Resistance or Warm Reception?

googleDo you sometimes feel that your communication flows easily and at other times it is like pulling teeth? Would you like to stop getting resistance to your ideas and suggestions? Instead, imagine getting a warm reception from your prospects, customers, employees, suppliers, referrers and business partners.

A Natural Flow

When there is a natural flow between people in business, they feel totally comfortable expressing their opinions and views with each other, however different those views may be. They freely discuss business problems, ideas, solutions and challenges and feel at ease with each other as they do so.

If you begin a new business relationship in a negative way, you may receive instant resistance upon meeting with a new prospect, customer, supplier, employee or referrer. If you have had a natural flow with existing prospects, customers, employees, suppliers, referrers and business partners, sometimes you can get out of this natural flow with them. This often occurs when too many negative associations or disagreements occur between you over a period of time. Unconsciously, you can link negatives to each other, and the flow that you once felt is there less often or may even disappear after a while.

Instant Rapport

If you feel there is a lack of connection – that the natural flow is missing – between you and your prospects, customers, employees, suppliers, referrers and business partners, it is important to establish that with them prior to your communication with them. When you are in rapport with other people, there is a greater trust and connection between you.

Any ideas or suggestions you make (even if they are different to that of your prospects, customers, employees, suppliers, referrers and business partners) will at least be more easily considered when you have rapport with them. While they may still disagree with you, at least with rapport they will hear you out and consider your perspective, rather than automatically dismiss it or cut you off.

Getting into Rapport

There are several different ways to get into rapport with another person. When you are face to face with another person the best way to get into rapport is to match or mirror their physiology (ie. how they sit or stand). When you do this it is important to be subtle so that it remains out of your prospects’, customers’, employees’, suppliers’, referrers’ and business partner’s conscious awareness.

Here are two simple ways to get into fast rapport:

Match the other person’s breathing: this is the fastest way to establish rapport with another person. Watch and discretely match the location of their breathing (i.e. high chest, mid chest or stomach) and/or the rate of their breathing (i.e. fast, medium or slow); or
Match or mirror the other person’s arms or legs: if your prospect, customer, employee, supplier, referrer and business partner has their arms crossed, you would cross your arms in the same way; if they have their legs crossed, you would cross your legs in the same was as them. Again be subtle when you do this.

Within two minutes of matching or mirroring any of these aspects of the other person’s physiology you will feel a warm feeling of comfort around your stomach area, like an at home feeling with them. When you are feeling comfortable with them, they are also feeling comfortable with you – you are both in rapport with each other.

They will then feel more comfortable to open up and share problems and ideas with you, and will be more receptive to your ideas and hearing you out. Instead of resistance you will get a warm reception from them. Notice how with greater rapport your business relationships become even stronger.… Read the rest

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

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