Business Communications: Top Tips To Keep In Touch
Communication is a vital component of a successful business venture. Bad communication could tear apart an otherwise functional business relationship, as well. Social communication is something of a reflex to people. We communicate as often as we breath. Miscommunication can lead to arguments and sometimes even a lawsuit. Proper training in this area is absolutely necessary to running a smooth operation. Here are a few top tips from the professionals to help maintain positive working relationships.
Respect Cultural Differences
It will always be to your benefit to keep yourself culturally competent in the workplace. Then spread that knowledge to your employees. Even our nation’s president made the mistake of not being aware of cultural differences. George H.W. Bush threw up a peace sign to a couple of Australian farmers in 1992. Unbeknownst to him, that hand gesture is the equivalent of the middle finger here in the States.
The world is a very diverse environment and you need to create a workplace that is sensitive to that fact. Your management should be trained and aware of any cultural differences that apply in your workplace or customer base. Don’t let your company follow in the misshapen footsteps of George H.W. Bush.
Practice Flexible Listening
There’s listening, and then there’s listening the right way. Learn to read people’s body language, and interpret facial expressions. This will help you to translate the message that is being sent your way, so you can prepare yourself for a constructive response. Observe the other person’s pauses and don’t speak too quickly. They may not be done speaking.
Flexible listening will let your conversation buddy know when it is time to move on and when it is safe to probe deeper into the subject of conversation. Engaged listening will produce a more cooperative environment, and foster a peaceful working atmosphere.
The Written Word
First, a good supplement to the written word is a functional webcasting technology. Your business meetings and conference calls can be supplemented with a visual stimulus. This way, your employees “flexible listening” skills can have a place to be engaged once again. Verbal communication is only the tip of the conversational iceberg. Take every opportunity to apply every little tidbit you can soak in when it comes to careful listening skills.
Now on to the written word. Use short, simple sentences. Use periods more often. Try your best to get to the point more quickly than in normal conversation. Business conversations aren’t meant to entertain. You MUST use correct grammar! This is a mistake you can’t afford to make. Grammatical errors present your intelligence as subpar, and that’s probably not the look you’re going for.