Business Communications

Business communications are amongst the most important in life – getting what we do right in the workplace is essential. Being a good employee has benefits for the whole team – including you, and being great at your job starts with being a good communicator. It doesn’t matter where you sit in the business hierarchy, because everyone is protected by employment law and other rules and regulations.

There are four ways you can ensure you’re communicating effectively with your colleagues, these are:

Feedback – always tell your colleagues what they’re doing well

Progress reports – keep your superiors in the loop

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind (in moderation)

Seek feedback from colleagues

Feedback

We all love a bit of feedback – usually when we’ve done something well. A pat on the back and a show of appreciation from superiors is usually enough to put a smile on the face of any employee. It might not always be you wearing that smile – but it can be you putting that smile on someone else’s face. So next time your work mates do something to help you, or impress you – make sure you thank them for it, and their efforts don’t go un-praised.

Feedback works both ways too though – so if they do something you don’t quite approve of it’s important you tell them. In a roundabout way it’s a good idea to mention to your colleagues what you don’t appreciate from them – but don’t go in all guns blazing. Usually a civil conversation will straighten out any kinks in the relationship between you and your colleagues. Effective business communications start with feedback.

Progress reports

If you forever seem to be behind with your work, and always in trouble with your boss – now’s the time to turn a new leaf. Keep your boss in the loop – tell them where you’re up to. Communication is great – because your boss might suddenly realise the fault doesn’t lie with you, and they’ve been overloading you with work. Keeping your superiors and colleagues in the know with where you are up to really helps everyone out.

Speak your mind

This tip is to be used with caution, because 99% of the time managers do know what they’re talking about. Here we’re looking at the 1% of the time they don’t. It’s up to you to raise it with them when they’re wrong – in a civil manner of course. It’s not an opportunity to be a know-it-all, but it is your opportunity to have your say. Speaking your mind is also a good tip for those who feel picked on or bulled, don’t suffer in silence.

Seek feedback

Regularly asking your colleagues and bosses how you’re doing might appear on the surface like you’re fishing for compliments, but it’s actually a good way of finding out where your weaknesses lay. When you know your weaknesses, you can address them – and that’s great for everyone. Don’t go annoying the rest of the team asking them questions about your performance, but by all means bring it up in conversation now and then if you’re genuinely interested in how other people feel about you as a colleague.

Unfortunately not all employees are proficient when it comes to business communications – which can lead to much bigger problems further down the line. These top tips are a good way to start becoming more proficient in business communications.

Written Communication

If you want to know how important any written document can be, just ask a lawyer. They will tell you that in today’s litigious environment, it is imperative that any written communication be precise, thorough and well thought out; saying no more or no less than the author intends. Everything considered, a written communication could include anything from a formal legal document or a simple business email to correspondence of either a personal or a business nature. Of course, drafting legal documents requires, among other things, an advanced education, specific areas of expertise, vigilance and meticulous attention to detail. So, what about others outside the legal arena who wish to communicate in writing? Are the rules that much different?

Generally speaking, the rules for written communications are the same. The subject matter and other circumstances may dictate how they are applied, but overall, there is a combination of factors necessary to successfully compose a written document that will enable an author to express an opinion, share an idea, propose a course of action, or achieve some other specific purpose the author has in mind. To write successfully requires, among other things: organization, a basic understanding of grammar and style, a thorough command of the English language, a respect for accuracy and a logical mind.

With these skills, an author should be able to effectively compose a document that is focused, arranged in an organized and coherent manner and avoids confusing or incomprehensible language. If the writing is straightforward, concise, reader-friendly and well thought out, it should accomplish its intended purpose and be a credit to the author. On the other hand, a composition that is written in a careless and imprudent manner can cause the author considerable embarrassment. Additionally, if it is unnecessarily complicated, ambiguous, rambling and takes liberties with facts, it can easily be misinterpreted or misunderstood, and the author could potentially find himself in a very uncomfortable situation

Ideally, most high school graduates should have the skills necessary to adequately draft a written communication on a fairly sophisticated level, but that is not always the case. On the other hand, having a college degree is no guarantee that a person has the ability to communicate effectively in the written word either. With the unlimited informational resources offered by the Internet, anyone who is serious about securing the knowledge and skills, which would enable them to write effectively, can find seminars or workshops on that subject or locate colleges and universities offering online courses to improve the skills and abilities necessary for them to reach their goals.

What are interpersonal skills?

