Part of being an entrepreneur is mastering a wide range of skill sets. Many of these skills are ones people take for granted that they are already good at, like communication. How do you effectively communicate your marketing message to consumers? To other companies? How do you effectively negotiate with suppliers or communicate your needs to an employee or freelancer?
Mastering communication skills as an entrepreneur is necessary for long term success. Your business can’t grow without other people.
So what types of skills are part of effective communication that you can work on?
Letting People Know You Are Actively Listening
There are two parts to this. There is making sure the people you are listening to know they have your attention, and there is giving it. You don’t want to fake this. Part of building your relationship with the people you’re communicating with is taking in what others have to say.
When you are giving someone your attention, make sure you are listening. Cut out distractions. If your phone is going off, put it on silent and apologize. It’s a common practice to repeat some of what you’ve heard when you reply. Not only does this indicate you were listening, but it clarifies that you understood them correctly.
Learn to Write Well
You’ll be sending many texts, emails, and social media messages as part of your business. You’ll also either be writing marketing messages yourself or approving them. To do this well, you want to write well. Today, this is simply an essential part of effective communication as an entrepreneur.
You can also use online tools like Grammarly to check your work for you while you’re on your device to help speed this up. You can also take copywriting and written communication courses in-person or online to improve this area.
Learn to Express Your Ideas
As an entrepreneur, you have big ideas that need communicating. You need to be thorough in how you express them. Being concise is also important as part of being transparent, but often people will lean too far one way or the other on this. You don’t want to ramble, but you also need to give enough information that people clearly understand what you’re saying.
If you struggle with getting your point across, you may practice writing a first draft of what you want to communicate, just for yourself. Write down every thought you have on the topic. Then read through it and highlight the important parts. This way, you’ve got everything you need and can still cut the extraneous. This is an excellent way to organize your thoughts and practice effective communication.