Well…. I recently did something that no man, who hopes to stay in a relationship with his significant other, should ever do. I sent “bad” information to my wife through the mode of communication commonly known as text message. The information I sent wasn’t even that bad when you take into account typical ideas associated with “bad”, like death, sickness, financial issues, etc. I sent her a text letting her know that I would be home late from the business coach center of the world. Big mistake. She was pissed…. And rightfully so. When I sent that text I was only viewing the communication through my perspective. Things at work had gotten busy and I needed to take a little extra time to knock a couple more items off of my checklist. My intentions were pure and all I was trying to do was to make sure that I communicated, however, I did not take into account her perspective. Also, I did not have a read on how she felt about what I was communicating until I got home, so from the time I sent the text until I finally saw her, the intensity of the emotions had compounded significantly.
In case you didn’t know, most human communication is communicated through our nonverbals. In fact, according to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, https://www.entrepeneur.com/article/239831, 7 percent of communication is the words we speak, 38 percent is tone of voice, and 55 percent is body language. This study doesn’t even mention communication through text or email. If the majority of communications happens through our nonverbal actions, then communicating through text creates an enormous opportunity for miscommunications and misunderstanding to take place. This is what I experienced in my communication with my wife. She had no visibility into the “non-verbal” communication that was taking place on my end. Because of my choice to communicate through a text message, it created a bigger problem then if I had just called her. How are you communicating in your business?
As Jonathan Kelly says, “Never communicate through an avenue you can’t control or have a direct impact on.” As a business coach, I see a lot of business coach clients who will get a lead that is requesting a quote. Their process is essentially creating a quote and emailing it to the lead. There is little to no direct communication. There is no effort put into actually identifying the customer’s needs, then meeting with them to utilize a sales system and convey the sale. They constantly miss the opportunity to create a stronger connection with the lead, read their non-verbal communication and intentionally communicate in a way that builds trust. When you allow your company’s communication to be communicated through an avenue that you have no real knowledge of a lead or client’s emotional state, then you are actually decreasing your ability to close deals significantly.
Additionally, if you are communicating “bad” news or information that is not clearly “good” news through these avenues, then you are creating opportunities for your customers or potential customers to react to your communication, similar to how my wife responded to my text about being home late. Thankfully I was able to get home, apologize to my wife, and make things right. I was able to hear about how she had a hard day with the kids and was really looking forward to me getting home. I was able to hear the verbal communication, read her non-verbal communication, and address the need with a greater level of control so I could resolve the situation. However, I could have avoided all of the conflicts if I had just followed this rule for communication: Never communicate through an avenue you can’t control or have a direct impact on. Where are you giving up control in your business when it comes to communication?