The Silent Killer of Effective Business Communication
Effective business communication skills are perhaps one of the most important, available, cost-effective, yet overlooked tools for any professional. It is the bedrock of trust, and trust is absolutely crucial in dealing with colleagues, vendors, customers, bankers, and anyone else.
Skills and techniques have been the focus of countless books, articles, blogs, and college courses, so much so that eyes glaze over at the mention of yet another communication training. After all, what is there to learn? It’s like eating and exercising. Everyone does it. It’s just a natural process, right? People talk. People listen. People communicate.
The truth is you cannot assume effective communication just because you talk and listen, any more than you can assume wellness just because you eat and exercise.
Wellness requires good choices and persistent follow-through and so does effective business communication.
What is the silent killer?
One such choice is a silent killer of effectiveness: how you choose to communicate inside your team or office. This is actually far more important than flashy slide decks and glossy handouts. You simply cannot take for granted that those who work with you day in and day out actually know your big picture.
Gaps around the 'big picture' from your team set up a culture that generates mixed messages for your customers and clients. Further, without clarity around core values, vision, and mission, what you say and what others say cannot possibly come from the same basic foundation. Could this be the reason projects for which you had great hope flounder or never even get off the ground?
So what’s the opportunity here?
Shore up the communication on the inside. What would it give you, if every single person in your organization knew where your organization is heading, your core values, mission, vision, and goals? Even better, what if they could see exactly how their efforts support that?
Guides for closing the gaps:
Effective business communication inside the team or office happens one conversation at a time and in a myriad of other ways.
Be ridiculously clear:
- Display values, mission, vision, and goals on your walls
- Display visuals showing progress toward your goal
- Personalize the visuals to include individual contributions
- Use metaphors to reinforce who you are and where you are going
- Develop an easy-to-remember phrase that depicts your vision
- Speak your values, mission, vision, and goals in everyday conversation
- Ask team members to share their stories
- Hear their thoughts about established values, mission, and vision
- Listen to their body language as well as their words
- Listen to the data indicative of engagement
- Brainstorm with them
- Ask open-ended questions
- Ask clarifying questions
- Seek suggestions for changes in values, mission, and vision
- Listen more than you talk
- Ask questions to get right-brain engagement:
- How might we do this differently?
- What else could we do?
- What if we did nothing?
- What would be the impact of _________?
Why aren’t you already doing this?
It is not the norm in most organizations. Research reveals that a very small percentage of employees actually know their company’s goals. You can choose to be different. Consider our effective business communication course that will walk with you in mastering new skills to communicate effectively in your world of business, whatever your business is.