For many entrepreneurs, experience can have a major impact on the way they do business. Whether it’s changing a marketing strategy after an unexpected failure or flipping a product after becoming better acquainted with the needs of their target audience, leaders must constantly evolve with their business if they want to be successful in the long run. This can also mean that the way they interact with their customers, their employees and their colleagues needs to change regularly.
As business leaders themselves, these 10 members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs have evolved in their own way over the course of their careers. Here they all share how becoming a more experienced leader has changed the way they talk to others and the impact it has had on their business in general.
1. I treat every interaction as a learning opportunity
I have become aware that every interaction is an opportunity to help people learn something new. I don’t mean that a leader has to preach constantly, but rather give instructions and explain things so that it leads to a good understanding. This way of speaking has helped everyone understand the purpose of the company and their roles, leading to less confusion and better performance. – Blair Williams, Members Press
2. I opt for a more interactive approach
Humility is an admirable quality in leadership, so I use a more interactive style of communication with others. I’ve noticed that people are more likely to listen and be more receptive to my ideas when there is give and take in communication. This change has had a positive impact on my ability to lead effectively as there is better collaboration at work and respectful relationships. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Beautiful, Inc.
3. I regularly offer recognition
I regularly give specific recognition to the strengths of individual team members and the actions they have taken to illustrate those strengths. In addition, by leading by example, I help foster a culture in which team members are encouraged to publicly recognize each other’s strengths and show appreciation when people do their best. – Christina Drake, Willa’s Oat Milk
4. I’ll make sure before I go any further
I’ve learned not to assume that people understand what I’m saying. Now I ask questions and make sure that my employees not only understand, but agree with what I have said. Miscommunication and misunderstandings can cause delays and additional costs, as well as frustration and stress. If I’m clear and get buy-in at the beginning, the results improve. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
5. I tailor my communication to the other party
As I gained more experience, I learned to tailor my approach to the person or group I am addressing. The same information can have a different impact on someone based on their needs, level of knowledge and position (customer, team member, IT expert, salesperson or others). Before speaking, I consider what the other person needs and will understand best. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
6. I use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’
I’ve learned to use ‘we’ when describing all things – positive and negative. We are a team and function as a complete unit. There is no such thing as “I” asked you to get this done and “you” didn’t complete it. It’s more like, “We had a goal to accomplish, but we didn’t get it done in time. How can we correct this?” Speaking in this way shows that we are on the same team and have to work together to achieve goals. – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo
7. I treat others the way I want to be treated
Timeless values like treating others the way you want to be treated yourself are reinforced when you communicate as a leader. It’s still possible to sound authoritative while giving dignity to the people you give their time, even in the midst of a disagreement. The dividends this brings are a culture of loyalty and a healthy, clear mind. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
8. I exchange more feedback
I started exchanging more feedback with my colleagues, employees and customers. While I have managed to maintain a balance between listening and giving advice, I have found that this has had a positive impact on my relationships with them, as it allows me to better understand their needs and concerns and has helped me to rely on them. build. – Abhijeet Kaldate, Astra WordPress theme
9. I am more direct, candid and concise
One thing I’ve changed about the way I speak to others is that I’m more direct, candid, and concise. This has helped me get my point across in a more effective way. I have found that people are more receptive to my thoughts and ideas when they are communicated in a clear and concise manner. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
10. I speak less and listen more
My experience has taught me to be a better listener. So I prefer to speak less and listen more to what others have to say. This has had a huge impact. When you listen to others, they feel valued and they experience a sense of belonging, whether they are colleagues, employees or customers. Being a good listener helps you gain trust, build rapport, and recognize lasting relationships. – Jared Atchison, WPForms