Business communication defines most organizations, resulting in effective marketing campaigns, productive interpersonal relationships among co-workers and successful customer service resolutions. Because audiences demand different kinds of communications in different situations and settings, effective business communication professionals understand how to tailor messages for maximum results.
Book Manager Field Guide
Though most casual observers of corporate behavior focus on a company’s external marketing, business communication happens throughout every organization, using multiple channels for many kinds of desired results. Asha Kaul of the Management Development Institute in India writes that effective business communication includes a two-way cycle of messaging and feedback designed to achieve a specific reaction. Efficient, appropriate, thoughtful messages often correlate to successful companies staffed by engaged professionals.
The feedback cycles required for effective business communication can take different forms, especially when aided by modern technology. In addition to speech and written text, business professionals must understand how to communicate effectively via e-mail, text message and even social media status update. New tools allow business professionals to combine personal messages with automated responses, such as vacation auto-responder messages, to help process large amounts of information. Many effective communicators find ways to cut through the clutter of overflowing inboxes with handwritten notes or direct phone calls.
Messages must take on the characteristics of the medium chosen for communication, making it more challenging when team members speak, read and learn differently from each other. For instance, a manager with a highly visual learning style may not respond as intended to a dense report from an employee with strong writing skills. Likewise, a company director accustomed to highly analytical spreadsheets may not appreciate the lack of density inherent in a text message.
Despite a cultural trend toward casual communication, studies indicate that spelling and grammar still play major roles in how audiences evaluate business professionals. Critics of “millennials,” workers born between 1977 and 1998, often advise younger professionals to double-check their communication for tone, relevance and especially presentation. Older decision-makers may refuse to conduct business with young representatives using unprofessional communication.
In most organizations, effective communication offers the best opportunity to make an outstanding first impression. Using powerful words, images and messages, business professionals can craft strong internal partnerships while developing the foundation of a solid client base. However, the second half of the feedback cycle can really cement interpersonal relationships. By building a reputation as an engaged listener, a professional can set up next actions that solidify her commitment to acting on requests or adjusting after responses.