Mia sat in the local coffee shop as she caught up on some emails Sunday afternoon. While she sipped on her coffee, she overheard the manager yelling at one of the baristas for making a drink wrong. The employee looked incredibly apologetic and somewhat scared. After the conversation, the employee worked slower to ensure there were no more mistakes which ultimately caused the line to be longer and the customers to be more frustrated.
This got Mia to thinking about a conversation she had with her Uncle Matt.
“Communication is not a skill,” he said. “There’s nothing unique about communication. Everybody can communicate, even a new born baby” he went on. “You don’t need a specific skill set to do that.”
After seeing the conversation between the manager and the barista, she knew that communication, especially effective communication, was in fact 100% a skill.
As Mia gathered her things to leave, she approached the clearly upset barista and told her that she was doing a great job.
Being able to communicate well with your employees and your clients will only improve your business. The practice of staying calm while expressing a clear and concise message isn’t a skill that everyone is good at. Here are some tips that can create a better relationship between you and your clients during a meeting.
- Start a meeting with some light conversation. This will make you seem more personable and build a rapport between you and the client. They will also feel more comfortable asking questions and suggesting ideas throughout the meeting.
- Listen actively. This is the most important. Avoid bringing in distractions to your meetings such as cell phones or laptops. This will allow you to give your full attention to your client.
- Give your client options. Never go in with a set plan because what you want to do with the project and what your client likes may not be the same. Also, make sure you have an open mind when your client is providing feedback.
- At the end of a meeting, ask what medium they would prefer to communicate through, moving forward. Knowing if your client prefers phone calls over emails will help you be more efficient.
- Follow up! This will show that you are dedicated to the success of your client. Recap certain deadlines and just check in to make sure new needs haven’t come up.
Communication is something that makes the world go round so take the time to gather your thoughts and approach every situation with a level head. Your clients will appreciate you for your open-mind and will feel more comfortable approaching you with concerns. A little kindness can go a long way.