Do you know the business communication skills you need for success in business?
Good communication skills will increase your chances of business success.
You need good communication skills in the basic functions of business management, including organizing, controlling, directing, and planning.
This blog post will guide you on the business communication skills you need for success in business.
Read on to find out all you need to know.
Business Communication Skills You Need for Success in Business
Before we look into what the business communication skills you need for success in business, we need to understand some basic concepts.
We need to look into;
Functions of Communication
There are business communication skills you need for success in business.
Before then you need to know the functions of communication.
Communication has several uses in business.
Knowing this will help you determine the essential business communication skills, which you need to possess.
It will also help you know the skills you need to develop to become an effective communicator.
The general functions of communication in a business are as follows:
The vision and goals of an organization have to be in the consciousness of all its members.
This is only possible when information is shared.
Written or verbal communication can both be used to spread data, concepts, processes, policies, schedules, and other relevant knowledge that all employees need to be aware of.
The sharing of information also extends outside of the organization.
Clients and stakeholders, for example, may want to know the current performance of the business.
Information should be delivered carefully and appropriately.
This will ensure that the receiver reacts with the intended impression from the message.
Motivation intends to shape, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, or behavior of another individual towards a certain object or issue.
It also brings someone to action.
Persuasive communication is always present in any business.
Owners must persuade investors to stake in their business.
Managers should motivate employees to reach deadlines and maintain a good quality of work.
Employees also need to convince the management to accept their ideas, suggestions, and demands.
Sustaining good relationships drives a business towards success.
Effective business communication skills allow employees to interact socially both inside and outside the workplace.
Constant communication enhances teamwork, collaboration, and deters conflict and misunderstanding.
Similarly, there should also be a direct line of communication between the company and its clients, customers, or stakeholders.
This way, it can swiftly act on issues and identify areas for improvement.
A certain level of control is necessary to keep the workplace in order.
Communication enables this to happen.
Orientate employees with the company’s policies and procedures.
This should specify how they should conduct themselves at work.
Likewise, there should be a job description for every role.
Annual performance evaluations subsequently determine whether an employee is doing well and is deserving of a raise or promotion.
Also, a company usually has various divisions and departments with unique sets of functions.
All of the above are not achievable in business without communication.
Communication ensures the integration of all these functions towards the organization’s major goals.
Receiving and providing feedback allows the business to grow.
After all, two heads are better than one.
Communication supplies decision-makers with relevant information and diverse problem-solving strategies.
Business leaders often encounter problems during choice making and feedbacks.
Without appropriate communication, it’s virtually impossible to make sound decisions.
Business Communication Skills You Need for Success in Business
Now you’ve learned about the major functions of communication in a business.
It’s time to take a look at the essential business communication skills you need to effectively wield them.
Depending on your education, experience, and personality, there might be certain communication skills that you’re good at.
There might also be some that you probably need to work on.
Here are the business communication skills you need for success in business:
1Active Listening Skills
Active listening occurs when there is a conscious decision to listen intently to the speaker.
It also involves the ability to incorporate his/her views into the communication process.
When you are listening actively, you can hear what the other party is saying to you.
Additionally, you are also mentally engaged with it.
It is different from the passive form of listening, where one hears what the other party is saying but is not mentally engaged with it.
Active listening involves all the senses.
A good communicator should use verbal and non-verbal cues to sustain interest.
Gestures, which encourage an individual to continue talking, include sustaining eye contact, smiling, mirroring facial expressions, and nodding one’s head.
Simply saying “Yes” or “Hmm” helps communicate that you are still listening to the speaker.
Constantly looking at your phone, chatting with another person, or being preoccupied with something else interrupts the line of communication between you and the speaker.
It is important to minimize distractions.
This increases the chances of effective communication taking place.
A person who is actively listening provides opportunities for the speaker to make his or her point.
When you are listening actively you are not already thinking of your feedback or question.
You are listening.
This means that you do not interrupt the speaker with questions, reactions, and comments until you process the point the speaker is communicating.
Good listeners reserve their judgment and allow others time to process their thoughts and drive to their point.
Listening isn’t an easy thing to do.
It can be difficult to master.
