Good Business Communication
It’s good to talk, but sometimes we don’t always say what
we think. For a long time the norm in business was that group discussion and
decision-making was better than individual decision-making, but this has since
been overtaken by alternative views.
Sometimes groups make very bad decisions, rejecting
outside opinions or information. In the warmth of a like-minded group, people
reassure themselves that they are right when in fact they have been looking
only for evidence that confirms their objectives.
Genuine, real listening is a rare commodity and a great
gift, because you are giving to the person you are listening to your most
valuable asset – your attention. Here are some tips.
As soon as you start thinking about what you could ask next,
what you would prefer to be telling the other person, or what you want to cook
for supper tonight, you’ve lost concentration.
The other person will notice this and have the feeling you are not
engaged. Which you aren’t.
Don’t finish the other person’s….
Some people have a tendency to impatiently finish the
sentence or thought of the person they are talking to. Although very slow thinking and talking can
be irritating, don’t interrupt.
Your body language says a lot
Look the other person in the eye – but don’t stare. Nod – but only if you want to agree with what
they are saying or show that you have understood something important.
Notice the little things
Listen out for details in what they are saying and pick up
on these later. This makes it easier to
ask questions and lets the other person know that you’re really listening.
Be a friend, not a judge
Resist the impulse to give the other person advice – unless they specifically ask for it. Instead, take the conversation back to an important part of the story.Why we don’t speak up is a phenomenon known as the “spiral of silence”. Most people have a fear of isolation and observe the behaviour of others to assess which opinions will be accepted or rejected. “We fear isolation more than being wrong” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville.We tend to conceal our opinion if we think that it will expose us to group pressure. If we feel public support, however, we tend to express our opinion loudly and clearly. We can all use this knowledge to help our business communications.
31 July 2019