Tips on How to Improve Your Business Communications Skills

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Tips on How to Improve Your Business Communications Skills

Aug 16, 2022

What is Business Communication?

Even if you don’t know what business communication is, there is a good chance that you have engaged in it. Business communication is the process of relaying information either within a company or from the company to the outside world. Effective business communication is an important part of running a successful company. Improving the business communication skills of your staff will benefit your company in dozens of ways. For instance, effective business communication among the senior members of your brand will give your company stable leadership to rally behind. In this blog post, we’ll cover the different types of business communication and tips for how to improve the communication skills of your team. 

Types of Communication

Business Communications is an umbrella term that encompasses four different subsets of communication. These subsets are separated by two distinguishing factors. The first is where the communication is occurring. This can either be entirely within the company or from the company to an outside audience. The second distinguishing factor between types of communication is the direction a message is traveling within an organization’s hierarchy. Messages can travel up the chain of command, down the chain of command, or laterally between peers of the same level. Here are definitions of each specific type of business communication and an example of each. 

  1. Internal Upward Communication

    Internal upward communication refers to any situation where a message is being carried up the chain of command within a company. Essentially, anytime a subordinate is communicating with a superior about business matters it can be considered internal upward communication. Common examples of internal upward communication are project progress reports and PTO requests. 

  2. Internal Downward Communication

    Internal downward communication can be thought of as the opposite of internal upward communication. With this type of internal communication, information travels from a leadership position down to its subordinates. Handing out tasks to your team, and performance evaluations are common examples of internal downward communication. 

  3. Internal Lateral Communication

    Internal lateral communication occurs any time a message is relayed between two equal peers within an organization. This is generally the most common form of internal communication. Collaborative meetings and emails between peers are common examples of internal lateral communication. 

  4. External Communication

    External communication is the only type of business communication where information leaves an organization. Any situation where a representative of a company is communicating with an outside source on behalf of the organization is external communication. Common examples of external communication are marketing campaigns, stakeholders' meetings, and social media engagement. 

Tips For Internal Communication

  • Professional Corporate Training

    One of the most direct ways to improve the communication skills of your team is to invest in professional corporate training. With professional corporate training, a consultant will identify the weak points of your brand’s communication and offer solutions to strengthen them. For example, leadership development consulting will improve your senior members’ abilities to communicate with their team. This will foster cohesion between team members and could, in turn, improve the communication skills of the entire team. 

  • Invest in an Instant Messaging Tool

    In order to have effective internal business communication, you’ll need to invest in the tools to facilitate it. While physical meetings and emails are great tools that have their place, they also have some distinct drawbacks. It can be difficult to regularly align everyone’s schedule for an in-person meeting and email chains between larger groups of people can become cluttered and challenging to read. This is why instant messaging tools designed specifically for businesses such as Slack have become so popular. They facilitate internal business communications in the same way emails do, but with a much simpler format that is similar to a text conversation. This makes it easier to re-read conversations for important information later down the line. 

Tips For External Communication

  • Get to Know Your Audience

    External communication needs to be strategic in order to be effective. An important aspect of that strategy is the identity of the audience your organization is communicating with. Knowing your audience is crucial because different marketing tactics are more effective with specific demographics. For example, younger people are more likely to engage with a social media campaign than people over 50. Take a moment to understand your audience on a deeper level before marketing to them. 

    Answer some of these questions to get an idea of your audience’s demographics:

    • How old is your target audience?

    • Where is your audience located? (local, national, international)

    • What is important to your target audience?

    • What about your organization appeals to your target audience?

  • Start Blogging

    Blogging is the most common form of content marketing on the internet and for good reason. It is actually a two-pronged external business communications solution. Firstly, blogging is an effective method of engaging with your audience and expanding it. Maintaining a blog of content that your audience finds entertaining, informative, or interesting is an easy way to increase the loyalty of customers you already have. Consistent and relevant blog posts will keep people coming back and encourage those individuals to share them with others. 

    The second major benefit of blogging is that it optimizes your website for search engines. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of aligning your website with Google’s criteria of a “good website.” Doing so will earn your website higher spots in search results. The easiest way to do this is to consistently add content that Google believes people would find useful. In this way, blogging can actually increase your brand’s recognizability. 

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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