8 Tips to Improve Your Business Communication Skills
Good communication skills can carry your business to the top. It strengthens your relationships with your customers and peers, raises your market value, and fosters respect, camaraderie, and productivity in the workplace.
It does not take much to build your business communication skills but it is important that you practice day in and day out. The more you pay attention to it, the more you improve and attract more success to your business. Below are some effective tips to get you started.
Before you speak, listen! Whether it is a customer, an employee, or a vendor, it is essential that you tune in on what they are saying first. Do not just be quiet as they speak. Understand and hear them. Do not start an internal dialogue. Really pay attention. This way, you arrive at solutions and understanding faster.
- Avoid monologues.
Effective communication happens between two people in a discussion. If you find yourself speaking for a really long time, stop. Lectures, monologues, and ramblings are better replaced by simple explanations and short discussions. Be concise and accurate. Allow others to give input and provide feedback, too. It is always a give and take.
- Be mindful of communication channels.
It is so easy to get bombarded with messages these days both useful and redundant. So many channels are available to communicate! But before you hit the send button, always consider if this method is the best way to deliver your message. Should you send an e-mail or will a phone call be more apropriate? Is a meeting really necessary to discuss something or can it be disseminated in a memo?
- Know your audience.
How your message is accepted is greatly affected by the preferences of your audience. There is a better chance of smooth interactions if you know who you are speaking to. For example, your business partner may have a strong dislike for Monday mornings. Maybe it is best to move your meeting to an afternoon slot when he or she is in a better state of mind. Also, if your business is concerned with young adults, they will receive your communication better if it is short, open, and not preachy. Have a basic understanding of who you are talking to and you can work together more effectively.
- Don’t forget non-verbal cues!
Most messages are received nonverbally. Mind your body language. Even if you are saying positive things, if your body language is negative, you will not get far.
- Encourage feedback.
No one person has a monopoly of good ideas. The next best thing to happen to your business can come from an employee in as much as it can come from an executive. Give everyone equal opportunity to be heard. Ask for feedback and treat every single one with respect.
- Be honest.
Do not lie. Do not avoid difficult conversations. Face challenges. Let other people know if there is a problem. Always ask questions and listen to answers. Let everyone you work with know and feel that they can trust your word and opinion. This cannot be stressed enough if you want your business to become more productive and pleasant for everyone.