool for information transfer, get involved, and reach out to the world. To reach a robust network, consider having a social media handle but be very careful of what you share.
Successful businesses handle their critics and fans carefully and respectfully, and they maintain a multi-level security architecture to ward off unauthorized access to their social media accounts.
Utilize Virtual Teams
How efficient is your virtual team?
At Miller Tanner, virtual meetings save our clients approximately 90% of the training budget associated with face-to-face meetings by eliminating logistics related to venues, travel, hotels, food & beverages, etc. (Miller Tanner Associates, 2021).
The cost-saving effect of virtual meetings among team members and other stakeholders could be enormous. It is worthy to note that, before you resort to remote teams, you should establish a good working relationship with your stakeholders and document agreements on commitments and expectations to avoid negative unintended consequences.
Stakeholder preferences are diverse, so the best bet is to use a combination of communication strategies to achieve communication effectiveness.
Let your stakeholders have the ability to reach you via several avenues including, phone calls, text messages, electronic and physical mails, chat apps, social media handles.
Successful businessmen and women limit all forms of communication barriers that could hamper success. They leverage technology and skill to suppress communication barriers to have unfettered success in business.
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