Effective communication is an important component of personal and professional success, and this applies both to business and private communication. We use our business communication skills daily, and this is not only the ability to speak but also the ability to listen, to feel the mood of others.
Even though effective communication skills do not have a clear definition, the effectiveness of your business communication can definitely be improved. There are separate rules, applying which you can learn to interact with people in communication correctly. These business communication techniques are not something innovative or original, but you should not forget about them.
So let's take a look at some of the most effective business communication techniques.
- Trustful communication. Effective communication is always a mutually beneficial communication, as a result of which both parties gain something. The dialogue will never be effective without a trust. You must do everything possible to create the right atmosphere so that your interlocutor trusts you. No ambiguities, reticence, deception, and lies – everything should be simple and honest.
- Clarity. Effective communication is impossible without mutual understanding. Understanding is impossible without clarity. Do not be afraid to say directly about what you expect from communication. Do not try to get some action from a person with the help of tricks. After all, the best way to achieve success is to say directly about it. If we talk about working relationships, this is the most important rule. When communicating with colleagues, you should always strive to build a communication that is understandable not only for you but first of all for them. Always set clear goals, talk directly about what you expect from work, describing the final result clearly. Demand the same from others. This is the basis of mutual understanding, but also, without this, effective and productive work as a whole is impossible.
- Focus on the interlocutor's expectations. Whatever goal you pursue, remember that communication is a two-way process. The ability to understand and accept the interests of the interlocutor is an important business communication technique. Each of us pursues own goals, but the ability to coordinate them with the wishes of others, to take into account their interests is an indicator of communication skills. No one will just work at your will. But it is in your power to ensure that both you and others work for the sake of what is in the common interest.
- Be open. Try always to understand the position of your interlocutor, especially if it does not coincide with yours. Do not avoid the opposite opinion – listen to your interlocutor to the end, in any case, do not interrupt and do not speak dismissively about it. The opposite position may be interesting; perhaps you look at familiar things from a different angle. The ability to perceive criticism is an important business skill, it can help a person, both in professional activities and in personal life.
- Learn to listen. The fact that hearing and listening is not the same things is well known. But, despite that, many people still have not learned to listen, our egoistic nature prevents us from completely mastering this effective communication skill. When listening to a person, you can achieve much more than only with your narration. If you don’t want to master this technique on your own, we especially emphasize and reveal this topic in the Advanced Business Communications Skills course, where you will be given the practical communication tactics to become an extraordinary listener.
- Speak only about what you understand. This is one of the most important business communication skills. In the business world, you will be assessed mainly for professionalism, so do not try to impress others with conversations on topics that you do not understand. No matter how eloquently you say, in our time they pay more attention to content. It's better just to watch and to listen than to talk about what you don't understand, hoping to make the necessary contact or to get some action from your interlocutor. In business communication, it is not allowed to waste the time of others. So the effectiveness of communication and your reputation will suffer. Therefore, first make sure to collect at least minimal information about the topic, which will be devoted to the upcoming conversation.
- Change. There are no universal business communication standards in communication with people, having learned something once, you will not become a great negotiator for the rest of your life. Each person is unique and something that "works" in some particular case, is not necessarily useful in the other case. So be ready for things to go wrong. Templates based on books and articles (like this) are a good help, but real experience is gained in practice – in daily communication. And you should not only not become stiff, but be ready for improvisation, search for your own ways and methods.
These are just general rules and recommendations that will help you improve the efficiency of your business communication, but to reach the “guru” level, you will need to go deeper into the study of the theory and practice of business communication, you need systematic training for tangible effect. As you may see there is no one simple answer to a question “How to improve communication in business?” but practicing above techniques one by one you’ll find your way to business communication with results.