The Internet and the communication tools it brought have transformed the world irreversibly. Now, becoming social is a more important than ever. In fact, chances are you have been listening a lot about interpersonal skills lately. What but what are they, really?

Etymology and Definition

Unfortunately, there’s not a strict consensus about what are interpersonal skills. The word “interpersonal” comes from Latin, prefix inter-, meaning between, and the word persona, meaning “person;” Literally, this means “between people.” When it comes to Marketing and Business jargon, though, interpersonal communication is usually defined as how well you communicate with people around you.

Is “Interpersonal Communication” the Same as “Social Communication?”

Even though interpersonal communication means “communication between people,” it is usually seen as something very different from social skills: social communication usually refers to talking to a broad audience; interpersonal communication, however, is usually seen as something more restricted, meaning you usually talk to 3 people, at most. Nevertheless, knowing how to talk with a co-worker or boss usually leads to a better work environment (or even the promotion you’ve always wanted).

Four ways of Interpersonal Communication

Though the process of Interpersonal Communication is something extremely complex, (and, therefore, would be someone to be discussed in a book) for didactic purposes we are going to split the process into four basic, pragmatic ways so you can start to understand what interpersonal communication skills are all about:

Empathy – of all the skills, take note: this is the most important. Empathy basically means you try to think about how a friend or co-worker would feel or react about something. This allows you to “synchronize” with him/her, as if you two talked the same language. If you lack empathy, the other 3 skills are seriously compromised.

Active listening – this refers to the skill of paying attention to what your co-worker has to say. The better you are at this, the better chances are you will be heard as well.

Perceiving non-verbal language – this skill refers to how well you’re able to read the body language of a person: the better you are, the faster you can take action to know if (s)he is upset or not – and even act in advance to prevent misunderstandings. Notice, however, the even body language may vary from a culture to another, or to a gender to another, and so on. Therefore, reading the body language of a person may take some practice to truly master (for this very reason, avoid buying books about non-verbal language and then assuming every person crossing his/her arms doesn’t want to listen to what you say, please).

Assertiveness – this refers to how well you are able to evaluate someone’s requests and statements, and to express your opinions about them. Good assertiveness also means you can be firm without being rude (unless, of course, your friend / co-worker is also being rude – but that’s another story, isn’t it?).

Verbal communication Skills

It’s obvious that verbal communication skills form a part of our every day. From expressing happiness, to appealing for sympathy – we use verbal communication skills for a whole manner of different things. It’s important therefore to communicate effectively, and in a way that will help best.

Many people lack confidence when it comes to verbal communication skills – but there are four simple ways in which you can help yourself to improve your verbal communication skills. These are:

Improving your vocabulary Projecting your voice when speaking Speaking clearly Practicing public speaking

They might seem quite straight forward – and they are. By taking these things into consideration you could dramatically improve your verbal communication skills.

Improving your vocabulary

The more words you know, the more you can say! It’s simple. The fact is you’ll never know every word in the dictionary – but at the same time, if you make a little effort to expand your vocabulary gradually you’ll find yourself with an expanse of different words to choose from. An impressive vocabulary can lead to better articulation – and better articulation is one of the key factors behind improving your communication skills.

Projecting your voice when speaking

You can be talking for hours on end – but if you’re not projecting your voice no one will hear you. It’s imperative you project your voice effectively – it doesn’t matter if you’re having a chat with a friend in a bar, or you’re speaking publicly. Voice projection is a major area in which a lot of people can dramatically improve their verbal communication skills.

A quiet, withdrawn speaker appears not confident and shy. That’s almost certainly not the image you want to be portraying – no matter why you’re speaking. So adopt a positive posture, raise your voice slightly and speak with confidence.

Speaking clearly

You can have all the confidence in the world with an expansive vocabulary, but if you speak too fast and people can’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll never get your point across. From speed to accents – we all speak differently – and some people might find it hard to understand you. So speak slowly to really ensure your audience understand every word you’re saying.

Practice public speaking

Public speaking is a daunting prospect for most people. In fact lots of people actively try to avoid it. From presentations in school, to addressing meetings in the workplace – there’s just something about public speaking that most people really don’t like. There’s no need to be afraid, however.

By being confident, and following the other tips above you will find speaking in public isn’t quite as daunting as you thought. In fact, you might even enjoy it! Next time it’s your turn to speak in public, for whatever reason – don’t try to shy away from it, embrace the occasion!

