Possibly, we all had to communicate with bad listeners. Their acts of averting eyes when they nod, interrupting your speech, asking the same question more than once, or worse, asking no questions when they are listening to you tell on them. If you have never experienced what I have said, may you be a bad listener? In that case, it may also have a negative effect on your business, be careful!
If you want to create an atmosphere of trust between you and the people, you should make them feel that you are interested in what they want to say. Breaking the ice is the first step in communication. Remember that you can start this with a smile. In many cases, so that your entrepreneurial adventure can have a successful path, it may be a savior if you take on the power of effective communication.
We can summarize the 5 basic techniques that the entrepreneurs can use for effective communication as below;
1. Body language: The body language tells us whether we are interested in a topic or not. When there is a topic we are interested in, we actively listen, our body leans forward slightly, and we establish eye contact with our opponent. With a slight smile, occasional head-shakes, we show that we are interested in the subject and interacted.
In environments where we do not feel comfortable, we tend to tie our arms, put our hands in our pockets, look on the ground, or show other anxiety behaviors. These small expressions can prevent people in that environment from approaching us and socializing with us. In investor presentations, we must use our body language well, avoid exaggerated gestures, arms and head movements. The easiest way to make progress in these matters is to rehearse the mirror.
2. Being open for communication: Focus on the people you are next to when you are in a crowded environment, regardless of whether the person is your potential customer, mentor, business partner or investor. Similarly, when you are making a phone conversation with someone else, point your attention to the person you are talking to on the phone by moving away from stimuli such as cell phones, computers, which can distract you from your cell phone. Remember that when you allow technology to dissipate your attention, your addressee may feel insignificant.
3. Interrupting: You may want to complete their sentences in order to show that you understand your addressee, and to affect your potential customer, investor. But do not forget that this can be perceived as a rude behavior! Listening ensures development of the trust. Even if it is well intentioned, interrupting means taking the chances of someone to express themselves and their feelings. It will be useful to stop for a few seconds before you answer.
4. Asking questions: If you want to deepen the communication, you should use open-ended questions rather than the closed questions where yes or no answers are given. These questions are also known as 5W1H questions (what?, where?, when?, why? who? and how?). In some cases it may be useful to combine these questions with various softeners. In the communication loop, evaluate your addressee as your potential customer, investor, and ask them questions to understand their requests, their expectations. Remember that people will start to take care of you when you ask them questions conforming to the subject, the situation and listen to their answers carefully. In other words, if you are actively interested in the lives of others, then they will not ignore this favour.
5. Empathizing: Listening makes the basis of empathy. Listen to your addressee not only with your ears but also your eyes and your heart. You can understand the feelings and thoughts of the person in front of you, only when you listen to him/her in this way. Listening without criticizing, judging, and consulting relieves your addressee. You do not have to agree with everything he says, but you can understand how he feels. Always put yourself in their place to understand the point of view of your customers, investors, business partners. Every person has the right and need to feel valuable. Realizing that he/she is listened and tried to be understood, the person starts to feel precious.
Unfortunately, most people listen to the addressee not to understand him/her but to answer. Listening by focusing on what the sentence will be will make your addressee feel uncomfortable, and strike the communication. Focus on the story of the speaker. Ask yourself the question of “What would I feel if it happened to me?” and give the appropriate answer in the continuation of the communication.