Effective Business Communication and How It Varies From Personal Communication
Why Shakespeare, Keats and Byron continue to rule our hearts is because they communicated through words to seep into our very souls and our senses.
Why Microsoft grew into the giant corporation it was, was because Bill Gates could reach out to the spirit, the inner core sensibilities of his team that created a cohesive understanding of a business cause.
Any effective communication thus ultimately needs to address a target. The target could be the emotions in the human heart or the objective sensibilities that attains results in the fields of business.
Personal communication usually is intimate, emotion bound and specifically targeted to an individual or group with whom one shares a personal relationship that does not owe to any other outcomes other than bonding as people. Business communication is formal, goal oriented and as prone to creative use of language and ideas as can be.
What makes business communication different?
The setting, the goal and above all the necessity of returns in the form of attaining certain targets - all of these make personal communication look like it’s from another world. The professional environment, be it in a small office in the country or a large corporate house in a mega polis, ultimately depends on the work environment that exist in the system.
In personal relationships, it’s the set pattern of socialization that creates a necessary bond that sometimes does not need great communication skills to make it tick. Thus business and personal communication while may depend concretely on great oratorical skills at the base level but right from the target audience, the methods and the outcome expected makes it completely different.
Will you make a good communicator if your personal communication is good?
Well factually oratorical skills and language efficiency matters in any form of communication - yet your exuding confidence while communicating, your clarity of ideas, and answering follow up questions, are not expected and are thus not considered a vital aspect of this personal form of communication. Yes it does entail exchange of ideas, but does not necessarily need sequencing, cohesiveness, argumentative flavor or response that is critical.
Experts in business communication have to handle a completely different set of skill sets in their field of work as it entails meetings, appraisals, project discussions, interviews, and a host of situations that have definite target responses that have to be elicited to make the next goal seem gettable. Great business communication is thus vital for the survival of great business.
Features of Business Communication
Yes, it is structured to large extent which does not mean that there is no scope for creativity. Structure is present only so long as some specific angle has to be shown but within it the creativity of medium and the usage of the medium still remains - one could be using verbal, diagrammatic or media for communication - each has its own levels of usage.
Business communication also relies on focus and target oriented speaking but this does not mean it needs to lack of jest and humor. Successful CEOs have been known to possess the most engaging of styles of speaking that has a healthy blend of simple rhetoric in a happy communion with business or technical jargon.
Here are some typical features that make any form of communication strongly businesslike.
- Structures and cohesiveness
Since all professional environments conform to a top down structure however more and more professionals believe that the more egalitarian communication patterns allows one to absorb and share ideas and opinions helps create better models for business.
- Listen and only speak when you intend to be heard
Speaking jargonized high flown business language is no gauge for your ability as good speaker. Listening is as much an important part of communication as is speaking. Sometimes letting go of the dominant status in a meeting or discussion allows free flow of ideas. If monitored and directed well with just the right words of encouragement, the business communication can actually channelize itself into a great exchange of ideas. Such discussions that give equal leeway to all participants need however to adhere at all times to decorum and certain amount of moderation and discretion.
- Critical Feedback
The assessment of how the communication actually translated into action can only be done through feedback—not merely at the time of interaction but also post interaction. The flow of information and greater transparency between the receivers and the givers must be maintained - it generates credibility of the spoken words and develops greater respect between different realms of the management structure. This is in fact the true certificate of any effective communication.
Perhaps the key factor in any great communicator - empathy allows you a greater vision of your goal - in terms of the audience and in terms of the purported reaction .If any business communication is target oriented it has to be automatically empathetic as it will take into consideration, the mind set, the previous response patterns and the ability to convince .Empathy allows the communicator to cross the barriers that block acceptance of other’s ideas. Taking on board the feelings and thoughts of others can help enunciate your point better. And yes do cut the jargon - even the most technical terms would have synonyms do try those.
- Watch the Overtones
Business communication must at all times be deadpan - not in the tone of voice-but in the overtones of superiority and undertones of –‘you watch out’-or ‘you anyway have to get it done’- which can be clearly caught by those listening. Make it an opportunity to be as involved in presenting your ideas as in absorbing it from others.
- Keep your focus on the intent of the communication
By keeping the content under focus of the intent, a certain flow will come through automatically, but it should not be mechanical and too dry. All great organizations insist that business communication must be inclusive of all features in the management thus making the exchange reachable, understandable and cogent with the entire structure. If the intent of business communication is not in focus with the cohesiveness of the organization, it will latently imply exclusivity of information - something which will snowball into complete blackout of information to those who also ought to learn to be on the same page.
Accurate data, setting of the communication and the briefing that happens right before major interaction are certain other minor aspects that impact the communication in totality. As in any form of communication, business can be performed better if the communication is clear, simple and understandable - steady in its perspective but flexible in its ideation.