There are many different ways to improve verbal communication skills – but these are four of the best tips for those looking to improve on one of their most used skills. Verbal communication skills say a lot about you – what are yours like?

Assertive Communication

How can you use assertive communication without being the bad guy?

Many people confuse being assertive with being selfish. Being assertive means nothing more than being clear on what you want and expressing it.

Sometimes, the recipient of your message will make an emotional judgment about what you’ve said that is based on their own needs. Because this judgement is an emotional one, it’s often the case that it’s not rational. Separating emotion from logic is one of the challenges that you will face when making an assertive communication.

It goes without saying, therefore, that before using assertive communication you will have stepped back and looked at all of the options objectively. Until you have done so, and you’re absolutely certain that what you’re about to say is in the best interests of all concerned, it may be better to hold your counsel.

By going through the process of stepping back you’ll be able to assess the situation from a detached and logical view point. Having this objectivity will assist you greatly in deciding whether or not it is prudent to use assertive communication.

In all communications between people the ultimate objective is to create a situation in which all parties win. Being assertive does not imply that you must win and they must lose. Nor should it imply that you must be right.

When approaching a situation where you feel you need to use assertive communication, it may be better to look at it from the view point of “what can I do or say that will make this situation better for me and for the other person?” If you also start your message to the other party by reframing it with a statement such as “I have thought this through and I believe that this may be the best course of action for us to take. I’m say this because I believe this is in both of our best interests. I’m not saying this because I want to, or need to, win. What I’m about to say is so that you can win and I can win.”

At this point, it would be better if you wait for the response from the other person and adjust your message to address their answer. By doing this, they will feel heard and understood, and they will be far more likely to cooperate with your request.

Once you’re both agreed that the conversation is about creating the best possible outcome for all parties, you can then proceed with your assertive communication.

Being assertive does not mean blaming, criticizing or putting the other person down in any way. You merely state what happens, the concrete affect that it has on you, and how you feel as a result of it. By doing it this way, if you stick to this formula, the other person will be unable to dispute what actually happens when they do whatever they do.

However…

There’s always the danger that the other party will disagree with whatever you say, including the things in the formula. At this point you’re then faced with a choice. You can either restate the things you said earlier or you can choose to terminate the conversation and reconsider other ways you can say what you want to say.

In some situations, other people are so entrenched in defending their way of thinking or being that nothing you say will change their perspective. If that is the case, you may have to reconsider whether or not you wish to continue with that relationship.

Business Communication-You need to Be Understood and More Effective

Communication in business is essential for many reasons.

Your organization’s planning and monitoring of business processes require you to convey the information required to facilitate getting the task completed . This can take many forms and may include modern electronic methods or a simple office circular .

What is important is that your message is comprehended by the recipient . Communication is based in encoding your message in a manner that people can decode it and still know the exact meaning of what you said.

The English language is crammed with ambivalent words that can have many interpretations subject to the circumstances they are used in. It’s a bit like the children’s game called Chinese whispers. A classic example is “Send reinforcements we’re going to advance” which is eventually transformed into “Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance”.

This is fun in a child’s game a business owner needs more than fun to survive .

So… What is a way that you can check that your message has got through so that you get the exact results you expect ?

It’s quite easy …

Simply ask !

By ascertaining that your instructions is clearly decoded in the way that you needed it to be simply ask the receiver of your email what they understood about your meaning and the reason for sending it .

You can also train your teams or other business associates to reflectively listen to what you have said or written .

eg : You have just sent out an email to all of your team telling them that sales are down and if the sales revenues aren’t increased then your quarterly income targets won’t be met .

Active communication is where the person who gets your communication will reflect back to you what they understood about what you said .

” So, John , what you are telling the team is that we have to increase our sales this month or we will be out of business “

Your options are then to either make the message clearer , If it isn’t received correctly or you can state that Yes that’s correct . The advantage of active listening is that all parties are clear right from the start and this will reduce lost time, later when you have to rectify the mistakes created by bad communication .

There are so many ways that you can have more powerful business communication.

Emotional Quotient and Communication

Tackling any situation is not always about winning. A winner is a person who acknowledges a problem, offers a solution and remains assertive. There are many issues in personal and work life that become a prejudiced matter. Views and opinions differ and to offer a unique solution one has to make use of team work. There are simple solutions to grave problems and all can be achieved with a proper emotional restraint. As human beings we appreciate a good rapport and camaraderie at work. In our personal lives too, we look forward for happy equations with everybody.

