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4 Powerful Tools for Business Communication to Make You The Office Hero.



Communication can arguably be called the most important factor in any workplace. It could also be called the number one stressor in any workplace. A 2023 poll by Project.com stated that as much as 43% of people have suffered burnout, stress and fatigue as a result of communication issues in their business. Most often the breakdown was around the poor, inadequate or lack of communication around a task, project or deadline.


But effective communication is the foundation of all successful relationships. Whether it's in a business environment or with colleagues, friends, or family members, your communication style has the ability to rework your entire existence if you should so choose. So here are some simple tools to keep in mind and help you connect with people more effectively.


1. The Power of Active Listening

Active listening IS effective communication. Too many times we are not really listening to someone’s words because we are too busy thinking up a response. It has been said that one of former First Lady Jackqueline Kennedy’s foremost skills was her ability to listen intently. She would ask intelligent questions and then wait quietly and listen carefully for the responses. She was so skilled that diplomats and officials preferred conversations with her rather than President, John F. Kennedy.


Active listening means we are fully present in the moment, paying attention to the speaker's words, tone, and body language. Active listening helps us to hear the deeper understanding of another’s message so that we can learn and then respond thoughtfully.


2. The Power of Empathy

Therapist and author, Whitney Goodman says, “Genuine empathy requires that we listen, understand, and feel what is happening so that we can create a targeted solution.” Empathy is a key component of effective communication. Showing empathy, means that we put ourselves in the other person's shoes to better understand their perspective.


I once worked the front desk of a major hotel chain and it was common to deal with impatient and disgruntled late night customers checking in. The customers were not shy about expressing their travel angst to the front desk staff. Their behavior often included yelling, accompanied by sarcastic comments and generous doses of WTFs.


It would have been easy to become defensive or worse still, respond in kind. However, empathy was the most effective response. Empathy deflated the situation in a few minutes so the customer was calm enough for intelligent interaction.


Empathy is a Powerful Tool for:

  • De-escalating the emotions around the conflict.

  • Creating a conversational bridge between you and the person.

  • Making the other person feel heard.

  • Helping them to feel validated.

  • Helped customers clarify their intentions calmly.

So the next time you encounter a communication challenge try empathy as a strategy for conflict resolution and watch how quickly the emotions dial down.


3.Defragging Communication Barriers.


Communication barriers can arise in any relationship. Cultural, age, and different ideologies, etc. can create misunderstandings that have the potential to rapidly escalate out of control.


Some years ago I attended a class on communication and it was one of the most valuable courses I have taken in my lifetime. Once I learned the power of effectively communicating I used it with my family, friends, bosses, and co-workers. And it worked! Here are three of the most powerful phrases I learned to use every day in conversation:

  • “Help me to understand.”

  • “Please define what you mean”

  • “This is what I hear you saying.”

These types of phrasing help to clarify misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are on the same page. Add frankly, it is mind blowing how much tension and confusion can be eliminated with these three simple sentences.


4. Building Stronger Relationships


Business Mogul and Virgin Airlines owner, Richard Branson is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. He unequivocally states that his success is due to investing in his employees. His most famous statement is. “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they take care of your customers.


Successful business or any great relationships boil down to how well you communicate. But relationships take time to grow. Therefore, it is beneficial to make the investment of time into meaningful relationships with good communication tools. Eventually such strategies will fertilize the soil of mutual trust and respect, which will in turn forge bonds.


Conclusion

I encourage you to include these tools and strategies in your work/daily life, and before long you will find yourself defaulting to them, and they will become a superpower in your tool chest.


Effective communication will not only be cost efficient (reduced employee turn-over), and time-saving (less fires to put out), but it will carry across your environments with life-changing results.


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