One evening last weekend, my daughter wanted me to go jogging along the beach with her. I had taken a long walk with my wife and son that morning, but I was still up for a nice relaxing run.
Unfortunately, a storm came up before we started. So we decided to jog the next morning instead.
Bright and early, we headed out on the sand. It was beautiful.
We had barely got started when I told my daughter we should go till we were even with the next beach house and turn around. I thought she knew I was joking.
A couple of minutes later, she said we could run about three more houses down and turn around. I knew she hadn’t been feeling very well, so I figured she wasn’t up for much of a run that morning.
I said, “OK,” and a couple of minutes later we turned around to head back.
Later, back in the room, she said something about not running very far. I said that we could have run further.
Eventually, I figured out that she thought I was serious about stopping shortly after we started.
It made me realize the value of clear communication. I should have let her know I was joking. I didn’t. As a result and pleasant Sunday morning run along the beach was cut short.
Communication is key in business and in life.
In business, relationships are vital. Miscommunication or too little communication can make it difficult to make those connections.
Here’s a few tips to help you communicate:
• Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If your business partner makes a statement that you don’t understand, see if he or she will explain it further.
• Listen attentively. When the other person is talking, pay attention to what they’re saying. Don’t make the mistake of thinking about what you’re going to say next while they’re still talking.
• Talk it out. When a disagreement arises, discuss it until you agree or at least reach a point satisfactory to you both.
• Notice more than just words. Some people will say they’re OK with something when they really aren’t. They’re body language will let you know they’re true feelings. Better to talk about their issues sooner than later.
• Be flexible. Realize things won’t always go your way. Knowing that up front will improve your communication and your relationships.