Archive for the ‘Hiring’ Category

Good Business Communications

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

by Jim Noh-Kuhn, Dream Business Coach

In my experience good business communications is about good listening. It’s not about speaking well or writing well – our society, especially in business, handles those reasonably well. But business doesn’t emphasize listening; we don’t send our brightest employees to listening classes or seminars. While we do send them to all kinds of other seminars, we just assume that they know how to listen. That’s because we confuse hearing with listening.

Ultimately, listening is about feeling heard and getting to an understanding. Simply put, good communication involves 5 steps that will lead to understanding and empowerment.

1.    Get clear on what it is you want to say – don’t be afraid of a silent pause while you gather your thoughts.

2.    Actively listen – don’t agree or disagree; understand the others person’s perspective thoroughly; leave your thoughts and idea’s alone for the moment and concentrate on the other person (you can get back to your thoughts later).

3.    Reflect back what you heard – use the stand-by: “here’s what I heard you say… is that correct?”

4.    Ask clarifying questions – ask for additional information; don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t understand; ask the other person if they feel heard (which is an amazing experience on its’ own without any of these other steps).

5.    Agree on a course of action – who’s going to do what and why; allow your intuition, your gut, to guide you to a creative solution that can only come about once you both feel heard.

These steps can be used for spoken or written business communications. My experience is that if you are able to really listen, without any other agenda like speaking your opinions on the subject, then the other person feels heard. When everyone feels heard, conflict disappears. In fact, this type of practice will avoid conflicts in a good way.