Once the comfort zones are tampered, it becomes difficult for anyone to fall in place. During such a time we need to analyze the situation. Speaking your mind would mean speaking what is right according to you. In case a heated argument is going on and as a team leader or role player you want to hear both sides out. For the same, you will need to communicate a sense of calm and look into both the parties with an indifferent view. Most of the mistakes happen when acted in haste. A control on behavior takes out the aspiration to prove another person down and take control of a situation.

Work pressure builds each day and at times a brainstorming session can get unruly. There could be an irate customer and other matters which take your time. Working out a solution will do well for all of us. Communication here has to be to the point, cool and very much in command of ourselves. The best part is to maintain poise at all times. Opportunities come and go and hence it is best to wait and watch as things unfold. Taking prompt decision and wise ones is recommended as per the severity of any situation.

All cannot be learnt in a day. There are personal view points or parameters to any subject. We have clashes with other because our comfort zone is challenged. Taking long breaks is recommended even while doing any important work. This helps you to regain your composure and break a monotone task. If you are mind is alive at all times, there will be more focus and thereby enhanced emotional IQ. Hobby classes, interaction and improving soft skills surely recharges your batteries to help you deal better.

Improving communication skills

Effective communication skills and self development is a quality and ability to communicate well with people around you and add spice to your life. By adding spice, I mean that your own communication skills will attract people towards you. Your friends, relatives, customers, clients or colleagues will show interest in you and you’ll feel zing in your life.

Here are some steps to improve your communication skills

• Try to expand and develop your voice with softness.
• Slow down your speech to avoid showing that you are nervous.
• Avoid a monotone and use high pitch and soft sound to communicate.
• Don’t mumble while speaking, pronounce each word clearly. People will judge your capabilities through your vocabulary.
• Use the words you know. Don’t use any word, if you are not sure of the meaning. Improve your English speaking skills
• Make eye contact as this will help you to be more confident and people will show interest in you.
• Use body gestures to show your interest in the conversation.
• Make sure that your words, body gestures, facial expression, message and tone all match with one another. None of these should be different. For example, if you say you are concern, show that in your body gestures and facial expressions along with a sift tone.

Benefits of good communication skills

Good communication skills are ability of a person to communicate with the other in an effective manner. Improving on these skills is a key fundamental of improving and maintaining good and healthy relationships. Relationships have always been an integral part of any living and this integral aspect of living is greatly influenced by the skills of communication.

The people we interact and communicate with each other on a regular basis. To have and feel the bliss of healthy overflow of emotions at workplace and at home, you need to develop or improve your communication skills. No one likes to be affronted and no one likes to be snubbed. These are common sense statements, but it is amazing how often this is ignored. The usage of coarse language and bad words in any conversation can be taken as invective at anytime. You can avoid insult and ignorance by choosing the right kinds of words, gestures and facial expressions.

At management level, effective communication skills are used to create an environment of open communication, short messages, recognize nonverbal signals and mutual understanding. At social level, it helps to motivate and console children and old aged citizens.

Speaking up assertive communication skills can help women section of the society to raise their voice for their rights and freedoms that are usually devoid by the male sections of the society.

Benefits of good communication skills are endless. With effective skills and self development, you can achieve success and win the game of life.

Communicating for an interview

Before sending your resume, it is of utmost importance for you to glance it up. There are numerous areas which can be highlighted as per the post you are applying for. In case, you are applying for a middle management profile, you can highlight your quantitative work efforts. Include new areas and relevant ones so that talking during your interview will be relatively easy. Know the most important question is. ‘Say something about your self.’ Here the employer is studying your confidence level and whether you are comfortable about your personality.

For a fresher, rehearsing is good. It will work well if you know some things about the new lingo used in the corporate world. The first sentence you speak must have a word that is convincing. If you are applying for a teachers post, you must make it clear that you love teaching and love kids. This is the highlight of your interview and most of the questions will be around the same. Imaginative ideas are not needed while talking on the panel. The idea is to be relevant and share your experience. The management will also like to know your long term goals and the reason why you want to be here.

It is very important to have an open attitude. In case you are not directly able to comprehend a question it is perfectly fine to ask for it to be repeated. Thereby, you will not ramble and the point will clearly come across. Most of the short listed candidates are eligible ones as they have conveyed a lot via their resume. During an interview the body language must never be dominating. Eye contact with all the interviewees on the panel is a must. There is no need to get cornered and you can state your views with proper conduct in case you differ in an opinion. Tact is the best savior at times.

