Effective communication isn’t just important for thriving in the business world – it’s the key driver of business success. Without it, ideas and insights are overlooked, critical messages are misunderstood and people are left with the insecurity and uncertainty that comes with the frustration of not being properly heard.
Studies consistently show the critical role communication skills play in all facets of business. It's what managers look for when choosing who to hire, and it’s what business leaders use to keep their employees engaged. It's also how teams work together efficiently and how business is conducted seamlessly with suppliers and customers.
With excellent business communication skills, you possess the ability to stand out, to impact outcomes and to turn confusing situations into opportunities for the benefit of your individual career as well as for the success of your organisation. Here are six reasons why fostering better communication will help you thrive professionally and why you should start honing your skills today.
1. Communication builds stronger relationships
Connecting with the right people and making a positive impression can help you build and maintain a healthy professional network. You can then use these relationships to reach the next stage in your career.
As a skilled communicator, you'll have more positive encounters, but you’ll also be able to maintain these potentially fruitful relationships over the long run. When you can clearly articulate your vision and goals with these people, they will understand what you have to offer and where your strengths lie, which means they’ll be more likely to think of you for opportunities in the future.
2. Effective communication facilitates innovation
In order to be able to effectively work within a team, you have to be able to confidently express your ideas and be open to listening to others. This is the secret to a highly cooperative, innovative, forward-thinking environment. With limited communication skills, even if you do contribute your insights, you’re unlikely to receive due recognition or respect. It also may prevent your idea from being implemented to its full potential, leading to setbacks for the organisation and a blow to your own confidence and desire to speak up in the future.
3. Engage stakeholders for business success
One area of communication that is often underestimated is listening. When you can command respect through the expression of your ideas and at the same time have the ability to attract respect by authentically listening to others, you have the winning combination that business success stories are built upon.
Take, for example, the story of Dave Kerpen, CEO of social media company Likeable Local. When he sat next to a lawyer on a cross-country flight and spent most of the time letting the lawyer talk – about his life, goals and work – he sealed the deal for the launch of one of his business ventures. Over a year later, that lawyer became an investor in one of Kerpen’s companies.
As successful tycoon Dale Carnegie said decades ago, “The trick to making people like you is simply to listen to them.”
4. Gives you a competitive edge
Ask any global professional about the importance of technology for business communication. They’ll all tell you the same thing - if you can leverage the current technology that’s out there, your presentations will stand out, the reach of your ideas will have no boundaries and you’ll have an invaluable skill that will make you an asset to potential employers and business partners.
When you can present your ideas to investors across the globe, teach employees how to execute a task and engage in face-to-face conversations without having to be in the same room, you open up the possibilities for what you can do and who you can impact. You essentially become a much more effective, and thereby more attractive, individual to work with.
5. Establish your reputation as an industry expert
Part of being a great communicator is having a working knowledge of the jargon and principles of your chosen field. An understanding of your industry’s ‘private language’ will come with experience, but you can also develop this skill by reading articles, attending conferences and listening to online speeches of experts in your field. This is one of those subtle but successful business tips that creates a serious impact. When you know how to talk the talk and walk the walk, chances are others in your field will start to see you as an expert too.
6. Create a genuine presence
You’ve probably noticed these individuals before. When they walk into a room, everyone pays attention. These people seem to have an almost magnetic effect on others, which makes them great leaders. This magnetic effect is called presence. According to executive coaches Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, it’s a skill you can develop, and one you should start working on now to help you achieve your career goals.
When communicating, make sure you’re connecting and engaging with your audience. Also, have a firm idea of what you bring to the table, what your viewpoint is and where your values lie in order to cultivate your own communication style. You can then step into the meeting room, whether it’s a physical boardroom or a virtual meeting, with the presence and energy people will naturally focus on.
Don’t underestimate the importance of effective business communication
In today’s business environment, there’s nothing more valuable than the human mind. Those who are able to clearly get their ideas across and can authentically connect with others are the ones who will always thrive. With better communication, you can help to push your organisation ahead with faster innovation, engage the right people who may play a pivotal role in your success and gain the presence you need to lead.
As you develop your communication skills, you can be sure that others will start paying attention. An effective communicator is an invaluable asset in any organisation in today’s communication age. When you understand that and focus on it, there’s no limit to how far you can go.