While a difference in communication styles can lead to simple misunderstandings, it can also threaten your relationship with customers and ultimately endanger your business success.
Notes Sherrie Bourg Carter in an article for Psychology Today: “…’communication stress’ can be one of the biggest sources of stress in relationships. After all, we’re all talking the same language, aren’t we?” Not necessarily. “Although we’re all wired differently, we tend to fall somewhere within the parameters of two communication styles: aesthetic and pragmatic,” suggests an article in RISMedia.
Aesthetics generally prefer a sensitive approach to communication. They are often indirect in conversation and value empathy and warmth. They tend to read body language and listen for tone and tenor as well as content. Pragmatics are interested in getting to the point. They value straight talk and a direct communication style right from the get-go. It’s the content of the conversation they care about, not the social embellishments.
Mark Murphy, a Forbes contributor, notes: “One of the biggest problems that occurs between bosses and employees is a mismatch in their communication styles. When you speak and the boss doesn’t hear you, or vice versa, it can greatly hurt your chances of career success.”
Trying to connect with your communications opposite, whether it’s an employee, supplier or customer, can make the difference between accord and disagreement. And as Bourg Carter points out, making differences in communication styles work requires “understanding and flexibility.” It may not be easy, but it can be a recipe for business success.
Perseverance Sets Successful Entrepreneurs Apart
Entrepreneurship is not a glamorous career path.
Especially in the early stages, entrepreneurship is largely about having the chutzpah to see it through. As Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”
Points out Entrepreneur Inc. contributor Steve Tobak: “Having the vision to see what others don’t, the passion to motivate yourself and others, the savvy to build and grow a business, and the guts to make good decisions are all part of the mix. But what binds those ingredients together is the tenacity to stick with it, day in, day out, year after year.”
Forget all the hype about creative genius. More often than not it’s simply willpower, forbearance, and the tenacity to deal with the stress and chaos of entrepreneurship that paves the road to success.
It takes energy, focus, and commitment plus a willingness to fail, pick up the pieces, and carry on. And it’s often about being the last person left standing when others have given up.
As you advance toward your goal, try to surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing and can provide constructive, practical advice. A supportive mentor or involvement in an incubator or accelerator program can help with this. If possible, avoid the naysayers, the doubters, and the cynics.
Try, too, to focus every day on the fundamentals of building your business, and take time to celebrate each step that brings you closer to your end goal. Just getting things done is often a great motivator.
As with life, building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. Perseverance does pay off.
Prepare for Cyber Threats before They Happen
Cyber security events are on the rise. From malware to ransomware, businesses are at greater risk than ever from cyber attacks. Is your company protected?
Proper security requires a well-informed team, tight security protocols, and the right insurance. Here’s an overview of what you should know to be prepared for cyber threats to your operations.
Small business does not mean “small target”: Owners of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) often assume they’re under the radar of cyber hackers. In fact, SMBs are the target of 43% of cyber attacks. You may not have billions in profits to drain, but you have essential information hackers seek (such as health records), access through your network to reach larger companies, and files that are so key to your business you’d be willing to pay a ransom to get them back.
Ransomware has increased 300%: In this form of cyber terrorism, attackers hijack data and demand payment to unlock it. In 2016, an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred each day. This is a 300% increase over 2015. As more and more businesses rely almost solely on digital files and processes, this form of cyber attack continues to grow.
Cyber attackers getting craftier: Business owners must stay one step ahead of cyber attacks. This is no easy task, since techniques are becoming more targeted and more cunning. One example, which is growing in leaps and bounds, is “spear-phishing,” defined by Google as “the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.” An employee who opens this type of email opens your whole system (and those of your networks) to the attacker.
Cyber security requires a multifaceted approach: To safeguard your business against cyber attacks, you must shore up your defenses on all fronts. This includes:
Employee security training
Cyber attacks can kill companies: The average cost of recovery from a cyber attack for SMBs is $36,000; even more frightening is that more than half of small to midsized businesses close their doors within six months of a cyber security event. The final cost includes more than just the cash outlay; it may damage your reputation, making it almost impossible to come back from the attack. It’s essential to have cyber insurance in place to assist you in recovering from the security breach and all that it entails.
Cyber insurance includes:
Privacy liability – In case you fail to protect sensitive personal or corporate information.
Payment card loss – In case you fail to properly manage payment card data.
Data breach – If your data is breached, you will incur costs to retain legal services, notify those affected, and provide those people with credit monitoring services.
Don’t wait until an attack has occurred to take steps to protect your business. Consult with your insurance provider to establish the best policy to guard your business against this growing threat.
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