Finding a Voice in Business

6 Aug

Remember all the things Mom used to say? “Be careful what you wish for.” “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Although at that time she was undoubtedly coaching us through our growing-up years, Mom’s words apply equally well to business.

In business, everyone — from production workers to executives — wants to be heard and to feel that their opinion matters. Too often, however, communication that is less than positive prevents people from being taken seriously. Here are a few tips on communicating in effective and positive ways in order to help make sure your voice is heard:

  • Say positive things as often or more often than negative things. Surely, there are good things to talk about!
  • Make sure you mean what you say. Don’t complain just to be able to say something.
  • Be truthful and be careful to not exaggerate. People will take you more seriously.
  • Offer a solution for every problem you bring forth. Nobody likes to have problems dumped upon them.
  • Go to the source. If you have a problem with “Sally,” approach Sally. Don’t go to all of Sally’s co-workers.
  • There is almost always a positive way to phrase something. Think about how you want to say it before you say it.
  • Listen carefully to others. They, too, want to be heard.
  • Don’t be a “yeah, but” person.
  • Explore a person’s thoughts behind an idea rather than dismissing it. It was important enough to him or her to bring it up.
  • Find out the facts before forming an opinion. Jumping to conclusions leads to wrong impressions and actions.
  • Don’t gossip. Let others form their own opinions.
  • If someone does you a favor, be appreciative.

Just following these few simple tips will help ensure that your input is well-received. Happy communicating!

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