Effective business communication can be defined as a well-organized and schemed process of sharing business ideas, proposals, information, facts and/or reports within an organization or outside it to achieve a predetermined goal. In other words, it is the flow of messages within a business house among its employees and with its customers, clients, etc., ensuring its smooth running.
Why Do We Need It
Many of us have faced the situation where our families and friends applaud and encourage our ideas, but fail to sell them to corporate houses or professional organizations. They just don’t seem to be as enthusiastic and sure of it as us. It is just not enough to breed a brilliant business proposal in our minds, but to be able to express it in words or writing that would make people ponder over it and convince them to accept and buy it.
The purpose of an effective information transmission is summarized below.
- To express one’s thoughts better so that it is well-conceived by others
- To create a positive rapport among colleagues and seniors that imparts a good impression
- To communicate better with subordinates which helps to motivate and guide them and extract maximum output
- To maintain good relations with suppliers, vendors, financiers and other organizations, etc. that prove advantageous in future
- To reach out to the customers effectively which in turn churns profit
Before we further get to enhancing one’s communication skills, it is important to understand its types which are as follows:
1. Internal Form of Communication
Communication within the organizational structure of a corporate company is called internal communication. It is a factor that cannot be compromised upon if you want to ensure a successful business.
Modes to achieve it
i) Print: Memos, in-house newsletters, fliers, magazines or leaflets can be used according to the business needs.
ii) Electronic: PowerPoint presentations, video conferences, telephone, fax, emails or even Internet messengers can be used for in-house communication.
iii) Personal Communication: Regular meetings, conferences, brainstorming sessions or even informal chats can be considered as effective communication tools at a workplace.
It can be further classified into three categories:
- Upward Communication: It is defined as communication within the organization that flows from a lower hierarchy to the higher. Subordinates passing information to their senior is an example of upward communication.
- Downward Communication: It is defined as communication that flows from the higher hierarchy to the lower. Seniors sharing information with their subordinates is an example of downward communication.
- Horizontal Communication: Communication within peer groups or employees of the same rank/designation can be termed as horizontal communication.
2. External Form of Communication
Exchange of information with the people outside the organization can be termed as external form of communication. It involves transmission of messages to clients, investors, or any other organization, which is directly or indirectly related to the performance of your business.
Modes to achieve it
- Advertising: Advertising is perhaps a very crucial mode of communication as far as the clients of the company are concerned. It could be in any form – prints, video or audio and are used effectively to communicate messages to the clients/customers. Advertising your products/services can help you to reassure your existing clients as well as give you a chance to attract new customers.
- Official Website: Maintaining an official website has become mandatory for business houses which pass information on current happenings, history, contact details and other vital details to the general masses.
- Press Release and Interviews: Mass media plays an important role in projecting a company’s image to the public. Business houses can make best use of mass media to make important announcements or share their business growth for increasing their popularity.
Some Skills/Techniques Required
For a business to run successfully and maintain its growth, it is important to emphasize on the way it communicates to its customers as well as within its organizational structure. Some of the skills required for an effective expression of business ideas are:
- Understanding the target audience: This is the first step towards communicating in a business environment where the information, mode and tone, language etc., of communicating varies with the people it has to be done with.
- Listening: It is important to understand that communication is a bidirectional process that not only requires one to talk but listen to the ideas, thoughts, queries of others which can generate inputs that enhance the business.
- Time management: In today’s world, time is the most precious thing which once lost cannot be retrieved; hence, we should respect others’ time and give and take useful information in an effective manner within the stipulated time.
- Preparation: One should understand the target audience and make sure that he/she is well prepared for a business or client meeting which imparts a positive impact on the listeners and they tend to take the speaker more seriously.
- Innovativeness: A person should try various new formats and innovative ways to communicate with their customers or subordinates to keep them enthusiastic and coming back for more.
- Effective research: Before an important meeting or presentation it is mandatory to check the facts, figures, statistics and other details to be talked about, and keep oneself updated about the current trends and reports.
- Responsiveness: It is important to be responsive to problems and complaints that your clients, customers and financiers face, and cater to their needs and issues effectively and on time.
Here are few tips that would surely help you to communicate better in your professional setup.
- Be well-informed about the venue and time of a business meeting and check for the schedule again before the main event.
- Be confident while addressing the listeners, as for them to have faith in your ideas, you should have it too and present them without any doubts or confusion.
- Be concise and precise while communicating as it ensures you are to-the-point and brief, because no one has the patience to read 100 lines of information which could have been dealt in just 30.
- Avoid jargon as it hampers the flow of communication between people who are new or unaware of specific and typical business terms.
- Be polite while facing questions and interruptions rather than responding with a rude or angry gesture which can put off people.
- Make an eye contact with your listeners and make them feel comfortable while communicating with them, so they pay attention to you happily.
- Use real life examples and personal experiences so that listeners can relate to your ideas and thoughts better.
- When communicating in writing, make sure the matter written is free of errors like spellings, grammar, punctuation, etc., and is clear and easily readable.
- And finally, keep it simple and professional, be it any form of communication so that the customers, clients, financiers, etc., feel that your services is worth their money and take you and your work seriously.
Feel free to share your good/bad experiences in a professional environment where good or poor expression of thoughts made the difference.