We live in a noisy, overly digitized world. In many cases, this enhances communication, but when we begin to rely on bits and bytes exclusively, we can lose the personal touch that helps us to get our point across. By practicing just a few simple guidelines you may drastically improve your communication and dramatically improving how you are perceived and embraced by others.
The 24 Hour Rule – I’m not perfect at it, but I have a general rule that I try to follow – respond to every communication (email, phone call, etc.) within 24 hours of the initial contact. Sometimes I can’t respond in full detail within this period, but a simple acknowledgment can go a long way towards building rapport with others and showing respect. It may also help move the rock forward and clear bottlenecks. Remember, just because it’s not your priority doesn’t mean it’s not slowing someone else down.
The Think BEFORE you Jump Rule – Do you consider the impact of your actions on other people? Communicating before you plow forward can sometimes feel like it’s slowing you down, but in reality, getting stakeholders on board with your plans will not only improve and refine your decision-making, it will also greatly enhance acceptability.
The Pick Up the Phone Rule – In the digital world we live in, it’s easy to email back and forth forever. If there seems to be a communication gap, you need a prompt response, or an email thread is likely to carry on for more than 2 or 3 replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Talking to someone rather than typing to them can be much more effective and can help solve many issues.
If you communicate promptly, proactively, and directly, I’m confident that you’ll see a significant uptick in your effectiveness. Your influence will increase and your impact will be great.