Communication is one of the most important skills to have in business, every day you will probably have to communicate with all kinds of people, from employees to partners, to customers. To help you in improving your business communication skills, here are six top tips and suggestions.
1. Unify your communications
Keeping on top of communication with our colleagues, employers, and customers can be an arduous task, especially if you use multiple apps and devices. Instead of having one software for phone calls, another for instant messaging, more for emails, and so on, why not unify your communications?
2. Listen more effectively
Make the effort to improve your listening skills. Just because you are being quiet doesn’t mean you are listening, and just because you are listening doesn’t mean you are retaining information. Practice turning off internal dialogues, and focus on what others are saying.
This will help you to ensure that you are always in the know, and allow you to acknowledge your colleagues’ contributions. In doing so, your team will be able to have more productive conversations, coming to an effective conclusion.
3. Stick to the topic at hand
We have all had at least one conversation in our lives where the topic has veered so off track that you weren’t sure what you were talking about anymore. Though this might be merely annoying in social situations, in a business setting this can be a waste of valuable time.
4. Collaborate rather than dictate
Dictating and lecturing is a sure-fire way to not only poorly communicate but also potentially lose your workforce. A study by DDI’s Frontline Leader Project found that 57% of employees have left a job because of their manager, 14% have done so multiple times, and another 32% have seriously considered leaving due to role in management.
Instead, foster a community of collaboration, allowing others to have their input on the issue at hand. This will encourage more communication between all your employees, thus encouraging teamwork in all aspects of the business.
5. Approach sensitive topics with haste and empathy
Though it can be tempting to avoid discussing sensitive topics or having difficult conversations, leaving them alone can allow them to fester until they build into a larger problem. A problem like this can easily snowball, developing feelings of resentment and anger.
However, situations like this can be totally avoided by having a quick, direct, private conversation as soon as the situation arises. Approach the conversation with empathy, creating a safe space for clear and honest communication.
6. Expand business vocabulary
Some small businesses can have quite complex jargon. Whilst this may be difficult to learn initially, this can allow you to communicate more concisely and effectively in the long run. Read through company documents and training manuals until you are familiar and comfortable with the technical terminology.
And remember, practice makes perfect! Good things come to those who wait, so keep on practicing your communications skills until everything clicks into place. With all this in mind, you will be able to develop crucial skills that will drastically improve your business communications.