The majority of business difficulties stem from communication error. One of things to avoid is anger when a miscommunication occurs. The best route is to retrace the steps of where the mistake originated. In this way, the same may be avoided in the future.
“What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” – Cool Hand Luke, 1967 (Movie starring Paul Newman).
Misinterpretation of what another person says is at the core of today’s story. I’m the one who took the blame. Not realizing something was to be a surprise, I unfortunately revealed the event before it occurred. After apologizing, I asked that future episodes be avoided by spelling out what is expected of me. Thankfully, we are good.
When it comes to business, we need to be even more careful. Given all of the news about hackers and not opening documents via email, I have become very cautious. But being safe rather than sorry applies today. Receiving one such document from a supplier, I used the company Chat Box to convey my concern. It was suggested that I forward the email to customer care.
Communication is a two-way street.
We each interpret things differently. What works for the masses may not work for the individual. When someone misunderstands or is concerned, the other party should pay attention. My viewpoint is in aligning with today’s news. As I see it, the company will do best to not attach documents, but instead have the content directly visible in the email. An alternative is to use traditional mail to get sensitive information to clients.
The worst mishap took place last week. I was sent a FedEx document that instructed I sign onto the website to verify my account. Upon doing so, I was asked to reset the password and login again. I did, and then an error message arose. The same request was made…and the same request was made…and the same request was made…
Wasting a fair amount of time, I wrote customer service to relay what took place along with a request to help get me out of the loop. Guess what the response was? Create a new password to sign in! Needless to say, I will be finding a new service provider this week.
There is no question that on occasion, everyone experiences a communication error.
However, how the error is handled is what makes all the difference. When it comes to business, the best route is to always accept responsibility. But, it is also a test to see if the other party is willing to accept they are also guilty. If you are expected to take full blame, then it becomes a sign for you to find another client or partner. Almost all errors can result in a fix when everyone is willing to take responsibility.
Willingness to work out a solution will also enhance your negotiation skills. It’s all about leading a meeting of the minds for everyone to be satisfied with the outcome.
The simple formula is to:
- Ask how the other person sees the solution
- Provide your perspective
- Ask for input on how you can meet in the middle
- Come to a friendly conclusion
By working in a relaxed mode to help everyone move forward, you protect your personal brand and your business. Clients love to see this type of behavior from their providers. You know you have done well when the outcome produces a returning and referring clientele known as the Smooth Sale!
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