Authored by Melissa Haddad on May 01 2019
One definition of the word Communication is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system”. My question to you is, which is the best common system to use for effective communication? With the numerous amounts of messaging apps for your phone and the many stats I have heard about the lack of communication skills people have as well as my own experience both past and present, I would like to weigh in and provide an answer to my own question.
In order to determine the most effective communication system, we need to identify them first. Here is a list of various ways we can currently communicate with other individuals:
- In person
- Phone call
- Video calling (Skype or Zoom)
- Letter mail
- Text (mobile)
- Texting apps (WhatsApp)
- Social Media (PM or DM)
With the above list, there are pros and cons and time seems to be the determining factor for anyone we choose. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I use all of these at different times for different reasons and they all serve a purpose.
Here are the top 3 Ways to Effectively Communicate with your Virtual Assistant, Team and Clients:
- They are just a call away. Whether you have an in-person meeting, a telephone call or video call, the benefits are all the same, we are able to build a stronger relationship and are able to communicate in real time. Making connections and having a conversation allows us to have human contact. We are able to hear someone’s tone of voice and determine our own reactions allowing us to express emotion, good or bad. It also allows us to understand what the other person wants, needs and ask questions if we don’t understand. Active listening is part of communication and it’s very important when having these types of communications. I structure a standing call with all my clients and team members either weekly or bi-weekly to ensure we maintain a connection. Most of the calls I do are with Zoom and I record the calls and play them back to ensure I haven’t missed anything.
- Write it down and make it happen. As a standard practice, after a meeting, telephone call or video call, an email should be sent to recap the call. This should highlight the actions to be taken by each party, the timeline and next steps with a request for the other party to confirm that everything mentioned accurately reflects the discussion and if anything was missed or misunderstood, for them to address it in their reply. This may feel tedious and redundant, however every person has their own individual ways of hearing and understanding and this is the best way to ensure everyone is on the same page. We all make mistakes and if we make a mistake we absolutely should own up to it and resolve it so that it doesn’t happen again. This is a great practice to ensure you did everything in your power to prevent mistakes from happening.
- Short and sweet it should be. When texting, sending WhatsApp messages or sending PM/DM using a social media platform, it’s always best to stick to the “less is more” concept. Have you ever had your mobile “ding” back-to-back due to someone sending you multiple messages with instructions? Mobile messaging absolutely has its place within effective communication; however, it cannot replace or dominate the other two ways mentioned as it does not have an effective way to track anything for future reference. Yes, there are ways that you can save the communication and WhatsApp does have a way to use the web version on your computer or laptop, however, it’s still not effective, as most people tend to use these tools and platforms on their mobiles exclusively. Reserve this for quick questions or for confirmations, checking in or requesting that contact to call you when they are available. Here is a great article I found that provides tips for professional text messaging.
Communicating effectively saves time and ensures all parties are on the same page so your business runs more efficiently. This further means that there is little room for misunderstandings, miscommunications or mistakes and to ensure that everyone is happy (less stressed!).
My team and I will help you develop your standard practices that will work best for you, your team and your clients. Contact me for a free Discovery Call to find out more.