It is such a delight to see a well-articulated email from the HR or a positive message from the top leadership of the company. At the same time, a poorly written message or usage of slang while conversing makes us draw a poor perception of the communicator.
While good communication is always a great asset, in a business environment, the process of communication becomes even more critical.
Business communication is the act through which people exchange information, ideas, plans and opinions related to the functioning of the organization to people within the company and outside of it. The way employees interact among themselves or with the management and vice-versa has a direct bearing on the business goals. The primary objective of business communication is to streamline operations, eliminate errors and improve efficiency.
Effective business communication is how employees and management interact to reach organizational goals. Its purpose is to improve organizational practices and reduce errors. When communication is not clear then there is a greater chance of employees not being able to perform their duties as needed. There is confusion about what processes to follow, regarding communication with outsiders and the long-term vision of the company.
To eliminate all such challenges, all organizations across the world consistently focus on improving the quality and speed of their business communication. As per data, when employees are disinterested or demotivated, the productivity dips by over 32%, but when they are clear about their work and motivated, they can achieve up to 19.2% additional growth in a year.
Before figuring out the essential skills that one needs to become a better communicator, we need to take a look at the different types of business communication:
Internal communication – Internal communication in a company is usually carried out in 3 directions:
Upward – When subordinates communicate with the hierarchy such as managers or office head or the CEO etc, it is known as upward communication
Downward – When the senior management issues an instruction or communication for the subordinates, it is known as downward communication.
Lateral – Lateral communication takes place when co-workers or team members communicate with each other.
External communication – Any message that addresses recipients people other than the company’s employees is known as external communication. It involves the messaging with the customers, vendors, suppliers and anything that can impact the brand reputation. The external communication can be broken down into four types:
- Flow of information, instructions and tasks from one person to another
- Sharing and analysing information including sharing of information during meetings
- Conveying feedback, corrective steps, and ensuring adherence of discipline measures by subordinates and sharing of information and tools to make people work better
- Meetings and discussions related to problem solving and taking important business decisions
Irrespective of the types of business communication, a person’s mastery of interpersonal skills can help make communication more smooth, clear and effective. The core interpersonal skills come handy in situations such as:
- Having a telephonic conversation with a vendor
- Conducting a team meeting at the start of the week
- Customer care conversations in a contact center
- Sharing inputs with the marketing agency for an upcoming campaign
- An instant messaging chat with a colleague in another branch of the company
Interpersonal skills enable employees to share information, submit status updates or work reports to superiors, resolve misunderstandings, provide solutions and advice to the customers or come up with new ideas related to their work. By leveraging strong interpersonal skills, people are able to ensure that there is no miscommunication or errors of understanding.
Thus, by effectively mastering business communication, one can enhance his/her own growth prospects as well as contribute better to the organization’s goals!