What is Business Communication ?
- February 29, 2020
- Posted by: sneharoy
- Category: Business Communication
In your career, no matter which field you are in, you need to have a good grip on communication- especially business communication. So what do you mean by effective business communication, and how can you use it to advance in your life? Let us find out.
What is business communication?
Now, What is meant by business communication? In layman’s terms, business communication refers to the communication that is exchanged to promote a business organization and increase its profits. However, it is not merely limited to internal communication or marketing or promotional activities.
What do you mean by Business Communication?
In order to understand what is the importance of business communication, what we must understand is that any communication that you participate in as the employee or representative of a company can be termed as business communication. Hence, if you are having a face to face interaction with someone, engaging in internal communication pertaining to a task or even interacting with a customer to provide service- you are a participant in business communication. (source)
So how can one excel at it?
In order to answer that question, you must understand how to be good at communication overall.
Why is communication important in business? How to improve business communication?
It goes without saying that if you want to advance in your career or to do better in your life, you must develop communication skills. Effective communication is important in all walks of life so that you can present yourself to the world in the best way possible, and avoid miscommunication.
Communication, however, does not only mean written communication. Everything we do while interacting with someone- from what we say to how we say it, our usage of language, our tone of voice, our body language and our facial expressions- shape our message and are part of communication. (source)
How to bring effectiveness in Business Communication? What is Effective Business Communication?
It’s important to understand what is the importance of effective communication in business! Whether you have your own business or work for an organization, good communication skills are an asset. Not only can you interact better with your team and colleagues, but you can also offer excellent service to your customers. When you have good communication skills, you present yourself and represent your organization in the best possible way.
Undoubtedly, this can boost your career. More importantly, it can help you add value to your organization. If you can communicate your proposals effectively to a potential client, you can close a deal. If you can address the concerns your customers have, you can gain a satisfied loyal customer base.
So, if you want to develop your communication skills, you can definitely get an advantage.
In order to understand what good communication entails, let us have a look at the process of business communication.
What is the business communication process? How to communicate effectively in business?
In order to know how to develop business communication skills, it’s important to know that the communication process is dynamic. (source)
The process in short –
It starts with the sender of the message conceptualizing an idea, then putting it in the proper format and finally sending it out to the person or group of people the message is intended for.
The receiver receives the message and then interprets it according to his understanding. Then, the receiver sends some feedback to the sender in the form of a message or signal. Thus, the process becomes like a loop- where the senders and receivers are communicating with each other until the issue is resolved or the desired result is obtained.
There are various steps involved in the communication process:
This is the origin point of the communication. He intends to send a message and conceptualizes the idea he wants to communicate.
This comes after the ideas formation stage. The sender now uses certain symbols, language or non-verbal signs to encode the information into a message. It must be noted that the sender’s education, communication skills, background, skills, knowledge, thinking and biases influences this stage greatly. How successful the message depends on how good the sender is at drafting and communicating his message.
Now that encoding is done, the sender’s message is ready. The message can be written, verbal, symbolic or non-verbal- like a gesture or some action.
A communication channel or medium
Based on the nature of the message, the sender must decide the medium of communication or the communication channel. The idea is to choose a channel which will convey his message most effectively and trigger the intended reaction for the receiver.
The message now reaches the receiver. Like in the sender’s case, the receiver’s perception of the message depends on a lot of things like language, age, background, education, knowledge and mentality.
Now the receiver decodes the message. The message will be understood by the receiver, but who he is will greatly shape his interpretation. It is very much possible that the receiver interprets the message in a drastically different way than that which the sender intended. Effective communication happens when the message is interpreted in the same way as it is meant to be.
This is the final step. The receiver has interpreted the message, and may convey so to the sender, or even ask for further clarifications. The process may start again if further clarifications are needed.
Things to remember in the business communication process – Dos & Don’ts of Business Communication
While in an ideal situation, the process goes on without a hitch, it is possible that miscommunication may happen. Effective business communication minimizes the noise and makes sure that the message is understood in the intended spirit. It becomes important to know what is the process of business communication.
However, whenever you engage in the process, you should keep a few things in mind:
The messenger reflects in the message
The message that the sender sends out is inevitably influenced by him. Who he is, what is his background, where he stands on a particular issue, his likes and biases- all this shape the message. If you want to communicate effectively, you must keep your personal feelings out while drafting your message. Be professional and impersonal.
2. Be to the point and crisp
Remember, business communications are not for indulging yourself. Stay to the point, be clear about what you want to convey, and make sure that what you are conveying is useful. Respect the receiver’s time and be concise.
3. Choose the right channel for communication
Sometimes, it is best that the message is conveyed face to face. Sometimes, you have to send a written message. In other cases, just a body gesture will do.
You must also consider what medium you are choosing. Is email the right way to send your message or would you rather send it by post? Why email is important in business communication? Is it better to have a chat face to face or just a text via phone? Think which is the best medium and which is supposed to convey your message best.
4. Think of the receiver when you are drafting your message and vice versa
Who is it you are communicating with? Do they have a good command over written language? What is their background? Do you know what is their stance on certain issues? What is their experience level? Think of how likely they are to react to your message. Then draft your message in a way that is most likely to get the intended reaction out of them.
5. Be professional when giving feedback
When giving feedback, always be to the point and courteous. Do not let your personal feelings show- remember, the point here is to accomplish an objective. So, do not create an unfavourable condition which sours your relationship with the other or makes further communication difficult.
While the above applies for all business communication, certain rules that apply to the type of communication. This is because you have to fine-tune your message depending on the type of communication you are engaging in. (source)
So what are the types of business communication?
