It’s no secret that when running a business, no matter how beautiful and awesome it all can be, some stress can be infused there as well. With so many decisions to make, people to consider, and different personalities, it’s helpful to have some effective communication skills up your sleeve.
Lucky for you, our founder and CEO (who started the company as one of the only photographers and videographers and now has built a team of creatives) is also a certified life coach and has over a decade of experience when it comes to customer service. That means she knows a thing or two about how to properly and lovingly communicate with others during delicate situations. We decided to pick her brain and present you with some key communication skills to promote positive communication with the business owners in your life.
1. “You are one of the most important people to me.”
Starting communication with this phrase ensures that you are expressing the truth regarding the people you love. This makes it more positive when you continue the communication by sharing how you feel.
2. “The story that I’m making up in my head is ___.”
How many times are we hurt, confused, annoyed, or even angry about something someone else did or said? And instead of speaking up, we say nothing and tell five other people about why we are upset? While venting can be useful to your mental health, sometimes it’s just better to tell the person you were hurt by how you are feeling. Often we find that our perception of the situation is actually not what we thought it was, and that open communication can clear things up even better. Starting the statement with this statement opens the conversation to the idea that you acknowledge that there could be multiple true perceptions of the situation, and therefore diminish animosity.
3. “I feel __ when you __.”
This is one of the oldest communication tips in the books. Starting your phrase with “I feel X when you X” shifts the conversation and makes it known that this is more about how you feel, and not necessarily you accusing someone else of something.
4. Using the word AND instead of BUT
This one is easier to explain when using an example.
Say you feel that when someone talks to other people, they are much kinder to them than they are to you. You might be tempted to say something like: “You’re so nice to everyone else, but when you talk to me you’re so rude!”
A statement like that could be swapped to: “You’re so nice and patient with everyone else, and it would be awesome if we could have that kind of relationship as well.”
5. Waiting until a better time to communicate
You might be the kind of person who wants to address the situation head-on right when it occurs. For example, when someone does something that drives you crazy, like always leaving their coffee cup in your car, you might be tempted to yell, “Get your coffee cup out of here! You always leave your coffee cup in here!”
Obviously, this is a silly example. But using this example, you might have better luck addressing this when you and the coffee-litterer are having a pleasant moment together, and you approach them with: “Hey (name), can I talk to you about something that’s kind of been bugging me?” They may be more open to receiving feedback this way.
6. Refrain from using absolutes like ‘Always’ and ‘Never’
We just gave you an example above. Saying things like “You never listen to what I want” or “You always cut me off when I speak” may not necessarily be true. Those things may not be occurring 100% of the time, which the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ insinuate. Try to rephrase those statements into the “I feel” statements we referenced above such as “I feel hurt when you interrupt me when I’m speaking” or “I feel ignored when it seems like you’re not listening to me.”
7. Thank you, I’m sorry, I love you
Sometimes, when someone is expressing something kind of harsh and you’re committed to keeping the peace, especially when previous experience has proven that attempting to convince the individual of your point of view is futile, the best thing to do is to simply respond with something like: “Thank you for sharing your opinion. I’m sorry that you feel that way. I have so much love for you.”
8. Remembering that other people’s opinions are none of your business
Remember that EVERYONE has an opinion. You may have figured that one out already pretty easily. Also, remember that other people’s opinion of you and what you do is none of your business. Meaning, it is not your job to change other people’s opinions of you or what you do. Simply learn who are the people that you can have communications with about your business that will truly be supportive, and you do you.
9. Sometimes, the best thing to do, and the hardest thing to do, is nothing at all
If you’re a people-lover, you might be tempted to get involved and squash out fires left and right. That has the capability to consume you. Take a step back during this process with situations that may arise and ask yourself, “Is this really MY problem to fix? Do I really need to get involved with this? Is there someone else that can better address this situation?” This should help you when managing situations that can be time-suckers and energy-drainers.
10. Make conscious efforts to say “Thank you,” and “I appreciate you”
It’s important that the people around you feel appreciated and heard, especially if they are assisting you in your business. Be sure to make a consistent effort to express your gratefulness to them. And to complement that, be aware of all that is going right for you, and that it’s a beautiful life. If there are hiccups, you are remaining grateful for all the other things that are going splendidly as well.
Depending on the loved ones in your life, these communication attempts may take you multiple times of you trying to change the route of conversations with certain people, so it may take a bit of your patience. But don’t be surprised when the more you do this, the more you are having easier and more pleasant communication.
Have additional tips to add to this for business owners? Feel free to comment and share. And, if you could use a little extra support and engaging conversation about this, feel free to share this article on your social media!