Communication is an essential tool within any business or company, but in reality the business of communication can be fraught with difficulties. This can result in lack of productivity, deadlines not being met and staff left with poor morale and an unwillingness to communicate with management. So here is a 10 point guide to the essential business communication techniques!
1. It is important to use different methods of communication. Whilst it is easy to say that staff should be communicated with face to face, rather than via email or formal letters, there can be times when a message has to be reinforced or reiterated. So different methods of communication should be used.
2. Face to face meetings should be varied as well. This means that face to face communication should be carried out in ways that help staff to feel comfortable. Staff should not feel intimidated by communication, but on the other hand, they should not feel so comfortable that they use the opportunity to browbeat management.
3. The message being conveyed and communicated should be honest. There is often a tendency to put on a positive front and make things seem a little brighter than they are. But this will not earn the workforce’s respect. What staff want is to know what is going on and the extent of any threats. They are not children and should not be treated as such.
4. It is also important to communicate appropriate information. If staff are gathered together to hear information that they already know, then they will resent the time that the meeting is taking; so instead, care should be taken to ensure that the information conveyed is new and of relevance.
5. Keep it short and focused! It is important to keep information open, relevant, appropriate but also short. If staff think that management have nothing better to do than to talk at length about various issues, then they will not feel at one with management. So communication should be kept short, but conversely it should not be so short that it is terse or fails to get its message across.
6. Feedback should be sought. It is important that staff can have the opportunity to tell management what they think of the communication methods used and whether or not they have understood the message. Communication is based on two people sharing information.
7. Staff need to feel valued within the process of communication. If they feel that they are not valued and that there is only lip service being paid, then it is likely that they will endorse the messages that are being conveyed, so they need to be addressed in a manner which shows that they are valued.
8. Management should act in a way that is courteous and polite. If management act in a way that is either patronizing or even aggressive, then they will not communicate effectively.
9. It is also important to use the right language and avoid ambiguity. Sometimes this is hard to quantify, but in reality it means using language that will not result in any misunderstandings etc. Not an easy thing to achieve, but it is important, nonetheless.
10. The final communication essential is simply to be yourself. If you are pretending to be something or someone that you are not, then this will come across even on a sub-conscious level. So simply be who you are and act human!
These communication essentials have been tried and proven over time, so they will undoubtedly assist with regard to communication, but the important thing to bear in mind is that you are communicating with people and people like to be treated as people in any process of communication!