It is surprising how impactful proper communication practices are, especially when having access to powerful communication tools. A rambling voicemail, incorrect or unneeded punctuation, cc’ing colleagues without explanation, and even an extra bolded word are a few examples of how poor communication tactics can breakdown productivity and collaboration. In the end this can lead to wasted time, drops in productivity, more avoidable mistakes and even loss in sales and profits. At Grandstream, we create the tools you need to excel at communication, but we also wanted to provide some tips to make sure you use these tools to their fullest potential.
Have a Plan and a Purpose – In a recent poll by Gallup1, 70% of American workers admit to being not engaged or actively disengaged in their workplace. In an environment where employees are having a difficult time engaging, being concise is essential for productivity. If you’re initiating a call to a colleague or a potential sale, take a moment to write out a notes that highlight the key points you want to discuss. This helps keep the conversation structured and on-message. Be sure to have any important metrics or references on hand to avoid long silences and break in conversation. Additionally, if you get caught off-guard and sent to voicemail, this will help you give a well put overview of what you want to discuss.
You’re Only Half of it – Being able to articulate what you mean is an important skill to have, but that’s only half of the communication process. As one of the world’s experts on negotiation and mediation, William Ury says considering what the other person is saying or trying to say is also important.“In genuine listening, we listen not just for what’s being said, but for what’s not being said… …We listen for the underlying emotions, and feelings, the underlying needs, what that person really needs or wants.”2 Listening to the other party’s opinion may offer a valuable insight to a project or strategy that you didn’t consider. Take notes on what colleagues and customers are saying to you, and reiterate what they’re saying in conversation to make their input feel heard and valued.
Build Your Voice – Authenticity in any work environment is important, and this is especially true when speaking to coworkers or clients. This concept is particularly essential over email where voice can easily be lost. People like speaking with other humans, not robots or overly-professional stereotypes. Using a more conversational tone when creating emails and speaking over the phone will help your recipient better understand the message you’re giving. Not only that, but it will build trust, making potential customers and clients more comfortable with you and your message. Just remember to balance your voice with your particular professional environment, and even the people you’re including in your email. There is a fine line between being authentic and unprofessional. As important as having a unique voice is, remember to stay away from unneeded punctuation, colloquial words and emoji’s unless appropriate.
The rights tools in a communications network solution can help the productivity and efficiency of a work environment. However, having the right communication practices and skills are needed in order to use these tools to their maximum potential. The above tips can help guide your business communications to keep your messaging clear, relatable and reputable.