Business communication is often considered a soft skill, when it should really be considered a hard skill. Unclear communication costs companies millions of dollars per year in inefficiency and lost revenue. As a result, it’s incredibly important that employees at all levels across organizations improve their communication skills.
What is Business Communication?
What differentiates business communication is that it includes a constant flow of information that requires analysis and decision-making. The larger the organization, the more important it is to have employees who have effective business communication skills. Quick decisions and accurate responses are the name of the game in order to keep employees aligned and headed in the right direction.
As a result, effective business communication can be described as two people or parties sending a clear message that is received as intended. This skill is crucial for a company’s success, as it leads to better instructions, tasks, information, and work processes. Furthermore, it leads to better client experience, both in the pre- and post-sales process.
Methods of Business Communication
With the advent of several technological tools and resources over the past few decades, business communication has expanded beyond simple face-to-face conversations. Each of the types of business communication below require slightly different skills:
- Online written communication, such as emails and forum boards – requires good business writing skills
- Reports and presentations – require good business writing and data presentation skills
- Telephone meetings – require good verbal skills
- Video conferencing – require good verbal and non-verbal skills
- Face-to-face meetings – require good verbal and non-verbal skills
The 7 C’s of Business Communication
The 7 C’s from Toolshero provide an easy way for employees to maintain effective business communication. Though it may be hard to remember all of these tips at first, they do eventually become second-nature with practice.
There is no need to be wordy or overly flowery with your language when conducting business. Use words that are easy for anyone to understand and remember that the overarching goal of communication, especially in business, is that you are understood. This is especially important when working in cross-cultural settings!
Forgetting to include the necessary or required information is a huge time-waster. Remember to keep your audience in mind and include the relevant background, details, and information needed to limit follow-ups as much as possible. Be MECE – include everything relevant, but just once.
Concrete communication involves data, facts, figures, and examples that help clarify a message so that there is little chance it can be misinterpreted. This component of business communication helps make messages more credible and effective.
Effective business communication is not just about what you say, but also about how you say it. Small things like using “we” instead of “I” goes a long way to show unity and camaraderie within a team. Do your best to keep in mind all recipients of your message, not just the “most important” stakeholders.
Small details like grammar, word choice, and spelling is essential in business communication. When the small things aren’t correct, they call into question the larger work product as well. Be thoughtful before you speak and double or triple check written forms of communication.
Good business communication gets to the point right away. Businesses that thrive are the ones that are able to get things done quickly. Concise communication is not only more appealing – it’s also more memorable.
Being thoughtful and courteous is extremely important, and often underrated. Using “thank you” and maintaining eye contact go a long way in upholding your reputation and positioning you as the partner of choice. Regardless of who you are corresponding with, make sure to treat each person as if they are an important client.
We trust you enjoyed reading about the essential components of effective business communication. Employees of any industry and rank can benefit from keeping these best practices in mind. Do not underestimate the power of good communication – it could very well set you up for promotion!