Business communication is a hot topic for a good reason. In fact, the majority of prosperous small business owners consider effective business communication essential to success. Business communications occur whenever team members are sharing information with one another. However, business communication contains a lot of different channels and should not be oversimplified.
From internal communications to social media interactions, there are many business communication channels to consider. Even within social media business communications, there are subcomponents like instant messaging to factor in. A great way to handle the complexities of business communication is by understanding these different categories and subcategories.
Most people are already well aware of written communication and verbal communication forms. Written communication is a communication form commonly applied for both social media and email correspondences. Verbal communication is a communication form that uses body language and emphasizes the tone voice implies.
Small business team members must also make sure to understand both internal communications and external communications. Within internal communications is the lateral communication subcategory. Lateral communication is a communication form that occurs between different team members or departments at the same organizational level. External communications are any communications not occurring within organization such as customer service conversations. Effective communication necessitates mastering these various different communication form types. Thankfully, there are many best practice tips available to improve business communication including-
1. Mastering Nonverbal Communication
From body language to facial expression, nonverbal cues are crucial components of effective business communication. In fact, researchers believe that nonverbal cues communicate more than words used! Body language tips include proper posture and keeping arms unfolded. Nonintimidating body language and an appropriate tone voice are both important to employee communication effectiveness. Maintaining eye contact appropriately while receiving and sharing information helps ensure everyone involved in the conversation is comfortable.
2. Active Listening
One main component of effective business communication is active listening. Active listening is a communication essential that helps to ensure everyone is properly understanding one another. Listening actively includes letting speakers sharing information without interrupting and echoing speaker sentiments when replying. Active listening during verbal communication is an opportunity for body language communication skills to shine. Body language cues like nodding when team members are sharing information are a great way to enhance active listening.
In both employee communication and customer service interactions, team members should make sure active listening is practiced. Customer service representatives are already typically provided active listening training. However, businesses should make sure that all within organization team members also receive adequate business communication training.
3. Keep Records
Recording has revolutionized the way that people are sharing information all across the globe. Previously, many business communications would need to be repeated for multiple audiences. Businesses coped with the lack of contemporary technology through various written communication and verbal communication techniques. For example, it was not uncommon for businesses to make sure someone takes notes during presentations, meetings, or important conversations. The inability to save and recycle business communications wastes massive amounts of employee time and energy while sharing information repeatedly.
Social media platforms and business communication tools make sure sharing information is as easy as possible. Importantly, these business communication tools preserve both verbal communication and written correspondence. Everything from social media instant messaging to a video conference communication form can be saved and reviewed. Employee communication tools even provide video editing capabilities to make sure presentations are top notch.
The metrics that a social media platform record ensure everyone understands how effective business communications were. Social media metrics display customer and employee engagement rates, a great way to gauge audience response. Social media metrics can also be utilized during future within organization communications to promote even more effective business communications.
4. Establishing Respect
A common mistake committed when sharing information with team members or while supplying customer service support is being too casual. Many people consider light and humorous communication essential to ensure everyone is comfortable. However, humor can actually backfire, prompting distrust and disrespect. As such, team members should make sure to always consider earning respect in communication important to internal communications impact. Humor in business communications has its place, for example, sharing information with jokes sprinkled in to warm up an audience. Experts caution however that presentations and conversations should not end with humor.
5. Getting Creative
Although humor should be used sparingly, employee communication and business communication can be creative. Humor can be a valuable part of business communication skills if team members make sure it is appropriately administered. Harnessing the element of surprise and finding unique ways of sharing information are crucial for effective business communications.
Key Takeaways for Business Communication
Small business communication is more complicated than many team members might initially assume.
Tips for small business communication range from body language cues to active listening.