“No matter what job you have in life, your success will be determined 5% by your academic credentials, 15% by your professional experiences, and 80% by your communication skills.”~ Stephen Wang, online entrepreneur
I talk about communicating effectively quite often, because time and time again, I see it being a reoccurring challenge for my clients – in fact, it’s the number one reason I’ve found for their success to be halted, so let’s address this today!
Do you know what it means to be an effective communicator?
Well, from my perspective of having been in the service space (hospitality, health, media, and events) for 30 years, I’ve been in many situations that have required me to be astute with my communications prowess, because something big was at stake that required careful strategy to ensure that it went as planned and that all stakeholders got what they were looking for. Things like closing a big sponsorship deal with a multinational corporation or cultivating a campaign with a celebrity for a cover story or event attendance.
I attest that these successes have been based mostly on communicating effectively, because I have always understood the immense power of utilizing this skill to cultivate relationships that are based on mutual and reciprocal wins. Additionally, I can unequivocally say that on the flip side, I have failed miserably when the communication has been strained or distraught, where we have not been able to create a circumstance where we have co-created a solution that works for everyone. Duly, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that business success has everything to do with being able to effectively communicate first and foremost.
So let’s break this down a bit . . .
Communicating is a 2 or more way street, where certain criteria has to be in place in order for it to be effective. Here are 5 of the main ones:
1. Being informed through research and due diligence – this is something that if not done well, can stop the entire process before it’s begun. Spending the time to do this meticulously BEFORE you approach a stakeholder, is of paramount importance. Too many people fail to do this, thus set themselves up to fail, even if the other components are in place.
2. Knowing who your stakeholders are – although this is a part of the due diligence process above, very few people invest an adequate amount of time and effort into doing this. The extent tends to be reading the company or person’s bio and not getting into the values and beliefs behind why they do what they do, and for what intention.
3. Finding a common thread – most people focus on trying to convince the stakeholders why their idea, project, or campaign should be chosen, rather than focusing on presenting an opportunity that qualifies and quantifies why a merger between both (or more sides) is advantageous to their values, beliefs, and where they want to go. Replacing the ‘me’ with ‘we’ will get you the deal (almost) every time.
4. Choosing the appropriate tools for the win – 50% is about getting a stakeholder’s attention and the other 50% is about sustaining it long enough to present the pertinent information to back up why the opportunity to collaborate is of mutual benefit.
- In order to get their attention, you have to factor in all of the previous 3 criteria because it’s these that will ensure that the stakeholders are invested.
- To sustain their attention, you have to be very intentional about the words you use, the cadence with which you present the words, the pauses you orchestrate to direct them to an important point that you want them to absorb, and the eye contact being direct when you’re emphasizing a point, asking a question, and when asking them for their feedback.
5. Listening to everyone’s point of view – I don’t mean pretending to listen, I mean ACTUALLY listening so that you can hear what they are saying and address just that. This is not an opportunity to reinforce ‘you’, but rather, an opportunity to reinforce ‘we’.
Now let me ask you: how effective of a communicator are you?
If you’re in need of direction on how to become an effective communicator, send me an email to set up a free, no obligation call and let’s explore how I can guide you through my one-on-one coaching service (Consult With Raj Girn), to move the dial towards your intended direction: [email protected].
Words to ponder . . .
“For me, everything about being successful is about creating a system that is formulative and replicative, because in order to grow exponentially, you only want to do the work once, pass it along to others to execute, and reap the rewards forever. Make THAT happen, and you’ll always be successful” ~ Raj Girn
Until next time.