Consider the way in which you communicate with your personal contacts, family members and friends. You are expected to return calls, e-mails and texts. You make plans to spend time together and remain in touch because you value the bond. These are established relationships and there is a social and personal cost to not being timely, caring and responsive.
Likewise, the rules of communication in business are not so different, often unspoken yet expected. So how do you manage in a space where you may not even know who the person is but you must communicate in a high value way? Understand that they need the same attention as any good relationship requires.
Return a phone call
Respond to an e-mail within 24-hours
Clearly communicate with details and directions
Follow-up on a request
Do what you say you will do
Remember what is important to them
Value what is most important to them
While these may seem like common courtesies, you will set yourself apart by being a timely and effective communicator and resource. These are qualities of a leader who values every business contact.
Your handshake- practice with a friend and ask for feedback
Eye contact- focus on the person you are speaking to
Body language- be aware- 55% of our non-verbal communication is our body
Stand/Greet- always rise if you’re being introduced and shake their hand
Holding doors- simple politeness is the rule
Business cards- it may feel dated, but it’s the easiest way to provide your contact information smoothly with your name, title, and contact information
Cell phones- turn off in meetings unless there’s an extraordinary reason to do otherwise. Interruptions are generally perceived as rudeness.
Now that you have the fundamentals to practice, imagine that you also have a stake in developing each relationship beyond the essentials. Consider it a challenge to become the most sought after professional contact in your market and beyond.
As you focus on your professional development it’s also the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs and support your drive to the top!