How we communicate today is vastly different from how we did just a few years ago. Texting, social media, and quick emails have become the preferred method over more traditional channels. However it can be argued that this trend has resulted in older methods being more impactful and effective. After all, when was the last time you marked a hand written letter as spam? So at the risk of sounding old fashioned, here are five “endangered” communication skills it still pays to master.
- Telephone calling. While some will call it passé, the telephone can be amazingly efficient. A quick two minute conversation can easily take the place of a dozen emails. In addition, real time conversations allow for a more dynamic and efficient flow of ideas over static emails and texts.
- Letter writing. Whether by hard copy or through an email, being able to clearly explain your thoughts and ideas using proper structure and grammar is the best way to get your point across. It will also make you and your company look more professional.
- Personal meeting etiquette. Showing up is just half the job. Try to arrive a few minutes early. If you’re running late, be sure to let the others know. If you arrive late, be apologetic and don’t expect the meeting to restart just for you. Most importantly, be gracious, welcoming, and try to remember everyone’s names.
- Listening. Contrary to what you may think, you can’t listen and text at the same time. Put down the phone and give your undivided attention to the person you’re speaking to. Don’t interrupt, be open minded, and avoid getting confrontational. If you’re getting bored, politely end the conversation rather than just reaching for your phone.
- Politeness. Be known in your industry as the nice guy. Return phone calls and emails. Thank others for referrals or going that extra mile. If you say you’ll do something, do it. And most importantly, don’t badmouth others.
Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert, speaker and strategist. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit marcgordon.ca or his online show at marctv.net for more business tips.