Communication is an important aspect of the workplace. Here, giving concise instructions is better than being vague. Although being straightforward may sometimes be misunderstood as rudeness, it gets things done. Whether written or spoken, improving your business communication skill can help you be an efficient employee. To help you, here are some tips to improve your business communication skills.
Business communication is built on healthy foundations.
To be able to communicate well, you have to build the proper foundations first. Firstly, to start building rapport with your workmates, you have to start with your attitude. Try to approach everyone in a friendly way. If people approach you, greet them with a smile. This is important, especially if you are one of those people with an expression that constantly makes you appear angry or annoyed.
Secondly, employers can help their employees build relationships, too. They can arrange get-togethers to give newly-hired employees a chance to meet everyone else. This helps everyone feel at ease with each other.
Needless to say, showing respect is another important aspect when it comes to business communication. If you are respectful, people will find it easier to like you. And if you are well liked, you will find that people are more willing to go out of their way to assist you if you need them. You can show respect by doing the following:
- Greeting your superiors and co-workers (e.g. Good morning!)
- Use honorifics when addressing a superior, or someone you do not know. (e.g. Good morning, Mr. Boss!)
- During a meeting, do not interrupt a person who is speaking. Always wait for your turn to speak.
- If you disagree with someone’s opinion, do so politely (e.g. I see your point, ma’am. But I beg to differ.)
- Never insult people. If you are mad, never result to name-calling or cursing. There is always a calm and civilized way to go about things.
These are just a few ways to show respect in the workplace. A workplace with a respectful atmosphere can foster meaningful relationships. A word of advice for newer employees: arrogance will get you nowhere, so treat everyone equally, regardless of their position. Remember, “Always treat others as you wish others to treat you.”
Use body language to gain people’s trust.
While it is true that words can convey meaning, body language conveys truth. It is easy to tell people that you are happy, but it is difficult to hide that bored expression on your face. When openly communicating with your co-workers, you have to be mindful of your body language. Body language may be described as either positive or negative. Negative actions include:
- Crossed arms and a raised eyebrow shows annoyance.
- Wandering eyes, yawning, and constantly checking your watch shows boredom.
- Not keeping prolonged eye contact shows disinterest.
- Fidgeting or fiddling shows discomfort.
On the other hand, positive actions include:
- Mirroring or imitating some of the movements of the person you are talking to helps them feel at ease. Avoid overdoing it, however, as this may cause awkwardness.
- Maintaining eye contact every now and then shows sincerity.
- Having an open, relaxed posture shows warmth.
Positive actions will help you build your business communication skill as it will give you an honest persona. And people tend to trust honest people more.
To enhance business communication, learn to use technology.
Since you are in an office setting, make sure that you have a working knowledge of the most basic technology. Some of the most critical communication skills using technology include:
- Writing and sending emails
- Creating presentations
- Sharing, editing, and managing data
These skills do not only help you perform better, it helps you stand out from the rest, too. Especially if you can do them well.
Learn how to write effective emails.
Believe it or not, writing effective emails is an actual skill. In fact, it is considered as the most widely used tool for business communication at the workplace. A poorly written email may leave a bad impression on the reader. Aside from that, unclear emails may also easily mislead and reduce productivity. This is why it is very important to re-read your email before you hit the send button. Double check for any misspellings or grammatical errors that may have been missed by your spellchecker. Always proofread anything that you write. Remember, clarity is important. So, if you can say it in one sentence, there is no need to add a dozen more.
Effective business communication requires effective listening.
What is effective listening? Is it being able to answer questions at the blink of an eye? Or is it all about retention? If you want to be an effective communicator, you have to be an effective listener. When you are talking to someone, you have to pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues. A conversation is not a one-way street. That is, you do not just wait for turns to speak. A healthy conversation involves an exchange of ideas formed through understanding. An effective listener can paraphrase the message, and ask thoughtful questions related to the topic.
Another thing you have to bear in mind is this: a conversation does not always require you to give an opinion. Sometimes, people approach us just because they want to vent out their feelings. If this is the case, then all you have to do is to listen.
Feedback is always appreciated. Especially if it is asked. Knowing how to give feedback is part of the business communication skill. When you are giving feedback, you have to be clear. Do not beat around the bush. If you did not like an idea, tell it straightaway. Then, give the reason or reasons why in the most constructive way possible. Again, do not forget to be respectful.
If you want to offer someone a compliment, you have to be specific as well. Just saying, “You did a great job!” may confuse the person you are complimenting. But saying, “I loved how you used those charts in your presentation. You did a great job!” informs them of what they did right, so they can replicate the action in the future.
Be open to suggestions.
Last of all, to improve your business communication skill, you have to be open to suggestion. Disagreements are prone to happen from time to time. To maintain peace in order in your work environment, you have to learn to take every bit of criticism with a pinch of salt. That is, do not take them too seriously. Remember, when someone gives you feedback, it is most likely about your work and less likely about you.
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