As business professionals, we talk a lot. From conference calls to client meetings to the water cooler, we discuss not only business need but our personal lives. While any professional can talk, it takes a well-trained employee to engage in meaningful conversations, no matter what the topic.
Whether you are an up and coming professional or a seasoned business person, think about the most engaging leaders in your world. How do they speak to others? How do they lead meetings and discuss critical issues? At the end of the day, how they do they get the job done?
Successful leaders know how to engage others in conversation and then contribute their own ideas effectively, which is why we focus on communication in the Dardis Academy. Even in a world of email and social media, young professionals still need to learn how to brainstorm, discuss and then sell in person.
2013 summer intern Katelyn Wheeldon already knows that the active listening techniques and communications skills she learned in the Academy will benefit her future career:
“I learned that the number one complaint about salespeople is that they talk too much, which made me try to ask open-ended questions and listen to my customers. Also, learning how to cut out filler words through eye contact helped me give effective presentations and talk to large groups of people,” she said.
Communications training sets the foundation for meaningful conversations in the workplace, which fosters productive interactions. These interactions are not only positive for employee engagement, but more importantly, they positively impact the company’s bottom line.
Meaningful conversations do not have to be heavy or riddled with lofty words. LinkedIn contributor John Hall recently posted 13 simple ways that employees can have more meaningful conversations on the company’s blog:
- Don’t get too excited about your next thought.
- Ask good questions that show you’re engaged.
- Do your homework without being creepy.
- Try to genuinely relate.
- Don’t waste people’s time.
- Let people sell themselves.
- Ask how you can add value.
- Do what you can to help.
- Reach out in meaningful ways.
- Decrease personal barriers.
- Listen and remember key points.
- Hold back on sharing how awesome you are.
- Recognize other people.
Developing a habit for meaningful conversations does not happen overnight. Focus on one or two of these simple steps this work week and see how your business thrives.
Photo credit: Victor1558, Flickr