The importance of business communication cannot be overstated. In the digital age, workers at all levels must be able to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues, and anyone else they may need to interact with over the course of the working day. This includes messaging delivered and received in person, as well as over the phone, via email, or on social media.
In this guide, we will look more closely at the fundamentals of communication, and at how these elements can work to your advantage.
What do we mean by business communication?
Before we begin to identify how you can properly deploy effective business communication within your organisation, it is important to first understand what business communication really is.
We have explored some of the key types of communication below:
Much of the communication we experience each and every day is written. This includes pieces of content aimed at leads and clients, internal emails, sales pitches, and more besides. Without the human contact that comes with other forms of communication, effective written communication must be clear and concise so the meaning is not lost.
Quite simply: speaking. Whether over a telephone, on a conference call, or to a friend in the street, oral communication brings together a variety of different elements and is among the oldest forms of information transfer.
Face to face communication
Many people are excellent communicators but despise speaking on phones. This is because face to face interaction and communication provides many additional elements which can be lost via a phone line. Video conferencing communication is an example of how face to face discussions can still be supported, even between remote parties.
Physical non-verbal communication
When we communicate face to face, the majority of what we 'say' is in fact delivered non verbally. Everything from body language, through facial expressions, right to the outfit we are wearing at that particular given moment, contributes to the overall meaning we deliver.
Supporting our words with demonstrations and visual stimuli provides another perspective on our data, and makes it easier for the other party to stay engaged.
These are just a few examples from the vast spectrum of business communication. By understanding these individual elements, we can begin to analyse our own habits and make ourselves more efficient communicators in the process.
Effective Business Communication and non-effective business communication: What's the difference?
But we cannot improve our skills if we do not first identify the difference between effective and non-effective communication. In this section, we will explore these differences, helping you to identify areas in which you need to improve.
Effective communication stays on message - non-effective communication rambles
Anyone who has ever heard someone telling a long, drawn-out story which goes nowhere will understand this immediately. You are communicating because you have a message to deliver, and all aspects of communication must support this.
If you are going off on tangents or ending abruptly without a satisfactory conclusion, you are probably not communicating effectively.
Effective communication is unambiguous - non-effective communication can become confused
Miscommunication in business is costly. Picture the scene: a new initiative is being rolled out. Word has come down from the directors that the deadline has been brought forward; this needs to be up and running sooner rather than later. You convey this to your team - you let them know their roles and what is expected of them. But...
The message is confused. Key elements are lost in translation. The rollout fails and new deadlines are drawn up. The directors are not happy.
Consider your meaning when you are planning vital communications. If the meaning is unclear, go back to the drawing board and redraft.
Effective communication is goal-oriented - non-effective communication is unfocused
When we chat with friends, it feels casual and easy, and yet we are still fulfilling certain goals. We ask our friends how they are because we concerned for their well being. We enquire about their plans because we want to organise something with them later on. Business communication is the same, only the stakes are a little higher, and the data being conveyed tends to be a little more complex.
Think about what you are trying to achieve when you engage in this kind of communication. Work towards a goal and make these goals clear.
Effective communication skills everyone needs to nurture
- Listen as much as you speak - communication is as much about taking in information as delivering it, so show that you are working constructively with whomever you are speaking to.
- Get the body language right - make eye contact, don't fiddle with other tasks while you are speaking, dress smartly and presentably; all of this will help you to communicate better.
- Keep it clear, keep it brief - Think about the characteristics of effective communication. Try to say what you need to say as concisely and as clearly as you can.
- Use technology where possible - solutions like the video conferencing communication platforms offered by Express Virtual Meetings make high-quality communication possible, even between remote workers. Deploy these on a regular basis.
- Implement a regular framework - hold regular meetings and make sure everyone remains up to speed, all of the time.
- Get and give feedback - communication is a two-way street. Consider asking your workers for feedback, both on your ideas and on your delivery, and do the same for them.
Want to discover more about what it means to be an effective communicator? Interested in learning about the high-quality external and internal communication features, and video solutions, offered by Express Virtual Meetings? Speak to our team today.