Anna Preston

How to communicate with busy people

These days everyone is busy – some people are just busier – and communicating with someone who has little time to spare can be tricky. The problem is that attention spans are short, and everyone has multiple ways of being contacted, email, text, mobiles and even desk phones depending on where they are based. Finding the time to check everything can be tricky and it is easy to miss something, or someone.

The trick is to find the best way to communicate with the busy people that you need to talk to and ensure that you have their full attention at the same time. Of course, the same method of communication may not work for every busy person you need to communicate with but these tips should help.

Wave goodbye to the traditional

Nobody wants to here the same of thing every time they attend a meeting so think about how you communicate with your employees in a meeting situation. People have so little free time, they simple don’t need to here the more traditional thank you for you time and good morning. Make the start of each meeting a more positive thing, make a statement, ask a question, something that will get peoples attention and ensure that they are engaged in the content of the meeting – they need to feel that their time is being used wisely. Project management training can be vital when it comes to considering exactly how you should grab the attention of your team.

Keep to the point

One thing that busy people appreciate is someone who respects their lack of time. This means keep your conversations short and to the point. Ensure that you communicate the essential information that you need in order to move the project along. Whilst there is always time for the niceties in conversations some people are simply too busy for small talk and if you attempt to engage them in such you run the risk of getting on their bad side when you need their help at a later point in time.

Do your research

Make sure that you are spending your time chasing the correct busy person, do your research and ensure that you have the correct person to speak to. If you don’t get the right person not only will you be wasting everyone’s time, but you will also not create a very good impression. Sometimes it can be a good idea to brush up on your skills so that you are doing the best that you can to lead your project in whatever way is appropriate and project management courses are a very good way of doing this.

Stick with what works

If you find a way of communicating with an individual that works stick with it. If the busy person you need to talk to responds to emails promptly then this may be their preferred method of communication so sticking to that should prove to be the best method of getting the answers you want as quickly as possible.

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