The art of being a Relationship Architect is ensuring that you adopt a specific practice on how to approach building business relationships. However, even if you understand the principles that make up the characteristics of exceptional Relationship Architecture, you still must be able to communicate properly to make certain that what you are intending is actually the way you are received. I hear a bunch about how important communication is, not only in business but also in personal life. The question is, do we actually pay attention to what we are saying and want to get across? Are we properly tending to the relationship with true and real time communication?
If we all seem to agree that communication in a business relationship is so crucial, then why are we failing at proper and effective communication each and every day? The fact of the matter is that everyone absorbs information in different ways. So you cannot take one approach to communicating with everyone you interact with. You really need to customize how you communicate with each end user. Some folks are better communicators than others, but as with anything you try to perfect, you must have a playbook and you have to practice. Here are The Three C’s to Effective Communication that may help you become more aware of your communication skills and improve on them.
1) Consistency: When you communicate in any relationship, you need to do so in a well-thought out manner. You should think about prior concepts and when you should introduce new thoughts to your audience. Consistency in your approach is so important to help folks get a feel for how you operate. This doesn’t mean you have to be predictable, but you do need to be steadfast in your message and approach. What do I mean by this exactly? Let’s say that you want to inform your fans or customers of a new policy that your company is implementing. First and foremost, everyone in the organization must be on the same page and understand the precision of the message. Then you must decide which vehicles (other than staff) to utilize to convey the new policy. Once the appropriate mechanism is determined, you must make sure all remaining communication methods do not contradict the new policy or initiative. This includes all departments within your organization. The consistency in conveying the precise message is very important to adoption.
Consistency is important not only for companies as in the example above, but also essential for an individual’s communication. How consistent you are in the way you speak or engage with others, and how much thought you put into what you are conveying and how well it lines up with all other communications, will determine whether you are trusted or not. It will also aid in how others will respond to your position.
2) Candor: When you are crafting what you are going to say to others, you most likely want to put a positive spin on things, because you believe that a positive spin will put you in a positive light. Sure, that may be the case, but if, and only if, the positive spin is real. People are not stupid; if it is pure spin and not, in fact, truthful, your message will backfire, and you will be thought of in a negative way, and your credibility will be eroded. Candor is imperative in communication, so when you make a statement, folks sit up and take notice. There is nothing wrong with being positive about your message, but true transparency is much more effective than spin. Think about every political figure or celebrity who has gotten into a jam. Those who admit to the negative aspects, and say they have made mistakes are more apt to be understood than the ones who come out claiming how perfect they are and that they did nothing wrong. Fact of the matter is, nothing and no one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes, and most people know this.
So, you are much better off being direct and straight, because that approach will attract folks to your message. If you communicate in this fashion, all your messages will resonate more with others. When you “beat around the bush” or tell half of the story, two things will definitely happen: 1) folks are eventually going to find out more of the truth; and 2) others are going to be thinking, “What else are they hiding?” Without candor in your message, you diminish the impact and acceptability.
3) Customization: When communicating your message, you cannot assume that everyone absorbs or reacts to information in the same manner. There are nuances that make us each individuals, and even people with similar beliefs can read into things differently. So, understanding the groups and individuals to whom you are conveying the message is extremely important for effective communication and a complete understanding of the message. Ok, I just stated above not to spin things, so how is this different? I’m not telling you to “handle” people and alter the facts or the information. Customization is all about making sure the person receiving the communication is able to digest it as you meant it, rather than how they translate it. So understanding how to craft the message and the manner which it is delivered to a group or an individual is the key point. When I was a kid, my mother always said to me, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” When you deliver the message in a manner and method that is most comfortable to those receiving it, the chances are better that they will understand and accept it.
To convey your precise position, you must know your audience. Many great concepts and ideas have twisted in the wind and failed because the folks receiving the message were not taken into consideration. When you jam thoughts and concepts down people’s throats, they will tend to spit them back up at you. So, know to whom you are speaking, and think through how you are delivering the message.
The Three C’s of Effective Communication are just a few tips on how to practice successful communication. To be an exceptional Relationship Architect, a well-honed method by which you communicate to others is an ingredient that cannot be absent. It’s one thing to know the building blocks of a remarkable business relationship; it’s another thing to execute it to the fullest. Practicing and employing effective communication skills will propel you to exceptional status in the relationship building business.