How to improve business communication skills

Business communication is the process of sharing information between employees and organizations and interacting with the intention of reaching organizational goals.

Business communication promotes motivation by informing what task is to be done and how to do the job to gain good results. It allows organizational heads to take necessary decisions by analyzing alternatives. It plays a crucial role in altering the attitudes of employees. A more well-informed employee will make better decisions and work efficiently. The organization has a hierarchy and some stated guidelines and protocols for every employee. So communication even controls the behaviors of employees by their immediate superiors. Though business communication even calls for socializing given that every member of the organization needs a work-life balance and work friends are as important as friends from outside the workplace.

An effective and efficient communication system requires managerial proficiency in delivering and receiving messages. One may communicate orally, through writings, non verbally, etc, but to communicate effectively is a skill which he/ she should learn and imbibe continuously over the years. Some ways to improve business communication are mentioned below.

1. Enrich business-related wordlist and idioms

Communicating in English has undoubtedly become global and therefore learning and improving the vocabulary and phrases related to business is essential. Business jargon has created a niche of its own which is considered both formal and polite. Reading industry-specific books, magazines or browsing its websites can make you aware of the vocabulary. But using them at your workplace will show results at the appropriate time.

Some of the common phrases are:

  • To cut corners- finish a task in a fast and careless way
  • Call it a day- To take a break
  • Reach out to get in contact with someone
  • To keep me in the loop- To keep me involved and updated
  • Action points- specific actions to do

2. Adept the skill of digital communication

Nowadays the workplace is turning digital and working remotely is the new norm. Digital communication and technology enable all employees to connect, share experiences, and have a voice. Framing emails, typing professional chat messages on social media groups, sharing reports, contacts, multimedia, GPS location, screenshots and working on excel sheets, and making graphs and PowerPoint presentations are to be mastered to be able to communicate better in business organizations, these days. Digital communication has proven to be a powerful aid for businesses to communicate with customers and employees.

There are multiple online courses to hone these skills and it is a must for all in this era like on or where one can learn these skills of communication.

3. Listen attentively, Speak sharply

Organizational heads or managers who are leading a team should be honest and transparent. They should communicate tasks clearly and listen to the feedback and suggestions of juniors and seniors. One should be sure to ask relevant questions and really listen to the answers. He/ She must respect others' ideas to gain respect for themselves. The goal of the tough conversation is to reach a positive solution.

To improve listening skills:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Limit judgments
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Ask questions to clarify only after a pause

To speak in a clear and concise manner:

  • Have confidence that your message is understood and therefore there is no need of over-explaining
  • Have bullet points
  • Work on your tonal quality and get more base to your voice
  • Avoid using complex terms

4. Evaluate well and follow up

Feedback given by peers, colleagues, managers, and team members is crucial to guide and inform one’s decision-making. Communication is not a one-way road. It isn't a monolog. The message becomes successful when it is received, understood, and acted upon.

Ways to give valuable and constructive feedback are:

  • Balance the negative with the positive
  • Focus on the problem and how it affects the functioning of work
  • Be appreciative from time to time
  • Try being informal and do it face to face

Following are some effective ways to take a follow up:

  • Make a clear ask and in simple terms
  • Be persistent; Don’t give up
  • Send a personal mail with a compelling subject
  • Create polls and surveys
  • Conduct follow up meetings and track interactions

5. Actions speak louder than words

The ability to be able to communicate without words could influence how employees perform. Nonverbal communication helps in expressing what one feels and means. Sometimes our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice can convey a louder and better message than our words. If one's nonverbal communication is poor it can make his/her co-workers uncomfortable, create tension, and confusion. Whereas if one possesses good nonverbal manners, it can help in establishing trust, clarity, and a good rapport with employees.

Ways to improve these communication skills are:

  • Maintaining eye contact: Looking at the person’s eye while speaking, else it seems as if one is hiding or nervous
  • Kinesics: People get affected and influenced by the way one sits, walks, and stands and uses various parts of the body to convey a message. Slouching while sitting, dragging feet while walking, and taking support while standing in a meeting are all signs of a less enthusiastic, tired person and should be avoided.
  • Physical Appearance: Your physical appearance always contributes to how people perceive you. Neatly combed hair ironed clothes and a lively smile will always carry more weight than words.
  • To form a good relationship one needs to have good communication skills and it becomes more important when one is in his/her workplace a formal relationship is to be maintained where work is a priority and the scope of making a mistake is less. It is vital for all workers to therefore look into these in the most honest and transparent manner and work hard to be an efficient and effective employee.

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