Running a successful business requires a lot. However, nothing can improve much if the communication skills are not effective and efficient.
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business are likely to fail within the first 18 months. That is to say, 80% of businesses crash. Therefore, in order not to be counted among the 80%, you must be intentional about every step of the way. This is why we have put this amazing article down to enable you to understand the effectiveness of communication skills as an entrepreneur.
What Are Effective Business Communication Skills?
Effective business communication skills are important in the success of the business. For communication to be effective, it must go beyond mere speaking and hearing. It involves your body language, choice of words, clarity of message and style of communication. Your communication skills will influence the success or failure of the organization. The communication skills are:
1. Collaboration and teamwork
Collaboration and teamwork are inseparable in a business setting. They are crucial business communication skills relevant to the success of every business. With collaboration and teamwork, you will be able to increase your market share, employee satisfaction as well as the quality of the products and services you offer.
In addition, you must learn the art of asking questions, respecting other people’s efforts, and giving them adequate consideration. When an employee is offered the opportunity to work together with others, s(he) tends to collaborate effectively. Ensure you are emotionally intelligent and aware of everything going on around you. Thus, everyone will be satisfied doing business with you.
2. Public speaking
When offered the opportunity to address your colleagues or external body, your speech must be clear and concise. As a leader, public speaking is one of the business communication skills that you need to accelerate the organization to greater heights. Speaking with authority must come naturally to you. Hence, practising as often as possible will help you to jump over the hurdles of anxiety. Start your speech with personal stories as people easily relate to such and respond accordingly. Give rooms for questions and contributions too.
Listening is a big part of business communication skills. Developing good listening skills opens the floor for people to feel heard and valued. Thus, they can easily connect with you. Give ears to your audience and do not make the communications to be a one-way interaction. Your audience will always figure out when you are listening to them.
Shun interruptions while listening to them, but responding with comments such as, “That great” or “Interesting” will help to establish a bond between the two of you. If perchance, disagreements occur, eschew being judgmental or siding one person. Be as open-minded as possible. Some conversations are difficult to communicate. Do not sidestep them, anyway. Find a suitable time to talk over it and give your listening ears too.
Related post: Understanding Nonverbal Communication At Work
4. Written communication
Writing can be in form of making documentation, a report or sending an email. Electronic communication is more formal than every other business communication skill. It is considered the same way as a written letter. Being friends with your coworker is fine. However, when it comes to communicating through writing, you must be formal, except it is on a personal level. Avoid the use of jargon, slang or words that are alien to your audience. Thus, you must understand the needs of your audience before setting out to write.
An effective writing strategy includes using bulleted lists, tables and charts.
Before hitting send, ensure you go through your written work and check for possible errors. You must be clear and accurate with facts. To be on a safer side, ask these questions:
Business communication sometimes involves making a presentation to coworkers, managers, clients, and suppliers. As a business owner, you must develop a clear presentation style. Understand the best ways to introduce the topic, define the situation, deliberate implications, recommend solutions and set up a system to handle further issues. Also, highlighting the benefits of the topic is necessary.
SEE ALSO: Top Skills That Are Good For LinkedIn
Types of Business Communication
There is no right way to communicate in a business setting. Of a truth, four major types of business communications exist and they are upward, downward, lateral and external.
1. Upward communication
This involves reporting directly to a manager or from a manager to a higher-level executive or CEO. Upward communication offers the leaders the opportunity to keep an eye on the happenings within the organization.
2. Downward communication
This type of communication flows from the top management through a programmed chain of command, down to the last cadre of the organization.
3. Lateral communication
Lateral communication flows across departments and employees or managers to managers on the same ranking.
4. External communication
Here, information passes from the internals of the organization to outsiders who are relevant to the organization. Such external bodies include the clients, suppliers, investors, partners, regulatory bodies, lawmakers, consultants, the general public, and a host of them.
Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills
To improve your business communication skills, it is necessary to know you are doing the right thing. Here are some ways to spice up that:
1. Practice emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence entails being on the same page with other people’s feelings and emotions. High emotional intelligence enables people to work together effectively. Teams with strong emotional intelligence can discuss varying opinions tactfully. As a leader, you must pay attention to your subjects and put yourself in their shoes. A good leader makes a happier worker because they would be more socially aware, respectful, and know how to handle conflicts.
2. Paying attention to non-verbal communication is necessary
Many people underrate the power of non-verbal communication. If you master the ability to communicate non-verbally, you will be able to exude confidence and reinforce authority.
Non-verbal communication includes eye contact, facial expressions posture, tone of voice, and gestures. You must master these skills and use them effectively in your business communication. It may not be easy mastering them though, but they are sure effective tools to help you in your communication in the business. Be on the lookout for them in other people as well.
Not all, do not rely on non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is best employed in business to augment your understanding of the discussion. As a result of that, try not to always take it personally as you might misinterpret the other person.
3. Listen actively
Do not pretend to listen when in the real sense you are not. Some people only pretend to listen just because they are waiting for their own time to speak. That is sending a wrong signal. Active listening is an effective business communication that entails focused, uninterrupted listening. Poor listening habits can be done away with if you make conscious efforts to do so.
Additionally, non-verbal communication indicates how actively you are listening. People love it when you give them attention. In business, this is not exceptional. Be present for the discussion, both physically and emotionally as that would give them the confidence to trust you.
4. Know when to be assertive
No matter how mild it seems effective business communication skills are, there are times you need to put your foot down. Being assertive can have great effects if carried out at the right time. This implies that you should apply consideration as well. it is evidence that you are sensitive and committed. Note that assertiveness is not the same as being aggressive or pushy, rather making your intentions clear and standing by your word to the benefit of the organization. Perhaps, you might want to know, assertiveness requires firmness to be effective.
5. Apply some problem-solving strategies
No business can survive without problem-solving skills. Quick problem-solving skills include:
In businesses, new issues stick out their heads once in a while. Most times, you did not plan it. Hence, preparing your mind ahead and communicating to the right channels will go a long way to alleviate the issue.
Ways to Listen Actively
Active listening, as we have pointed out, is beyond just looking at the other person. You must give undivided attention. And so, to listen actively, you can do the following:
Importance of Effective Communication Skills In Business
Your success as a business owner depends on how you effectively communicate to your audience. Lack of clear communication could lead to missing out on a potential client or experiencing chaos in the workplace. All these issues must be addressed by communicating well with everyone involved. The benefits of effective business communication skills can never be overemphasized. Hence, the following are some of them:
1. It makes you organized
Communication skills enable you to plan, manage, organize and promote the system on which the business operates. You must market and promote the business and the only avenue to do so is via communication.
2. It promotes good work relationships
Effective communication helps in promoting good working relationships between you and the members of the organization as well as other people. Communication gaps are eliminated, in that way, reducing stress. As a result, morale and efficiency are improved too.
3. Your business is better understood
Through communication, you can explain the terms and conditions on which the business operates to your clients. Then, answer their questions to elucidate the points you made. During negotiations, your bargaining power lies in how effective you can make your points. Every effort you make counts in achieving your goals.
4. It helps businesses plan strategically
Communication skills help to plan business strategically. In so doing, you will generate business ideas and plan accordingly. Getting the team involved in the planning helps everyone to contribute their ideas and generate a profitable outcome.
5. It promotes the business beyond imagination
Good business communication skills help the business. Whether you wish to promote it virtually or physically, marketing skills are inevitable. So far, communication skills have proven to be one of the best marketing skills you can employ. Everything you do in marketing to promote your business including your social media posts, blog posts, radio and TV ads, and others, you can only use communication to do so. It could also involve texts, messages, videos, infographics, and online updates. All these aim to market and promote the business.
Communication separates a good business from a great one. With effective business communication skills or strategies, you will be able to become more aware of inherent problems and seek ways to implement solutions. Potential drawbacks are also easily identified when you communicate effectively with everyone, ranging from members of the organizations to external bodies like the clients. Moreover, review the communication system at your workplace and see how much applying the skills and strategies listed here have been of great benefit.