Eight Communication Tactics To Become A More Reliable Business Partner
The business world is built on cooperation. This might not be obvious to the general audience, as famous entrepreneurs are often presented as if they are completely standalone personalities. But in reality, I’ve found everybody in business is constantly looking for reliable long-term partnerships with clients, contractors, partners, employees, colleagues, bosses or investors.
Building a network of professionals who are easy to work with and who make any communication feel rewarding is essential for the growth and smooth operating of a company. However, it’s likely that most business leaders have experienced at least one person or company that was unreliable. We all have been there and perhaps lost money, time and maybe even composure in such situations.
Sustainable partnerships are precious diamonds. If you’ve found a reliable partner, hold onto them. They can help you save and amplify the resources you have. And if your business is a service, strive to be the ideal partner to your customers.
In my public relations agency, I strive to be a good partner to my clients. Being a communications expert, I’m ready to share a few tips for gaining a reputation as a sustainable partner through communication tactics.
1. Be transparent. Ensure you’re open and honest in all of your communications, starting from day one. Be open and share the information that impacts your partners in any way. This helps to build trust and halt misunderstandings. Don’t hesitate to let them know if you experience any problems that might affect your ability to fulfill your duties. Doing so will be appreciated. Don’t wait too long to discuss any sensitive issues that might crop up.
2. Clarify what you hear by asking questions when confused. Miscommunication has ruined many partnerships. That’s why it’s OK—and even welcomed—to request more information when you need it. This is key to reaching your goals for the partnership without false expectations. Clarifying areas of uncertainty nourishes long-term relationships because, otherwise, you’re relying only on your ideas and perceptions about your partner, which might be incorrect.
3. Personalize the communication. We live in a world of diversity and should strive to respect one another’s differences. Tailoring your communication to every individual partner makes your interactions more effective. It demonstrates that you are capable of being empathetic and can be trusted.
4. Be an active listener. Let’s admit that for every entrepreneur and their executives, business is always about their interests. But you can’t build strong relationships if you talk and think exclusively about your profit and benefit. Ensure you’re listening to what the other party has to say. Then, respond thoughtfully to demonstrate that you have considered their thoughts. After all, no partnership can consist of only one side.
5. Keep it simple, and make your points understandable. Excessively ornate and complex explanations mixed with high-brow terminology do not make anybody look like more of an expert. Your goal should be to be understandable and relatable. Respect that others might have no knowledge of the field of your expertise.
6. Have a friendly and respectful attitude. This applies to both the way you communicate and your attitude toward the other party’s time. Be polite, don’t neglect small talk and make conversations feel effortless. However, don’t be too much of a people pleaser.
7. Use positive and confident language. You need to show you are an expert and a professional right from the start. It would sound strange and discouraging to your partner if you talk as if you’re unsure about your own field of knowledge. You know what to do and should translate that into communication. If the other party tries to explain to you how to do your job and gives you any unsolicited advice on this topic, you can politely cut these attempts short. Remember, though, that while being tough and firm and protecting your boundaries, you also need to stay positive and respectful.
8. Have a long-term mentality. Sustainable partnerships are neither momentary nor temporary. Approach them while remembering that these connections are important and precious, and you want to keep them for as long as possible. With such a mentality, you are more likely to look for solutions or ways to overcome any challenges or obstacles. But most importantly, you are more likely to have long-standing partnerships with people you can rely on.
Reliable partnerships can make your life easier and bring a lot of joyful moments. They contribute to the thriving of both parties. If you already have such partnerships, cherish and nourish them. Be a credible partner yourself, and never hesitate to end all the dubious business relationships where you are let down and your boundaries are disrespected.
The article was originally published in Forbes.