How to Strengthen Business Relationships with Communication
If you are struggling with connecting in your business relationships, have you reflected on your communication skills? Communication is the most challenging and important part of leadership.
Its importance is greater in a small business where our actions are magnified versus in a corporation where it is easier to not be noticed.
Some of the biggest struggles with communication include:
- How to start the conversation
- How to interpret what was said
- Fear of how the other person will respond or not respond
- What to say so that won’t make the other person upset or defensive
- What to say so we can continue having a healthy relationship
I’ve been there. I’ve put my foot in my mouth (still do, but less often). I’ve avoided conversations which only made things worse. I’ve also not been as straight-forward when needed which led to mixed signals and outcomes.
What makes communication even harder now is how much of it is done via technology instead of in person. You can’t tell tone or see body language in an email or text. This can easily lead to misunderstandings. We try to avoid these problems by inserting smiley faces (🙋♀️ ) in emails and texts so we are perceived as being friendly. Yet misunderstandings can still occur.
Technology should be used as a supplement not a replacement for connection.
Technology should be used as a supplement not a replacement for connection. This morning a colleague texted me with questions about starting a podcast. Instead of texting back and forth I told her she could call me. What could have been a long string of back and forth was a quick phone call of things I had learned when launching Women Who Excel.
I share this to encourage you to not hesitate to pick up the phone, meet in person, or schedule a video call to create a better connection with your members, peers, clients, and team members. Even in our Masterminds, I’ve noticed the relationships have strengthened by adding a 2nd video call each month.
What I love about the Masterminds is the face-to-face conversations. We can share a challenge and dig into why it is happening, what options to consider, and what resources are available. Seeing each woman’s facial expression and body language also helps us know how she is feeling. This allows us to create a better connection by encouraging and/or empowering her. You can’t replicate this connection via text, email, or conversation threads.
If you are looking for leadership support, whether you are leading your community, clients, or team, I encourage you to join me in the Masterminds. The Masterminds are unique to your leadership role in business so you are working with women who understand your challenges.