Introduction to Business Communication
In our daily lives we spend a major part of our days communicating. We need to communicate in order to be heard and to be understood by others. In the business world the act of communication forms the basis of the workings of the system and is therefore needed to be refined and proper. Poor communications skill not only creates problems in the workspace, it also proves as a barrier for individuals on job hunts. Therefore, one must have good communication skills to survive in the business world and here comes the role of business communication.
What is business communication?
It is impossible for a business organization to function without constant movement of information and feedback, business communication is the mechanism and means by which this information flows along different departments of the organization. It includes all forms of communication that is, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
As an employee or an employer, one must be a part of the larger organization which can only function with some form of communication and that requires skill and eloquence. Most people feel that the simple act of communicating does not require any special attention, even in their workplace. However, when looked at closely the intricacies of the various levels of communication in companies and business organizations often proves challenging.
Why effective communications skills are important?
Communication is essentially the exchange of information between two or more parties. Business exchanges can be external and internal. Internal communication deals with the staff, it could be in meetings or through written messages (emails, documents, etc.) while external communication deals with clients, suppliers and other business.
Communication does not just involve conveying message and information, it also involves being an active listener and understanding the message being conveyed. For a project to work smoothly and successfully the ability to collaborate and cooperate as a team plays an important role. Effective business communication helps promote understanding and build trust between colleagues, an important part of working as a team.
Preparing and executing plans and policies.
To form sound and realistic plans and policies all the relevant information is needed, this information is collected through different sources by communicating. Managers find reliable sources and information through the tool of communication. Effective Communication also helps get the feedback needed to bring changes to the existing policies and to express views on the new upcoming policies.
Timely execution of these policies and plans also needs communication, organizations rely on communication to disseminate information about the plans and decisions to the various departments. One example of this are the minutes prepared for each meetings, it helps inform the workers of what was decided on the previous meetings and how far has it been implemented.
Increases productivity and efficiency
With the help of communication, the tasks and objectives of an organization, their plans, policies, rules and other complex matters can be explained to the employees helping them to broaden their knowledge about the project they are working on and thus be more efficient in their work. Communication also helps build the trust between the employer and employee which leads to better workplace environment and a general trust and belief in the voice of the managerial figure encouraging the employees to be more productive and efficient.
Secure workplace environment
An organization with good communication at all levels also has a more satisfied workforce and healthy workplace atmosphere. Communication helps the lower levels of the organization to be at ease with the authorities leading to a healthy relationship where they can voice their issues and raise concerns without any hesitation. This creates less chance of misunderstandings between the workers and helps avoid any internal conflicts. It also proves as a good tool for the authorities to get feedback and hear the views and arguments of all the employees, it promotes an open door policy that encourages the hierarchy of the organization to communicate among themselves and work smoothly as a team.
Improving external relations (with clients and other businesses)
Good relation with the clients and other business ventures is always desired for a business organization. Effective business communication skills helps build a healthy reputation and trustworthy relation with the clients, thus promoting the business and helping it grow.
Publicity and advertising
In today’s competitive market, good publicity and advertising is of utmost importance. The better the communication skills of an organization, the better its reputation and the better numbers it has in its sales. Communication also helps remove any controversies that might circulate around the organization as it allows for a smooth flow of information among the parties involved and any disagreement can be resolved easily with good communication.
Having looked at the various advantages of good and effective business communication, let us look at some ways you can improve your communication skills.
Ways in which you can improve your communication skills
- Be a good listener.
Good communication is a two way street and can only flow when the meaning of the words is grasped properly. When someone is talking to you they expect to be heard and have your undivided attention. Do not be distracted by things around you and keep your attention on the speaker. Give voice to any misunderstanding. Do one thing at a time, one conversation at a time.
- Know your audience.
Know the language and attitude to use in formal and informal situations. When talking to a client or your boss the conversation has to be strictly formal. Watch your body language. Target your message in accordance with the audience, keep the person you are speaking to in your mind and approach accordingly.
Be understanding of the needs and issues of the person you are speaking to. Put yourself in their shoes and try to approach the problem keeping with unbiased mindset.
Treat everyone equally.
- Be positive in your language.
Try using positive words instead of negative ones. Be optimistic in your approach. Be open to different ideas.
- Be concise and specific.
Try to avoid confusing speech. Be specific and state your position openly. Keep the words concise and don’t go beating around the bush.
- Think before you speak.
Most of the time impulsive actions and words are not genuine and yet create the most conflicts. So take your time and think before you say anything. Read your messages before finally sending it.
There are many ways in which you can improve your communication skills, just keep in mind the two actions involved, that is, of listening and conveying your message clearly. Practice makes perfect, so practice communicating openly with people in all spheres of life.
Good communication is an asset useful not just for the purpose of business but also for interpersonal relationships. It will not just help you stay at the top in your business profile, it also helps build confidence and improve social skills.