Success as an entrepreneur or startup founder in the 2.0 economy requires strong communication skils and creative social intelligence whether you're seeking to raise capital, sell your goods, motivate your team, be taken seriously by clients, vendors, investors...basically anyone!
While communication isn't an exact science, it IS possible to improve your communication habits to positively impact the quality of your business interactions and relationships.
Think about the business interactions in which you engage on a regular basis. Do you communicate assertively when you:
- Propose a new business idea or solution
- Ask for help or cooperation from a colleague or business partner
- Say 'no' to someone else's request for your time or contribution
I've had rich discussions with fellow entrepreneurs over the years about how they have been perceived by others along the passive - assertive - aggressive continuum - challenging to say the least! To make it easier, I suggest thinking of your assertiveness as a set of communication 'dials' or controls that you can turn up or turn down to help make your interactions more productive.
For example, you can monitor and 'tweak' your body language and nonverbal signals based on the cues you receive from the other person. Increase eye contact or lean forward a bit to show you're fully engaged in the discussion. Raise your volume (breathe from your diaphragm) to emphasize your key points and keep the attention of your listener.
Learning to be a more assertive can also help to boost your self-esteem and gain additional respect from others - both of which have the added benefit of reducing and alleviating your stress!
Colette also shares three more tips here to help you communicate more assertively in your business