The way you carry yourself on the job speaks volumes about your business. That’s why it’s so important to have clear communication skills. While much of it seems inherent, there are plenty of us that could use a refresher on what great communication really looks like.
For contractors, you’re already wearing many hats and delegating tasks. Communication between you and your employees, as well as you and the homeowner, can lead to a more successful job. Here are a few communication tips that can help.
Communication is a key skill to have when talking to new leads. Sign up with CraftJack today by calling us at 866-456-6977 to get more new leads!
Keys To Good Communication
If you’re a business owner or an independent contractor, you’ll likely run into situations where you need to communicate clearly in order to get the job done. Poor communication can lead to mistakes and frustration. While some of these tips might seem basic, you’d be surprised at how often they’re forgotten. Here’s an easy list of communication tips you should know:
- Active listening will help you retain what you’ve heard.
- Planning ahead can help you avoid potential confusion.
- Taking detailed notes when someone is talking or contacts you is helpful.
- Nodding your head and making eye contact lets people know you’re listening.
- Practicing good communication tips off the job will help on the job.
- In heated situations, step back and take a breath before speaking.
One of the most important keys to communicating effectively is with great listening skills. Active listening is a technique that can help you retain what you’ve heard as well as assure the person you’re speaking with that you’re attentive to their needs. Here are some ways you can become a better active listener:
- Showing non-verbal signs, such as eye contact and facial expressions
- Avoiding distractions such as phone calls or text messages
- Repeating back to the speaker what they have said, in your own words
- Asking questions to clarify what the speaker is saying
- Don’t propose solutions until the speaker is done talking
Last-minute plans are bound to come up, but should be avoided at all costs. Know how long the project will take and communicate the timeline with the homeowner and your employees. On bigger projects, such as remodeling, you may need to plan for different services and subcontractors in advance. By planning ahead, you can easily communicate with all involved what needs to be done. Not only will this help the job go smoothly for you, but customers will appreciate it too!
Take Detailed Notes
If you’re practicing active listening, note taking is a habit you should form. Note taking requires you to listen carefully, taking what you hear and putting it in writing. This helps you retain the information better. It’s even more helpful if there’s a detail you’re unclear about, so you can refer to your notes as an aid or for clarification.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, it’s not likely you’ll be an expert at listening and communication right away. This is a skill that must be practiced both on and off the job. When speaking with friends and family, practice a few of these techniques such as non-verbal signs and summarizing what they say. It might feel strange at first, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, it could really help you grow relationships with those you love and improve your business!
Communication tends to be easier when things are going well. Even if you’ve taken all the steps to properly relay information to others, it may have been received differently than intended. This can lead to frustration, which I’m sure you’ve experienced before. Frustration and anger can cloud our ability to communicate effectively, not to mention hurt or confuse others. If you find yourself in a situation like this, here are a few steps you can try:
- Take a step back from the situation.
- Deep breaths can help control emotions.
- Avoid yelling or using strong language.
- Ask questions to get to the root of the problem.
- Brainstorm different solutions to best understand a resolution.
When The Job Is Done
After you’ve completed your work, review what changes you’ve made with the homeowner. You may want to present them with a summary, both verbal and written, that best explains the work. This gives them a better understanding of your work. It’s likely they’ll have questions as you wrap things up. Answer them to the best of your ability. If you don’t know the answer, simply state that you’ll find out more and get back to them. Then, be sure to do so! Customers appreciate a contractor that follows up promptly once the work is complete.
Communication is extremely important for contractors in any area of work. Improving your communication skills can help your business thrive as well as boost your relationships with others. Examine some areas where communication can be improved on and practice when you’re able.
To get a little more practice, and more homeowner leads, give us a call at 866-456-6977.