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Volume 1, Issue 8
Volume 1, Issue 8
April 16, 2007
By Susan L. Reid MS, DMA
Small Business Start Up Coach & Online Accidental Prenher™
An online newsletter about how to start up and successfully launching small businesses for entrepreneurial women who are ready to transform their lives and make a difference in the world, turn their passion into a profit, and bring in a six figure income.
In This Issue
This e-Zine is intended to be read in 10 minutes or less, with many of the articles offering links to further information. To ensure we continue to capture the most important issues regarding the successful start up and launch of small businesses, we are keen for our readers to interact with us and let us know what’s on their minds. Speak up and be heard at: Susan@LaunchYou.com
To subscribe to this e-Zine click here.
To read our blog go to: http://susanreid.typepad.com
Note From Susan
Greetings, Fellow Entrepreneurs!
This e-Zine’s theme is communication. I know, I know—seems overdone, doesn’t it? Indeed, it has been overdone because so many people just don’t get it! So one more author—that would be me—is taking a turn at Small Business Communication 101, with a new twist. I’ve enlisted a popular singer from the 70s to help me communicate my ideas.
Remember Lobo? Remember his wildly popular and fun song, Me & You & a Dog Named Boo? Yes? No? Either way, you’re not going to want to miss reading the main article to see what Lobo has to do with small business communication!
But first, here’s a Me & You & a Dog Named Boo video for you to watch and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFbbNR9TV_k
Next, scroll down to read a business quote from Ernest Hemingway. Then check out some of this week’s blog highlights. I have a moving tribute to my first mother, a cool idea from my friend Pam Peyron, and four characters you will want to know--Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw.
Business Quote Of The Week
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
For more business start up quotes go to: http://www.alkamae.com/articles.php?cat=50
Me & You & a Dog Named Boo
Small Business Communication 101
What a great title for an article on communication, don’t you think? LoBo recorded this song in the 70s about hanging out and traveling around the country in a car, just going wherever and however the spirit moved.
That pretty much sums up the free-flowing way most of us communicate. We stay with topics for as long as they interest us, and we move on when they don’t. That may be OK for everyday communication. When it comes to business communication, though, it’s a good idea to bring a map along with ole Boo so you don’t get lost.
Communicating effectively can be one of your greatest assets when you’re running a small business. Ineffective communication, conversely, can be your greatest liability. If you and ole Boo were stuck together on a long car trip and had to make it work, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to communicate more effectively with him? Once you understood just what he was saying and how he was saying it, talking with one another would become free and easy, with no need to guess or interpret what was being said.
The first step to becoming a more effective communicator is to learn about the three main styles of communication.
3 Main Styles Of Communication
There are three main “voices” or styles of communication: one-under, one-up, and equal. For business communication in the United States, the optimal voice to use is equal. In other parts of the world, one-under or one-up may be more appropriate.
One-under communication is a style that is typified by minimizing what you are saying, or putting yourself or your words “one-under” in importance to another person’s. The intent here is to focus on the other person in order to gain greater clarity about what he or she is saying. “Seek first to understand than to be heard” is an axiom that would apply here. This style of communication is great for diffusing stressful situations when communication is going awry and people are frustrated because they are not feeling heard.
One-up communication is an aggressive style that is often accompanied with raised voices and excessive reinforcements, absolutes, and “you” statements. This type of communication is often considered a boundary-busting communication style. This is because the person speaking thinks that what he or she is saying is more important than what anyone else is saying. This style of delivery will automatically shut down the avenues of communication or incite angry retorts. Not surprisingly, it should be used sparingly, if at all.
Equal communication is a style that is epitomized by direct and respectful communication and the use of “I” statements and reflective listening skills. Its purpose is to open up the avenues of communication and encourage dialogue. At its core is the understanding that each person matters and what he or she has to say is valuable. “Two heads are better than one” is the adage at the heart of this communication style. Here, all points of view are welcomed, considered, and appreciated.
The next step to becoming a more effective communicator is to learn to practice “the dialogue.” Good communication consists of three distinct parts: what the speaker says, what the listener hears, and the gray area in-between. Sometimes, what is perfectly clear to the speaker is heard another way by the listener. That is why it is so important to practice reflecting or repeating back to the speaker what was said. Here’s how the dialogue works:
The first part is for the speaker to articulate directly and clearly what he or she wants to say.
The second part is for the listener to reflect back to the speaker what he or she heard. Useful phrases that help the listener put what the speaker said into his or her own words include: “What I just heard is. . . .” and "Let me see if I understand what you're saying. . . .”
The third—and probably most important—part is for the listener to check with the speaker by asking, “Is that correct?” That one question will eliminate any misunderstandings or assumptions on the part of the listener. It will also give the speaker the chance to revise and clarify what he or she said.
Of course, it isn’t necessary to have this kind of dialogue after every sentence or with every person. It is good to keep this dialogue in mind, though, when you are confused about or need to confirm what is being said, find yourself not being heard, or know that something is “off”, even if you’re not sure what. In these cases, start the dialogue to check things out, gain clarity, and get back on track.
7 Tips For The Talk
Finally, in addition to the dialogue, there are seven other things to consider when it’s me and you and a dog named Boo in a conversation together. Practicing even one of these seven tips will make a difference in your business communication effectiveness. Consistently applying three or four of them will so improve your communication with your partners, clients, and customers that you will see and feel the difference immediately. Practicing all seven of these “tips for the talk” will make you a delight to be around. People will feel as if they have your undivided attention and that you really listen to them. That will make all the difference in the world to the success of your small business.
