Ways to Improve Business Communication

Ways to Improve Business Communication

 

By Ralph Waldo

Effective communication is very important to run a business successfully. Good communication can endear you among your clients, increase your brand image among your seniors, and cause you to be admired among those work under you. It can also help you in taking your business to the next level and earn you high profits. On the other hand, poor communication can limit the efficiency of your company. It may result in missing vital business deadlines, duplicity in work processes, and most importantly can suffer employee morale. According to a study conducted by Global English reveals, “97% of employees surveyed believe that poor communication as a result of inadequate business language skills can create misunderstanding”.

Often, there is a lot of disconnect in the communication process, which can prove very costly to a business. It may be verbal misinterpretations, lack of interaction, lost emails and unclear texts or poorly-worded messages. Effective communication – both internal and external, increase organization’s effectiveness, enables smooth operations and helps in reducing business contingencies. Communication is generally of two types – Digital and Interpersonal. Here are some useful tips to improve these two, that can benefit your organization and keep the things sailing smoothly.

Digital Communication: Most of the business communication is usually done using digital medium, like email. Writing email or text messages is easy when we are done with a friend. The target audience in business are corporate stakeholders, so it’s always better to be formal. Even a minor mistake in your written communication could negatively impact your credibility. It can result in loss of reputation and business as well. Below are the basic points you should follow while drafting a business proposal, email or other business letters:

  • Always treat emails like the real mails, not just the digital letters. While drafting an email, use powerful words, develop a natural voice, work toward your aim and present a clear deadline.
  • Craft the email carefully. Go back, check and edit for more clarity. Polish each and every sentence to keep the communication straight, positive and effective.
  • Don’t put any wrong or unclear information. Check your facts before sending the mail. Any wrong information makes you look like that you haven’t done your homework.
  • Don’t use any Emoticons, Colloquialisms and Slang, it may result in loss of translation and the person reading your mail may not understand what you are talking about. Keep it simple and to the point.
  • Choose the best subject line for your message. The subject line is the first introduction to the content of the message to the recipients’. Also, it helps in keeping your message out of spam box.
  • And, the most important is to archive all your business communication. Create folders to save all the old emails. It will help you in finding any communication easily in the future.

Interpersonal Communication: It is a face-to-face communication and involves exchanging information and the meaning via verbal and non-verbal messages. Sometimes, an email or a text just isn’t sufficient. Digital communication doesn’t involve any direct communication. Nobody sees you how your writing, but when you meet someone face-to-face, many things matter, such as your tone, body language and eye contact. Your message should be clear, concise and direct to the point. Add below mentioned tips in your interpersonal communication to make it meaningful:

  • Be confident while meeting your clients or superiors and don’t feel shy in person-to-person meetings. Maintain a proper eye contact to make a good impression.
  • Listen carefully and give your complete attention to the conversation. Understand what the opposite person is saying and then give your own thoughts.
  • Focus on your speech. Think before you speak and don’t get confused with your own words. Doing this, will dilute the purpose of face-to-face meeting.
  • Keep the communication professional, and avoid making it too personal. It’s good to befriend with people you are working, but don’t make it too friendly.
  • Never counter the opinion of your client, even if you disagree. It may offend them. Listen to them attentively, then keep your viewpoint and explain why you disagree with them. But, ensure to maintain a polite tone.
  • Ask questions to clear all your doubts and concerns. It will also help in holding the conversation and will generate new ideas that would be helpful in business.

These were the few suggestions, you can implement in your communication strategy and make it effective. Following these, will not only improve your business performance, but also personal improvements you make in your own life. It will also help boost your self-esteem and decision making and also make you stand out of the crowd. Effective communication is always about comprehending the other individual, not about forcing your opinions on others and winning an argument.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ralph_Waldo/2257227

Build Strong Relationships With Active Participation

Build Strong Relationships With Active Participation

By Patrick Smyth

After a long flight to Tokyo Japan, the sight of two thousand people in the audience for keynote speech at the technology conference was impressive. The presentation moved along slowly as frequent pauses enabled the interpreter to convert the original English spoken and written on the slides into Japanese. After twenty minutes or so, it appeared that two thousand heads were resting on their shoulders as the entire audience had fallen asleep. The interpreter insisted they were listening and not sleeping, so please to continue. After all the effort and time to prepare and travel halfway around the world only to meet a sleeping audience, the last thirty minutes of the talk were sheer drudgery.

How you participate in meetings has a direct effect on the motivation and level of engagement by other people in the meeting. Technology has become an excuse to continue whatever you were doing outside of the meeting, while the meeting is in progress. A prospective customer does not want to stare at the back of your laptop screen and watch you type away while they are attempting to build a relationship with you. You can try to justify this laptop behavior by suggesting that you rely on the laptop to take notes during the meeting. The problem is your notes do not impress the people on the other side of the table.

