Business Communication Tactics
Communication plays a crucial role in your business. Proper communication is essential to building solid relationships, which leads to more effective problem-solving and higher productivity. When it comes to communicating with employees, there are four styles of communication: authoritative, consultative, democratic, and laissez-faire. The communication style depends on the type of work environment, the audience, and its goals. Here are some business communication tactics, according to entrepreneur Raphael Sternberg.
1. Choosing Appropriate Communication Channels
Communication can occur through various channels, such as email, face-to-face conversations, and phone calls. Choosing the appropriate channel depends on the type of information the business wants to convey and on who is receiving the information. An email is preferred to a personal phone call when conveying information that is not sensitive or confidential. Face-to-face conversations are preferred for matters of a private, confidential nature, as well as for negotiation and decision-making because these types of conversations tend to compromise the flow of a conversation and take time away from what needs to be accomplished.
2. Overcoming Communication Barriers
Barriers can exist between individuals and prevent them from communicating effectively with one another. When these communication barriers are overcome, though, everyone benefits. Some communication barriers can include the different positions of people in the organization, such as managers and employees, and issues triggered by physical distance. Employee issues are often resolved by meeting face-to-face. Some barriers can be overcome by using technology to allow groups of employees to communicate across oceans, states, or even countries.
3. Making Communication Personal
Employees need positive reinforcement from their managers to feel valued and listened to. A manager should listen actively and put employees at ease with respectful words and body language. Employees need a clear understanding of what their manager expects them to do, and managers must explain expectations before giving instructions or assigning tasks. Both parties must have a clear understanding of how well they are communicating.
4. Giving Employees Individual Attention
An organization’s employees are not all of the same mindset or personality type because they all have different strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions. Managers must consider these differences when giving assignments and deciding which employees best suit a particular position. Leaders must also be aware of potential problems in subordinates’ lives, such as family issues.
5. Selecting the Best Communication Mode
Effective communication occurs when both parties understand each other’s needs and expectations. Raphael Sternberg suggests using the least intrusive communication style possible for a situation, then switching to more appropriate modes if needed. Sternberg suggests that this method is the best way to reach a mutual understanding with employees, as well as the employees’ customers.
6. Being Consistent
People often feel uncertain about another person’s motives, and the same can be said for a business atmosphere. Because of this, people are more likely to “signal” or communicate specific messages to one another rather than communicate directly. Consistency is one way that helps build trust and credibility. When employees see their managers consistently communicate the same message, they know their manager’s intent is not hidden.
Communication is a critical factor in a business’s success, both when communicating business goals and maintaining a productive workforce.