Tip #1: Address issues as they come up. Don’t piggy-back unresolved issues from the past onto the present topic of discussion. This will confuse the issue and emotionally charge the situation. Stay on point.
Tip #2: Use “I” statements, and speak only from your perspective. Don’t overload your speech with absolutes such as: “You never . . . “or “You always . . . . ” This kind of blanket statement is rarely true and is divisive. Stick with “I.”
Tip #3: Focus on the behaviors you are observing, not the opinions of others. Resist the urge to press your point by listing the scores of people who agree with you and your point of view. Stand and speak only for yourself.
Tip #4: When someone else is speaking, listen. If you're interrupting or forming your response as the other person is talking, you're not listening. Give the speaker your full attention.
Tip #5: Check in from time to time to make sure everyone is on the same page. Don’t assume that the other person is in agreement with you or what you are saying. Check it out.
Tip #6: Follow the bouncing ball. Don’t change the subject without a nod in the direction of the previous topic of discussion. Mind your segue.
Tip #7: Be open to the possibility of another perspective. There is no absolute truth. Truth is relative.
Practicing being an effective speaker and attentive listener will go a long way toward keeping the avenues of communication open and relationships productive. Taking time to communicate effectively and in an equal voice will help ensure a smooth exchange of information with partners, clients, and customers—not to mention ole Boo.
Just in case you want to listen to the groovy tune Me and You and the Dog Named Boo,here’s the link. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFbbNR9TV_k
Accidental Pren-her™ Blog Highlights
You can find our new blog, at: http://susanreid.typepad.com
In the Accidental Pren-her™ blog, I write about the process of turning entrepreneurial women into successful small business owners. It’s a great place to come and build community while embracing your inner Samurai.
Each week, I will post four different segments with the entrepreneurial woman in mind. They are:
- Monday--interviews and stories about Accidental Pren-hers
- Tuesday--alchemic wisdom from the inner Samurai
- Wednesday--reflections on the pren-her life
- Thursday--a book review from the inner Samurai bookshelf and pren-her reading room
Here are the articles I've added to the blog in the last couple of weeks. Just click through on the link to reach each post.
Cultivating Our Inner Samurai, Part I - New perspective on Musashi's infamous Book of Five Rings
To Everything There is a Season - A tribute to the passing of my first mother and the greater meaning to life
Casual Dinner Party for Interesting Women - My friend, Pam Peyron, came up with a great way to utilize an idea from Keith Ferrazzi's book, Never Eat Alone. Take a read!
Courage, The Antidote - Do you know Ambrose Redmoon? I bet you do. Read this blog to find out!
To Everything There is a Season - A tribute to the passing of my first mother and the greater meaning to life.
Who Moved My Cheese? For the Accidental Pren-her - Are you familiar with Dr. Spencer Johnson's delightful allegorical book? Come meet Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw. Read the writing on the wall!
Adding Vroom Vroom to Your Visualizations - Several of my clients are having great success with this visualization technique. Check it out!
Common Sense Approach to Web Usability – Book recommendation: Don't Make Me Think!
If you'd like to receive email notification whenever I add a post to my blog, enter your email into the upper left hand corner of the blog. After you click on the confirmation email from Feedblitz, you'll be all set!
You can find our new blog, at: http://susanreid.typepad.com
Weigh in. Make a comment. Let us know what you think!
Ask The Accidental Prenher™
Q: One of our readers wrote, asking: “What’s the difference between setting a goal and having a vision?”
A: Great question!
Often we use the two interchangeably; however, they are not the same.
A goal is something clearly defined and very specific that will change your life, your business, your career, or your family in some meaningful way. A goal is powerful and transformative, yet it has an action plan and timeline for completion. If you’d like to read more about goals, you might enjoy my article entitled, How to Set Goals That Stick. Read it at: http://www.alkamae.com/content.php?id=152
A vision, on the other hand, is much broader in scope. A vision is the way you truly desire to live your life. It is big, full, and bold. It’s packed with superlatives, exclamation marks, and thrill bumps running up and down your arms. It puts a big ole smile on your face. A vision is grander and more exciting than your current reality. A vision will inspire you toward something greater.
I have found it helpful to base my goals on my vision. That way, I’m in complete alignment with what I want, making accomplishing my goals a piece of cake.
Disclaimer: I am neither an attorney nor accountant and am not qualified to give you financial or legal advice. If you are starting up a business, it is important for you to contact qualified law and tax experts and seek their advice.
That’s all for this issue, folks.
Until next time, happy launching!
Susan L. Reid, MS, DMA
Small Business Start Up Coach & Online Accidental Prenher™
At Alkamae we specialize, not generalize, by launching successful small businesses one woman at a time.
p.s. Below are the “Hot Links” to our most frequented and requested sites:
Small Business Start Up Coaching for those who are ready to partner with a small business coach and position your new business for success: http://www.alkamae.com/product.php?id=9
Link to our Ready to Launch Power Pack Combo that includes our free e-book Are You Ready to Jump the Corporate Ship? Here’s How to Know! This free e-book and accompanying audio will lead you, step-by-step, through the process of deciding whether you are ready to jump the corporate ship and embark on the magnificent journey that will lead you to set-sail on your very own entrepreneurial ship.
Recommended reading for successful small business start ups: http://www.alkamae.com/resource-links.php?id=16
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