6. Ask the right questions. It???s not simply about asking any kind of question. Asking the right sort of question gets you the answers you need. Asking the wrong set of questions sends you down the wrong path. These questions vary depending on the circumstance. Generally however, questions should get you one step closer to finding out how aligned you are to the person you are communicating with. It should help you find out more about them in relation to the issue. It should help you confirm your beliefs or assumptions. Questions should help you find a solution, not keep you mired in the problem. Questions that don???t appear to have a clear answer will keep you circling with no end in sight. It is also very easy to stay there, thinking you???re dealing with the problem yet not be.
7. Consider different ways of communicating. If you work with someone virtually and spend nearly 99% of your time communicating on email or texting, there???s bound to be problems. Tone is very hard to grasp over email, texting or social media. The phone call is a step up from email or texting because it gives you the ability to assess the intonation, pauses and response rate. Still, we cannot argue with the advantages of face to face communication. It is the best way to communicate. So, if you are skewed towards one particular channel, consider broadening your channels to give you a greater chance of reading the person correctly as well as the ability to correct any perception errors at the time and before it???s too late.
8. Leave the emotion out of it. While it is hard to do, leaving the emotion out of business communication is best. If you are too ???me-focused???, it skews your world and your perception. Not everything that happens around you or to you, is done to you per se. Sometimes, things happen. Sometimes, people don???t think. Sometimes, they are focused on other things and this consequence may be the result. Approaching any development with these in mind, means you don???t react too emotionally to what is happening nor feel that any response is a personal one. Ultimately, you want to focus on what you???re trying to achieve or the solution you???re after.
9. Be clear about what you want. This simply means that you need to know what it is that you are after. Sometimes, you may be uncertain and that uncertainty carries forward into your communication. It is also about context. You need, in your communications, to put context to things ??? it helps the other party understand where things are coming from and where they are headed. And it also avoids assumptions.
10. Ask for what you want. While it does seem to overlap here with making assumptions, the point here is that you need to ask specifically for what you want. You need to communicate clearly. So much of our lives is spent wrapped up in our own world and what we see. When we do this and are so absorbed in our own world view, it???s very easy to assume that others see it the way we do as well. And just as easy to be offended that it could have been viewed any other way. By asking specifically for what you want, you give people the chance to be very clear about where you are coming from. It doesn???t mean you will get what you want necessarily but that clarity is crucial.