Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Business Communication Skills

Business Communication Skills

“My boss and I communicate just fine. He shouts and I say sorry.” Is it just me or is there something very wrong in the picture this statement brings to mind? The very definition of communication is the sharing of information and receiving the same from the other person. If your communication consists of the one person shouting or making his opinion heard and you nodding in consent, then you are not communicating. Just like any other form of communication, business communication is also just as important to the continued well being and progress of the company. Such communication does not have to be limited to the employees of the company but also when you deal with clients, customers and potential partners. Needless to say that if your communication skills are not strong, then you stand a very good chance of not being able to close a deal or convince clients that you are the best choice they have.

Effective Business Communication Skills

To be able to communicate well you will need to cultivate some effective habits that will make your communication clear and strong.

Listening

Businessmen, team leaders and managers all over the world spend a lot of time talking to those they work with everyday. The communication can be about anything from discussing targets and problems to trying to close a deal. There are times when some of these people realize that, for some reason, they are not able to understand what the client or a fellow employee wants. There is just one reason for this; they are ‘NOT’ listening to what the other person has to say. If you ever want to improve your communication skills, you have to start listening to what the other person says. If you can’t listen, then you might as well not talk, either because your failure to listen will encourage a retaliatory response in the other person and they might decide to ignore you.

Talking

Now that you have heard what the other side has to say, it’s your turn to talk. Before you start talking, take caution and weigh your words before you speak them. It would be smart of you to stick to the matter at hand and not launch off into what your granddad did in 1932! It would also be smart of you to avoid condescension and sarcasm when you talk. The other person is not your slave and you are not helping the situation by being hostile. If you are smart, then you will talk to the point and without trying to insult the other person. This also holds good for when you have to give feedback. Also talking with confidence will help you communicate your point effectively. If your voice lacks conviction, then the person listening to you is likely to think you don’t know what you are talking about. Talking too much or too little is also something you must work on rectifying as neither is good for good business communication.

Writing

When communicating via written means, including emails and letters, you can’t add emotion to the message, but you can still make it effective. If you are writing a formal communication, then you will need to follow the simple guidelines that form the proper etiquette for writing business letters. You would again want to be precise, polite, brief (or detailed if the letter calls for it) and firm without being rude. There may be times when you may have to give your feedback in writing. Following these guidelines will help you deliver the feedback without sounding too rude.

Inculcating these habits will help you communicate better and not have people wondering what the point of your 3 hour long speech was.

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