Simple communication advice I can share with you – these tips have helped me become a better communicator around the office, to my co-workers and my clients:
- Open your ears. So you have a great idea? Everyone else does too. Share your idea and open your ears. Your “great idea” could evolve and come to life. Someone could help make your next great idea become phenomenal.
- Just stop. Using the word “just,” that is. The word minimizes the amount of work involved with your request. Instead of asking my designer to “just change the color to something brighter,” I now skip the “just” and ask her to “change the color to something brighter.” She can decide how easy or difficult it is, and let me know.
- No more buts about it. Any sentence becomes more positive by replacing the word “but” with the word “and.” For example: “I like your idea, but…“ sounds like I’m about to slam the brakes on an idea. Instead, I say “I like your idea, and…” because it sounds like I am enhancing the idea. It’s a great way of disagreeing without being disagreeable!
- Compliment-a-day rule. A “great shirt” or “did you get a haircut?” can go a long way. It shows that you notice the little things, and in our business, little things can make a big impact. I’ve never heard a complaint about someone that is too complimentary.
- Clear as a bell. Whether I’m face-to-face, email, voicemail or text, I try to say what I mean, clearly…and quickly. Ever find yourself explaining a problem before you ask for something? Switch that around – I’ve found it’s best to ask for what I want first, then get into the details.