How Communication Skills Help in Developing an Entrepreneur

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There’s a myth in entrepreneurship of the ‘lone wolf’ business owner, who battles the odds alone, then triumphs in the end. These rare stories of entrepreneurs are the exception that proves the rule. 

More often, successful entrepreneurs are amazing team builders and leaders. They inspire and motivate their employees and partners to create business success. The fundamental skill they draw on to achieve this is communication. 

The Importance of Communication Skills in Entrepreneurship

Steve Jobs, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Sara Blakely,  Jack Dorsey, Oprah Winfrey…

…What all these famous business leaders had in common is the ability to create a vision so compelling, their employees, investors, and the wider public all bought into it.  They created vision through communication and it drove growth at all levels of their business. 

Communication is a skill vital for:

  • Building a team (trust, rapport, relationship strengthening, resolving conflict)
  • Finding clients & closing sales 
  • Finding investors 
  • Keeping clients & managing expectations
  • Communication with yourself (clarity of thought, mindset) 

Even so, many entrepreneurs don’t spend time honing their communication abilities. This is because it’s easy to think you have good communication skills because as an entrepreneur, it’s what you do all day. 

However, unless you’ve done training specifically on communication, maybe even by investing in business communication coaching, it’s likely your skills could do with a tune up. 

Why Good Communication Matters for Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial environment (especially for startups) is often turbulent, involving high stakes and elevated levels of uncertainty. 

In these conditions, the consequences of missed or unclear exchanges can be serious. To build a company that has a solid foundation, you’re going to navigate people with opposing ideas, hidden assumptions, and different expectations. All these factors lead to conflict, and that’s where excellent communication is the solution. 

Many entrepreneurs only find out their communication skills could be improved when a large breakdown happens. 

However, many problems can be dealt with when they’re small if you’re able to find out what people’s underlying assumptions and their unvoiced doubts are. Bringing these to light early is how you avoid the partnership breakups and employee disengagement that hamstrings businesses. 

Once entrepreneurs discover what excellent communication skills can accomplish, they’re able to create business teams that produce, innovate, and grow fast. 

How do you assess your communication skills?

The first step to improving your skills as an entrepreneur is to assess where you’re currently at. Do you find that you often:

  • Step in and correct employees in their tasks – after you’ve already given them instructions
  • Have team members disagree on what the top priorities are
  • Have staff come to you because they’re not sure of their responsibilities and targets

If this is the case, then improving your communication ability will likely lead to a huge increase in business productivity. 

Communication & Delegation

Effective entrepreneurs are good delegators. The art of delegation hinges on communication. When you perceive an employee or partner has deliberately screwed up a project, always question that assumption before you go on the attack. 

Nine times out of ten, an employee will have made a mistake because they misunderstood your instructions. As an entrepreneur, failure to communicate a clear vision of what you want is always your responsibility. 

The way to uncover misunderstandings like this is to enquire in a neutral tone why an employee did what they did. This neutral communication is the first step to finding clarity.

What Good Communication Looks Like

Entrepreneurs who practice crystal-clear communication may take more time initially to get their message across. However, they’ll save a boatload of time on the back end because the person they’re talking with will have a true understanding of the information they’re been given. 

There are several simple checks you can do to make sure you’ve successfully communicated:

  1. Ask the person to repeat the instructions back in their own words
  2. Ask them to seek clarity on anything they didn’t understand
  3. Make sure you agree on key terminology and have a shared understanding of its meaning
  4. At the outset, examine your core assumptions, and make them clear to the person you’re talking with

Following these steps will make it much more likely the vision of what you want will be clearly understood by the recipient. 

Unlock Business Growth with Communication

While things like ‘engagement’ and ‘increased productivity’ sounds good on paper, honing your communication skills can convert into a real change to your bottom line. 

One ABA client, Kent Manos, used the communication skills he learned with us to deal differently with his staff, suppliers, and contractors. He was able to bring his A-game to work each day and helped his team do the same. 

The result? Kent went from $1M a year turnover to $10M per year, in just four years.

Another client, Amy Bliefnick, used her communication skills to close more businesses and raise her client rates. In just one year of working with us, Amy was able to triple her cashflow, and pay down an existing debt 5x faster than she’d planned. 

Amanda Kerr, a real estate agent, was able to double her business, all while feeling more relaxed and centered in herself than ever before. 

Most entrepreneurs don’t see the ‘soft’ skill of communication as something that can have a huge impact on their business’s bottom line. However, the case studies above show what a difference this can make, and we’ve seen that bear out across many businesses and industries. 

Right now, you can take the first step towards building your communication skills. This is something that will accelerate your entrepreneurial journey and help you build better businesses, faster. You can book a free discovery session with us to get started on your communication journey.

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