Business communication skills notes for MBA

Business communication skillsIrritants or awkward pause fillers might be doing more harm to your business communication skills than you know. You may not know it, but your colleagues might be controlling their urge to shut you up!

As an ambitious professional seeking to carve out a niche for yourself in the higher echelons of the business world, self-improvement would be a high-priority item on your career growth to-do list. Apart from the technical skills that are so critical for your success, you’ve probably also been making a conscious effort to improve your business communication skills.

by Swati

The need to focus on the personal impact is more pronounced for professionals in a client facing role or in the marketing team where you could be the face of your company.

There may be certain problem areas that no one might have pointed out to you, so you need to do a self-check on areas where there’s scope for improvement.

Other than the head bobble (constant head nodding) which is commonly associated with Indians, there’s another irritant which may not be restricted to the Indian culture.

Here’s a list of words. Check them out to see if some sound familiar:
Um, ah, I mean, you know, like, basically, literally, anyway, or whatever, you see…

There are many more that you can add to the list.

Many of us, at some point, might have used these words and may still be in the habit of indiscriminately using them.

Though you may not realize, it sometimes becomes difficult for the listener to concentrate and interpret the real content after filtering out those unwanted filler words.

If the person happens to be one with whom you interact on a daily basis, you can imagine the extent of irritation she would experience the moment you speak.

However, a lot of us resort to these words to bridge the gap between our pauses. If you were having a casual chat with your best friend who accepts you the way you are, these aspects may not matter much. But using such words becomes a habit, so it’s best if you can totally avoid them.

In a professional environment, where there’s cut-throat competition, the constant use of such fillers would have an adverse impact on your image.

How irritants weaken your business communication skills

Irritants make the person you’re talking to wonder why you need to cling to that filler word for help every now and then.

It reinforces the perception that you lack clarity about the topic or your thought process is not structured. if you need time to think as you speak, talking steadily with a constant flow of words, maybe at a slower pace, would be preferable instead.

Let’s try to evaluate a few of these filler words and reason out why people are inclined to fit them in.

Example 1

  • I’m, like, really glad to be part of your team.
  • Then I was, like, so scared.

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How do higher-rank business people (managers, senior managers, vice presidents etc) maintain their creativity, communication and listening skills while sleeping so little?

Myth 1: They sleep little. In fact most successful execs sleep reasonable amounts, and more importantly, they sleep and wake early. The ones that don't burn out in a few years.
Myth 2: High rank execs are more creative. Not so. Most creativity comes from lower ranks, for which higher ranks take credit and shine their halos. But, yes, listening skills are selected for during promotions.

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