So much of business is communication: in-person, email, phone, messaging channels, newsletters; and it happens on so many levels. It is easy to lose track of yourself and your goals in communication. One frustrating meeting can change your tone for the whole afternoon. This article, originally from Laurie Thomas Ross, Founder of Wild Web Women is primarily geared towards web-based small business owners, but the tips can be helpful in anyones everyday communications.
Original Article: http://wildwebwomen.com/the-power-of-mindful-communication/#.WYI6v_9MX9A.twitter
The beauty of being your own boss is that you have control of your business. What you do, when you do it, what to charge, how you conduct yourself. It took me years to understand that one of the most beautiful parts of being my own boss is having the ability to control communications. The power of mindful communication can boost sales, motivate your team and can resolve challenging business situations.
To practice the power of mindful communication, here are three things to focus on:
#1 – Tone
The way you speak can communicate more than your actual words. Having positive energy and confidence in your voice and online messages will help attract ideal clients, responses and secure trust in the people you work with.
Confidence is contagious.
I can’t tell you how many amazingly super talented women I have met who come across sounding shy and anxious. Nobody wants to work with or for someone who makes them feel uneasy. If you are tired, upset or stressed, take a step back and make sure that your message (in person, phone or even via email!) does not come through in your tone. Even when things aren’t going as well, know you can always turn it around and find a different perspective.
You have the power to manage your message!
Here’s an easy and effective trick that will transform your tone: If you’re talking on the phone, talk in front of the mirror (or put a small mirror on your desk) and make sure you are smiling while you talk. While this might sounds silly, it works. Your tone will automatically sound more energetic and assured. Pair this with monitoring your talking speed (when you talk too fast you sound nervous) and you will already be on your way towards creating confidence in your clients.
If you are dealing with a customer who is being, well, not so pleasant, you DO NOT have to get on their negative train! Being positive can turn things around! We don’t solve problems by being problematic – think positive, think solutions and steer the communications that way!
Never, ever start communications on a negative note. No “I’m so tired” or ripping into someone who sent you a nasty email. It is human nature for people to be defensive so find a way to speak in a way that is positive. Even if someone is emailing you nastygrams, starting your email reply with something positive like: “I appreciate you letting me know where you are coming from…” (then proceed to educate them why they are out of left field – ha!)
The way you communicate can either repel or attract business. People want to play on a winning team, so make sure your tone evokes calm, positivity and confidence.
#2 – Clarity/Focus
You started your web-based businesses with a purpose. Know that and OWN that.
Your purpose is your communications compass.
Be clear about who you are, what you do, whom you serve and what your values are. My first web-based business was called Lorrie Thomas Web Marketing. I wanted to leave the confines of corporate hell and leave commuting and working with people I didn’t choose behind. At the time, I was clear that I wanted to do web marketing, but who I wanted to serve and what I stood for weren’t fully defined. It took me two years to understand that my purpose was to help small businesses get on a better path with a relationship-focused approach and the people I LOVED serving were passionate professionals (not soulless people who just wanted to make a quick buck). When I let go of the wrong clients, it opened me up to being ready for my ideal clients. By voicing my value and values, I began to work with and attract really amazing people.
A clear purpose and focus also helps you manage tough conversations. I’d be lying if I said every client I have worked for was wonderful or was 100% happy with me. However, when times weren’t peachy, I would remove emotion (which sometimes means taking a step away from the computer and getting your thoughts straight) and I would get clear. I would always go back to my purpose and make sure the way I was communicating was supporting my goal.
This also goes for your marketing messaging. Your tagline, website copy, about page, bios on social media. All of these need to be on brand and on purpose.
#3 – Own Your Value
There are tons of other capable companies that can do what you do. It’s your job to communicate to potential clients why they should pick you.
If you don’t believe in yourself, how the hell will you get other people to believe in you?
Know what you can bring to the table and what makes you unique needs to be clear so you can communicate it to others.
Tell your story in a way that will sell your story.
Remember, it is up to you to control the conversation.