Effective communication in business is the cornerstone of any successful company. From the SEO to the intern, everyone needs to know how to properly communicate with one another. Click here for more info on this!
When trying to build a business, most people only focus on the technical things. They want to increase sales, improve their marketing campaigns, and release new products. Business owners, CEOs, and startup entrepreneurs alike are always finding ways to cut overhead and make a yearly budget stretch as much as possible.
But, sometimes the key to a successful business is more simple. It’s a matter of building a united team, of creating a productive and supportive office culture, and of using good communication in business strategies.
These are what take a business to the top – along with things like sales numbers and business partners – and help a company stay there. Strong communication fosters big ideas, inspires hard work, and creates loyal employees.
If you think your company’s communication systems are struggling, use the guide below to help minimize confusion and maximize your entire team’s potential.
Common Practices of Good Communicators
Communicating well with others is more simple than most people think.
It’s not about having the most confidence in a room or having a certain title within a business. It’s about recognizing each person has a voice and encouraging them to use it regardless of their rank on your team.
Here are five qualities all great communicators possess.
There are certain soft skills that are better suited for some businesses over others. The ability to connect well with people is great for sales personnel, therapists, and lawyers, for example. Patience, on the other hand, is pretty much a requirement for teachers and nurses.
But, every single business can benefit from having people who are straightforward. Getting straight to the point makes everyone more productive. The last thing you want in a presentation, one-on-one, or a client pitch is someone who rambles.
Good communication in business has a respect for the time of each person in the room. It cuts out the fluff and speaks with clarity.
You should note, though, there’s a difference between being effectively straightforward and just being blunt, rude, or dismissive. Encourage your team to be straightforward with respect and compassion for their audience. Practice this in your own conversations, too.
Another fundamental aspect of good communications in business is transparency. Transparency builds trust among team member as well as with business partners and clients. It helps ensure everyone is on the same page, regardless of what a certain discussion is about.
Try to find a balance between telling a person what they need to know and over sharing, though. If you’re a manager or executive-level leader, you deal with more sensitive information than someone who is an entry-level employee or an intern needs to know. Still, there are ways to keep everyone in the loop.
You don’t have to disclose budgeting issues or marketing flukes. But, you should make an effort to be upfront about all the successes, opportunities, and challenges happening in your business.
Transparency is proactive. It helps you tell team members what they need to know before they have to find out on their own or hear important topics from a second-hand source. Honesty is reactive.
When someone you manage, a department head, or the business owner themselves asks you a question, you have to be honest. Maybe they just want to know how far along you are on a project, or maybe they’re trying to find out if you’re responsible for something you need to own up to (good or bad).
Either way, honesty truly is the best policy. It shows a certain level of respect for the people you work with and helps solve issues before they get too far out of hand.
As an entry-level employee, use your voice to speak up when you notice something isn’t right. As a leader in business, encourage your team to come to you with problems. Let them know there’s no reason to be afraid of serious repercussions or consequences so long as they are upfront.
The next pillar of strong communication in business is feedback.
Feedback can be positive or negative. You have to praise employees when they’re doing well to keep them motivated and engaged in their role. When someone is not working as hard as know they can, though, you have to offer some constructive criticism.
As a rule of thumb, try to offer praise in public and corrections in private. This makes each more effective.
Feedback and accountability go hand in hand. You can’t reprimand someone for poor performance and let them keep doing the same mistakes. Similarly, if a team member comes to you with a project idea or personal initiative they’d like to take on, you have to follow-up on their progress.
Accountability works best when it goes both ways. As a leader, encourage your people to hold you accountable, too. This creates a stronger sense of trust, unity, and teamwork.
Tools for Improving Communication in Business
Anyone can possess the qualities mentioned above. It just takes a bit of time and practice to figure out how being straightforward, transparent, and honest can benefit communication in business. Feedback and accountability are what ensure these good practices and more are followed and improved.
But, these soft skills can be supported by productivity apps and communication systems. The following are just a few popular communication tools many businesses use every single day.
Skype and Google Hangouts
Do you have an international team? Are some of your employees remote?
You need to find ways to communicate with them other than emails and long distance phone calls. Hop on a Skype call or a Google Hangout video chat to better conduct meetings and conference calls.
These tools help close the distance between team members. It makes it feel like you’re all in the same room, which supports collaboration. Plus, Skype and Google Hangouts have text features for everyone to make notes on important subjects.
Slack, Stride, and More
Sometimes, you just want to pop in and say hello to someone across the hall. But, then you get distracted and stop in the common area or kitchen and end up wasting an entire half hour!
Build your work relationships while staying productive with tools like Slack and Stride. These are internal messaging systems that keep your email inbox from piling up. They help you touch base on matters ranging from meeting times and locations to asking someone how their weekend was.
But, the caveat is that such systems work best for discussions within the team. To better communicate with leads, current customers, and business partners, you may need a business communication service like Gamma – which you can click to learn more about.
Discover the True Importance of Communication in Business
You can have the top talent in your industry, the most funding possible for your startup, or the best office space ever. Without strong communication practices, though, your business will eventually fail.
Communication is the key to creating a stable business model that scales well and grows intentionally. It keeps everyone on-track and working towards a common goal.
For more management and entrepreneurial tips and tricks, click here.