The Power of Continuous Communication
As I continue to improve and hone my own communication skills, I have noticed a trend that the first sign of a lack of communication can be a sign of trouble, mainly in youth sports.
We noticed issues with my son’s soccer and basketball coaches almost immediately. Please don’t think this commentary is drive by my son’s lack of playing time;
Caleb plays most of the game in basketball and was one of the better forwards in soccer. However, with both coaches, we noticed their communication tended to change once we signed on to play on the team. The soccer coach had trouble having an in-person conversation and looking me in the eye (the most simple eye cues to build trust). Then, he began texting instead of calling and not returning emails in a timely manner. Coach is a yeller and not a positive way. When my son told me he was scared of his coach, I went to talk to him and we had a good conversation. What optimized Coach is that when I did text him the next day (his preferred mode of communication) to say thanks for speaking to Caleb, he never responded. We went ahead and left the team two weeks later.
With basketball, the coach seems like a good guy and means well but has had difficulty reaching the kids. From the onset, his communication tended to decrease: lack of returning emails and texts, etc. Things have gotten better but the little things still persist: asking the team to get to games 15 minutes early and he gets there two minutes before, practices with only 24 hour notice, etc. We are currently figuring out what to do here but I think with any customer service industry, communication is the foundation of customer retention.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Return all modes of communication as soon as possible
- Do not make texting your primary mode of communication
- Look people in the eye and spend time talking to the people that are paying you; you have to get them comfortable with the current process
- Attention to Detail – be there on time, at least appear organized, breed confidence and your customers will be more confident in you
People-Centric Skills apply to all facets of life; the better you can communicate, the more successful you will be.