Stop Conflict and Create Harmony in Business

harmony in businessWhen was the last time you had a disagreement, misunderstanding or conflict with your customer, prospect, business partner, colleague, employees or supplier? Do you find yourself getting stressed, frustrated, angry, upset or anxious when you communicate with other people in business?

Why is effective communication so important?

Effective communication improves harmony between the business owner and their customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers, and creates greater synergy in any business relationship. In addition, effective communication reduces errors, rework and blame, and helps us to be more productive. Research has also shown that anytime we have a pleasant experience it increases our immune system, while an unpleasant experience can reduce our immune system.

So by making our communication more pleasant without stress, anxiety, frustration, hurt or anger, we are also having a positive impact on our productivity as well as our health and overall well-being. Like taking turmeric for pain, making such efforts will also reduce our mental pain at work.

Below is a simple and effective communication technique that will assist you with clearly communicating your message to your customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers.

Respecting the Differences

Often when we speak with our customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers we find ourselves saying the same thing, only in a different way because we use different words. By understanding the different personalities in your business relationships with other people, you can stop conflict and create harmony instead. One simple and effective way to achieve this is to understand how your customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers communicate.

There are four different styles of communication: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Auditory Digital. While most people use a combination of all these communication styles, each person has a preference for one or two styles over the others. Importantly, each communication style has its own language.

Words that appeal to people with a:

  • visual preference include: see, look, show and imagine
  • auditory preference include: hear, listen, sounds and discuss
  • kinesthetic preference include: feel, touch, hold and grasp
  • auditory digital preference include: think, study, learn and process.

Avoiding Conflict

Conflict often occurs when people use their own preferences when communicating, and when the preferences of the two people are different. For example, if one person uses Auditory digital words (think, study, learn) and the other person uses kinesthetic words (feel, touch, hold). The person with an auditory digital preference may complain that the person with a kinesthetic preference takes too long to express their feelings, and may wish that they just get to the point quickly.

The person with a kinesthetic preference may complain that the other person never makes time to connect with them and their feelings, and may, as a result, feel left out, neglected or disconnected. This could result in the person with a kinaesthetic preference withdrawing their business connection, and could sour the business relationship. In turn, this could spiral into a dis-empowering dynamic between the two people, and all because of a difference of communication style.

Creating Harmony

In any business relationship, when you tailor the words you use to match your customer’s, prospect’s, business partner’s, colleague’s, employee’s and supplier’s preferred communication style, this will greatly assist them to clearly see, easily get in touch with and understand what you are saying and will help to avoid disagreements.

The best way to create harmony is to really listen to the words your customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers use. Really pay attention to their language and notice the words they are using. Then use the same words back in your reply to them.

Imagine really listening to your customers, prospects, business partners, colleagues, employees and suppliers from now on and using their style when communicating with them. Notice the difference this will make to your communication, your business relationships and to your business.… Read the rest


Is Your Business Out of Control?

Are you clear about your business vision, direction and goals? Is fear, second guessing and over analysis holding you back from taking action for your business? Do you wish you could regain control of your business?

Risky Business
While there are many possible risks in business, the biggest risk to your business success might be you and your lack of:

Clear vision, direction and goals
Effective people, communication, leadership and delegation skills
Trust and follow through on your decisions and commitments
Self-belief and persistence in the face of challenges
Effective self-promotion, relationship building and networking skills
Consistency in having and following systems and processes for business success
Control over your emotions – instead overreacting with anger, fear, hurt, guilt, resentment, betrayal, etc.
Consistent focus on what you want – instead being overly anxious and worried
Effective business habits – instead bad habits such as procrastination, being disorganised, etc.
From my 30 plus years of business experience I noticed a consistent theme. Despite a business having the best systems, best practice processes, latest gadgets, office set-up, etc, there is one thing critical to ensuring that these are used effectively for business success…… people! The more effective people’s behaviour is in using all the resources in the business, the more successful the business. You and your people are your business. Therefore, you need to have trust and solid business relationships with your employees, customers, colleagues, suppliers, partners, etc.

Whom/What Are Your Controlling?
If you are feeling out of control in business, think about whom or what are you seeking to control? Some people who feel out of control themselves, unconsciously seek to control other people. For example, by playing a victim role, getting angry, bullying, creating dramas, buying gifts, etc, they unconsciously create a dynamic where they are in control in that professional relationship. Other people who feel out of control, unconsciously seek to control things and their environment. For example, not delegating effectively, withholding information, overeating, drinking too much, etc.

At the end of the day, these people are ultimately not in control of themselves. That is the real issue. Until that is addressed, they will keep creating the same dynamics with people, things and their business and personal environment.

Control versus Influence
You are personally responsible for four things: how you think, how you feel, how you act and how you influence others. Other people are also responsible for four things: how they think, how they feel, how they act and how they influence you and others.

When you start to focus on how you can control what others say, think and do, you are focusing on what is beyond your control. Because this is beyond your control and if you seek to control it, you may feel frustrated or angry about the situation eg. sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and being unable to control the traffic or being frustrated by your colleague’s behaviour and being unable to change it.

