The Art of Effective Communication in the Small Business World
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Are Your Goals SMART? - By Edward Abel
As with any profession, effective communication is essential to the success of small business. Whether you are meeting with a client, emailing an employee or phoning a vendor, you need to give great care to the quality of your communications to ensure that all parties comprehend the intended message. Below are two points to consider in the back of your mind with all of your communications.
Communication is a process, not an event
Communication is the process of sending and receiving information. That's it. It's no more complicated than that. So, what makes communication seem so difficult, or even impossible, sometimes? The difficulties relate to the complexities that human beings bring to communication, such as:
- Environmental distractions
- Personal distractions
- Hidden agendas
- Internal filters
- Lack of interest or motivation
- Emotional distractions or self-talk
- Indirect or unintended forms of communication, such as body movement and facial expressions
Each Person Must Take 100% Responsibility
Every time you communicate, you are 100% responsible for effective communication, even when others are not taking their 100% responsibility.
Notice that the concept is NOT that Person A is 50% responsible and Person B is 50% responsible. Being 50% responsible is qualitatively different than being 100% responsible. Imagine a setting where two people are having a conflict. And imagine that each person is only 50% responsible for communicating effectively. This leaves room for Person A to blame Person B for whatever is not working.
Now imagine that each person is 100% responsible for communicating effectively. If each person takes 100% responsibility, there is no room to blame the other person. It is each person's responsibility to find a way to make communication work.
100% responsibility does not mean that each person must communicate perfectly. Communication is an imperfect process. Perfection, no matter how badly it is wanted, is impossible. Without 100% responsibility, it would be too easy to say, "Person B is a terrible communicator. She needs help."
Instead, 100% responsibility means that Person A must not only strive to communicate effectively with Person B, but also must look within him/herself to see what he/she could have done differently.
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Are Your Goals SMART? - By Edward Abel
About the Author: Edward Abel
RSS for Edward's articles - Visit Edward's website
Ed Abel has invested more than three decades learning how to build a successful, thriving business. At age 24 with a $5,000 loan and the energy and passion of a young entrepreneur, Ed was ready to take on the world. And he did, only to emerge seven years later at the top of a $36 million organization with 585 employees. Inspired by the challenges that led him to success, Ed went on to build other multi-million dollar businesses, yet he missed the passion he experienced "in the trenches" of his formative years.
Determined to find a way to educate and advise others in the construction and sustainability of a vital business, he founded ABEL Business Institute. Over the course of this process, he developed The SkillPreneur Business System, a systematic approach to the construction, maintenance, and growth of a business's--an approach that has become the philosophy and methodology of ABEL Business Institute.
Ed is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial studies at New York University (NYU) as well as the Director of the business division at the world class Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). At iPEC, Ed directs the business division that is responsible for supporting the graduate coaches in their business development process.
Click here to visit Edward's website.
More from Edward Abel
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