Business communications are complex and diverse. So diverse, in fact, that there is a myriad of college courses, training, lessons, and seminars created to help people understand.
It’s important to have a baseline idea of what good business communication looks like. We’re going to talk about how to improve business communications in this article, giving you some idea of how to communicate better at work.
Hopefully, this article gives you a few ideas on how to switch things up to improve the way you engage with others in the workplace.
Let’s get started.
- Use Appropriate Channels of Communication
There are numerous ways that we might communicate with people at work. Some of those channels have specific purposes, while others might just be more appropriate based on the thing we’re discussing.
For example, it might be easier to relay technical information via email. That way, the recipient has access to that information and can review or copy it however they’d like.
On the other hand, a personal matter or a grievance might be better expressed in person.
- Be Private When Necessary
If you have something that’s sensitive or personal, it’s best to communicate that information in a way that doesn’t include others. Airing your personal business in the workplace can cause a lot of problems, and it might make the recipient very uncomfortable.
It’s unprofessional to gossip and talk openly about things that are sensitive in the workplace. So, if you need to communicate a personal message, make sure you do so in a way that maintains privacy.
- Think About Audience Before You Send
Whether you’re speaking or sending a message through technology, it’s always a good idea to think about the thing you’re about to say before you start.
This is an obvious practice, but there’s a little difference when you’re doing it in the workplace. Make sure that your speaking in a way that’s sensitive to the entire audience.
The workplace should exist as a safe and inclusive space for everyone and falls upon you to make sure that you’re not saying things that exclude or offend. Of course, you can’t always know what will and will not offend, so you have to do your best.
When you’re faced with criticism for an errant comment or method of communicating, it’s always a good idea to take that criticism and find ways to improve.
- Be Succinct
If you find yourself failing to get the point across, it might be the result of longwinded or excessive language.
It tends to be better to be clear and concise with business communications. You can open up however you like when you’re having a casual conversation, but business-related information can usually be shortened.
This is especially true in textual information. Don’t write a paragraph when one sentence will do. Extra language just serves to complicate and confuse the reader, reducing your team’s productivity.
- Be Mindful of Body Language
It’s easy to think that the workplace and your social life are two different animals. People at work aren’t as receptive to your emotions because they’ve got their own job to do, right?
The reality is that whether or not we have suits on, we’re still emotional and sensitive beings. The difference is that we’re doing more acting while we’re at work.
That said, body language tells all, regardless of how well we’re hiding our true thoughts. So, try to be more mindful of what your body is telling the people around you. If you don’t like someone, be even more mindful around them so you can keep the peace at work.
- Streamline Customer Interactions
It can help to have a team working to manage customers service.
If the phone line and customer email responsibilities are spread out across the office, it’s hard to create a uniform voice or approach to those communications. Businesses like Enterprise Services can help a lot.
A call center is the way to go when it comes to your phone lines and messaging. They’re experts at handling customer experience, managing your messages, and relaying customers and clients to the right individuals in your business.
- Don’t Forget to Smile
There is nothing worse than a coworker or supervisor who is rigid in their communication. Maybe it’s helpful if you’re in the military, but there’s no reason that you can’t be kind while you’re at work.
You’re still talking to a human being. If anything, it’s more effective to communicate with empathy and compassion than it is to bark out route orders.
A little smiling and laughing is never a bad thing. If you’re feeling a little off with your business communications, try to insert a little levity and see how it’s received.
- Be Aware of Position
Most businesses have some sort of hierarchy. Whenever you’re talking with someone at work, they fall above, below, or next to you on that hierarchy.
Communicating with people, under those circumstances, can be delicate. If you’re talking with someone who falls below you, you don’t want to boast or exert authority if it’s not necessary. On the other hand, comments made to superiors might be misinterpreted and cause problems for you.
Be mindful of those positions and make sure you’re sensitive to them.
- Recognize Personal Styles
Finally, remember that each individual has a different way of communicating. Some people might be more sensitive, assertive, cautious, or emphatic than others, and that’s something we have to adjust to.
You can’t always read someone right the first time, but working with a person allows you to get to know them. Treat everyone in accordance with what you know to be their communication style.
Acting the very same toward everyone restricts relationships and might be a hindrance to communication. You can communicate a lot better if you’re able to read a person and engage on their level.
Want to Learn More about Business Communications?
There’s a lot more to business communications than what we’ve described above. It takes time to get used to working and communicating with different people.
It’s an art, though, and you can master it in time. We’re here to help. Explore our site for more ideas on business communication, workplace strategies, and more.