Monday, January 23, 2012

Communication Commandments

Author and communication expert Cliff Michaels has a new book out on entrepreneurial thinking. I think he's onto something when he recognizes that an entrepreneurial mindset is essential to a successful venture.

With entrepreneurship on the uptick these days, and more people persuaded that self-employment is the wave of the future, we could probably all afford to learn about entrepreneurial thinking.

Here are Michaels' dozen communications commandments for entrepreneurs:

#1: Mastering the Art of Listening. We learn far more from what we hear than what we say. Only through listening can we communicate well.

#2: Communicate with Integrity. The impeccable wisdom of Don Miguel Ruiz rings truer than ever, "speak with integrity, say what you mean, avoid speaking against yourself or others, and use the power of your word for truth."

#3: Consider the Facebook and Twitter Effect. We have to know our audience, especially if we are building a personal or company brand. There's an enormous difference between whispering a dirty joke to a friend versus posting a memo for the world to see.

#4: Focus on First Impressions. Smile, find common ground, and use someone's name often. We get one shot at first impressions.

#5: Show Respect and Master Civil Discourse. Speak softly, admit when you're wrong, and try to take the higher ground. It's to your advantage to let the other person go first.

#6: Never Assume. Communication requires listening, learning, and sharing. Don't assume people get you. Don't assume gender, race, or social status tell us anything about someone's experience or intelligence.

#7: Don't Fail to Communicate. Silence can be tragic. Relationships and projects fail when no one shares knowledge and opinions. Speak up or suffer the consequences.

#8: Be Specific. If you want specific results, you need specific communication. The popular acronym for sales, goal setting, and communication excellence is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Oriented.

#9: Manage Expectations. He who promises most will perform least. Under promise and over deliver.

#10: Consider Your Delivery Options. Private or public? Online or offline? Formal or informal? Choose the medium wisely.

#11: Practice Humility and Gratitude. Three simple words will make you the world's most gracious communicator. Please and Thank You.

#12: Grade Yourself Now and Then. What exactly did you communicate? Check the word choice, brand awareness, and social intelligence.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so tweetable. Plus I'll read it about a hundred times.