Business communication

Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master

Being an entrepreneur means being able to communicate with your employees, your shareholders, your customers, the list goes on… Here are a few tips to communicate effectively

Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs – Being an entrepreneur is more than just coming up with a great idea. It’s more than simply putting that idea to practice, too. As an entrepreneur, you more than likely are going to spend 99% of your time working with others to bring your ideas to life. If you can’t communicate your thoughts and ideas to anyone else, well, unless your business plan calls for a one-person show, you’re out of luck. 

Communication is a critical skill for all entrepreneurs. Even the best idea will never grow if the person who came up with it can’t communicate it effectively. Communication doesn’t just mean talking, either. There are many skills within the subset of communication, from body language to writing to negotiation, which are all critical to success as an entrepreneur

Eric Porat, an online entrepreneur shared with us six key communication skills you must master as an entrepreneur. 

1. Listening

Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs – Listening? You might be confused, but a good listener is on the fast track to becoming an excellent communicator. Entrepreneurs are often so caught up in their own brilliant ideas that they don’t stop to hear the thoughts of those around them. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Try to always focus on the person speaking to you and be sure you can summarize what they said in your own mind before you choose to respond and build on the conversation further. Good listening skills will allow you to serve your clients and manage your employees more effectively, because you’ll be able to identify and respond to their concerns and thoughts.

2. Conversing

Conversation is one of the most basic forms of communication, but because of that, it’s also the foundation for almost every interaction you’ll have as an entrepreneur. Basic conversations with your employees will build trust overtime, and they also can help you realize issues before they blow up and become serious. Meanwhile, a chat on the subway with a stranger just might become a sales opportunity.

If you can learn to speak in a friendly way (listening goes a long way here), you’ll be able to apply it to tons of situations, from sales pitches to conflict resolutions and more.

3. Conflict Management

Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs – Conflict management is one of the key parts of being an entrepreneur. Many managers spend nearly half their day dealing with conflicts. It might be between two employees who hold different opinions about their work or responsibilities, or it might be two of your vendors who had some sort of lapse in communication. 

In all cases, the trick is acknowledging both sides. Put yourselves in the shoes of each individual and figure out why they’re upset and what their point is. If you can’t understand both sides, you can’t resolve the issue. Come from a central ground and give each side their fair due.

Also, if you want to resolve conflicts successfully, you need to learn how to push back productively when an employee is in the wrong. That said, make sure any and all pushback is polite and productive, while remaining non-personal. A good plan is to focus on clarity at all times in conflict management. If you can communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely, it makes it a lot easier for people to listen and understand where you’re coming from.

4. Body Language

Much of communication is nonverbal, so mastering your body language is extremely important. Also, if you’re good with body language, you’ll learn to understand your employees and clients much better just from watching their body language. Posture is extremely critical. Sit or stand straight, keep your shoulders back, and hold your head high. ALWAYS look people in the eye and avoid fidgeting. Keep your hands out of your pockets, as well. 

These are mere basic techniques, and there are dozens upon dozens more. Becoming a body language expert is a great way to master communication subtly, because most people won’t even realize what you’re doing, but YOU will. 

5. Presenting

As an entrepreneur, presenting will have to be your bread and butter. You might be presenting your financials to investors, presenting your services to a client, presenting your business to a buyer, or something else. Even presenting the ideas behind entrepreneurship at an event or convention of sorts may be something in your calendar one day. 

Be clear, be concise, and remain poised at all times. Avoid talking too fast and avoid interjections like “um” at all costs. Good body language, like we talked about above, is critical when presenting. If you can present well, you’ll excel in a variety of settings, so work on your presentation skills today!

6. Writing

You don’t have to be the next Hemingway or Faulkner, but you do need to learn how to write concisely, communicating your thoughts in written form as simply and clearly as possible. Email is probably the most common form of communication in the modern business world. Texting and Slack messaging aren’t far behind. You MUST be able to communicate your thoughts clearly via the written word and avoid misinterpretation as much as possible. Being a skilled writer is a great way to become a superb manager.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

The 4 Tips for Communicating Effectively with Employees as a Leader

4 Tips for Communicating Effectively with Employees as a Leader
When you’re part of a business team, whether you’re the company owner or the newest intern, you have to utilize your communication skills every day. This can include simple conversation or harder communication concepts like expressing something that you want in the best way.

When you’re a leader, the need to communicate effectively increases astronomically. Communication is what keeps the cogs turning in your business, and you’re the one who gives the commands and orders to keep everything running. However, there’s definitely a difference between barking out orders and effectively communicating a task, especially when it comes to employee retention and execution.

Effective communication is about getting across what you want to get across while simultaneously having an open and safe atmosphere for conversation. If you want to better hone your own communication skills as a leader, try out these tips.

  1. Keep communication vocabulary simple and streamlined.

In the workplace, there is a lot of different technical language floating around, but not everyone has the same dictionary in their brain to understand this terminology. For instance, a new intern may not quite grasp the same marketing terms as a professional marketer you’ve had on board for two years.

Thus, keep your directions clear and simplified as much as possible. This isn’t intended to insult the intelligence of your employees, but instead puts a focus on maintaining a common communication bridge.

  1. Use visual cues and stations to illustrate big pictures.

It’s one thing to send out a business-wide email about a certain point you want to get across, but emails are easy to send to the trash or leave unread. While you should still use email as a method of communicating with your team as a whole, it’s also great to go a step further.

Use whiteboards as a visual representation of a big idea you’re trying to get across. Place them around work stations and write your biggest point on them in bright colors. This keeps the message in your employee’s minds all day.

  1. Insert humor where possible.

Here’s something some SMB owners forget: your employees are humans, not automatons. A boss’ idea on this statement is very obvious in how they speak to their employees. When you speak to your employees like robots, they don’t feel like they’re appreciated or human in your eyes.

Talk to your employees like people, and show that you recognize this through humor. Show that you’re all people who have a funny bone and it’s okay to joke around a little in order to get your point across.

  1. Always encourage employee feedback.

One of the ways you may not be effectively communicating is by only giving and not taking. Communication is a two way street by definition. If you aren’t leaving room for feedback, you aren’t actually communicating.

Whenever you allow your employees to give thoughts of their own to the conversation, they feel appreciated. You also may find out that your employees have an insight into something that helps you out more than you realize.