Talk Is Not Cheap

Why great communication is one of the secrets of deliberate growth.It’s one of the most underutilized secrets of growth: Your ability to communicate continuously impacts your business.

Everyone tends to underestimate communication’s impact on a company, but how often do you hear —or find yourself saying—“That’s not what I meant” or “Where did that conclusion come from?”

Even with the best intentions, you could be miscommunicating your message and derailing your growth. Just think about how that magnifies the impact when your teams make decisions, or your salespeople talk with potential clients.

Prevent Misfires, Lost Productivity

The best way to avoid misfires is two-way conversations. It’s not simply about what you want to convey to others, it’s also about what they could share with you.

For example, you didn’t intend for your teams to work on a project, but because you were so excited about how this project was going to expand the business, they got to work immediately. Why? Because there was no discussion about when that project needed to begin.

Or maybe you aren’t intentionally confusing potential customers about your company’s services, but you may be leaving the wrong impression because your message isn’t clear.

How It Matters

With your teams // There may be times when you feel like a broken record because you need to repeatedly state the same message to your staff. Do it anyway, but do it better. They aren’t in the meetings you are, and don’t have the same depth of knowledge about the direction of the business that you do. Be very careful of assuming “they know what you meant.” That’s one of the ways businesses spend thousands of dollars on work that’s ultimately trashed, and then have to start over.

With your clients // If you take a “teach don’t tell” approach with your clients, you will fundamentally change the nature of your interaction. No one likes to be “sold” anything, so if you approach your sales and marketing from a perspective of “what would you like them to learn,” your tone will shift into one of care instead of command. Your prospects and clients will start to lean into you, instead of sitting back and wondering what you are there to sell them.

It’s About Engagement

The secret to people being on the same page with you is to engage them, not talk to them, and it applies to your staff and your clients. The most underused elements of communication are the art of asking questions and the distinct ability to listen to the answers.

Actually, even if you have those two skills mastered, it doesn’t matter without the desire to use them. Genuine listening demonstrates concern about their needs and perspectives, instead of focusing on yours.

Effective communication is a cure to what ails many businesses. Even without it, decisions get made, strategies are determined, staffing is planned, salespeople are working hard, and revenue is on the horizon. Except, if the messages aren’t clear and consistent, and there’s no mutual understanding, you are missing the boat. Actually, you aren’t even on the boat because no one was certain which boat to be on.