In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, communication has become the No. 1 tool that’s helping us sustain our businesses throughout this challenging time. Coaching your team on how to communicate better will not only benefit your organization, but it’ll also help forge stronger relationships with clients.

The strategy and tactics you have in place now will define your legacy and shape how you interact with your colleagues going forward. I’ve outlined three ways to sharpen your communication skills so that you can engage efficiently with others and achieve positive outcomes for yourself and your business.

1. Be consistent

Trust is a very important aspect in any business relationship. We all have our roles and duties within our team, but we know we can always rely on each other to make sure we complete our assigned tasks on time.

Set the expectations for each week through open dialogue, making sure to allow team members to share their thoughts, insights and feedback so everyone is on the same page.

When building relationships, try to be consistent, timely and reliable. Building your colleagues’ trust involves consistently acting in a supportive way. Always make sure to stick to your word, and be on time for check-in meetings. Follow up with additional support or advice whenever possible.

Whether I’m coaching a member of my team or mentoring an agent at The Agency, I always try to demonstrate dependability by offering support and help when my colleagues need it.

2. Stay positive

We’re all doing our best to safely and efficiently navigate business during the coronavirus pandemic. That said, now that we’re facing tough deadlines and high-stress situations, staying positive is extremely important in keeping your team uplifted and on track.

Even if you’re feeling stressed, strive to encourage your team members by providing positive insight, inspiration and the necessary tools to get through any challenge they might be facing. How you deliver communication to your team and clients is crucial. Be sensitive to the context, and consider how your message might be received.

Can the information be transmitted quickly over text, or would a face-to-face meeting be more suitable? Don’t be afraid to deliver bad news or constructive feedback, but always be prepared for how you’re going to handle that conversation. Now that we aren’t able to see each other as often, it’s all the more important to think about how we’re communicating with each other.

Keeping a positive attitude will inspire team members to seek your guidance and forge stronger relationships between you and your colleagues. What’s more, don’t forget to celebrate your team members’ victories, however big or small.

3. Reach out

Don’t hesitate to stay in touch with your industry contacts and colleagues. We’re in the business of relationships — so, pick up the phone and give them a call.

Emails and texts do provide some value, but the personal, conversational nature of a phone call will give greater insight into how your clients and colleagues are feeling and the challenges they’re currently dealing with. You never know what kind of resource or source of inspiration you might be to someone during this time.

By setting aside time each week to connect with at least one person in your network, you will be able to further strengthen your relationships, especially now that human connection is so sought-after and valuable.

Through communication, you’ll learn so many lessons from your team and clients — lessons that’ll help you evolve your business for the future. It will make your team stronger, and your clients will be more committed than ever to seek your expertise and services in the years to come.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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