During my career I’ve been a comms expert in the UK, Poland and Armenia. But that’s not the most important case: The thing is that working in those countries I would develop truly global communications campaigns. So not only have I communicated on behalf of companies from various countries but I have spoken to their international audiences. This calls for being persuasive while communicating with your colleagues and the board in the country you work in and at the same time for being effective while speaking with stakeholders scattered all over the world (often via foreign journalists). Cultural differences are very important in business but you still want to be yourself and let your personality shine through and fascinate people around you. When it comes to global communications, it’s vital to strike a happy medium. But how to do it?
What is more, I don’t believe that today in order to get your messages across and eventually meet your communications goals it is enough to have a great service/product and an interesting story. Or maintain eye contact or use positive body language. There’s more to it. So what is the art of modern communications in business?
Be respectful and polite…
The British are extremely polite. It’s a widely-accepted fact which in fact, has even been ridiculed on numerous occasions by foreign nations. But you’ll never guess what’s happened! I’ve recently started coaching sessions with quite a few business people in Poland and Armenia and noticed that those historically direct nations (some even label them as rude or abrupt) these days expect exactly the same level of politeness as Brits do. Being descriptive in any verbal or written communication, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot and demonstrating patience in a tense situation seems to no longer be a description of a desired working relationship but a key requirement. In communication never forget that you respect your clients and their needs.
…but don’t be dull
Your business has many assets: a great service/product, personality or dedicated staff? Then try not to lose your audience by boring them and communicate with suitable energy! How many times have you started a face-to-face chat, phone pitch or a social media post with exactly the same words? Has it resulted in a low engagement level? Exactly, it’s easy to be repetitive and replicate originally successful patters but I can assure you they are not going to work forever and day on day they’ve been losing the impact.
I’m not arguing that we need to be flamboyant in any contact with our clients or journalists but we should aim for a regular element of surprise. It could be this extra proactivity or dedication you demonstrate every now and again which will help your business be one step ahead, especially these days when we’re destined to operate in such competitive markets.
*Featured photo credited to TSD Armenia