How does your enterprise communicate? While developing your business and branding you have undoubtedly spent days or weeks, and a lot of time and money answering this question. Entrepreneurship is more about building a business than implementing an idea. It is more about the connection a leader builds between his team and his customers.
By choosing the markets in which to launch your business, choosing the social media platforms to interact with your clients, even choosing the colors of your graphic designs, you consciously create the interaction between your business and your customers. But how much time have you spent consciously creating the interaction with the people who will help create lasting success?
Achim Nowak, a well-known business coach in the field of business communication, is the author of the just-published Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within. Nowak believes that we communicate on four levels, the fourth being the most productive. A leader doesn’t just fall into a conversation, a leader consciously enters the exchange and tries to move it to the fourth level. The first level is the social level, short snippets of conversation that don’t advance much further than pleasantries. Although this may be necessary to begin relationships, staying at this level eventually deadens them. The next level of conversation moves from the environment completely outside of you to your personal environment: What is your professional history? Who are in your professional networks? What is your area of expertise? Who are you outside of work? With the first two levels, you are still at the lower levels of communication. Moving to the next level is shaping the intent of the conversation. Here, choose the words, even the grammar, that you want to use because something that seems as trivial as using action verbs can have a profound effect upon the direction of the conversation. The fourth level is letting your passion for your enterprise show. Remember the base of passion is not bold energy, but deep found love and commitment. Through all of these steps, you are a partner in the conversation, listening and speaking. The steps Nowak outlines can be simply summarized as moving from a communication that is outside of you to one that reveals your core.
Take a look again at social and electronic media your business uses. It tweets, it friends, it emails but it doesn’t convey connection. How you consciously create connection and communicate will take you much farther than an emoticon ever will.