Since the dawn of mankind, communication has been a necessary skill. Whether in grunts and groans or more formal sounds, the ability to communicate was needed for everyday survival. There was a means of expressing danger, anger, happiness, and sorrow in sounds that other people recognized and understood. Today language is sophisticated and precise in both verbal and written forms. With a vocabulary of over a million words in the English language, people should have the means to effectively communicate in relationships, family, school, and in business. Unfortunately, this vital skill is lacking in a large segment of the population and affects both the personal and business relationships of hundreds of thousands of people every day. When you are in business, concise communication can make or break you in the marketplace.
Good communication between management and employees is critical. It is the first step in the development of a business policy that will be vital to your long-term success. Your business will realize major benefits as you and your employees master the skill of communication. You may be considered the business expert in the office, but are you able and willing to teach those in your employ how to acquire the same level of knowledge? If you have ever listened to someone struggle through a presentation, and then wondered what it was all about, you understand the need of solid communication in the workplace. Essential training is critical if employees are to have the ability to express your company’s advantages to potential clients.
Expand Your Position In The Marketplace
Do you know your business inside and out? Did you set up your customer service plan? Do you make the decisions on products? Were you also involved in the mission statement for the company? In order for your company to be a player in a constantly growing marketplace, you must be able to communicate all the knowledge you have about you company in a way that is both appealing and invitational. You also need to be able to answers questions with authority and clarity. If you find you have difficulty expressing your ideas, plans, and instructions in a way that gets the desired results, it is essential to get some training. Most importantly, you need to actively listen to your employees and your customers. In order for your business to expand and grow it is necessary to master the skill of communication.
How Communication Skills Improve Your Business
When you are a good communicator, you can be an excellent educator to both your employees and your clients. You can provide your employees with a skill set that will increase their productivity and assist them in reaching their personal company goals. As a communicator, you can motivate your employees to seek higher goals within the company and help them recognize issues that may be holding them back from advancing. When employees are motivated and inspired, it will show in the caliber of work they produce. However, communication is not a one-way street. How do you know that your excellent vision, brilliantly presented to your employees is actually understood? How do you know that your products and services actually meet your customer’s expectations? How do you discover what the market needs? If you do not listen mindfully, carefully, actively, you will not notice the messages between the lines. You will only hear what is verbally said or only that what you want to hear.
How To Improve Communication Skills
Excellent communication starts with listening skills. Listening is the most fundamental component of interpersonal communication skills. Listening is not something that just happens (that is hearing), listening is an active process in which a conscious decision is made to listen to and understand the messages of the speaker. Listeners should remain neutral and non-judgmental, this means trying not to take sides or form opinions, especially early in the conversation. Active listening is also about patience – pauses and short periods of silence should be accepted. Listeners should not be tempted to jump in with questions or comments every time there are a few seconds of silence. Active listening involves giving the other person time to explore their thoughts and feelings, they should, therefore, be given adequate time for that.
Active listening not only means focusing fully on the speaker but also actively showing verbal and non-verbal signs of listening. A smile, eye contact, posture, mirroring, distraction are just a few non-verbal signs. Checking your phone messages while pretending to listen to your customer will probably not land very well with your counterpart. Generally speakers want listeners to demonstrate ‘active listening’ by responding appropriately to what they are saying.
Once you have mastered one side of the communication equation, you can focus on the other side. Make a communication improvement list for yourself first. Be tough and honest. List any areas where you feel you are not successfully communicating your ideas and goals. Some business leaders feel comfortable talking to clients, but just don’t know how to teach and motivate their employees. For others it is just the opposite scenario. Once you have your list, you can start on a plan to improve communication in the workplace. Vocabulary is important. If you struggle for the right words to express your thoughts, invest in a Roget Thesaurus and a good dictionary. Invite ideas from different departments, and ask where each feels communication can be improved. Look for power words that give authority to your statements. Some businesses bring in a public-speaking teacher and have a seminar for all the employees.
Whatever method you choose to improve the communication skills in your business, it needs to be ongoing. Never stop deepening your listening skills, learning new words and different ways of expressing your ideas. Your own self-improvement will inspire your employees.
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