As women in our day to day business, it likely that we will engage with men – as employees, colleagues, suppliers, financiers and clients. And whilst we might think that we both speak the same language, the truth is -we don’t. And that matters because if we want to communicate, sell, motivate, and inspire the male half of the population, we need to speak their language. The latest neuroscience shows that the male and female brain is different which means that the way they communicate is different. Barbara Annis and John Gray’s book Work with Me highlights some of these important issues. But it’s not just the male-female thing where language matters. Different industries speak different language, and if you have ever tried to get funding for your business you will know what I am talking about!
Often entrepreneurs try to pitch to investors by talking about all the benefits of their product or service and all the technical innovations it has, and they don’t focus much on the financials. However, if you look at a pitch from an investor point of view, what they want to know is how much money they are likely to make, and how soon they will get their initial investment back.
Watching a conversation between an ill-prepared entrepreneur and investor is like watching a Spanish person trying to communicate to a Chinese person who does not understand Spanish. So you need to understand, as well as speak other languages – for example:
Customers – they generally want to know what makes your product or service different to others, and how you are going to deliver a great experience for them. Explain the HOW to them.
Investors– they want to know the numbers – revenues, profits and return on investment. Make sure you have done your homework, and can provide a best case and worst-case scenario.
Employees – they want to know that you value what they do, and that they matter to you and the business. So make sure you regularly communicate with them.
Family – your family want to know to that they are aslo important in the work equation. They want you to give them time and attention and to know that you care. So make sure you give them quality time, and really listen.
So make sure you take the time to understand the world of the other person and be able to translate your message so that it is heard.