Times may be tough; however, you're an enlightened owner/manager who knows that great communication can make the difference between success and failure; between moving your business forward in a positive and profitable way, and having it stagnate in a pool of shrinking profits.
Below are five tips on how to communicate, which will help you move your business ahead even in the toughest of times.
Have a "real" conversation. Too many owners/managers have one way communications without any back and forth exchange. Make sure you create the proper setting for communication.
Don't be rushed.
Ask open-ended questions.
Respond appropriately. (Move questions that may not be on-topic to a sheet of paper and make sure to get back to them).
Be confident and clear. Before you meet, think clearly through your reasons for the meeting. If there's a problem to be solved, make sure you can communicate it simply. Don't feel you have to have all the answers; however, be sure to have the basic framework in place.
Share the vision. The vision is the big picture. It's what you're building (by the way it's the first element of a One Page Business Plan). The vision gives your team direction about your goals and ambitions. You'll connect them to something bigger than themselves. It also gives them the confidence that you know where you're going. Then they can figure out how they can fit in, support, and contribute to the company and where it's going.
Listen and be open and prepared to handle objections. Sometimes you'll meet resistance. Your team may think there are pitfalls in your idea. There are no guarantees that it'll work. So create a safe environment where people can voice a different point of view. Always bear in mind your team may not be as involved with your idea as you are and some of the objections may be valid.
Have realistic expectations. It takes time for visions to become reality. Building a salon/day spa or any business is a process not an event. While you may not be too excited about the practical implications to ideas, this is where the "rubber meets the road." It's the place where your team's efforts begin. So ask your team about how long they think it'll take to implement components of the project. Educate them on ways to save money or make the implementation process more efficient and effective.
Share your wisdom and experience about getting things done. Then have your team take over and do it. Be supportive and not critical when they bring problems to you. This will keep the lines of communication open and helps forge a path to success.
By Andrew Finkelstein, The Beauty Resource www.thebeautyresource.com