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

The Networking Abyss

The Networking Abyss

 

By Chi Chi Okezie

As business entrepreneurs, working professionals or students, we understand the importance of networking. There are times when networking can get overwhelming, seem complicated and even a vast creature to handle. Do not give up so quickly. Take time to refocus, tr-energize and map out a successful networking game plan.

Listed below are strategic ways in which savvy networkers can find direction in a networking state of confusion or vast uncertainty.

 

Face to Face

In our business lives, we tend to hide behind the screens. Whether it is on our phone, our tablet or computer, we tend to miss out on face to face contact or human interactions. In order gain more clarity in your networking, sometimes it is better to meet face to face. Networking 1-on-1 is an excellent way of reconnecting, building strong relationships and growing trust. Not only does it add value to the relationship but it can also set a platform for accountability.

 

Touchpoints

Another great way to get the most out of your networking is to reach out to your colleagues at certain touchpoints. Perhaps you ran across an interesting article, use that as a touchpoint to connect. You could have met someone new and can use that as an opportunity to make a introduction or referral to an existing contact in your network. Look for meaningful ways to re-engage and keep the communication flowing and relevant.

Hopefully these quick tips can help you navigate through networking dilemmas with success. Find the value in executing a networking plan which promotes trust and building relationships.

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

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

Skills You Were Not Taught in School – Networking For Career Success

By Michael M DeSafey

There are the technical skills you were taught in school: engineering, geology, environmental services. The science and methods (The why). As you start working in the industry though you need to gain more skills and experiences related to real life business activities.

As your career progresses you will earn professional registrations and most likely be promoted to the Project levels. Your responsibilities begin to increase and it’s up to you to meet the deadlines and prepare deliverables. You learn to write reports, interact with clients and manage project teams.

At first you will find it tough going, but with time and experience, it becomes like second nature. Because you know the why, and have learned the how.

One of the most difficult activities engineering and environmental professionals are tasked with is Business development; networking. You understand the technical aspects to your job; the science and engineering (the why), but the how (how to build relationships, how to establish clients, and how network with associates) is beyond your education. This is a skill you most definitely were not taught in school and need to develop as a professional to advance your career. But where do you start?

Here are some tips on how to network

  • It’s important to remember that no one ever died from networking (we checked).
  • Start out by attending an association luncheon. If you choose an event with a speaker or topic that you’re interested in you’ll have something to talk about during the networking session.
  • Bring cards and be prepared with your elevator speech. This is who you are, who you work for, and how your firm relates to the days topic, in 30 seconds. If your marketing department doesn’t have that message crafted, try Google.
  • Have a plan. If the event attendees aren’t listed online, show up to the event early and scan the name tags. Make a mental note of who you’d like to talk to.
  • If you recognize a name of someone you don’t know but would like to meet (a decision maker at a potential client firm, perhaps), hang out at the registration table and see who picks up that name tag.
  • As other attendees show up, it’s OK to make a beeline for a friendly face. Ask your friend to introduce you around. Caveat: don’t hang out with your friend for the entire networking session. Give her time to mingle on her own; make sure you mingle on your own as well.
  • The easiest way to find someone to talk to is locate a person standing by himself, wishing he were anywhere but there. Put your nerves aside, walk up, and say hi.
  • (Speaking of nerves, it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Many seasoned business development professionals get butterflies before every networking event).
  • The best ice-breaker is to ask your new acquaintance about himself. People love to talk about themselves.
  • Ask open-ended questions. A yes-or-no question is a conversation killer. Lead him with questions that lead to more questions, but don’t interrogate him!
  • It’s OK, even preferable, to talk about topic other than business. Relationships are developed over time by getting to know someone as a person, instead of potential work.
  • Know when to move on. Don’t monopolize one person’s time, or let one person monopolize yours. Once you make an acquaintance, learn about him and exchange information, move on.
  • Make it your goal to meet at least three new people during the networking time. This will keep you moving around and maximize the use of your time.
  • When it’s time to be seated for lunch DO NOT sit with someone you’ve already talked to. This is the time to find one of the people you want to meet and find a seat at, or near, her table. Introduce yourself and chat for just a moment, with a promise to follow-up at a later time.
  • Once everyone is seated, pass a stack of your cards around the table. Everyone else should do the same. Then introduce yourself to the people on either side of you. Keep the conversation light. Now is not the time to set meetings or discuss projects.
  • Please, please, use common sense when making conversation! Politics, religion, sex, or anything controversial is off-limits.
  • Industry gossip, no matter how juicy, is also off-limits. You don’t know who knows who, and the very nature of gossip is negative. Don’t get drawn into it.
  • After the presentation is over, close the loop with your table mates and the other people you talked to. Everyone has to get back to work, so now is not the time to strike up an in-depth conversation.
  • The most important part of any networking event is the follow-up. Send an email to every person you met. Remind them of your conversation, provide any information you promised to share, and ask for a follow-up meeting.

The more often you attend events, the wider your circle of contacts becomes. Keep in touch with your network. Develop relationships, share information, and move forward in your career.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_M_DeSafey/1832732

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

Communication Matters

Communication Matters

By Judith Lindenberger |

As a human resources consultant, I have conducted many employee surveys over the years to ascertain what employees like about their workplaces and what they think needs to be changed. In many cases, one of the key recommendations from employees to make the workplace better is “provide better communication.”

What do employees want to know about? They want to know before a change occurs that it is coming. They want to know why the change is happening. And most of all, they want to know how it will affect them. If you can get ahead of your communications efforts by providing answers to these questions, your employees will be less stressed, more productive, and your change efforts will be more successful.

According to A Manager’s Guide to Communicating with Employees, “from a communications perspective, employees feel appreciated and valued when:

– they are the first to hear important news

– they are regularly consulted

– they are listened to

– their suggestions are acted upon.”

Some of the best ways I have found to communicate with employees are as follows:

  1. Send mass emails for communicating information that is timely such as an office closing due to bad weather.
  2. Conduct regular staff meetings to discuss department news, delegate work, and share information from senior management.
  3. Conduct regular Town Hall meetings, hosted by senior leaders, to provide high-level information about upcoming events or give status updates. Anticipate and welcome questions from your audience.
  4. Encourage employees to let you know what’s not working and offer their suggestions for improvement. Create a culture where open communication – the good, the bad and the ugly – is sanctioned.
  5. Provide a suggestion box and reward good ideas. Let employees know that suggestions need to be positive, respectful of others, and doable. For example, “Fire my manager” is not an appropriate use of a suggestion box.
  6. Walk around the office and be available for spontaneous conversations.
  7. Meet regularly with employees, one on one, to discuss their performance.
  8. Conduct fun teambuilding exercises and meeting ice-breakers for employees to get to know one another.

Finally, to be a good communicator, make sure that you have been heard. Ask questions to learn if your message has gotten through to your audience. As George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

I am curious… what are your best ideas for effective workplace communication?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Judith_Lindenberger/2286146