Smart phones are equally offensive. Yes, you hold the phone below the table and cast your eyes downward to read it. Somehow, you believe the other people in the room don’t notice that you are busy tapping away at the small screen in front of you and not engaging in a conversation with them. All they see is someone who appears to be focusing on something other than the most important people and conversation in the room. Your behavior suggests to them that whatever is going on in front of you is far more important than they are. Clearly, that’s a serious mistake.

The first good step to active participation is assuring that you remove distractions, such as those from laptops and smart phones, from the conversation. Of course, active participation reaches far beyond simply removing distractions. Focus your attention on the other party or parties in the meeting. Ask insightful questions to demonstrate your interest in them and their business needs. Acknowledge the key points they are making to encourage them to continue sharing. Ask for clarification if they say anything that might seem slightly ambiguous or unclear. If you are delivering a presentation in a meeting, make sure the audience is following along and getting the key points you are communicating.

Avoid talking incessantly to show how much you know. All that does is confirm that you are not listening and that your focus is on yourself. Launching into an endless scripted speech without engaging the audience with questions and clarifications will certainly turn them off. Watch their body language for signs that they are reacting to what you are saying and use those as cues to expound further or ask questions. The more you demonstrate your care about their success, the more they will learn to respect and trust you. Active participation builds trust, which in turn builds solid relationships.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Patrick_Smyth/33422

RESPECT – A Power Word for Every Day

February 25, 2016 – Jayne Albiston

BoB_Power_Word_Respect (Custom)

This year we have 24 key words that we are applying directly to our business. They have particular meaning because we have taken them from our personal collection of words that we use to inspire and drive our lives forward.

In no particular order, I will be commenting on one of these words every couple of weeks and they will appear in our company newsletter each month. These comments are my own and I would welcome any additional insight, inspiration or feedback that you may have on them, including any experiences that you may have had along your business journey so far.

 

The second word is RESPECT…

When thinking on the word, respect a few things come to mind straight away. Firstly the thought that we all like to be treated with respect and secondly that we all like to be respected and we often enjoy respecting someone else.
The interesting thing is that the definition of respect in the dictionary has those two meanings of respect round the other way.  It has the feeling of ‘deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements’ first and ‘due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others’, second.

I would like to suggest that the dictionary has the meanings listed in the wrong order and even go so far as to say that perhaps it is actually our focus often on the first dictionary meaning that has resulted in a lack or absence of the second dictionary meaning and perhaps it is time we focused on re-prioritising how we embrace respect and proactively include it in our personal and business relationships and lives.

I have very rarely met anyone who has respect, as in deep admiration, for someone who does not exhibit or display due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others. In my personal and business experience, physically showing respect for the way in which you treat someone (the second dictionary meaning) is an absolute pre-requisite to building a successful relationship of any sort and not showing respect can do insurmountable damage in a heartbeat.

There is an old saying that is often repeated in both personal and business circles; Treat others as you would have them treat you. We know it and many of us practice it. Ever since becoming an iMA Practitioner 4 ½ years ago and learning that actually only about 25% of the world is really on the same wavelength as me in terms of how they prefer to be treated, my mantra has changed quite dramatically. I now live by ‘Treat others as they would like to be treated’, which more often than not is very different to how I would like to be treated,  given that when it comes to communication and connectivity, 75% of the world is on a different wavelength than I am.

This has a huge impact on what it means to show ‘respect’ in terms of having due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others. Even though  we all communicate and connect in many ways each day, at our core, all of us have a preferred way of being treated. It naturally follows that that preferred way of being treated is also our most natural way of treating others and communicating with them (possibly stemming from the idea that it is best to treat others as we would like to be treated).  How shocked I was to learn and realise that all those times I had treated someone else the way I would want to be treated, many times I was getting it very wrong and even rubbing them up the wrong way simply by being myself. What I considered to be respectful of their feelings was not and how I thought they wanted to be treated was not taken or received in the way that I had intended.  In short, I had been disrespectful, just by being my natural self.

It has been an incredible eye opener for me over the past few years to learn tangible, simple strategies through iMA (identify a person’s preferred way of communicating and being treated, modify your message so it is more effectively received and adapt to and appreciate the differences in others) to enable me to learn how to really show respect for others. It will take me a life time of practice but I now have the skills to be able to show respect in the way I connect and communicate with others. This is, in my opinion, the crucial first step to building both personal and business relationships and getting to know, like and trust someone. If we are putting the definitions of respect in their true order, showing regard for others should definitely come first.

This second word respect is an extremely important one and my constant challenge is to put it first in every interaction I have, whether personal or business. How about you?

 

Jayne Albiston
Director
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

LinkedIn  www.BoBClubs.co.nz  www.PlusOneDynamics.com

Niche Networking

By Chi Chi Okezie | December, 2015

niche-networking

Niche Networking

Some of the most successful business people, entrepreneurs, entertainers etc. find their success in niche markets. A niche is clearly defined as an area of the market specializing in one product or service. Another useful definition is a position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own. This concept can go perfectly for networking, as well. As savvy networkers, you too can establish a niche for reaching your goals and agendas.

