Business Communication: Are You Effective?
Effective communication is an important part of any business success. Tone of voice, communication style, body language and word choice play a vital key to the success of any business communication, with both speaker and listener responsible for effective interactions.
In the modern business world, people communicate via text, phone, email, written, and verbal communication. In effective communication, it is important to understand the nature of each tool and choose the method, which is best, suited for your message. For example, if you’re a great speaker and being able to articulate yourself via written methods of communication, it is probably best to steer clear of texts and emails to demonstrate your message. Remember, while it is important to learn all forms of communication, the effective communicator understands their limitations and chooses the method to match their message.
Part of effective speaking is knowing your listener and predicting how they may react to your message. Reactions lay in the control of the speaker, as long as word choice and delivery are carefully considered. In order to gain this control, you must voice your message in a way the listener can understand and digest.
Active listening involves eye contact, nods, gestures and comments to demonstrate understanding. Active listening on the listeners’ part should signify to the speaker that they comprehend the message being voiced. If the speaker appears confused, it is the responsibility of the speaker to adjust their delivery.
Dr. Lund shared a study which proves that men in general and women in business settings (so men all the times, and typically women only in work environments), want to know three key things before they are willing to speak with you:
- Is what you want to talk about going to be painful?
- How long is it going to take?
- When you are done talking, what do you want from me?
Dr. Lund believes that men and executive women always want to know the exit to the conversation before they feel safe engaging in it. So, how do you get around this? Next time you’re calling a client, try using this approach:
“I appreciate how busy you are so I only need one minute of your time to let you know about ____________.”
This demonstrates to the other person that the conversation will be quick and painless, allowing them to sit and listen, having outlined how long the conversation will be, what you want from them, and that you appreciate their time.
Let’s take a look at how to practice effective business communication using the 6 C’s:
Get to the point quickly! Use concise and straightforward language to effectively communicate your point across in a manner that encourages efficient action.
When talking business, use a conversational tone that invites interaction from your audience. This not only engages your listeners, but steers clear of any confrontation that could cause a disagreement! Effective business communication should always remain professional, rather than emotional.
Sometimes with business communication, you only get one chance to make your point. When you present your point, make sure you present with a clear voice so that every word is understood. With only one chance to put your point across, a misunderstanding could lead to a world of problems and you may not get the opportunity to correct your mistakes!
Always leave the conversation open to questions and clarifications! When finishing your statement, allow for others to ask questions before you move on to your next part. Remember; always make sure your answers are understood before moving on.
Fake it ‘til you make it! Confidence helps add credibility to your communication. Present yourself with a clear and commanding tone to place yourself as an expert in what you’re speaking about.