It requires time and patience to develop.
In business, written communication is ideally brief but informative.
Sometimes, people don’t have the time to read through all the data being presented.
Effective communication means focusing on the most important points.
It also involves stating what to do with and about them.
Good communication keeps in mind that the details of the information should not be sacrificed in the attempt to be concise.
A lot of communication is done through documentation.
Documentation is a cornerstone of any business.
Policies, contracts, records, reports, memos, letters, and e-mails are an opportunity to improve your writing communication skills.
Even phone conversations and teleconferences are transcribed at some point.
These tasks require a good command of language and the correct use of grammar.
Poor writing skills may cause misinterpretation and inappropriate reactions.
Apart from its construction, you should also take into account the tone of the message.
Choose your words wisely and make sure that they accurately capture your intentions.
For example, the way you write an e-mail can spell the difference between an issue that requires urgent action and an important concern that can be dealt with later.
Finally, remember to follow-up on feedback.
Responses using written communication don’t happen in real-time.
There are times when documents get misplaced and e-mails go unnoticed.
Adequate follow-up shows proactive participation and closes the communication loop.
Most interactions are done verbally.
Whether it is engaging in conversation or public speaking, having strong verbal skills helps a person become more likable.
It also helps you gain influence and earn respect.
This skill comes into play when you try to establish connections and build rapport, especially with people you just met.
Some people believe that the most important trait in creating a personal brand is verbal communication.
Eloquent people are perceived to be more intelligent and trustworthy (even if it’s not always the case).
The ability to speak well is immediately associated with confidence.
Verbal communication in business also needs to be brief but informative.
This is because the average person has a limited attention span.
Talking too much can drown out the important points of your message.
As discussed earlier, motivation is one of the major functions of communication.
Communication can be used to persuade others and arriving at a mutually agreeable consensus.
The golden rule is to think before you speak.
Words reflect your character and, once spoken, you can’t take them back.
Always talk with confidence, but don’t be cocky.
Speak with authority, but don’t be rude.
Communicate concisely, but don’t leave out important information.
4Interpersonal Communication Skills
Interpersonal skills refer to a whole bunch of skills related to building trust and relationships with others.
These skills help in building bonds and displaying empathy.
Having these skills leads to lasting connections beyond a business level, but on a personal level as well.
When you meet new clients or potential investors, put them at ease with light but meaningful conversation.
So, find common ground and build on that to maintain a connection.
Shared interests draw people together.
Empathy is putting yourself in another person’s shoes.
Misunderstandings can arise from focusing too much on how you feel about a situation and neglecting its impact on others.
You might get upset about negative feedback from a customer and fail to see that this reaction is not an attack on you as a person, but a demand for better service.
Having good interpersonal communication skills gives you an edge in the competitive business environment.
Individuals in a business organization often have different opinions and skillsets.
Using effective communication, personal differences can be set aside, with people coming together to work towards a common goal.
Communication enables teamwork.
Teamwork places higher importance on combined effort over individual contributions.
For a team to work effectively, each member needs to fulfill a role that is in line with the general direction of the group.
There’s usually a leader who manages the group dynamics.
The others could take on gathering information, generating ideas, completing tasks, and critically assessing the output.
The success of the team depends on the fulfillment of these individual roles.
Teams primarily focus on two things: the task and the process.
Organizing, planning, problem-solving and decision making skills are put to use to get the task done.
Meanwhile, the process of achieving the task requires people to work cohesively and effectively.
This will bank on communication, persuasion, facilitation, feedback, and conflict resolution skills.
These skills are necessary because it is not uncommon for members of the team to prefer certain roles over others.
For instance, some people are naturally more organized.
Regardless, individuals with good communication will work together to the team’s advantage.
Presentation communication skills are very important in business.
To win an argument or influence an audience towards the desired outcome, ideas and information need to be presented in ways that are motivating, engaging, and effective.
Many jobs now require making presentations.
For some people, it is a stressful and daunting task that needs to be mastered.
Good preparation lays the groundwork for making an effective presentation and it is also the antidote to jitters.
This isn’t just about making an impressive PowerPoint presentation.
The most important preparation of all is to get to know your audience.
