Communicating effectively is always a challenge. Each of us has our own way of thinking, speaking, and working. Synching our way with others' ways doesn't always happen naturally. It is important to take the time to learn how to communicate best with the people you work closely with in order to build strong relationships that foster effective communication and facilitate teamwork and productivity.
This focus is important whether you are a business owner, a manager, or an administrative professional. We are working in a virtual world now and we are working even harder in our virtual world to communicate effectively to stay connected. If we are working from home, we don't have the opportunity to see our clients, managers, and co-workers and take action based on a smile or a nod. We are essentially "working blind" and have to use our communication skills even more than we did pre-COVID. Some of us have even started new jobs and are learning about our companies and teams without ever meeting the people we work with in person.
When I would start working with a new CEO / executive, it was like starting from scratch. Each executive is different. As an executive assistant, my primary goal was to connect and partner with my executive and deliver exceptional customer service to him and for him. I started with observing his preferences and workstyle and I tailored my communication to his so we would be on the same page. In a virtual world, we aren't able to physically observe these things but we can pay attention to what method of communication gets the best response and facilitate forward movement of priority items and projects and keeps critical items on track.
Keep in mind that your client, manager, or co-worker's number one preference for communication may be different than yours. If you acknowledge and respect that difference, you can use the form of communication that is best for them to communicate more easily and efficiently with them. For example, you may find email convenient and your executive doesn't. He prefers to communicate by sending quick text messages. In that case, use texting as your primary mode of communication. Done. To be successful, we need to be flexible in our communication style and remember that delivering good customer service is not "all about us", it's about how to best connect with the internal and external customers we engage with.
If multiple methods of communication are used regularly by someone when they communicate with you, that can be confusing and frustrating. In that instance, I would recommend initiating a conversation to talk about which type of communication is best to use for each circumstance. "Would you prefer I text you all of the time or only when something is time-sensitive?" The other person will welcome this conversation because it demonstrates how important it is to you to find the best way to communicate effectively with them. Once you establish the best communication strategy for each person you work with, get on board with it and spend your time being productive and accomplishing great things, rather than struggling to communicate.
What are your communication challenges? Post them in the comments. Let's talk about and resolve them together!