What are business communication skills?

Cameron Fleming | 30 April 2021 | 3 years ago

What are business communication skills?

Today’s world involves material amounts of sharing of information, which amplifies the need for good communication skills.

Poor communication skills can result in misunderstanding, frustration, and, in some cases, damage and loss of life.

To communicate well is to understand and to be understood. It is not solely about “speaking at” or “writing to” people. It is about listening and comprehension as well.

Actively listening is overlooked by many. People mostly focus on what they want to say and what they want to hear.

When talking, it is vital to know when to allow the other person a chance to talk. This shows your respect for their content and open-mindedness to another person’s point of view.

Active listening skills will lead to a more positive working environment and deeper, more valuable client relationships.

Importance of communication skills

The importance of these skills can be broken down into these valued outcomes:

1. Personal Value

Being able to demonstrate good communication skills increases your value within your company and with clients.

Good communication skills allow you to speak and present ideas effectively with a wide variety of people, with good eye contact, using varied vocabulary and listening effectively. It also allows you to write clearly and succinctly as well as developing a good group working relationship.  These skills are found in a good leader.

These skills will enable you to :

  • Listen to others and show interest in what they say
  • Deal with telephonic communications appropriately
  • Encourage interest and interaction from others in your team
  • Express an opinion or ask a question clearly
  • Persuade others
  • Be better at teamwork
  • Execute quality critical thinking
  • Process work with quality analytical skills

2. Career development

In business, as a team member or leader, you will request information, execute problem-solving, issue instructions, work in teams and interact with clients. As workplaces are frequently global,   superior business communication skills are needed to excel in such a diverse environment.

Message clarity and thorough comprehension means work is completed more effectively, thereby benefiting the entire company.

Employees who use initiative and solve problems show they are interested in the long-term success of the company. To grow in a company, it is important to not only excel at your job but to communicate your thoughts on how business aspects can be improved.

3. Relationship building

When a customer communicates with a company, their primary desire is to be understood.  Next, they want to feel like they are being heard and listened to. This is vital for a high customer-contact business, either face-to-face or over the phone.

4. Professionalism

Your employer wants their team to convey a positive image of professionalism as it reflects on the brand. This is conveyed visually via behaviour and spoken or written communications. Being professional (in the view of your employer and customers) will deliver you success faster.

Methods of communication

The 2 main groups of communication that we utilise are verbal and non-verbal. Within non-verbal, there is visual communication, such as charts, maps, images, infographics, and graphs. As well as written communication, such as letters, e-mails, books, magazines, blogs and articles.

Verbal communication methodology

Whether it’s face to face, by phone, radio, computer, television and other media, verbal communication does not only involve speaking. It additionally requires the integration of non-verbal communication skills: listening, eye contact and body language.

A lack of public speaking skills as well as poor enunciation, diction, vocabulary and pronunciations will hinder your ability to get a message across or to make it compelling and desirable.

Additionally, being garrulous is as off-putting as being reticent.

Adjusting communication per situation is also required as different approaches are needed for different situations.

Non-verbal communication methodology

This is delivered and received through body language, eye contact, gestures, personal presentation and behaviour.

Effective use of body language, facial expressions, gestures, and posture benefits the listener’s comprehension if all this is aligned to the verbal information. It can add interest and draw the listener into the vision of your product or service.

If, for example, a speaker actively seeks out eye contact when talking, they are assessed to be more believable and competent. On the flip side, too much eye contact can be overtly dominating, rude, hostile and condescending. Avoiding eye contact generally conveys an image of being uneasy, unsure or untrustworthy.

Good communication skills will allow you to choose the appropriate levels of eye contact subject to the situation, the setting, cultural expectations, gender, and personality types.

Body language often says much more than the spoken word, such as sitting with folded arms and legs versus open arms and slightly relaxed legs. The former appears defensive or threatened, and the latter is friendly and welcoming.

The relevance of business communications skills

The ability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, managers, or society is an essential component of business and social life.

These skills improve teams, develop substantial relationships, inspire high performance and take you to the top of your game.

A foundational aspect of communication, the lack of which results in soliloquies, is its two-way character. Observe other people’s verbal and nonverbal signals as well as your own.

More effective communication skills will give you more constructive and productive interactions. The default outcome will be a positive and thriving workplace.

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