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Want to be an effective communicator? 7 Daily Habits to transform your relationships and results.

John J Maxwell | June 22, 2017

In a competitive, fast moving business environment, everyone is look for an edge over their competition. Since the inception of the internet, as a society, we've become more educated as information is readily available at our finger tips. The modern customer is looking for something more from businesses - especially within professional services.

Communication is one of those business edges which can catapult your success above your peers. Now I don't mean becoming a slick salesman - we're not in the 80's and we're not selling used cars.

What I'm referring to is mastering the art of communication. You should always be striving to be a better communicator. To do this involves taking 100% responsibility for communication. This includes the effective delivery of the communication as well as the effective receipt of the communication.

Responsibility is irrespective of fault or blame. The intention is always for clear and effective communication. Don't get upset with others' who don't possess the level of communication skills you have, especially those who altogether lack these skills - remember the desired outcome and find another way to cause this result. Changing your communication or approach can be all that is required to be effective.

This is a very big topic, however, I'm going to break it down into some key components which mastered well will sky-rocket your results and your relationships - both internal and external.

Here's my 7 Daily habits to Effective Communication:

Listen. The art of listening is more difficult to master than one might imagine. It's a skill which is never finished and requires continual attention. There are two parts to this which requires focus and attention. 1. Listening + 2. Hearing. Combined these equate to paying attention, acknowledging the communication (verbal or non-verbal) and comprehending the communication.
Talk Less. It is very difficult to listen intently, when you are talking. The best interaction is allowing one person to talk at a time, with all others listening without distraction and giving their undivided attention. Besides, people like you more when they get to do at least most of the talking! This is especially important in meetings such as sales appointments, where you are gathering information as well as building rapport.
Focus. Often, people are distracted, withdraw their attention and focus and are not retaining what was said. It's also courteous to look at the person whom is speaking rather than doodling on your paper, or worse yet, checking your social media during a meeting / conversation. Be present in all meetings and engagements. As a speaker, you must be present to your whole environment including, in an auditorium, the front, middle and back sections. This is an art form great speakers embrace very well.
Slow Down. It can be very nerve racking speaking in front of an audience. The best way to communicate effectively (especially whilst you are nervous) is to 'slow down'. Most tend to speak faster and get flustered when you're nervous - this can often spiral out of control. Slowing your speaking down draws in your audience, sets a calmer tone and allows you time to think about what you are saying.
Think More. All great communicators prepare prior to any meeting or speaking engagement. It pays to break down what you are going to speak about into just a few key points and maybe a few sub-points. Preparing means you'll be speaking about something you know. Don't try to 'wing it' and make it up as you go. Thinking more about what you are going to say gives you more confidence and also forces you to slow down and speak clearly and succinctly. To be a great communicator, you will need to spend more time thinking from the shoes of the receiver(s). Your vocabulary and construct is crucial in delivering and ensuring the correct message is received and understood correctly. As a responsible communicator you will need to think ahead about potential issues to overt. Be on the front foot.
Confirm. Feedback is important for both the speaker and the audience. Ask questions of confirmation that your listener or audience are getting what you are saying. This also ensures your audience is present and engaged and not falling asleep. This also gives you more confidence and checks in if you need to back-track and elaborate any details or keeping moving forward. Listen to both the answers and the non-verbal queues eg. body language or even the lack of response. Great speakers develop an acute sense of understanding if the audience is with them or not.
Be consistent. This is often one of the the biggest challenges. Great communicators develop clear methods and styles of communication based on mastering all 7 points. The more consistent you are in your communication, the more credibility you're receive and the more people you will reach and connect with. Your communication is a key and direct element of your personality. Learn from your own and others' poor communications and habits.

What about when communicating via email?

The above habits are also important to be used when you are emailing or texting clients. They are just as relevant in this setting and just as important. Especially in reference to confirming receipt of every email. There's nothing worse than waiting for an email response that never arrives because it was never received - but nobody knew, right? Not taking responsibility can cost you clients when they assume you're not interested and proceed with someone else or your opposition.

Take time to slow down and prepare your emails clearly and intently with good thought about how the email will be received and interpreted as a third-party. Third-person thinking will be one of your most valuable assets.

Theses 7 points are a great reference point for all communications both written and verbal. Remember, as a great communicator, taking 100% responsibility for communication (even when it's not your fault or your responsibility) will sky-rocket your results and relationships.

John J Maxwell, senior mortgage and finance consultant, Cocalex Consulting


If you have any questions or contributions relating to this article, please take the time to comment below and share your thoughts or opinions for the benefit of others reading this. No doubt this topic commands interaction, innovation and collaboration. The more answers that are delivered, the more questions that will arise. If you have any personal questions or queries, please feel free to contact me.


About the author:

John Maxwell is founder and Senior Finance & Business Strategist at Cocalex Consulting. John has over 17 years' experience in the financial services sector, and has owned and managed 9 mortgage franchises and has developed a background across the holistic financial services realm. He has particular focus and passion for: Leadership Training and Development, Franchise Development and Business Networking.

About Me

John J Maxwell

Current Rating: 4.88 / 5
Financial Services Executive
Cocalex Consulting
Millers Point, New South Wales
With over 30 years experience as an entrepreneur and 20 years in financial services, John is well positioned as a business consultant and content creator for finance professionals and mortgage brokers.

Contact John on M: 0434 544 225 or
E: john@cocalexconsulting.com.au

John is the founder of Cocalex Consulting, focusing on Industry article writing videos; infographics; eBooks; social media campaigns and consulting services within the allied professional services sector.