Your Communication Toolkit

Posted March 1st, 2012 by Carroll King Schuller

All successful professionals have a certain toolkit of skills and abilities that they draw from in their professional lives;  Methods of communicating they’ve picked up along the way that just seem to work.

Explicitly naming the tools in your kit can help you use them more effectively.  The simple act of identifying your communication abilities can help you react to situations more quickly and with greater confidence.   Lean into your strengths. Use them to your advantage.  Mitigate your weaknesses.

Find ways to stick with your favorite mode.

Do you prefer to communicate in person, on the phone or via e-mail? If you dislike phone calls, save them all for one time a day (at the beginning or end).   Or, when possible, outsource them to your assistant.  Figure out whether it’s possible to schedule a meeting or send an e-mail instead.

If you absolutely hate e-mail, try a similar strategy.  Perhaps you can get away with checking your e-mail only once a day.  Make phone calls or schedule meetings rather than letting yourself get bogged down in penning long e-mail messages.

The bottom line – chances are, you are better at conveying your ideas in the mode you prefer.  Stick to it whenever you can.

Consider your Reactions.

When confronted with a problem, how do you tend to react?  What works—moves the conversation forward, smooth things out–about your reaction?  What doesn’t work?

If you listen well, keep listening.  If you ask questions to fully understand the situation, keep them coming.

Do whatever you can to stay calm.  You can cry or shout or wave your arms around later.  Save any emotional reaction for when you are with a trusted, neutral advisor—a spouse or friend, coach or counselor.

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Coaching can help you hone your communication skills and develop the toolkit that works best for you.  I can be reached at either 804.288.0099 or 804.869.5403.

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