Communications can be with clients, prospects, family, or friends. They can take various forms, including actual personal conversations, telephone calls, emails, greeting cards, letters, notes, and texts. There are different guidelines for each of these methods, and each has its own hazards that can sink us and our business. We will be known for what we say and how we say it.
These methods of communication may not all be suitable for our business or appropriate for all our clients or prospects. What we say to our family or friends may not be suitable to say to a client or prospect. No matter what we have to communicate, how we say it can have a greater impact. A formal presentation should not be sent as an email, and questions and answers relating to the terms of a major agreement should not be left only in a telephone call. Meeting arrangements should be confirmed by email or a personal telephone call.
Two of the most popular methods of communication are emails and texts. Emails are sent each and every day for a variety of communication needs. From scheduling meetings to confirming information to thanking someone for their assistance, emails support many businesses that need a quick, printable, and archiveable form of communication. Emails have been used in positive and negative ways to define the grounds for business. They should not be written with excessive abbreviations that some people may not understand.
There is an increasing use of texting in communications. Texting should be used for personal, not detailed business, communications. Texting does not provide a trail supporting business communications. The abbreviations in texts are often confusing and sometimes impossible to decipher by some recipients, and there is a formalness in normal business communications that texting does not support. Some people do not have texts activated on their smartphones. When we send those people texts, they never receive them, have no idea that we tried to text them, and we do not receive any notification that our text was not received by them.
Communications should be undertaken with our intent in mind. Telephone calls can be confirmed by written messages; texts should never be used for business communication due to problems with keeping records; abbreviations should be kept out of business communication; business agreements should be finalized and documented in written form. Decide what we want to say, how we want to say it, and then say it appropriately.
No matter what the form of communication that we use or the intended recipient, our content must be truthful, must be complete in every detail, and must be free of all typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors. It is mandatory to proofread our communications with others. We must respect our recipients by spell, grammar, and typo checking our communications and not mixing various types of communication in the same chain of a conversation. A professional business leader should be able to communicate with professional means and professional words.
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