As a writer, I pay attention to what people write and say. I do my best to be an astute listener and reader. Communications is my business. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my previous work experience and the communications I’ve had with people over the years. I think about the emails I wrote and received over the years and want to cringe. I often think, “Did I write or say that? Did that person write that? What were they thinking?” You really don’t realize the impact of your words; unless, you take a step back and think about it from a reader’s perspective. You can’t control how someone will react; however, you could read and re-read your correspondence and think about how it may be received. How you speak and what you write does matter.
How to communicate with external and internal customers
1. Listen to people. Don’t interrupt people when they speak. Hold space for them where they feel ‘safe’ to openly speak their mind. Try your best not to ‘judge’ them or their words, thoughts. This can be easier said than done. Do your best to really listen to people, it will make a difference in your business and life.
2. Read and reread emails. It’s too bad I didn’t keep the emails I wrote and received. Oh well! I could always ‘recreate’ them, not. Before you send an email, it would behoove you to read and read it. What is the tone? How will it be received by the recipient(s)? Keep in mind, you can’t control how people react; however, you could take a step back and review what your words. Are they encouraging? Are they hostile? How do your words motivate people? Will they want to work with or for you? Ask these and other questions before you send an email.
3. Understand your target audience. Your audience may not understand the ‘lingo or jargon’ used within your business. Always be aware of your audience. You don’t want them to say, “What the heck is he/she speaking about?” If you’re target understands the industry lingo then by all means speak their language.
4. You need people. Let’s face it; you won’t be in business long if your customers and employees leave. A few months ago, Piers Morgan interviewed Donnie and Marie Osmond; they were big (still going strong) in the 1970s. Donnie said, “I’m an entertainer. It’s my job to entertain people.” He’s right. If people don’t purchase tickets to see Donnie and Marie’s show in Vegas, Donnie and Marie will be sent packing. Unless, of course; their families buy ALL of the tickets and sell out the show every night. I don’t think that will happen.
5. Say “Thank You” once in a while. It won’t kill you to say “Thank You” for working for me or purchasing my products and services. Let people know they matter to you. Remember, you won’t get far without the help from others. It’s something to think about.