 

Listed below are tips and strategies for zeroing in on your specific target.

 

Event Planning:

A great way to create a niche for yourself in networking is picking specific events to attend. Only pick events which fall in line with your networking objectives. Narrow your selection to events in a specific part of town, or during a specific day of the week or hosted by a particular organization. Make sure that the event fulfills your goals and allows you to make the proper and most effective connections.

 

Plus One Guest:

You can be selective in the people you invite and associate with for business and social matters. There is nothing wrong in having a guest or go to person who understands your objectives and is able to help you advance. Most likely they can provide support, advice and even constructive criticism to enhance your networking journey.

 

Business Partners:

Similar to event guests, perhaps you can consider scouting a certain type of business partner for your endeavors. Being specific also involves selecting partners who have similar core values, compliment and not conflict with your product or service offerings. They may also provide opportunities for cross marketing and promoting.

 

Hopefully, these suggestions can provide insight on creating a lucrative and productive network. Take the time to properly select these aspects of your business or social objectives which can lead to tremendous success.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chi_Chi_Okezie/154937

 

20 Secrets to Keep Your Team Motivated

By Shohel Poraan | November, 2015

HowDoYouKeepYourTeamMotivated

20 Secrets to Keep Your Team Motivated

Motivation is an art. We can apply a rule of thumb, the motivation is to show appreciation and give rewards to the team, but beware! Each incentive works differently for different people.

1. Always start with yourself. To motivate others, you must be motivated in all situations. If you can show your positive force as a leader, your team will have confidence in you.

2. Always share the information that you have about the project, the team must know the project, the circumstances, and limitations. This can also lead to the team to take initiatives to make suggestions on ways to improve the project.

3. When facing any problem related to the project, the team is the best resource. You can take this opportunity and motivate people to share problems with the team. It encourages the participation to find ideas and alternative ways of solving the problem. Once they feel that the leader is also part of the team then it is easier for the team members to face the challenges of the project.

4. Discipline is important, but you must strive to maintain a friendly environment. People usually work better if they do not feel the breath of the head in his neck. Deadlines and commitments can be a challenge but the team would be proud of to take the challenge for achieving them.

5. The projects are divided into phases, a good project manager motivates his team to point out the milestones of the project, and usually you can prepare a special celebration when reaching the milestones on time. Plan work in advance so that there would be no last minute hassles.

6. Always you should show appreciation to members of your team, even small tasks must be completed with at least one THANK YOU; your associates can do more to seek such recognition future. To communicate, be humble, choose the words carefully; use more ‘we’ than ‘I’.

7. Give positive feedback; mention of the successes, deficiencies and how the team can do better. Be a part of the team- you have to take responsibility for a failure and always complete the feedback with a positive note.

8. Go to dine with members of the team, talk about trivial topics including some related to the work and enjoy the time together. A free meal and well spent time for the team can motivate them greatly along with building relationship and bonding.

9. Listen to partners; give them space of time. You can get fresh ideas that will help to improve policy and benefit the project.

10. When a member of the team exposes you a problem, take it positively, analyze, and try to find a better solution to bring the member back to the work wholeheartedly. This is to earn respect with actions and not words.

11. Not everyone can perform all the work. As a leader, it is up to you to choose the right person for the right job.

12. Eating together is a builder of relationships, have light meal or snacks on computer desk when someone submit any topic related to the work. Basically, it will kill two birds with one stone.

13. Allow the creativity of the team. The team’s productivity will increase if you give them a day where you can test new ideas, provided they have something to do with the project that concerns the team.

14. Consider having fun and humor at work. There may be some free time in a board game or something similar, can make team members enjoy the competition. This will help feel ease, take better responsibility and share ideas freely.

15. When ideas and feedback are shared, usually more introvert members tend to fall behind. Give these people the opportunity to come and speak, carefully listen and evaluate ideas on their merits. Be sure not to discourage participation.

16. During a discussion, if there is a point that needs to be clarified, find the time and be sure to ask the relevant clarifications. Misunderstandings can lead to large errors, and these can be detrimental to your team spirits. Try avoiding conflicts and resolving situations before they can damage equipment or people’s morals.

17. Brainstorming sessions is important. These sessions, if well conducted, can produce great ideas, in addition to showing the collaborators that are taken into account.

18. Divide the project into parts so that you can give to collaborators achievable goals. So it will give you the freedom to do things in their own way, leaving them gain confidence and so do their best work.

19. It is important to show benefits for the team. There may be economic packages and other benefits as medical, vacation or something similar plans that will keep them motivated.

20. Lastly, but not the least, consider the pyramid of Maslow’s needs. Not all have the same motivation and needs. While a certain incentive to work can work for a member of the team, and may not necessarily motivate others. Therefore, it is important for you to know your team members well. A need-hierarchy program can help you to calculate the best motivation and incentive for partners.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Shohel_Poraan/2189141