Instead, focus on what you can control – changing your thoughts, feelings, actions and communication with other people. How could you take more charge of how you think, feel and act so that you are happier and more fulfilled in business and in life? How can you improve your communication and avoid misunderstandings and conflict? How can you treat people so that they treat you the same way in return?

Regaining Control
The first thing to realise is that people who trust themselves, trust others and the flow of business and life. Therefore, they find no need to control other people and situations. It is only people who have trust issues that feel the need to control others and situations. These people need to learn to trust themselves first in order to trust others. Trusting yourself is the key to business success and all highly successful business people trust themselves.

Focus on you and taking charge of how you think, feel and act so you regain control of your behaviour and your business. Address past emotions, limiting beliefs and internal conflicts, so that you stop sabotaging your business success and so that you fully trust yourself and your decisions. Also learn more effective communication and leadership skills to better inspire, motivate and empower others to perform at their best. Then watch your and your team’s performance and business thrive!… Read the rest


From Employment to Self Employment: Making a Smooth Transition

Would you like to start the business you have always wanted? Are you ready to share your wealth of knowledge and experience with others, while running a successful business?

We all have dreams and passions, including being our own boss, yet very few people have the courage to pursue them. Their fears, self doubts and lack of belief in their ability to generate a secure income usually prevent them from pursuing their dream of running their own business. In this article, you will discover the 7 steps that you can now take to smoothly transition from employment to your dream of running your own business.

1. Step out of your comfort zone

Regardless of how successful you are, after a while wherever you are personally and professionally, it becomes your comfort zone. The comfort zone is called a comfort zone because it is comfortable. We get used to living life in a certain way and, unless something dramatic happens to propel us out of the comfort zone, we continue ploughing along because it is what we know, what we are used to. To step out of it can be daunting or uncertain.

To reap even greater rewards in life, we need to trust ourselves to take calculated risks, to step out of our comfort zone and to back our own decisions.

2. Risk is a perception

Risk is a perception. I remember when I decided to leave corporate life after 13 years of a high paying secure income. People asked me “Aren’t you taking a risk?”. My reply, “what is the bigger risk, staying in a job where you are unfulfilled and spending the rest of your life doing something you are unhappy about only to have regrets at the end of your life, or pursuing something that you really want to do, waking up feeling excited and creating the life you want to live?”
The biggest risk in business and in life is not backing yourself enough, not having enough self belief, not taking action that will lead to your success. It is only fear and self doubt that increases the risk because then we second guess our decisions, question everything, delay action, etc – this is where the real risk to sabotaging our success lies.

3. Shift your thinking

I have seen potentially highly successful businesses struggle because of the business owner – he/she is often their worst saboteur. Ensure that you address your fears, self doubts, negative self talk and sabotaging behaviours (eg. procrastination) before you start your business. This way you will be best placed to succeed.
I have studied numerous highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs and they all have one thing in common – enormous self belief! It is that self belief that allows them to bounce back even stronger and more determined after each rejection or challenge.

4. Acquire People Skills

When people like each other, they do business together. As a business owner, you will need to know what makes other people tick, how to successfully interact with prospects, convert them into customers and nurture that relationship for life (or for as long as you want them to be your customer).
People skills are also important when leading, motivating and inspiring your employees, suppliers, business partners, referrers, alliance partners, investors, etc. The sooner you develop these skills, the sooner you will reap the rewards of a successful business.

5. Learn to Love Promoting Yourself

Many business owners are poor at promoting themselves and their business, so they keep themselves busy in their office working on plans, administration, systems, etc rather than getting out and talking to prospects and customers. The most successful business owners are very comfortable with promoting themselves and their business.
While some of them are naturally introverted and shy, they learn how to enjoy being around people and how to promote themselves effectively (and with integrity). If you fear rejection or getting a no, it is critical that you address these fears as this is the major reason preventing business owners from turning leads and prospects into clients.

6. Surround Yourself with Fans

I still remember the day I resigned from corporate life – I sent an email to hundreds of people I knew in the organisation to let them know that I was leaving to start my own business. Within 24 hours I received replies from most of those people. Around half were really positive, expressing their excitement and support and congratulating me. Meanwhile, the other half replied with negativity and “rained on my parade”. By the end of the day, my head was spinning and I was wondering whether I had done the right thing. I started to doubt and question my decision to resign.
This was a real test of my commitment to my decision. At that point, I decided to never again surround myself with negative people, only fans. Look at the people that you surround yourself with, are they supporters of your dreams or not?

7. Action Your Plan

Create a five year business vision and make it so compelling that it drives you to transition. This will keep you focused, it will help you overcome any obstacles that arise and will make your remaining time in employment easier. Without a clear business vision and goals, simply dreaming of one day being in your own business, will be insufficient to drive and motivate you. Also have a business and a marketing plan, which will give you focus and also ensure that you have done your homework to increase your chances of success.

Imagine how quickly you could start pursuing your dream of having your own business by implementing the above steps!… Read the rest