The success of a presentation depends on your connection with the audience.
Sending out a compelling message relies on the clarity and good organization of ideas.
When writing a presentation, make sure you develop the ideas and highlight the main points.
The method of the presentation depends on the formality of the event, the audience, the venue, and its facilities, and personal preference.
Enhance your presentation with visual aids only when necessary. Their main purpose is to add impact and strengthen audience involvement.
Don’t use your visual aids as cue cards, like some people who just read out the contents of their PowerPoint.
Finally, act with confidence.
Maintain good posture, speak audibly and clearly, use body language to express emotion.
It is also advisable to always maintain eye contact with your audience.
Selling skills demand effective persuasion to convince someone to buy products, avail services, pursue ideas, and make choices.
Good communication makes this happen.
These skills are important to have, even if you’re not a sales representative.
The primary purpose of selling skills is to gain another person’s trust, enough for him/her to take your offer or follow your advice.
To captivate an individual, say a buyer, you must educate them with new ideas that change their thinking.
Don’t just give them information that they might already know.
However, you should provide them with insights that they could not find elsewhere.
Learn about the clients’ needs and collaborate with them to develop solutions that achieve your mutual goals.
Avoid railroading them with your ideas.
Create a clear picture of how a product or service will benefit the customer.
Substantiate this with hard data from your company or other local businesses.
Ask engaging questions and present solutions that demonstrate an understanding of the prospect’s needs.
Be honest and explain to them the possible pitfalls of purchase and how to avoid them.
Manage expectations by accurately depicting the purchasing process.
Explain the features that come with purchase and those excluded.
Connect with clients personally as they would most likely buy from people they like.
Negotiation is finding a mutually beneficial solution by considering and leveraging another party’s motivations.
The goal is to reach a solution that is favorable to both sides.
You also aim at maintaining positive relationships for succeeding interactions.
This can be achieved by discovering factors that are influential and agreeable to the other party.
An effective negotiator fleshes out the points of disagreement.
Identifying and analyzing the issues at hand can help in finding a compromise.
One needs to study the cards before going into a negotiation meeting.
This preparation involves determining goals, areas for bargaining, and alternatives to the set goals.
During negotiations, listen actively to the other party.
This helps in finding common ground.
Always keep your emotions in check.
The heat of the discussion may lead to frustration and unfavorable results.
You must be a skilled communicator to effectively state your case and desired outcome.
Nonetheless, you should be open to collaboration and teamwork.
These will pave the way to an agreeable solution.
Be a sharp-witted negotiator and make quick decisions when necessary.
Lastly and most importantly, you should always execute the promises and agreements you’ve committed yourself to.
You should also trust that the other party would also follow through on their end.
Networking is the ability to maintain contact and relationships with others.
Expanding your business network acts as a safety net, allowing you to have more access to support, reinforcement, and shared services.
To encourage others to enter your network, you must display the value of your business.
You must also spark an interest in other individuals or companies to partner with you.
The best networks are born out of genuine relationships.
Approach your business contacts as if they are potential friends.
Show to them that you care and not just there to take advantage of what they have to offer.
Establishing your business goals also helps in identifying the kind of network that you need to start and work on.
You need to recognize that people have different things to offer, including mentorship.
Some connections can also be strategic to raise you or your business’s position.
It’s not enough that you know a lot of people, some of them can kickstart or accelerate your goals.
Building a stable network doesn’t end with an introduction and exchanging of business cards.
Follow-up on introductory meetings.
You could also randomly call or e-mail your connections to check on how they’re doing, even with no further agenda in mind.
Show someone you care.
Improving Your Communication Skills
You’ve learned about the functions of communication in a business and the communication skills for business professionals.
It’s time to put them to use.
The best way to start improving your skills is to practice active listening.
Being a good listener makes you an effective communicator.
Remember that business is all about maintaining relationships.
It also involves using your motivation and teamwork skills to collaborate with others.
Act quickly on addressing sensitive issues and don’t wait for it to build up and fester.
Learn to use good people’s memory to make meaningful connections.
This will enable a rewarding business relationship.
Becoming a better communicator also makes you a better person.
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