How to Become Better at Business Communication
As I was thinking about today’s blog post, a few memories came to mind, about when I was starting as a freshly graduated engineer working at one of the best companies in the IT industry and had no clue about what is business communication.
I have had two distinct phases as a person, I was a quiet and introvert child, and due to finding the right environment, mentor and opportunities, in my teen days, to learn and share the knowledge I became a talker.
Having become the kind of person who can talk for hours and hours about the subjects, I am passionate about, ended up being an Achilles heel in the corporate world.
As most people are too busy to listen to your long talks/emails, and you have a hard time practicing active listening, which is one of the most critical business communication skills to master.
Business Communication vs. Casual Communication
Before we get to how you can be better at business communication, you have to understand what it is first. There is a big difference between casual and business communication.
Casual communication is sharing personal information with family and friends while business communication is the sharing of information between people within a company for the commercial advantage of the organization.
Business communication can also be defined as how a firm shares information to promote their products or services to their potential clients.
Efficient business communication is a process that goes both ways; listening and speaking. The following are some of the ways to ensure that you master effective communication skills that will lead to you to a career success path in the corporate/business world.
Tips for Mastering Effective Business Communication
1. Be keen to nonverbal messages
It can be hard to have open communication if both parties refuse to look one another in the eye, clench their jaws and fold their arms. Even if words are not shouting out loud angrily, nonverbal signals are.
You will rather postpone the meeting until things settle down if the nonverbal messages are overwhelming your conversation. Watch out your tone of voice, maintain an open posture and nod your head to show that you are following and listening to what the other person is saying.
2. Ask questions
To show that you are listening to what the other person is saying, ask relevant questions. This will show respect, assist in getting feedback and confirm that you understand whatever you were discussing. You open up great two-way business communication when you ask appropriate questions.
There is one thing that I see many people doing; they are afraid of asking questions, they imagine themselves looking stupid or less intelligent by asking ‘dumb’ questions. Well, let me tell you this:
I am pleased when my team is openly asking questions about a project we are working, the simplest and seemingly ‘unimportant’ questions you raise, may just be the inspiration your team, your boss or even yourself needed to identify a critical risk or opportunity that will protect and give for benefits to the business.
3. Listen first for you to be heard
You should never start by imposing solutions if there are problems before you explain how they are affecting the business. After that, you can now go ahead and ask what the other party thinks you should do to resolve the issues. Stop and listen first before you lay out your ideas because the biggest enemy for successful business communication is the failure to listen (active listening).
You should be open-minded enough to listen, absorb and come up with a solution that combines both your ideas and the other side. Listening is not when you listen and then impose your preferred solution.
Also, you should not interrupt until you are sure that the other person is done talking and do not think about your response while they are talking.
Do not dictate, instead, collaborate with others. Stop talking if you realize you are speaking more than a few moments and allow others to present their input on the issue.
4. Avoid assumptions
Many business relationships have different unspoken rules, but it is important for both sides to communicate their expectations and needs openly. Assumptions can lead to misunderstandings which can affect the overall relationship between parties.
Never assume that whatever happened before will always happen but instead, talk about it and in future if it happens again. You are going to notice positive changes through effective business communication even if things have been bad before. Do not assume that history must repeat itself and always believe and look forward to better results.
5. Schedule the Meetings appropriately
Whenever there is a problem that needs serious discussion, inputs and a decision to be made, make time to talk about it in these business meetings.
Effective business communication will not happen if one party is not present or distracted. Look for the right place and appropriate time when both of you will be available to talk.
Make sure you prepare an agenda for the meeting, stick to it during the meeting and draft up conclusions for each point of the agenda before the session is over, and repeat it to others to make sure you are aligned.
Where and How can you apply these Effective Business Communication Skills?
To Further your Career & Interpersonal Relations
Effective communication is the key to your success; whether it is in the workplace, relationships and all across your lifetime. Experience plays a significant role in your ability to communicate well.
On a personal level, your communication ability not only influences your thinking about others but also, how you think about yourself as well. Your life can be difficult with full of frustrations, and you would not be able to ask for what you deserve if you are not able to communicate efficiently.
As a professional, you will not be able to negotiate your salary accordingly, get the promotion, or even relate well to your colleagues at work if you don’t improve your communication skills.
If you have excellent communication skills, you understand others better through their nonverbal gestures, the tone of voice, words and even the way they write their documents will give you clues on what their priorities and values may be.
You can become a successful communicator through listening and reading actively. For more tips on effective communication skills to improve your career prospects you can visit this other post here.
As an Entrepreneur to Improve your Prospects
As an entrepreneur, you will spend most of your time working with others to turn ideas into reality. How you communicate with others, determine whether you will be successful because even the most wonderful ideas can fail if the leader is not communicating effectively.
Your ability to communicate well with people inside and outside your business is the primary characteristic of a successful entrepreneur. Effective business communication will strengthen connections between your firm and all its stakeholders.
With effective business communication skills, you can increase the likelihood of success when trying to get investors to support your business idea, partners to take a leap of faith and work with you, and clients to believe in and trust your services or products.
Internally, you will be more persuasive and deliver more explicit messages, ensure better financial results and a higher return on investment, increased productivity, more steady workflow, lower employee turnover, higher employee satisfaction, enhance the professional image for both the entrepreneur and the company and stronger business relationships.
To Train Yourself as an Inspiring Leader in the Digital Era
Whether you are an entrepreneur, or a salary-man in the corporate world, or a university student who aspires to become an inspiring leader in the future, there are a few things that will be key in helping you with that.
For starters, we need to acknowledge that there are those who naturally have leadership instinct while others learn and perfect the gift with time.
If you are a good communicator, you will be able to resolve conflicts, inspire action and make everyone feel safe to express themselves.
As the business world change rapidly so does the leadership. For you to become an inspiring leader, you have to be equipped with effective business communication skills, interpersonal skills, and aware of the generation gap with the previous and next generations working for you.
The success of any project in an organization depends on how people collaborate and they achieve that through effective business communication. It builds trust and promotes understanding between those involved, which results in accomplishing desired tasks effectively and fast. If by any chance there are few mistakes done, effective communication helps to correct those mistakes without creating the unfriendly working environment.
Your ability to motivate, persuade, encourage, and inspire others to deliver outstanding results will be an asset in the digital era that is upon us. Machines will handle most of the manual labor, as for humans they will focus on doing what is unique to them, the soft skills.
In the past, great orators, poets, generals, kings, and many other political figures were hailed as legends due to many of their actions, but what people remember best are the stories and their famous quotes. Especially, in moments that whatever words they uttered changed/shaped the course of history forever – that’s the power of effective communication, the power of a leader or influencer who moved masses with a couple of words.
In this post, I am discussing effective business communication, but more than that I am reminding us all of how critical it will be in our careers, in the future workplace, and in our personal lives to improve and master basic communication skills that can open up lots of opportunities for us.
Thanks for reading this far, I appreciate it. I’d like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the challenges of the future leader when it comes to being an effective business communicator?
Business Communication. What is Business Communication?. https://thebusinesscommunication.com/what-is-business-communication/ . Accessed on 07/18/2019.
`Kymberlee Leoneard. Types of Business Communication. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/types-business-communications-697.html . Accessed on 07/18/2019.