What are the types of business communication? How many types of business communication are there?
Be it formal communication or informal communication, whether you are interacting with someone face to face or over the phone, writing a mail or issuing a memo- all business communication can be classified in four categories: (source)
Internal, upward communication – what is Internal communication in business communication!
This is the communication that happens between a subordinate and a senior in the organization. The communication that comes from a subordinate to a senior is called upward communication.
Upward communication is vital for a company’s functioning. Usually, these come in the form of reports, surveys, templates, completed tasks, etc. This helps the management have a finger on the pulse of their organization.
Internal, downward communication – how does internal business communication affect the organization
This communication comes from the seniors to the subordinates. These usually come in the form of instructions, memos, letter or directives. Needless to say, the instructions or information that the seniors pass on to their subordinates sets the agenda for the organization for the company and is extremely important.
Internal, lateral communication – what is internal communication in business
This is also known as horizontal communication. This refers to all the information exchanged or communicated between co-workers in an organization. These may be a cross-department exchange of ideas and information or just internal communication within a group.
Horizontal communication may be used to pass information or for clarification, providing status updates, or for coordination.
Any communication that leaves the office is called “external communication”. From a letter sent to a client to a message to a customer, presentations to your give to prospective partners or marketing letters- everything counts as external business communication.
Needless to say, this is a very important type of communication. The purpose here is to build and maintain your organization’s reputation and also to increase your revenues.
Hence, it is important that you know how to communicate in a professional capacity if you want to progress in your career. If you have good communication skills, you will be an asset to any company. What’s more, it can ensure that you improve your employment prospects, and also hasten your rise in the organization.
With technological advancement, much of our communication has now become online. Online communication comprises mails, social media messages, in-house messenger announcements, video calls, etc.
Online communication comes with its own set of rules and expectations. For example, even if you write a letter and compose a mail on the same topic, you have to do it differently.
Likewise, even in non-verbal forms of communication, technology is having an impact. There are many things that you can do during a face to face meeting which may seem jarring if you are on a video call, and vice versa.
So, how can you achieve that?
How to make business communication effective?
Remember, if you want to excel in business communication, you have to excel at communication skills overall. Now, the question arises, how to improve your business communication skills? So, here are a few pointers for you: (source)
The first thing you must do for this is to improve your command over English. Remember, effective communication does not mean that you have to use big words or write flowery language. Your aim here is to make sure your message is understood clearly by the receiver- so your aim should be to be clear, concise, to the point and courteous.
2. Don’t be too formal
Many people make the mistake of being too formal when they communicate. While definitely you cannot use the language that you use with your friends when talking to a client or your boss, you must not be using too many formal phrases. If your message is riddled with jargon or outdated phrases of formality, you will put off your audience and it will distract from your core message.
3. Pay attention to non-verbal communication
The other thing that you must understand that communication can be non-verbal as well. While much emphasis is paid on writing well, not many people understand that non-verbal means of communication must be paid attention to. You must also know to modulate your voice, correct your pronunciation, use gestures appropriately and pay attention to your body language.
For example, when you are giving a presentation, you may have a great written speech or a great presentation to show. But if you gesticulate wildly, or stand robotically, or come across as too informal- you will lose out your audience and your message will not have the intended effect.
How to be a good receiver or provide feedback
On the flip side, you must also learn to be a good listener. Remember, communication is not a one-way street. If you have to be a good communicator, you must also be able to interpret the messages you receive correctly.
Decoding a message correctly is crucial to becoming an effective communicator. It happens many times that misunderstandings have cropped up because the receiver of the message did not interpret the message correctly.
For example, if you are serving a customer, you should be able to understand what it is that they want. Do they want you to correct something or are asking for additional services? Unless you understand what they want, you will not be able to resolve the problem. This will not only create a misunderstanding, but it may also reflect badly on your abilities and may even create problems with revenue.
2. Be courteous and direct
You must also be professional and courteous when providing feedback. Remember that feedback is an integral part of any communication. Be clear and polite. Ask for clarifications, and let your opinions be known in a professional manner.
3. Understand the context
There are more things to communicate than the message. The biggest factor in communication is trust. So, your aim must be to put the other party at ease and earn their trust. So, you must pay attention to the context in which the communication is happening- the location, the channel, the mode, etc. Pay attention to things like grooming and breaking the ice. If the receiver feels comfortable with you, he is more receptive and the communication is more likely to succeed.
4. Good command over the language
It goes without saying that a good command over language is a great advantage when it comes to being a good communicator. However, non-verbal communication factors and etiquette have a big role to play in making communication more effective.
Where can you learn to be a good communicator?
Remember than business communication in real, professional field is a lot different than what you read about in books. Communication is a skill which needs to be developed. Sure, you can study by yourself, read books, practice talking and practice writing letters. But it is always preferable that you get professional help where needed.
Mindmine Global is a great place to develop your communication skills. Sure, you can always get guidance and coaching for exams like IELTS, PTE, SAT and TOEFL & TOEIC, but you can also develop your communication skills overall.
From improving your command over English to help you with non-verbal facets of communication, a good training institute helps you become a more effective communicator in a holistic way. Our trainers can help you develop your interview skills, interpersonal communication skills and even public speaking so that you are always ready for any situation you may face as a professional.
From writing letters and applications to answering queries, composing emails, giving face to face interviews and giving presentations- you will receive useful advice which helps you master business communication. So, if you want to progress in your career and climb the ladder of success, do not hesitate to join in.