Tips to Enhance Your Business Communication Skills

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Tips to Enhance Your Business Communication Skills

Jul 21, 2022
Communication Skills

What is Business Communication?

Though many people don’t regularly think about it, business communication is one of the common activities you engage in at the workplace. Business communication is any sort of process where information is shared from a representative of a business to any other party. With strong business communication skills, employees and management can interact with each other to effectively reach the company’s goals. In this article, we’ll cover the different types of communication before giving some tips to make your business communication more effective. 

Types of Communication

  • Internal Upward Communication
    Internal upward communication is an internal form of communication wherein an employee is interacting with their manager or senior leadership. Anytime information is being relayed up the chain of command it can be classified as internal upward communication. Common examples of internal upward communications are project status reports, emails from a subordinate to a superior, and PTO requests. 

  • Internal Downward Communication
    Internal downward communication happens any time information travels down the chain of command in a business. This form of internal communication is the most likely to be a one-way style of communication as it doesn’t always require a response. For example, company-wide memos oftentimes do not require a response. Updates to a company’s code of conduct, performance evaluations, and emails from a manager to a subordinate are all examples of internal downward communication. 

  • Internal Lateral Communication
    Internal lateral communication is the most common form of internal communication simply because of the number of opportunities for it to occur. Anytime two employees of the same level are communicating about something business relevant, it can be thought of as internal lateral communication. Some examples of internal lateral communication are collaborative team projects, team meetings, and emails between coworkers. 

  • External Communication
    External communication is the largest category of business communication because it doesn’t have any subsets. This form of communication occurs anytime a representative of a business communicates with the outside world on the business’s behalf. Marketing campaigns, customer service calls, and blog posts are all examples of external business communication. 

Tips for Internal Communication

Of the two categories of business communication, internal communication tends to be the more difficult to create a strategy for. This is because there are more nuances to internal communication than there are to external communication. Additionally, you likely won’t be involved in every bit of internal communication that happens in your company from product creation to shipping. To improve your company’s internal communication, you need to focus on developing a strong company culture. 

Creating a good company culture has several benefits for both businesses and their employees. Businesses that invest in their company culture tend to enjoy more loyal, more productive employees, and workers will be happier to work at a company that they feel cares about them. Investing in a solid company culture also encourages all members of an organization to communicate more often. 

Tips for External Communication

With external communication, there is a more straightforward path to developing an effective strategy. The key to an effective external communications effort is consistency in style and tone. Anytime your business communicates with the world it should reflect the personality of the company. Any content your brand creates should read almost as if it was written by the same person.

An effective way to develop a consistent style of external communications is to have a company stylebook. Describe the personality of the company in the stylebook and give tips on how to match that personality. Remember to include any specific guidelines such as how to spell the names of products, capitalization rules, or any specific grammar rules. This will make it easy for any of your employees to write in a consistent tone whether they’re writing a blog post or a marketing email. 

Ways to Improve Communication Skills

  • Professional Corporate Training
    The most direct way to improve the communication skills of your staff is to invest in professional corporate training. With professional corporate training, a consultant will be brought onboard temporarily to hone the skills of your employees. For example, if your company is currently undergoing a transition to an eCommerce model, then professional training in change management can help you better navigate the transition. Investing in professional corporate training will also improve the company culture of your business. Your employees will recognize that you’re making a direct investment in them and will hold a more positive view of the company for that. This will encourage them to stay productive and loyal to the company. 

  • Company Newsletter
    Company newsletters are an easy way to maintain consistent internal communication between all levels of your company. Taking a moment to celebrate the professional achievements and important personal events of your workers will help the company feel more like a family. Even just a simple company-wide email recognizing birthdays and other significant events will be a great way to encourage your team members to communicate. 

Invest in an Instant Messaging Tool

The most common settings for business communication are group meetings and email, but there are drawbacks to both. Group meetings require a lot of planning and can be difficult to execute regularly depending on everyone’s availability. Emails can be sent at any time but can become confusing and crowded when too many people are included. Instant messaging tools are a solution to these issues because of how easy they make regular group communication. With an instant messaging tool your team members can communicate whenever they’re available and without confusing email chains.

Meet The Author:

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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