Communicating in a business setting is multi-faceted. It may involve speaking directly to staff and clients or it may require written communication. It requires a combination of skills and appropriate word choices. Whether a spoken or written reply is appropriate, good listening is always an important starting point. In fact, according to the University of Missouri, people spend about 70 to 80 percent of their waking hours in some form of communication, especially when they are in business.
Good Listening is Basic to Good Interpersonal and Written Communication
Good listening isn’t about “hearing” what has been said. It is also about focusing on those who are speaking and giving them undivided attention. Turn off inner dialogue and paraphrase when necessary. A simple way to paraphrase is to restate what you believe was just said. If you haven’t accurately understood what the speaker is trying to communicate, paraphrasing is a good opportunity for them to explain the intended meaning in a new way.
Dialogue Works; Monologues Don’t Work
Since good business communication requires that we both listen and respond appropriately, keep in mind that good communicators don’t ramble and force their listeners to endure lengthy monologues.
Good business communicators are generally those whom others praise for their ability to make them feel comfortable. Taking the time to recall or ask about what is important to another person makes the person in question feel more comfortable expressing thoughts. This, in turn, builds the process of communication.
Good Communicators Are Mindful of What They Write
When communicating in writing, keep your sentences short and direct. In a world where messaging is often short or abbreviated, short sentences have more impact. Publications with large readerships know this and professional writers at these organizations generally limit their sentences to a length of 12-15 words.
If you are technically minded, formulas are available online to check the readability of your writing; however, in general, if you keep your sentences short and minimize the use of multi-syllable words, your writing will be clear and effective. Finally, don’t overlook the spelling and grammar options that your word processing software offers. It may not catch all errors, but it will almost certainly catch errors in punctuation or spelling that a quick visual review can miss.
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Writing the messages that make communications work effectively is important for staffing success. Salem has a proven record for growth and success. To reach our team, contact (866) 80-SALEM.