Communication Tips from Valerie Torelli, One of Orange County California’s Leading Woman-Owned Businesses

Effective communication in business is essential to be a success and in your personal life as well.  As a young entrepreneur, especially one in high school or college, if you don’t have strong communication skills you will find yourself turning people off and/or losing potential business before you get your business off the ground.  Effective communication with those you work with on a daily basis will help you reach your goals.  This includes your parents, school instructors, advisors, partners and most assuredly your customers/clients.

We are going to give you three tips for effective communication from Valerie Torelli, founder of Torelli RealtyThere are tips she finds essential in real estate business and personal life.  We chose Valerie because she  is one of the most highly rated women entrepreneurs presenting at the Realizing a Vision conferences.  Conference attendees described her as a “phenomenal person,” “engaging with the audience” and as a woman who “spoke to us as if we had been friends forever!  It made me feel so welcomed.”

You can learn more about Valerie and her business on the Torelli Realty Website. Each month in 2010 OC Metro magazine selected CEO’s considered to be the best in their respective fields, whether they were entrepreneurs or business owners. OC Metro  recognized Valerie as their April 2010 CEO centerfold. Click here to read the interview with Valerie.

We also highlighted Valerie on our Role Model Entrepreneur page.

The tips on how to communicate effectively Valerie uses in business and her business life are found in The Four Agreements by Don Miguel RuizToday we’ll give you the three tips and a real-life example of tip #2.   Our next Blog post will give you an example of tips one and three.

Tips to Communicating Effectively

1.  Be impeccable with your words:  Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use your words to elevate the conversation.  Most of us do not pay attention to how we express ourselves. We do not consciously choose our words, or the emotion, tone, and attitude that we express.  The responses that come out of our mouth are often automatic.

***My father use to say, “Think before you speak” as advice with speaking to family members and friends. He was a successful entrepreneur and I learned it was good advice to use in my business relationships.  Although sometimes it is hard to do.

 2. Don’t take anything personally:  Taking things personally harms the relationship and hinders the communication process. Nothing people do is because of you.  it’s because of their perception and attitudes.

  • This is a real-life example:  Young fashion designers have a hard time taking criticism about their work because they take everything personally. They put their heart and sweat into designing the collections.  It’s their creation and their egos get in the way of making sales.  It is truly difficult for them to sell to store buyers even when the buyer knows the designs are not a good fit for the customer.

Young designers (and often established ones) are offended by fashion journalists who do not like a particular design or collection.  Once again the designer takes it as a personal attack rather than the journalist expressing his or her own opinion or making comparisons to other designers.

In the fashion industry when young designers take it personally it is considered “having a think skin” and they are usually told to develop a “thick skin” and let the comments roll of their shoulders.  What the buyers say and do is a projection of their own reality. They may be looking at the  “bottomline and will the design(s) make them money.   That is why designers hire professional sales representatives to  work with the buyers and to even work with some fashion journalists.  The outside relationship helps to avoid conflicts and even anger.  The designer becomes immune to other’s opinions and normally doesn’t’ fall victim to hurt feelings.  It also helps because the sales representatives know how to soften criticisms and provide suggestions for changes and editions to the collections.

3.  Don’t make assumptions: We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. We make them without realizing and these assumptions are not the truth.  They are personal responses to what people are thinking or doing, or even what they might do.  Making assumptions just does not lead to effective and productive communication.

  • What do you do then to change your thinking?  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  When you assume you know what other people are thinking without asking questions you are opening yourself up to problems including total misunderstandings and even anger.  With just this one tip, you can completely transform your business relationships and life.

Our next Blog post will give a true story that resulted in hurt feelings, the break up of a good friendship and one person suffering from severe depression and anger.  We will also have another video conversation between Valerie and Kelly  Trinh, a member of our Young Women’s Advisory Council.