Peak Performance: The Art of Communication
Charles, Kirk, Black Enterprise
Refine your skills now so your business can thrive later
Communication, the heart of business, is the most important of all entrepreneurial skills. Why? "The destiny of your business depends on the quality of your relationships," says Geneva M. Hall, owner and operator of the Hair Castle Inc. in Somerville, New Jersey. Your ability to transmit information helps "both clients and employees feel they can communicate with and ultimately trust you," he adds.
Effective communication is especially crucial for new entrepreneurs and their employees, since they'll spend a great deal of AIM time recruiting prospective clients, investors and suppliers to help get the business off the ground. Hall used her seven years of corporate experience as an account representative at Lever Brothers in Parsippany, New Jersey, to develop a communication training program for her Hair Castle employees. The most important point of the program: "Ambiguous language only confuses clients and colleagues. Always be clear and concise in what you say."
While good communication does include techniques such as speaking audibly and maintaining eye contact, what you say is just as important as how you say it. Here's how to do both:
* Choose your words carefully. You don't want to lose business with inappropriately worded questions. For example, "When are you going to sign the contract?" applies a lot of pressure to a client. Instead, try "What do I need to do to help you make a decision. …