Wednesday - November 15, 2006
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Chotzen holds up a kukui nut during a
presentation she made at a Tupperware
convention, held at the Hilton Hawaiian
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t communicate with a coworker or customer? Have you ever had a conflict when you were talking to a manager or employee?
Did you ever lose a sale or not get a job because you couldn’t communicate with the other person? Are you a business owner who would like to improve productivity, sales and customer service?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you need to improve your communication skills.
One of the biggest problems today is that people do not really know how to communicate with co-workers and customers. An enormous amount of time, energy and money is wasted when people do not communicate clearly.
How customers are treated determines how they feel about your organization. Sales and repeat business are lost when customers are treated poorly. Morale declines and employee satisfaction drops when employees have conflicts and are not able to resolve them.
The fastest way to increase workplace productivity and provide great customer service is to learn and use effective communication skills. The result is lower operating costs and increased revenue.
How well the people in your organization communicate with each other and with your customers make the difference between success and mediocrity. For your organization to succeed and thrive, everyone from the receptionist to the president must be able to communicate effectively.
Good communication skills do not come naturally to many people, but they are easily learned and then used immediately. Simply stated, there is nothing more important for everyone in your company to learn than powerful communication strategies.
One strategy that works equally well in business and personal relationships is “focus on interests, not positions.” When you are just looking at your position and the position of the other person, you only see how you are different, and that leads to more conflict. When you focus on what the other person is interested in, then you can find common ground, build rapport and reach resolution.
An example of how this principle worked well is when I was helping to facilitate a low-income housing project. Tony was a wealthy businessman who was adamantly opposed to having low-income housing in his neighborhood. Over lunch I asked him about his feelings and concerns. He opened up and told me about what it was like to be poor when he was young, how he was determined to make lots of money so he would never be poor again, and how he was afraid of having poor neighbors who would remind him of the pain of his childhood. Because I listened to him and was genuinely focused on his interests and not his position, we became friends. Eventually Tony became one of the biggest supporters of the program.
As a corporate trainer, coach and motivational speaker for more than 12 years, I have trained thousands of people including corporate executives, business owners, military officers, students and employees from a wide variety of companies and organizations. I have seen the results that good communication skills make.
To succeed at any business or profession, you must be a strong and confident communicator. You need to be able to be heard and understood no matter whom you are talking to. Listening to and understanding the person to whom you are relating is just as important.
When you learn how to be an outstanding communicator, you’ll be able to resolve personality conflicts quickly, develop rapport with anyone, defuse angry and upset people and get your points across effectively regardless of your audience.
The workshops I lead are loaded with practical tools that you can implement immediately. Your organization will operate more efficiently, and your team will certainly get along much better when you learn and use simple but effective communication skills.
Next Week: P. Gregory Frey, Esq., of Coates & Frey Attorneys At Law, LLLC
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