1. Be clear and specific
Most business communication is just too vague. If you want someone to do something, use the OPERA checklist to make sure you cover everything.
2. Use examples, stories and anecdotes
Another way to make things clear is to use examples, stories and anecdotes. Here’s how to develop your story telling ability.
3. Check understanding by making communication two way
Ask the other person to sum up their understanding, especially at the end of the conversation.
4. Use the right tone of voice
Often a fairly neutral tone of voice is the best – certainly if you feel any kind of frustration when you are talking to this person. Use appropriate pauses and emphasis, even in a one to one meeting.
5. Watch your non-verbals
You can’t see the expression on your face but they can – are you sure it’s sending the right message?
6. Encourage people to give you feedback
You can hardly expect people to take your feedback and suggestions unless you role model encouraging and – if appropriate – acting on feedback from others
7. Give people honest and appropriate feedback
8. Role model honesty and openness
If you are not open and honest you will be found out and your credibility will plummet to zero
9. Be clear whether you are asking or telling
Don’t pretend you are asking someone for their opinion unless you are willing to act on it.
10. Be yourself
Whatever you do, be your genuine authentic self.