Many things can make or break your entrepreneurial endeavour, in particular, proper communication. Effective business communication is the difference between reaching a goal or missing it.
Knowing how to communicate is one thing, but knowing how to do it in a business setting is another. Let’s take a look at what business communication is.
What is Business Communication?
Business communication is the exchange of information between different sets of people within and outside a company.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t reach business success without proper communication. In other words, you need to exchange with others to pitch your idea(s), get people on board, and gain partners. It’s more than saying what you need to say. Make sure the recipient understands the message. As it is an exchange, it also comprises receiving information from others.
Good business communication always has a purpose. You don’t go to a business meeting without knowing why. It lets you know what to say, and how to say it. When you interact with others, make sure it aligns with the visions and values of your business.
Types of Business Communication
In a business context, communication comes in two types: internal and external.
Internal business communication is the interaction between members of the same company.
External business communication is the exchange between the company and external people, other companies, partners, clients, and so on.
Internal Upward Business Communication
Internal upward business communication refers to a hierarchical exchange. It goes from bottom to top. Your employees provide feedback, make requests, and give reports to their respective superiors.
Internal Downward Business Communication
Internal downward business communication is the opposite of the internal upward type, going from superiors to subordinates. The higher level at your company gives directions, assigns tasks, and so on to the lower level.
Internal Lateral Business Communication
Internal lateral business communication refers to the type of exchange between the employees of the same level, for example, the communication between two managers.
External Business Communication
External business communication is the interaction between your company and business partners, clients, and so on outside the company.
Importance Of Effective Business Communication
It serves no purpose to have the best idea possible and not be able to “sell” it. Wherever you may be on your entrepreneurship journey, effective communication is one significant key to your success.
If you are just starting, transforming your ideas into reality requires you to be in contact with people. You need to pitch your plan clearly and concisely to potential investors.
If you already have your business, its growth depends on how well you convey information. You need to be able to tell your employees what exactly you require of them.
Enhances Business Partnership
The way you communicate with your business partners strongly influences the type of relationship you have with them. Communicate in a way that shows respect to yourself and others, conveying confidence. Stand up for yourself and for what you believe; good business communication makes people respect and trust you.
Develops a Positive Relationship Within the Company
When your employees or team members know what they have to do, it takes much of the guessing game out and reduces error; they can do their part effectively and efficiently.
Listening to their input and feedback and acting accordingly makes for a loyal and healthy environment.
Contributes to the Overall Development of the Business
When you use effective communication, you can impact your environment. People value your thoughts and ideas. You influence those around you and create and maintain professional relationships.
Business Communication skills
You will master effective business communication skills with time and practice. It’s alright if your communication skills aren’t excellent yet. It’s never too late to learn and improve.
Several skill sets fall under the business communication category. Some are more important than others, depending on what business you’re in. We’ve selected five skills we believe are essential.
At some point, you had to or will have to give a presentation about something. Be it talking to investors, presenting a project to your team or convincing others to become your partners. Reaching those goals depends on your presentation skills. It boils down to your ability to deliver concise information, engage your audience, and ultimately get people on board.
A good communicator knows how to give information, but more importantly, knows how to receive information. It’s not just hearing what the others are saying, but the ability to pay attention and correctly understand what they are saying.
A good amount of channel of communication requires you to write, for example, sending an email. Know how to convey a clear message through written means.
Feedback and Input
Communication is never one-way. It is an exchange between two or more elements. When communicating with others, you need to give necessary feedback. It helps make sure that you understand clearly, and improve relationships.
You also need to be open to receiving feedback. It creates an opportunity for growth and can take a discussion further.
In communication, your body language says more than your words. How you carry yourself, your mannerisms, and other non-verbal clues significantly impact how your audience perceives your message.
How To Develop Effective Business Communication Skills
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. No one is born an effective communicator. but you can become one if you are willing to do the work.
Work on Your Body Language
Getting control of how you carry yourself is beyond essential in communication.
Practise standing up tall by imagining a line that connects your chest to the ceiling or the sky and is pulling upward slightly. Make sure not to overdo it. You want to look as natural as possible.
Hold your head high as if you were wearing a precious crown you don’t want to drop. Don’t forget to pay attention to your outward appearance. It’s important to always wear clean outfits and look well-groomed.
Work on Non-Verbal Clues
Be mindful of your tone and speed. Practice communicating in a steady and clear voice. Notice how you communicate when you feel a certain way, and see how it impacts the message.
Pay attention to your gestures and your facial expressions. Lastly, be mindful of the context the communication is taking place in.
Practise Paying Attention
To make sure you clearly understand someone, repeat what they said. Avoid unnecessary disruptions.
Make eye contact with the other person and let them finish what they are saying.
If the setting allows it, take notes.
Practise Outside the Business Context
Engage in discussions, whether with friends or family. Ask questions.
Read about your field, topic of interest, and different writing formats to get the feel of things. Write a piece of information every so often, using various channels.
When you have to give a presentation or any other form of public speaking, ask your friends to listen to you and take their feedback.
Be direct and precise when giving information. Eliminate unnecessary details. If possible, take part in public speaking activities or clubs.
Look to the people you admire in your field, and notice the way they present themselves. Watch speech presentations from other leaders and take notes. How do they speak? What is the context of the speech? Was the message clear? How much of its content impacted the given public? How much of the message was non-verbal?
Improving your communication skills implies getting better each time. Just as you would reflect on any goals you have, do the same for your business communication skills.
After a presentation, ask for feedback. When concluding a meeting with a business partner, notice how your communication skills impacted the outcome.
In all your interactions with others, you have been impacted either consciously or unconsciously by their communication skills. You are more likely to work with a confident person than someone who’s not.
“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May.
Communication allows you to create an environment you are proud of leading.
Your business communication skills are the backbone of your success. Everything that needs to get done requires communication. As an entrepreneur, it’s a skill to practise every day. Your business success depends on more than just your communication skills, but it starts there. Encourage your team members to improve their business communication skills by setting an example.