- Transferring information
- Exchanging options
- Forming business proposals and business plans
- Making decisions
There are two types of business communication namely:
Internal Business Communication
Internal Communication is a way in which the personnel in the organization interact with each other within the organization only. It can either be formal or informal communication. It further involves:
Upward Internal Communication
The upward communication is a way of exchange of information from employees at lower level to employees at higher level. It is very necessary that the content reach the superior people, as without that management will work inefficiently. Through this, the people working can show their interest in the job, exchange information, have job satisfaction and provide with feedback.
Downward Internal Communication
This involves the flow of information from top managerial level to the subordinates. It basically consists of the instructions about how to work and when to work. The downward communication is a way of transmitting important information, announcing decisions, boosting the morale of employees, and obtaining the feedback from them. This is more commonly known as the vertical communication.
Horizontal/ Literal Communication
This is the communication within the people at same level. Which means in a job, when employees at same position, communicate with each other, it is much more feasible to understand the problem and concerns rather than at different levels. It helps in accomplishing tasks, improving teamwork, and motivation between the employees to work more efficiently.
This is the communication between the employees of a company with other outer organizations, customers and vendors. It leads to better public credibility, sales volume, and company profits. Thus, leads in achieving organization goals, and customer satisfaction.
Effective Business Communication Skills
Communication is the procedure of exchanging information between the individuals. It is not only the process of words going from one person to other, but also the way in which the transfer of words takes place. Like eye contact, quality of voice, physical closeness, visual clues and the overall body posture.
It is very important to be a good listener to hone good communication skills. This is so because if a person is not listening attentively to the speaker, he may not get what exactly the speaker is trying to say. Some general elements that are needed for an effective communication are:
Clarity Of Purpose
The purpose, regarding which we are communicating, either verbal or non-verbal, needs to be very clear. What we are writing or saying, how we are writing or saying and when, are the things to be taken notice of while communicating in an effective manner.
Like in an organization, every professional directly or indirectly is inclined towards a common goal. This is a shared activity of personnel in the company. Therefore, in order to have an effective communication, it is vital to involve everyone in the process and likely they can be judged based on their communication skills too.
Common Set Of Symbols
The way of communication should be the same for both the sender and receiver. As the communication will be efficient, only if both sides understand what each of them is trying to say.
Focus On The Need Of Receiver
It should be the primary concern, that what the receiver wants and it must be the duty of the speaker or the sender to deliver the best content to the receiver. Accessing the needs of the listener lets him concentrate more on the communication thus giving better results.
This is the top priority when we are in the process of communication. Only after we are listening effectively to the speaker, is when we can understand what the speaker exactly wants to say.
Emotions play an important role in the organization. The colleagues, subordinates, communicate with each other and thus, it is necessary that they have control on their emotions so that it does not affect the communication.
Complete message must be conveyed to all levels in the organization so that there is no misunderstanding and whatever one wants to communicate is done in an effective way.
Complete message does not mean that it may contain anything. The content or the message that is delivered, must be precise and in concise matter.
Necessities for Business Communication
For the business communication to be effective, there are following necessities that must be met:
Understanding the capabilities of your employees, and knowing how they fit in your organization is very important, as this will allow them to communicate well and work more effectively in the organization.
Communication channels are the way to communicate in an organization. It must be made sure that you choose these channels effectively. As for example, some confidential information in the organization must not be spoken loudly and can be sent through official email ids. This will ensure proper communication within the organization.
To have a clear view about the communication methods to be used, we must incorporate a communication plan that enlists clearly the methods to be used in the communication process. The communication plan must have a feedback section also because viewing the feedback, will only let the organization to improve further.
For the clarity of communication in a business organization, it is very important that the messages sent or delivered within the organization are effective clear and precise so that every person is able to understand what the other one is saying.
