Communication is central to a thriving, successful business. Since many of our business relationships rely on virtual communication, it is important to keep in mind how to avoid communication pitfalls in your business. Clear and timely communication builds trust in partners, and not having face-to-face time with colleagues or partners can sometimes complicate maintaining a professional relationship.
As you navigate the realities of a virtual business world, keep yourself aware of and learn how to avoid communication pitfalls in your business that you may encounter:
Miscommunication through technology
Technology is wonderful. In fact, it’s the reason you can work from anywhere! Still, when we rely on written communication, it can be easy to miscommunicate. We may type off an email, unaware of how it sounds. We may mistype something; sending a completely different message than we intended.
Fixing this problem can be as easy as pausing a few minutes before sending an email. Ask yourself, how does this sound? Does it say what I want it to say? Don’t be afraid to follow up afterwards and make sure your message was delivered as intended.
Accidentally sending information to the wrong person
We have all been in that situation once or twice. We’re in a hurry and begin typing someone’s name into the address line. It auto-fills, and we don’t double-check it. A little later we get a message from that person asking if you intended to send them that message. Sometimes, it isn’t a big deal. Other times, it could be delicate information.
Again, fixing this problem can be as easy as pausing long enough to check the email addresses. This is especially true if you’re sending sensitive information. If it does happen, you can save face with colleagues or partners by apologizing.
Relying on written communication too much
Yes, technology is accessible and easy. It makes staying in touch with others easier than it has ever been. However, it is important to invest time in maintaining and strengthening relationships with colleagues and partners in other ways.
Even if you are a thousand miles apart, you can still connect with others using other techniques. FaceTime is a wonderful tool; allowing you to talk face-to-face. Drop a hand-written letter or thank you card in the mail when you a get a chance. If you happen to be in the same city, go out to lunch. Don’t forget that you can still pick up the phone and have a quick call! By strengthening communication in other ways, you show you are invested in that relationship and you increase trust.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.
Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that helps his clients successfully navigate the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses enhance their results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, organizational development, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at email@example.com.