Communication is (nearly) everything
At this Start:up Müsli, we hung out with Mojca Lubanjšek Pehant, owner and co-founder of Retorik, who has spent nearly 20 years helping companies and individuals acquire knowledge from the field of communication. She shared practical advice on how to successfully communicate in business.
Communication is crucially important for success and it influences how our environment sees us and how we can successfully achieve our set goals. As Mojca Lubanjšek Pehant says, you need to take time to communicate. She adds that according to some studies, good leaders spend as much as 75% of their time communicating with co-workers. Her moto is “Communication is (nearly) everything”.
Do you know how to adapt to your co-speaker?
Mojca emphasizes: “People are different, and we communicate in different ways. Be patient towards others who are different.” She advises that it’s always good to imitate our co-speaker in terms of how they express themselves, how fast they speak, and try to step into their shoes: “The sooner we learn how to imitate them, the sooner they will trust us.” If you have a slow co-speaker, definitely don’t approach them by speaking too fast. Instead, calm yourself down and listen to them.
Make a good first impression
Mojca highlights that the first impression we make is very important: “In the first 7 seconds after seeing a person, we create an opinion about them. All this happens subconsciously. More time is necessary to fix the first impression.” Mojca adds that it’s important to appear confident and advises that we shake hands, if possible, as that is the only way to have physical contact with our co-speaker.
She also emphasizes that our energy and body language are very important for success. Content only represents 7% of our communication. As much as 55% is represented by our non-verbal communication and 38% by our voice and speaking style. No matter how good the content, it will not bring results unless our voice, style of speaking and non-verbal communication are coordinated.
Don’t forget to smile and be a good listener
As Mojca says: “Focused listening and a smile are the most important elements of communication. A smile is the ticket for good mutual relationships. A smile is important for building personal relationships, but it also positively impacts our mood.”
Listening is also a very important skill. Do you know how to listen? As Mojca says, we often listen but don’t really hear. In a minute, we can say about 150 words, but the listener can receive up to 1000 pieces of information, as they detect everything that’s happening in the environment: noise, sounds, movements … And this obtrusive information can quickly lead our thoughts astray. That is why the lecturer advises: “Whenever you are listening to someone, do it consciously and be focused. Instead, we often think in advance about how the conversation will continue. A good listener is aware of intrusive thoughts and chases them away.”
Start with yourself
To conclude, Mojca adds: “The key characteristic of communication masters is niceness. Start with yourself. Be nice to yourself, so that you will consequently be nicer to others. Others will talk to us in the same way as we talk to ourselves.” We need to realize that we can only change ourselves. And it is our feelings and our mood that decide how we will communicate and how successful we will be in communicating. If we are feeling well, this will be reflected in our communication as well. The power of words affects our mood, our mood affects relationships.
We can learn communication skills, with persistence and practice. So start today!