Effective communication in the business environment

communication - Ezra Bailey / Iconica / Getty ImagesEzra Bailey / Iconica / Getty Images

Communication is the foundation of every single relationship you have in your personal life; it's no different in business. Without effective communication, there can be misunderstandings, problems and conflicts among your staff, your clients and everyone else you come into contact with. Poor communication can make effective delegation, increased productivity and an enjoyable work environment virtually impossible.

The tips below will help you fine-tune your communication skills so you can save time, by communicating effectively in every interaction you have in your small business.

1. Limit Distractions and Listen

Listening is the key to effective communication, but it's not always easy.

One way to become a better listener is to try limiting distractions during your conversations that make it difficult to hear and absorb what others are saying. That may mean closing your email client, turning off your telephone ringer, or closing the door to your office. By doing these small things, you ensure that the person you're speaking with has your full attention.

It's also important to limit internal distractions, that is, everything going on in your mind. When you have several topics to tackle during a meeting or conversation rushing through them to get all of your ideas out may be tempting, but this causes confusion and can make the other person feel like his or her input is not important.

Slow down and remember that communication is a two-way street. Establish a give-and-take that allows both parties to have their say.

2. Be Responsive

One of the worst things you can do when a conflict arises or someone has a complaint about your business, products, services, etc. is ignore it. In most cases, some kind of response should be issued immediately, even if it's just a brief statement that you'll look into the issue.

If you wait until you have all of the information necessary before reaching out to the unhappy party, they may end up not only unhappy, but now also angry. Keep the lines of communication open in all situations by being as responsive as possible and making sure the people reaching out to you feel like their issue is important to you.

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