Clear communication is one of the essential pillars of running your business. It optimises workflows and saves you and your customers a lot of headaches. If neglected, it is a guaranteed set up for misunderstandings, that can damage your relationship with the customer or partner (fellow performers, booking agencies, etc).
The goal of clear communication
We aim to answer all necessary questions and make requirements as well as the outcome clear for everyone. One issue that arises regularly is that details remain unclear because one side thinks they are apparent while the other side is unaware of the point at all.
Let’s take a show booking as an example: the following points require clarification:
- Time of the show
- The arrival time of the dancers
- Is there a soundcheck/tech rehearsal? If yes, when?
- How do you deliver the music?
- Space requirements/availability for the show
- Which floor is in the venue? It there the need to bring PVC or something else?
- How many dancers are part of the show (is not needed in every case, especial when the group is big)
- Do you need additional rehearsal-time on the stage due to insufficient space?
- Is there a dressing room for the dancers? Do you share it with another group? Can you lock it?
- Who is the contact person for the dancers on-site? How can we reach them?
- Who is the main contact person on your team for the customer? Make sure they have the phone number.
- How much does the show cost? Include travel expenses or at least negotiate that they are covered.
- Invoice Adress
- Is catering provided for the team (not necessary in every case but you should clarify it)
- If the show is late or the travel is long: who takes care of accommodation?
Depending on the type of shows you do, there might be more or less points to discuss, but it is more than the regular customer thinks about when he is not used to booking a show.
The principle is the same for every business communication.
The rules of clear communication
- Don’t assume. If something is unclear, ask.
- Try to speak/write in a language that avoids technical terms or explain them. Your counterpart might not know those.
- Have it in written form so that everybody can revisit it, in case of uncertainty.
- Don’t be afraid of being the one who points out that some parts are still unclear or missing. While some people might perceive it as counterproductive or even rude in the beginning, everyone will thank you in the long run.
Make it a habit to make things clear
Making things 100% clear for everyone gives you and everyone involved the security of knowing what’s up. There are neither loose ends nor room for interpretation.
That is precisely what we want in our business. Applying clear communication standards to all of our business talks/mails lets you work and sleep better.