Tips to improve Business Communication Skills
In order to make the business communication effective some features that need to be taken care of are:
Use of ‘You’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘We’
While communicating to a customer or a client in an organization, the word ‘You’ must be made more use of rather than ‘I’ or ‘We’. This will make an impression on the customer that his needs and demands are being taken care of and the organization will work on to fulfill the requirements given by him.
Be Understanding, Not Bossy
While communicating with a client, it is necessary that you listen to what they want instead of just telling what you provide. This is so because, the client will otherwise have an impression that you are being bossy and may even cancel the order.
Emphasize on what you can do, instead of what you are unable to do
In case your business is undergoing some changes, you may affirm the customer in a positive manner rather than saying that it cannot be done. For an example, if due to some reason you are not able to complete an assignment by May and customer wants it until May, so rather than saying that it will be unable to complete by May, you can say that you will be able to get the assignment by June. It will not make a negative impact on the customer.
Do not place blame on a customer or client
Knowingly or unknowingly, if a customer does something wrong, the organization must not put the blame on them as it will hamper the relation with the client and in worst case, may also lead to cancellation of the order. Like if a customer has not paid the bill yet and the due date is already over, then instead of saying that you have not paid your bill, it can be said that your bill is unpaid. This will even let them to pay the bill to the earliest as possible.
If you want to disagree, that must be done in a tactful manner
Sometimes, the description the client is giving or the viewpoint of the client does not necessarily matches with yours. In this regard, rather than arguing with him, you must try to explain your opinion so that even the client listens to you and understand why you are saying so.
Henceforth, these necessities make business communication effective.
Effective Communication Channels
In a business organization, to communicate well with each other, there is a need of effective communication channels. These are categorized into:
- Formal Communication Channels
- Informal Communication Channels
In an organization, the communication between the personnel takes place in a formal as well as informal way. The notices, advertisements, official letters, announcements etc are the different ways in which the communication is carried inside the business organization. Formal channels of communication are well organized and make the working of an organization more lucid. They inspire the employees to work with more enthusiasm. At times, these channels come with limitations and are time consuming. Formal communication channels also provide necessary feedback. An advantage of formal communication channel is that the instructions are followed precisely but a disadvantage can be that there is less interaction between the employees otherwise.
Unlike the formal communication channels, the informal one lets the employees to interact with each other in an effective way. However, this occurs within the organization only but in an informal way. Like over a cup of coffee, at lunch etc. The more precise term for the informal communication is Grapevine.
Grapevine is the informal communication, in which the personnel in an organization work and talk in a informal way rather than through the advertisements, letters etc. This communication is further of four types:
Single Strand Chain
It is done from an individual to other individual, which does not involve the whole team. In this, the information takes time to reach to everyone. In addition, hence is known as single strand chain.
When an employee feels he has fully obtained the necessary information, he tends to spread it to everyone to let him or her also know. This forms the gossip chain.
When a professional to everyone else carries out the information, without getting the necessary authentication or permission by the organization authorities, then it is termed as the probability chain.
When a person is having the full knowledge about official information, he further delivers it to few chosen people, and then they pass on the content to other group. It forms a cluster and it is known as the cluster chain.
The grapevine or the informal communication has an advantage that they let the employees get along effectively with each other, which provides a healthy working environment and an informal feedback about what the personnel feel about the managerial decisions is made.
At times, the informal communication may also be a disadvantage to the organization. This may happen if the grapevine is conducted without any monitoring. Because this may be possible since some people share the vital information with others, which may not be shared otherwise.
So whether using formal or informal channels of business communication, it should be made sure that they are used in an effective and authenticated way.
In the modern era of business, it is very much necessary to have good communication skills. However, the communication skills will work out fine only when the appropriate communication channel is used. The electronic communication channel is an added advantage to the business area as it lets converse with the clients in shorter span of time. The electronic channel has various methods like web conferencing, in which you can directly contact with the client to know his necessities. Others are e-mails, online chats, text messages and multiple others.
Thus, business communication is an important part of an organization. All people, starting from the higher managerial level to the lower sub ordinate level need to communicate in a proficient way to ensure success of the business organization.