Chapter 4. Effective Communications

Communication is the ability to motivate, influence, educate, facilitate, persuade, and rally support for your business mission and your personal ideas and goals.

Tony Alessandra, The Platinum Rule

Clear, effective communications are essential for the successful achievement of any organization's objectives. Garbled, misinterpreted communications have repeatedly contributed to the failure of major companies, armies, and nations. Yet many managers, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople think communicating means giving orders, arguing, and defending oneself. Effective communications, however, involve active listening skills, and yet—as the joke goes—a New Yorker's definition of listening is waiting to talk.

Anyone in sales knows that you must listen to your prospective customers to understand their needs, and to maintain long-term customers, you must also walk in their shoes, in their words, rhythms, and tone. In other words, successful businesses are based on long-term relationships in which you connect with your customers. You achieve this special connection by providing outstanding service and by demonstrating that you've heard them and can empathize with their pain, hopes, and aspirations. That level of listening takes you beyond arguing or debating to a deep, felt sense of being heard, accepted, and connected with a fellow human being. This deep connection is based on effective communication that forges loyalty among teammates, employees and customers. ...

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