Essentials for entrepreneurs by Keno Ogbo

Six strategies to being heard

Language is not merely spoken word and gestures that happen between people. It is also about the initial ‘voice’ in your head. We learn to speak within ourselves, long before we utter any audible words. One of the leading intellectuals of the last three decades, Noam Chomsky, in his study of linguistics, claimed something incredible: “About 95% of language is internal.”.Your thoughts are more important than anything you utter and, if you learn to focus your thoughts, then your external communication will be more effective. Let’s learn five key steps to ensure you get heard when communicating.

Speak to yourself first

Take some time to deliberately think positive and empowering thoughts. Ancient wisdom alludes to ‘positive thinking’ with statements such as: ‘Give the universe positivity and receive positivity’; ‘Speak to existence’, and so forth. It is easy to doubt such claims as ‘nonsense’ or ‘non-scientific’ but, after some reflection, discussions and research, it is evident that these claims have some validity. Your thoughts do affect your outlook and your behaviour. As an entrepreneur, tap into thinking right, and allow your language to flow naturally in that vein. Remind yourself of God’s gifts and talents in you before you see a potential client or make that pitch.

Manage your feelings

Every entrepreneur must learn to manage feelings, yours as well as everyone’s around you. This is especially important with your facial expressions and body language. If you had a job as an undertaker, providing a service at funerals, it would be quite odd to be openly excited, grinning uncontrollably each time you approach the hearse. While this is an extreme example, a lot of entrepreneurs commit similar blunders daily. Be conscious of your expressions and body language, and don’t wear your feelings on your face. What you feel may not be appropriate for the situation.

Adopt inspirational words

As an entrepreneur, it is important to use language to inspire those around you. A successful leader does not merely instruct but taps into desires and emotions that inspire people to do their best. Key relationships propel you beyond your competition, and their power must never be understated. International referral organisations, such as BNI, are based on this fundamental principle: Don’t be a cold communicator, be inspirational.

Be deliberate

Business intellect is necessary in communication. CEOs and politicians dish out thousands of pounds on communication managers for this key reason. Thankfully, this is the new world; the Internet and books are laden with information that can transform your communication skills. Invest in feeding your mind with these key skills.

Speak with purpose

It is of utmost necessity to mean what you say and do away with careless words. People are ruled by perception and, when they perceive a lack of confidence or authenticity, your ‘talk’ means little. People with ‘natural charisma’ are blessed with natural skills but, as the parable of the talents teaches us, if you do not work on your talents you will lose them. As a budding entrepreneur, you have been entrusted with the great talent of ambition and, if you work at it, you will obtain the talent of charisma.

Remember, top CEOs are not necessarily the best at their craft, but they rise to the top because of language (internal and external). Chances are you will be more successful if you hone your communication skills.


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