Daily business operations typically depend on verbal interactions, emails, phone calls, or some other form of communication. Effective communication can be a major factor in receiving a promotion, agreeing a deal with a new client, or pitching an idea to business executives.
What is Effective Business Communication?
It is the process of two or more people sharing information that sends a clear message, and it is received, as intended. When it is used at work, this form of communication can significantly increase the company's success. It may be hard to believe, but companies with as little as 100 employees, spend, on average, around 17 hours a week clarifying previous communication, which, when translated into dollar signs, equals, approximately $525,000.
Why is Effective Business Communication important?
In an era where we are all bombarded by emails, notifications and social media noise, it is easy for business professionals to misunderstand what exactly effective communication really is. Messages can be sent and indeed may even bounce around conference rooms and inboxes, but do we understand if our messages are truly effective? Understanding how to measure effectiveness can help business leaders create efficient and productive communication.
Many of us spend eight hours or more a day working, which means the majority of our daily communication happen during office hours.
Not knowing to what degree the communication we use at work is helping or hampering us, makes it even harder to assess how well we are doing in achieving our goals and the goals of the business.
How we talk, write, or listen, affects our job performance, promotion status, and even our chances of a pay increase. Understanding and using effective communication, is essential to becoming a better employer and employee.
Tips for developing Effective Business Communication skills
Remember that 93% of communication is non-verbal. When answering questions, giving a presentation, or communicating in general, keep in mind your non-verbal cues and communication. Be sure that your posture, gestures, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues are conveying a message that is consistent with your verbal one. If you don’t appear to believe the message you are delivering, your audience will have a hard time believing it too.
Completeness. Make sure the communication you share and send to others is complete. Include all of the facts required by the audience. Be as precise possible with the words you use to express your intended message.
Correctness. Double check what you have composed to ensure there are no grammar or spelling errors. If using charts, graphs, or statistics to add depth to your communication, ensure the information is accurate. Your communication needs to be understandable.
Conciseness. Make your message concise and not, too “wordy.” Short, familiar words are usually a better choice than long, unfamiliar ones. Simple writing is easier for your audience to read and understand.
Clarity. To ensure your message is crystal clear, it is advisable to share only one specific piece of information at a time, to help reduce the opportunities for confusion. Use suitable words, ones that best describe what you are attempting to say, share, ask, or, request.
Take care of yourself. Do go to bed and wake up at the same time every day if possible. I know this might seem impossible if you have children! If you can’t go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, at least avoid the wake up at 5 a.m., get no sleep, and work harder than everyone philosophy. It doesn't work. If you're going to be good at communication, you have to be physically and mentality prepared. The human body needs sleep and relaxation. So find new times to take it. Embrace afternoon power naps when possible; i.e. nap for 40 mins is just enough time to rest without falling into a deep sleep so you will feel refreshed when you get up.
Don’t feel disheartened if these suggestions seem like a lot to remember. As with any changes in habits, mastering skills requires time, experience, practice and patience. First, identify which of these skills are your weakest, and then create a plan on how to improve these communication skills to work smarter and more effectively. Good luck!