Effective business communication guidelines
Business communication should not be a puzzle one must solve to understand its meaning.
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Honed communication skills enable a business owner as well as employees to convey messages effectively. Whether it is a memo, a meeting or a telephone call, effective communication is required for a business to operate smoothly. The guidelines for effective communication are simple: present a clear message and say it as quickly and concisely as possible. The message recipient should not have to puzzle to discern the intended meaning of the message.
Business communication is the relaying of information between two or more people or groups. Communication can take several forms: verbal, electronic, written and nonverbal. For communication to be effective, the sender must convey a clear message regardless of the vehicle used. On the flip side, the receiver must acknowledge that he heard and understood the sender's message.
Without communication, conducting business would become a challenge for all involved. Employees would be clueless as to what is expected of them, businesses could not reach customers, and customers would not know from whom to buy. Employers would have no way to convey practices, procedures and rules to their employees. Business as we know it could not exist in such an environment.
Related Reading: Three Guidelines for Oral Communication
There are several types of communication, and all are necessary for a business to function properly. Verbal communication is the relaying of information via face-to-face or telephone discussion between two or more people. Written communication includes letters, memos, e-mail and manuals. Electronic communication includes e-mail, instant messaging, and other types of online communication. Nonverbal communication is the conveyance of a message without speaking, and includes gestures such as nodding, shaking your head and other types of body language. It is important to ensure that whichever mode of communication is used, the message is clear, conveys the proper level of importance and is delivered with an even and respectful tone.
Effective business communication gets to the point, avoids jargon and is presented with the intended recipient in mind. For example, do not use three sentences to say what could be said in one. The message, if written, should sound as if the sender is speaking directly to the reader and should not be used as a vehicle to show off your vocabulary. For all communication methods, the use of examples is an effective way to convey a point.
Nonverbal communication should match the message delivered with the verbal or written communication. A non-verbal cue can cause the message to be unclear or can even contradict the message. For example, if a manager tells his employees he has an open door policy but while doing so folds his arms and frowns, what the manager is actually conveying, perhaps subconsciously, is that he does not want to be bothered with his employees' problems.
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What is an example of effective communication?
Before you begin to communicate, you need to be sure that you are mentally ready to listen as well as to speak. Listening is a large part of communication that people tend to forget. When speaking about a difficult or painful topic, speak about specific events. Don't generalize and use statements such as 'you always…'. State your point by saying 'when you did…..it made me feel…….' Or 'when you said …… it made me feel……'. Be respectful. Do not exhibit 'closed' behavior such as folding your arms or having a scolding facial expression. Try to verbalize your feelings in a way that doesn't …