Membership Insights: Communication for Success | NAWBO

During your time in business, what has been your biggest lesson about the importance of communication for success?


Shanita Baraka Akintonde, MBA, M.ED., DTM

ShanitaSpeaks, LLC 

Communication is queen. The ability to communicate ones’ thoughts, ideas and opinions are keys to the throne. As President and Chief Love Officer of ShanitaSpeaks, LLC, a media enterprise that provides women and young adults with customized tools to open doors to complex dialogue, I am qualified to wear the hegemonic crown. 

Clients reported that their toughest challenge was the transmission of tasks during COVID-19, given that guidelines were obstructed by more than masks during the pandemic. Virtual platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have democratized dialogue but can potentially limit clear understanding. As a communication professor and entrepreneur, I have first-hand experience with this dynamic daily. In my podcast, Marketing Insights, I share highlights on the power behind practical language usage in business.  Here’s one example:  ‎Marketing Insights: AEIOU and Sometimes Y: How Language is Used to Build Brands Part 1 of 2 on Apple Podcasts.   

My communication success manifests in three verbs:  LISTEN out loud to those I LEAD and put LOVE in everything I support, like NAWBO!


Tracey McGhee

Ms. Jetsetter, LLC 

I have a physical products business and my accessories are manufactured overseas, so good communication is critical when working with my sourcing agent. 100% of our work is handled via email, which can make it even more challenging to get it right.  I quickly learned the hard way that if I’m not clear in the direction and feedback I provide, it can lead to unnecessary costs and delays.

These basic principles have improved how I communicate with my suppliers:

  • Be concise and to the point

  • Avoid being vague and leaving things up for interpretation (this is a balancing act)

  • For more complex requests, check in to be sure what you’ve communicated was clear

  • Proofread multiple times before hitting send

  • Use bullet points to make emails easier to read

  • Use images and graphics, when appropriate, to help articulate a thought

It takes a little more time on the frontend to make sure what you’re communicating is clear, but it can help avoid a lot of headaches down the road.


Laurette Rondenet


I have learned two great communication lessons: first, that we communicate with our actions as much as we do with our words, and second, to listen before we speak! When asking our team to embrace and live our company values or our corporate strategy, the first step is for our Executive Leadership Team to walk the walk as the first and best adopters! Then we can start talking. In big or small groups, we need to listen and address the questions, concerns and feedback we get from the team.  Our actions, our words and our ears are equally vital to achieving our goals.


Tracy Smith

SERVPRO of Downers Grove/Oak Brook 

I’ve always made decisions that I believed were in the best interest of my employees.  To validate those decisions, we distributed an employee survey to garner feedback.  Questions such as: What do you like most about working here? What do you like least? What is one change we can make to be a better place to work?  

We received some great input, but the magic was not in the responses that were written on the survey, rather the open line of communication that was formed.  Individuals started to speak up more and employees from all levels would pop into my office with an idea.  Processes and procedures were improved.  Overall, the team felt more ownership across the board because they felt empowered to improve it. 

It’s not enough for team members to have a voice.  As a leader, I’ve learned to make sure that each person on the team KNOWS they have a voice that is heard.  Only then can communication really start to flow.


Related Posts

Power Your Dream
November 16, 2022

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt As a...

Ready, Set, Sell!
October 19, 2022

Every woman business owner has a product or service that they’re responsible for selling. But are...

On the Money
September 21, 2022

If women business owners had the ability to improve one thing to open doors of opportunity for the...

Defining DEI&B
August 17, 2022

Building an inclusive culture isn’t just the right thing to do; it makes good business sense....

Seat at the Table
July 20, 2022

The word “advocacy” might sound overwhelming at first to a woman business owner who has never...

NAWBO Upcoming Events Blog
June 17, 2022

By Rosaria Cain NAWBO President   What’s Next? Beginning in July, our President-Elect Ania...

Culture Is Queen
June 15, 2022

Here at NAWBO, culture is vital. Everything we do, from our mission and values, to our goals and...

Nourish to Flourish
May 18, 2022

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and if any silver linings have come out of a prolonged...

Certified for Success
April 20, 2022

Getting certified as a woman-owned business takes commitment and more often than not grit. But it...

A Message From Our President - Life...
March 30, 2022

Have you ever wondered what life could look like once you leave your business? Have you always...

Beyond Your Business
March 16, 2022

When you first started your business, it was important to create the business you wanted—from the...

A Message From Our President: Mentoring...
March 02, 2022

Growing up, I never really had anyone to look up to. Not only that, but when I made up my mind and...

Generation Next
February 16, 2022

Throughout history, it’s always the responsibility of the next generation—and then the next—to...

Calling all Women of Vision- Have we...
February 09, 2022

  Calling all Women of Vision- Have we got a conference for you!   By Rosaria Cain NAWBO...

A Message From Our President: New Year...
February 02, 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s been a wildly eventful couple of years, and 2021 has felt endless at times....

New Year, New Team
January 19, 2022

If you want to know a person’s character, look at the company they keep. That’s true too about an...

A Message From Our President: Looking...
January 04, 2022

Happy December! I don’t know about you, but I still find myself asking what year it is! After...

A Message from Our President: Leading...
January 04, 2022

Welcome to May! With spring in bloom and vaccination distribution well underway, we are beginning...

December 23, 2021

What a wild ride this year has been. Bring on 2022! By Rosaria Cain NAWBO President   This year...

2021 Year in Review
December 15, 2021

It’s been a year like no other for our community of women business owners. We kicked off 2021 with...