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Communication links a team together. In small companies, it is essential that every person in each department knows what is going on so they can work at maximum efficiency. If there is any breakdown in the hierarchy of communication, then the entire company is at jeopardy. With that, I have singled out six factors that lead to success when dealing with the clients. Just as with any product or business, there are two sides to the situation: the problem and the solution.

Pacing, Enquiry and Diagnosis are shown to be problem-centered skills, as they are commonly used when the discussion focuses on a specific problem. During this time the teams will discuss the problem and find the best ways to implement a solution. 

•    Pacing is the technique of varying your communication style to match that of other people. Within each company there are different characters with various work abilities. By matching a communication style to a specific characteristic in an employee, you can better encourage the person to work to their maximum potential. 

•    Enquiry is listening carefully to what people are saying and asking questions to fill in the gaps.  As with any problem by listening to what other people say, specifically the clients and the employees, a company can direct focus on what the correct solution should be. 

•    Diagnosis is determining the root cause of a problem. This is essential before any discussion about solutions is attempted. After all discussion and debate is complete, the company can develop their solution to the correct problem. Leading, Proposing and Directing are solution-centered skills as they are commonly used to move discussions towards solutions. 

•    Leading is one of the most critical solution-centered skills because it focuses the conversation on the important issues. Once a specific solution has been targeted, it is up to the leaders to make sure the solution is properly implemented. Failure to do so severely hurts the company and the prospect of new clients. 

•    Proposing involves presenting possible solutions as a choice of options. The client must first be presented with the options of the solutions before anything is ever implemented. If the client understands the problem and the solution, he or she is more than likely to agree with the steps that must be taken. A client that is helpful in the solution process can aid the business tremendously.

•    Directing is the technique that managers use without thinking. This means breaking down the teams so they can more effectively and efficiently complete the tasks presented by the solution. This is different from leadership in that directing is not as targeted at evoking emotions such as creativity or pride. Directing is all about getting the job done.

This Business article was written by Colby Almond on 3/31/2010