Why Real Conversations Can Help Build Better Business Relationships
What happened to the art of conversation? In modern times, the mushrooming use of digital communication - emails, texts, tweets and messaging apps - is rapidly replacing conversation, but more then that, some experts argue that it might even be degrading our facility for it. As Business Management Daily wrote earlier this year in an article titled Reclaim The Lost Art of Conversation:
If you’re out of practice, you may lapse into bad patterns. Rather than seek to understand others or get to know them better, you may find yourself asserting your point of view or trying to gain their compliance.
While modern technology makes for rapid and efficient communication, it can be distracting, lead to miscommunication, and reduce productivity and creativity. In business, everyone operating independently might seem like a nice ideal, but if each party does not have an effective grasp of the needs and services of every other party, relationships will remain sub-optimal.
One way we at Irwin’s develop productive and personalized partnerships is through simple fireside chats – the same kind one might have with a seatmate on an airplane or at a bar. By listening to one another needs and gaining a better understanding of the nuances of each other’s services, two companies can forge a unified path forward.
Why Conversations Are Important:
A conversation is a collaboration. Through discussion, two or more people work together to understand one another. One easy way to conceptualize this is to remove it from the context of business entirely. A married couple begins with two completely different perspectives on who should take the garbage out (she thinks he should, he thinks she should), but through a conversation they can come to a simple agreement (say, that they will alternate weeks, or that he should take the garbage out in exchange for her taking care of the laundry).
In that instance, a simple transactional approach might have worked just as well, but there are other cases when the nuances of conversation can work on a subtler level. A teacher may email a student his paper grade, and the student may accept that grade without learning anything about writing papers. But if the teacher approaches the student in person, explains the paper’s weaknesses, asks the student to describe his approach to writing papers, and then offers him specific strategies to help write a better paper next time, the back-and-forth nature of the conversation will have added more value than the remote, transactional approach.
Conversations Help Businesses Work Together:
In business, face-to-face back-and-forths can help parties find common ground and better understand each other’s strengths and weakness. It’s plain enough that Irwin’s is a safety company, but organizations looking for safety professionals may not understand that Irwin’s offers a cohesive safety/quality/efficiency approach that saves companies money while keeping workers safe. They may not understand that we offer the best in internal quality management systems, operational excellence managing projects, a resources team which can staff a project of any scope, and high-end consulting services which can help clients resolve any number of worksite challenges. And even if they do understand some of the services offered by Irwin’s, they may not understand exactly how Irwin’s can work with them to resolve their specific industrial safety needs.
A simple 30-minute conversation can change that. Book a face-to-face consultation with your local Irwin’s facility today.