Most of the employers look for confident people who can multi task. It is true that you must never say, ‘No’ during the first meet but again it is very subjective in nature. The interview looks at your profile as a manager of self and a leader to other work mates. Talking in terms of responsibility, displaying your soft skills and creating a congenial personality are very important part of an interview. Along with the same it’s good to have a well groomed look, good hygiene and impressive attire as per the tone of the interview.

Assertive Communication: Using “I” Language

Effective communication is particularly challenging when there is a message to communicate that is difficult, and might cause a negative reaction from the other person. An example of this might be disagreeing with someones opinion, or having to address inappropriate behavior. To effectively communicate we need to find the balance between communicating our needs, wants and rights, and at the same time respecting the rights, needs and wants of other people. To be able to get your point across in a clear but non threatening way, and yet still maintain your inner integrity requires developing and practicing the skill set of assertiveness. Through assertive communication you are able to be true to your feelings, expressing what you need and want in any interaction, without the other person feeling personally attacked or threatened.

Assertive communication enables you to be able to set your personal boundaries in an objective rather than subjective way. You can effectively use assertiveness skills to address personally offensive comments or behavior directed towards you in an inoffensive, but firm manner. You can use assertiveness to bring correction or give negative feedback to someone, in a way that will address the behavior without causing the other person to respond defensively.

An important skill in assertive communication is to learn to use ‘I’ language rather than ‘You’ language. This is very effective in eliminating any sense of personal attack, and reduces the possibility of a defensive response from the other person. At the same time it enables you to express what you need in an appropriate way.

For Example: You carpool with Mary, a neighbor, to get to work. For the last week Mary has been arriving to pick you up later than the arranged time, and you have been arriving late at work. This has made the day’s start stressful for you, and it has caused some complications and embarrassment at the office. You know you need to address this issue, but you don’t want to hurt her feelings.

To address this with Mary using’ You’ language might sound something like this:

“Mary, you have been late picking me up all week, which has been making me late for work. Please can you be sure to come on time next week?”

This communication style directly points the finger of blame at Mary, and it will certainly generate Mary becoming defensive, and perhaps justifying her lateness. The directness will get your point across, but it could result in some tension or reaction in Mary.

To communicate using “I” language might sound like:

“Mary, it’s important for me to arrive at work on time as people are relying on me to be there to answer the phones. I really need to be there before 8:30, and last week I was late every day. I do appreciate getting a ride to work with you. Is there any way that you can pick up at the agreed time, or a little earlier so I can be at the office by at least 8:25?”

By using “I” language in this way you are able to express what the problem is and what you need the solution to be. At the same time there is no direct accusation towards Mary or sense of reprimand. It is clear, however, what response is needed from Mary and she is given the opportunity to respond understanding the reasons why. The responsibility to be on time is given back to Mary, but she also is left with a sense of control as to whether she will change her behavior and how she will do that. The issue has been opened up for dialogue in a non threatening way, and created the right platform for a resolution for the problem. If Mary is unwilling or unable to accommodate your request, you have opened to door to find an alternative solution to meet your needs without causing tension or a negative reaction in Mary.

Assertive communication is a great tool to use to increase your freedom to be yourself in relationships and everyday life situations. It enables you to be real, especially when you find yourself in circumstances where there could be conflict or confrontation because you are not feeling respected, or getting your needs met. When you have defined your personal boundaries, assertiveness skills will help you set those boundaries and keep them in place in a objective way while respecting the rights and needs of others.

What are Communication Skills?

What are Communication Skills?

Communication is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. The ability to effectively communicate with other people is an important skill. Communication skills enables a person to convey information so that it is received and well understood.

Why do you need Communication Skills?

Communication Skills are important in every aspect of life.As we are living in a world surrounded by information such as television, radio, computer, face-to-face.It is important to be able to have the conversation skills to communicate everything, that will contribute for your growth. To build the competence and commitment in one’s work, one should have effective communication skills.

Conclusion:

The person with effective communication skills will have the willingness to participate in decision making and will be a very confident person to express his views. Effective communication generates the desired effect, maintains effect and increases effect. It serves the purpose for which it is planned or designed. Possible purposes might be to generate action, inform, create understanding or communicate a certain idea/point etc. Effective communication also ensures that the message is not distorted during the communication process.

“Good Communication Skills allow you to make stronger connections that build rapport and increase your likability” – Jen Mueller