We’re all trying our best to find success, whatever it might mean to us. Often, this requires innovation and individuality. There’s a great focus on thinking outside the box and pushing boundaries. But while blazing your own trail is undeniably admirable – and important – there’s a lot of wisdom out there that we can benefit from. In the world of business, many have gone before us and learned from their failures and their successes. Luckily, a lot of them have left behind sage words to share their learning. To help each of us in our quest for success, and encourage everyone to keep prioritising open and easy communication in the workplace, we’ve put together a list of some of the most powerful business communication quotes out there. Take note; they could change the way you work, talk and listen forever.
1. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” – Reid Hoffman
This is a biggie. It comes from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. His job role alone tells you he knows a thing or two about team work, and the monumental organisation he co-founded means you can put faith in his wisdom.
It can be difficult for some businesspeople to accept. Many of us are highly driven and independent. Working in a team doesn’t always come naturally, and it can be tempting to think things work faster and better your way. Plus, people sometimes balk at the thought of tedious meetings and conference calls that might be a waste of time. And compromise can be really challenging, and doesn’t always work for the best. While there may be truth to the saying that too many cooks spoil the broth, there’s more behind the idea that two heads are better than one.
Any kind of project can benefit from different areas of expertise and a variety of points of view. Nobody can be the best at everything, so it makes sense to bring people on board who might be more tech-savvy or seasoned in sales than you. Having a diverse team will make the whole project more dynamic and flexible, and almost always create a better end result. Plus, you multiply the stamina, energy and motivation available by the number of team members! That undoubtedly gives you an edge over any solo stars you might be competing with.
Just be sure to check out some of the swathes of knowledge and advice out there. From help on planning perfect business meetings, to tips for project management, dive into team work armed with the wisdom of the team players who’ve come before. And while you’re at it, make sure you have the right communication tools to put your knowledge to work!
2. “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” – Aaron Goldman
This nugget of knowledge is courtesy of Aaron Goldman. And as far as business communication quotes go, it’s an important one. Being part of a team doesn’t mean renouncing the leadership skills you’ve worked to fine-tune. Because teams are often made up of people with different strengths, every person will probably be guiding and explaining at least once. When it’s your turn to present to the team, think about what they already know and what they need to know. You don’t want to bore them with things that aren’t relevant to their work.
Equally dull (sometimes even patronising) is being told really obvious stuff. And repeating material that’s already been shared will kill energy and interest. At the same time, you don’t want to assume too much knowledge. Leaping into specialist areas or language can make people switch off as quickly as drumming in things they know. It simply becomes like an unknown language, going straight over their heads. So make sure you consider both existing and necessary knowledge before you even begin to plan any presentations, no matter how informal.
Beyond content, the format of the presentation is also vital. You don’t want to induce any death by Powerpoint, so avoid tedious and pointless animations and tired clipart. Rather than focusing on what your experience of delivering will be like, always think about the recipients. This is one of those situations in which empathy’s central role in leadership becomes clear, and crucial.
3. “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.”- Mark Sanborn
Mark Sanborn sheds light on another important aspect of team-playing in one of our favourite business communication quotes. If a stale silence settles in every time the group gets together, something is seriously wrong. The whole team should feel comfortable sharing any concerns or uncertainties. If somebody is feeling embarrassed or judged, it’s time to change things. Equally, an atmosphere of fear is never conducive to good work. Don’t demand perfection, because nobody can deliver it. You’ll only create terror of sharing missteps or confusion – and failure to share these only breeds true chaos.
So instill a sense of camaraderie and openness from the get-go. Set everyone at ease, and try to keep a light and informal atmosphere without stepping too far into the personal. Above all, keep the conversation flowing and easy.
Of course, sometimes ‘silence’, so to speak, is inevitable. Teams can’t always be together all the time. Some can’t even be physically together during working hours. That’s why ensuring you have great channels of communication available is key. Luckily, with WHYPAY? conference calls, all team-members can quickly join an audio meeting right from their mobiles, or from a landline if they’re at the office or at home.Create a FREE Teleconference
That way, should inspiration or disaster strike when you’re apart, there’ll be no chance for that infectious silence to start spreading its deadly clouds.
4. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” – Shannon L. Alder
This insight, like so many other great ones, comes from Shannon L. Alder. While she’s written about tonnes of topics, here she’s penned a wonderful business communication quote. However much you foster openness and honesty within the team, there will always be things left unspoken. Most of this is unconscious. After all, much of our communication is inadvertent and non-verbal. That’s why learning to read body language and vocal cues is a big part of succeeding in business.
In any communication, think about any gaps there might be between what the person is saying, and what they really mean. What kind of blocks exist to them expressing themselves? What agenda might they have? Do they have any reason to skew the conversation a certain way, or foreground one topic? Is their knowledge limited? Are they feeling any professional or social pressures or discomforts?
A lot of this can be situational and social, but often their tone and body will do a lot of the talking. The main thing is to never be a passive listener. Pay careful attention to their words and any ambiguity they might have, as well as to all the other ways they might be trying to tell you something – or hide something.
5. “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” – Roy T. Bennett
Roy T. Bennett is definitely onto something with this one. The pride and excitement of having a great idea can be overwhelming. But that can really impair our listening. If the whole time somebody else is talking, you’re planning out how to phrase your next brilliant contribution, you could be missing out on really important information. You might have even had a better or more nuanced idea if you had paid closer attention to what followed. Worse still, you might miss the fact that your thought has already been expressed, or actually wouldn’t work or apply for some reason. That’s why we couldn’t make a list of business communication quotes without this.
When somebody else is talking, your only priority should be to listen. It’s not a race to reply. A well-planned out meeting should leave plenty of time for queries and responses. Plus, switching your brain’s gears can be really refreshing and revitalising. Take your foot off the pedal and take some time to really listen. Process what’s being said before you even begin to formulate an answer. You’ll find that your communication becomes much more meaningful and valuable. And you’ll probably start to learn much more about all sorts of things, too.
6. “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar
This is a belief we definitely share with Zig Ziglar. And that’s why we’re always so transparent about how WHYPAY? works, why we can offer genuinely free conference calls, and how we calculate your savings.
No list of business communication quotes would be complete without highlighting the value of trust. Doing business with somebody means taking risks. You’re risking your money, your career, your reputation. Nobody wants to go into business with somebody they don’t trust. And truly trusting them means believing they have honourable intentions and conduct business fairly. A great way to show everybody you work with that you have their best interest at heart is to offer them open and easy communication.
Choosing WHYPAY? conference calls is a great way of doing that. Because the conference call rooms are available whenever you want them, allowing easy reservationless conference calling, you’re showing that you want to be reachable for real conversation whenever it’s necessary. Plus, because the audio meeting rooms are accessed using 03 numbers, you’ll never be that person expecting your colleagues to pay to reach you.Create a FREE Teleconference