Updated: May 24, 2021
We all know communication is vital in society. It has the power to bring people together. It bridges the gap between individuals and groups through the understanding of the information flowing between them. But when we think of it in our business, its importance can unfortunately sometimes get lost.
I recently started thinking more about communication thanks to my dear friend, Amber, who is deaf. She does not read lips, so her only communication is through sign language or the app, Cardzilla. This helpful app is a fast and easy way to display messages in large text on your cell phone.
Amber and I don’t get to see each other often, but when we do, we spend hours catching up on work, family, business, social life, and parenting. When we can get together, I use my limited knowledge of ASL and Cardzilla to help us communicate.
Lessons in Communication
Over the past few outings with Amber, I have learned a few valuable lessons on communicating effectively with her.
When you are using your thumbs, you do not have the luxury of small talk. Be meaningful and respectful in your communication.
When someone else is typing, don't type over them. Read respectfully and let them finish. And it's okay to make the yes sign so as to prevent them from thumbing a Magna Carta-esque text message.
Silence is not a bad thing. You can use other forms of communication beyond words.
When communicating with others who are not hearing impaired in the presence of someone who is, do your best to include those who are deaf in the conversation using a medium they can understand.
You may be wondering why I am sharing these lessons with you. I have spent the past two and half decades building communication systems that help people relate to one another. While thinking of these lessons learned in communicating with my friend, I can’t help but notice the parallels of teaching my clients how to communicate with their customers and clients.
Leaders who know how to communicate in the business world will see better productivity and improved relationships with employees and clients. Part of effective communication involves knowing how to listen attentively. It is the ability to offer empathy and provide helpful feedback based on what you hear. A friendly demeanour, confidence, and nonverbal communication can help to develop quality relationships.
Since meeting with Amber, I have been trying to incorporate these lessons in communications with my clients over the past few months. I can attest that it has changed the way I do business. By understanding quality communication skills, I have seen my relationships grow with my team members and clients.
I am so grateful for my friendship with Amber. We should all be so lucky to have a friend who can teach us about respectful communication and help us to realize how important communication skills are in our personal and business lives.
To hear more about our services and how we can help you build successful relationships with your clients, contact us today!