How many times do we have presumptions within our communication processes? If a sales lead does not call back, he or she is rude to just wasting my time? Then as more time passes, we may make more presumptions about why I have not heard from him or her.
For example, this past week I had a customer service technology related problem respective to my website. Logic told me it was on the end of the hosting site and nothing to do with my computer or Internet access. I sent an email and waited 24 hours.
The webmaster responded to my customer service complaint and we exchanged emails. Again 24 hours passed and the problem continued. So I sent another email and made a phone call. In both cases I was professional and did not display any negative emotions given that this problem was now reaching 72 hours.
Finally, the webmaster answered my last email and shared he had been at the hospital with an elderly grandparent. He apologized and said he would attend to the customer service problem. Within 12 hours, the issue was corrected.
Thanks heavens I refrained from making any presumptions and going off on him through negative verbal and written communications. Sometimes we forget as we communicate with others, it is not all about us and our needs or wants, but the wants and needs of the other person with whom we are in communications. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Having a written value statements of your positive business ethics helps to keep you from being reactive in these types of situations.
Communication is a two-way process with both a sender and receiver no matter the situation be it sales, business operations or between two friends. What is unique is that these roles continually change between who is sending and who is receiving.
Presumptions happen all the time. For example with the current football mania between the Packers and the Bears, many presume that everyone cares about professional sports. This can be a dangerous presumption. For me, as much as I believe sports can be beneficial to individual health, investing several hours of my time watching two teams vie for some win is not a constructive use of my time. I would rather be reading, writing or engaged in some other activity. This does not make me a bad person, un-American as suggested by some very emotionalized fans or someone with “tight shorts.”
When we infuse our presumptions within the communication process, this causes potential misunderstandings that can have serious consequences. Correcting these misunderstandings may take additional time and may leave long term unintended consequences. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Presumptions can affect trust and building trust is required within the buying process especially if you wish to increase sales.
Presumptions are very much like clouds that impede the message from reaching the intended receiver. To ensure clear and successful communications begins with these active listening skills.
- Clarity to separate the “knowns” from the unknownsLegitimize the real issueEmotions behind or in front of what is being communicatedAgreement to find common groundRetention to remember what is actually said
By removing the suppositions, opinions or conjectures (call them what you will) we have as individuals is a challenge. However the effort is well worth it.