There is nothing worse than spending time communicating with someone and then you find out they were not listening.
After spending time, valuable time, putting together thoughts, sharing it in an email or via a live conversation, the response clearly demonstrates the other party was NOT paying attention at all.
What do you do next?
- There is possibly a few steps that may have needed to take place in advance to help ensure effective communication is in place AND working.
- There is a possibility that this is not be a good match.
- There is a possibility that your communication was missing something.
- There is a possibility that some things will never make sense.
- There is a possibility the other party is a boo boo head and no amount of communication will ever make a difference. You are responsible for not recognizing that a long time ago yet you keep trying. Let go, bye, bye.
It takes two to make ANY relationship work. It does not matter if its personal, business, friendship or love, each person has a responsibility in the relationship.
Of course you have to want it to work and be willing to put in the effort.
Creating time to learn the others style and thought process will aid in the development of the relationship and enhance communication.
It is especially critical when building business relationships.
Business relationships may be a bit more difficult if there are partnerships and teams…but there will always be one that takes the lead and that is the main person to focus on. Once you have mastered the style of that lead person, clear communication can take place.
Now, let’s nurture the relationship and communicate our asses off!
Listening is a talent.
Many of us are just not good listeners. In today’s technological environment, someone is trying to talk to us all the time.
Sometimes it is too difficult to actively listen.
Think about it:
- We are building relationships on at least 2 or 3 social networks if not more.
- Emails are coming in like crazy because we are always signing up for information we think will help us grow or teach us something.
- Our favorite, valuable bloggers are posting great stuff everyday, gotta find time to read a few of those.
- Our clients are juggling for time with us on top of the projects we are completing for them.
- We are trying to stay relevant so we are continually educating ourselves and signing up for webinars and courses.
- Then there’s all those personal items we are trying to handle which can include spouses, mates, children, friends, hobby or just cooking a meal.
- Did I mention that somewhere in there we have to find time to clean up, organize, and have fun.
Then, you send an email communicating one more thing and quite possibly it landed at the wrong time.
It may have arrived when I was not in the mood (too much is going on), so it gets set aside. I am not actively listening.
If all those things mentioned earlier weren’t happening, I may have been able to actively listen to what you had to say. How would you get my attention?
Sometimes there is nothing you can do but wait, give the other side time to digest the information, and respond…we just might be busy with a few more things that have more priority.
Listening begins with self-awareness; accountability of understanding our own personal style and the style of those we are communicating with.
- What’s the best method to communicate with a new client for example?
- What’s the best method for one to communicate with you?
I tend to intentionally “over communicate” with new clients, probably in an attempt to over-deliver as well, but I will check in a week or so after we start to ensure my style is not overwhelming. If so, what would be a better approach?
Yes, I ask prior to working with the client what is the preferred method of communication, well honestly – most of the time, sometimes I may get caught up in the complexity of work, but it is always good to check in and request feedback after working together has begun.
Some of us suck at communicating. We don’t think so because in our minds we are putting an effort in it
At times people are so stuck on what THEY have to say they don’t listen to what is being told TO them. It does not matter what method is utilized to communicate, when one is not paying attention, one is not listening.
Suggestion: Ask if the person has the time now, or soon. If you need an answer in less than 24 hours, send me an email, text message, live call, or online chat and find out if this is a good time to talk about an issue. Utilize the communication method we already agreed upon.
My style will tell you to call me or text me. When a client reallllly wants to talk they always call don’t they?
How many times has someone assumed you have time to talk about their issue, or situation, they call and jump in?
Hopefully boundaries are set. If not, it’s time to set some.
I had a client that I did not set clear boundaries with and she would call me all the time, any day. I eventually resented it and it showed up in my voice at times.
I did not even recognize it until a roommate pointed it out.
We had been working together for about 4 years by then. I worked very hard at correcting that and I tried to set boundaries.
I stopped being so responsive in the evenings and weekends. She always left a message anyway and often called back 10 minutes later to make sure I received the first message.
I tried very hard to be patient, supportive and listen. Of course a person like that is all over the place and to work with that style, you have to be patient at all times.
Your patience, will reduce your stress and help the communication between the two of you.
She appreciated my responsiveness for the most part, but she also took it for granted. My resentment came back.
After seven years, she called me one day and said we were not on the same page and it was time to part ways. As much as I did not want to lose the consistent income, in the long run I was less stressed.
I learned a valuable lesson that boundaries were important and need to be established in the beginning. Especially when you discover that your new client is over-active.
I knew before she became my client that she was going to be a little intense, and for 98% of our time we worked just fine. I should have communicated my boundaries and stuck to them.
We Have Choices
There is always an opportunity of choice. We choose to continue working with clients that may not fit and probably because of the additional income.
If it is about money, all money is not good money and often not worth it.
What we put out we get back. Take responsibility for the role you play and take a cold hard look at what you created.
As hard as I know this is, sometimes we just have to let go.
We have to believe that what is good for us should not feel or be like this.
When you know that you have done all you can, communicated to the best of your ability and provided the best service or product possible…it just may be time to say bye.
Learn the Language
When you order a carbonated drink, do you say “pop” or soda?
What if I ordered a “red pop”? Would you know that is a strawberry soda?
The point is, we all communicate differently depending on our environments.
Our surroundings play a major role in our communication styles.
A few more points to consider:
- What is most important, priorities?
- Solidify what each will be responsible for.
- What processes do we need so that we complement one another?
- What are we gaining by merging our lives together?
- What steps can we take to completely merge, grow our families – our team?
As we continue to grow, it’s key to check in and determine if the relationship is working. Don’t wait for a storm to hit and then wonder wha’ happened!
Be willing to devote time and effort into the relationship, it will take time. Are you willing to invest in it?
This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival where we discuss this months topic is about “Can You Hear Me Now? Make sure you and your customers speak the same language”. Make sure to check out the posts here from the other carnies who are very clever bloggers/business owners as they share their thoughts as well.