Entrepreneurship · 6 May 2021

The importance of communication skills in business

The Importance of Communication Skills in Business

 

Regardless of the industry you work in, your job title, or your role, business requires communication skills. You may only be communicating internally, or you may have associates and clients you have to work with, but there is no getting away from the need to communicate well.

Clear communication is a skill that a lot of people take for granted. There is also a difference in how you might communicate. Consider that in all of the following situations, you will need good communication skills to get your message across:

–          In verbal exchange such as meetings, telephone calls, or video calls

–          In written exchange, such as social media, e-mails, or memos

–          In visual media, such as graphs, charts, or images

Communication is considered a “soft skill”, meaning it’s not one that is usually taught. However, it is so valued that in a recent survey, communication was listed as the most sought after soft skill among employers.

Good communication skills are often improved over years of business dealings. But if you want to succeed in business now, you will need to improve your communication skills quickly. Knowing what those skills are and why they are important will help you on your way to becoming more successful in your chosen field.

 

Why business communication skills are important

Business communication skills are vital in every aspect of business. A lot of HR complaints can be resolved, or avoided altogether, through good communication.

In addition to office relations, good communication skills also allow for:

–          Better organisation, structure, and planning

–          Improved marketing and promotion for the business

–          Inspiring team members, colleagues, and employees towards goals or business aspirations

–          Encouraging business brand support

–          Improving customer experience

–          Reduced stress and confusion

–          Increased productivity

Good communication skills can enhance your office and work relationships, speed up processes, and smooth disagreements. By contrast, poor communication skills can result in misunderstandings, lost time, arguments, and even lost money or business because of missed deadlines or confusing information.

A good communicator is a person who is able to both convey and receive information so that both parties understand the information fully and there are no misunderstandings. It includes all the aspects of information transfer, including listening, asking questions, relaying, teaching, and learning.

 

How to improve your communication skills

Practice, practice, practice.

There is a lot that can be said in theory, but communication goes two ways, which means you won’t be able to assess your growth or success unless you are actually interacting with other people. Take every opportunity to improve your communication skills, whether you are speaking to a friend, writing a letter to a family member, or greeting your colleagues – all interactions are a chance for you to practice and develop your communication skills.

Listen

Be an active listener. Take in what the person is saying and ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand.

Good listeners are also open to new ideas. Avoid interrupting or simply waiting for them to finish so that you can talk or get your message across. Genuinely interact with what they have to say before trying to make yourself heard. If a person feels heard, they are more likely to hear you out as well.

Be Concise

People stop listening or reading when your message is too wordy or irrelevant. Stick to the main points and keep your message short to make sure it comes across clearly.

Be aware of your Body

In any interaction where you are physically present or visible, pay attention to what your body language is communicating. Do you look bored or interested? Have you crossed your arms and closed yourself off from the other person, or are you open and available? Are you maintaining eye contact? All of these things can show how much you care about the conversation and how much you are willing to both give and take from it.

Show Respect

Key to any communication is respect. Acknowledge that if someone has taken the time to speak to you or listen to you, then they have already placed value on the communication. Respecting someone says a lot about you. Simple ways to show respect are to stay off your phone during a conversation, use the other person’s name, and pay attention to what they have to say.

Use the Correct Medium

There are times when an e-mail is appropriate, but there are also times when you should speak to someone face to face. Likewise, private matters shouldn’t be discussed in a public forum and public matters shouldn’t be shared with individuals before they are shared publicly. The medium you choose will convey the importance you place on the person you are communicating with as well as the message you are trying to convey.

 

Why business writing skills are important

In a digital age, writing skills are more important than ever. People are more inclined to send emails, memos, or announcements than to pick up the phone. Written communication includes emails, reports, social media, presentations, legal documents, announcements, and much more. With such a long list of written business communications, it’s easy to see why business writing skills are important and valued.

Good writing skills are often equated with credibility and quality. When clients and business partners receive written communications with poor grammar, bad spelling, or an unclear message, their view of the company goes down. It may seem like a trivial thing to base an opinion on, but writing can in fact inform the reader of a lot of things.

Your ability to communicate well with your writing shows:

–          Attention to detail

–          Competence

–          Understanding of the subject matter

–          Intelligence

Ultimately, your writing is what gives you authority and influence. Good business writing skills will allow you to communicate with confidence, which in turn helps the reader to trust you. The more trust you can gain in business, the more influence you can have. And influence translates into sales, improved business relations, and business growth.

Learning to communicate will enhance your business image and reputation. There are no down-sides to being a good communicator, so why not start practicing now and see what a difference it makes – not just in business, but in your personal life too.

 

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