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Developing Effective Communication: 5 ways to avoid misunderstanding

Effective communication is one of the keys to success. As an entrepreneur, you will create and maintain relationships with many people on everyday basis, so keep in mind that one simple misunderstanding can cost your startup a lot.

Having communication problems is not just time-consuming, it can be really harmful for your business relationships and for the performance of your team. Your goal as an entrepreneur is to keep the connection between the others and yourself in the most comprehensive way. Here you can find five simple tips that will help you develop effective communication skills.

Be specific. When you make a phone call, send an email or simply talk at a meeting, avoid spending much time on unnecessarily details. Keep it straight to the point. It is very confusing for the people you talk to if you don’t give them the clear information that they need and misguide them. Being specific is a symbol of respect to others, to their and your time.

Stay focused. If you are not focused on the task that you are dealing with at the moment, it is difficult to keep track on the things you have said and the things that you wanted to say. If you are not focused, you can easily misguide the people you talk to by forgetting to share important information on the matter.

Choose your words carefully. Keep in mind that the way you present any information depends on the people that you are talking to. If you are using very specific vocabulary, that your interlocutors are not familiar with, it is probably not going to be an effective conversation. Choose your words according to the situation and the people.

Take notes. Taking short notes or simply writing down keywords, will help you keep the important things, that you would like to talk about, in mind. Write down your thoughts and return back to them when your interlocutors are done talking. Sometimes we tend to focus on one thought and try so hard to keep it in mind, so we ignore what the other people are saying just because we don’t concentrate on their words, but on the thought we have, being so worried not to forget it. Simply, write it down and listen effectively.

Repeat. To make sure that your interlocutors have understood you completely, in the end of the conversation summarise what you’ve said, stress on the most important parts and make sure that you are clearly understood. When the conversation was very important, you can always send a following email afterwards, that is summarising the important points. It is never bad idea to be careful, especially when it may cost you the future of your startup.

─ April 13, 2015