Volume 15, Issue 1- January-February 2011
Communication = Success
Hello again and welcome to Ask the Expert! First, I would like to thank
everyone who spent a few minutes with me at SEMA. It was wonderful seeing
so many colleagues in one place. It is always nice to share a few “war
stories” with those from the industry and I did meet some new people who
have entered our industry at SEMA as well—a big welcome to all of you.
1. Listen before you speak. Communication is based on two major components, listening and speaking. When in conversation, you may be listening, but are you hearing what the other person is saying? Most people want to express their opinion without listening to the entire thought first. If you listen before you speak, you may find that what you thought you were going to say may be the wrong reply. Listening is a powerful tool. Utilize it.
your parents used to say, ‘
2. Think before you speak. When you are ready to say something, make
sure it is exactly what you would like to express. For example, one of
my clients was recently on a jobsite and his installation team arrived
late. This delayed the team’s arrival for the second job. The two jobsites
were less than five miles apart. When leaving the first jobsite my client
asked his team if they were going directly to the next jobsite and they
answered yes. Unfortunately, the installers showed up 45 minutes later.
When my client asked his team where they had been, they replied that they
had stopped for lunch. If they would have said they needed to stop for
lunch before going to the second site my client would not have been standing
around for 45 minutes wondering if they had gotten into an accident, had
car trouble, etc. If you communicate exactly what you would like to express
you will save yourself a lot of frustration and misunderstandings.
3. Think about the tone of your voice. You can navigate a conversation
simply by changing your voice. If you are happy, sad, angry or frustrated,
it can be detected in your tone. Most of us have been in the situation
where you are on a jobsite and your client is, shall we say, overly picky.
The client is pointing out every little issue in the film and installation.
You are ready to explode. At that moment one of your team members taps
you on your shoulder and asks you a question. You unfortunately answer
with an irritated tone. The team member believes he did something wrong
and adopts an attitude. Remember what your parents used to say, “Speak
to others the way you would want them to speak to you.” Food for thought!
4. Think about your body language. You may not know it, but your body
speaks its own language. If you can, take notice of where you place your
arms, hands, legs, etc. while you are speaking to others. Are you pointing
your finger at someone while trying to make a point? Are you leaning forward
during the conversation? Do you have eye contact with everyone involved
in the conversation or are your eyes wandering around the room? All of
these movements tell others if you are interested or not in the conversation.
Communicating with your body is just as important as the words you use.
If you and your team are communicating effectively and efficiently you are well on your way to success!
Donna Wells has worked in the window film industry since the 1980s and is currently sole proprietor of Image Imagination in Huntington Beach, Calif. Ms. Wells’ opinions are solely her own and not necessarily those of this magazine.
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