How would you like to increase your company’s error rate by 70% due to poor communication?
Statistics indicate that 57% of employees don’t feel they receive clear instructions from their superiors, while 69% of managers aren’t comfortable communicating with their staff. Such numbers can spell doom for your business unless you take the right measures to instill a culture of efficient communication.
Here are some valuable tips that can help you be a better business communicator.
1. Understand Your Audience
Take a step back and strip the concept of communication down to its very core. What do you find? At its essence, communication is the passing on of information to another party in a way that they can understand.
As such, you can’t be an effective business communicator if you do not know who you plan to talk to.
Whether your audience is internal (staff, a board of directors, and other stakeholders) or external (your customers, regulators, and the like), know your audience is imperative.
Before you put anything down, conduct some research into the audience you need to target. It will help you identify the right thing to say and give you pointers on how to best package what you need to communicate.
For example, are you talking to potential investors? Find out what drives their decision making and couch your communication material in a way they can best interpret.
Another critical aspect of business communication is understanding the needs of your audience. Unless you touch on what weighs most on your audience’s mind, your message will miss the mark.
For instance, talking to a group of finance experts about implementing a code of ethics may not be as effective. However, if you were to develop a report that helps them see how a code of ethics has a direct impact on the financials, you will get a much better response from them.
Since you took the time to pair what you needed to convey with what they most care about, they are bound to internalize your points better. That, in turn, leads to your communication bearing sharper results.
2. Time It Just Right
Have you ever seen excellent communication that is sent at the wrong time? It makes the Titanic’s sinking look more graceful.
Before you send out a piece of business communication into the world, ask yourself if it’s as essential to the recipient as it is to you, at that time. Your message needs to get to them when the timing is right if it is to trigger the desired result.
For example, say your organization is in the middle of an austerity initiative. Even though you may have a great idea of how investing a significant sum into new machinery can lift output, it may not be the most suitable time to bring that up.
If possible, you should hold off until the austerity plan is in motion and delivering its first fruits for you to propose more expenditure.
With that said, timing is not all about the climate in which you deliver your message. It also encompasses your strategy when making a presentation or delivering the message in person.
If you are communicating during an allotted time, the last thing you want to do is exceed it. Ensure that your message can fit into the allotted period you have to avoid losing your audience’s focus.
For master communicators, making sure the message fits the allotted time exactly is not good enough. You should plan to wrap up earlier and leave room for any questions that might need answers. Doing so can help your audience dispel any points they do not grasp and absorb your message effectively.
3. Technology Is Your Friend
In today’s business environment, technology has the potential to enhance your communication vastly. For you use the appropriate technological tools for your business communication, you need to pair the strengths of each tool to your needs.
For example, if you need to give a tour of your plant to potential investors, any miss-step can cost you dearly. Thus, instead of relying on traditional facility tour tactics, you can use a solution like Plant-Tours (https://www.plant-tours.com/), which incorporates headsets, transceivers, and other solutions to make your walkthrough more compelling.
The technological solutions available to you are versatile, and it’s up to your imagination to figure out how they can best work for you.
Instead of a typical physical company memo, you can use an internal blog to communicate across the organization. It can pass your message across in an instant, everyone across the firm link to it for convenient sharing, and you can add other rich content formats, such as videos and infographics, to enhance your points.
Remember that whatever technological solution you choose for the task needs to be reliable. If it’s not, it can obscure or totally fail to deliver your message, hampering your communication.
Additionally, technology-oriented communication tools ought to provide more utility than traditional forms while still being widely accessible.
4. Practice Communicating on The Spur of the Moment
When a lawyer appears before the United States Supreme Court, they usually communicate extemporaneously.
That is, they know the topics they want to talk about and have a rough outline. But beyond that, everything they communicate is formulated on the spot. They do not memorize everything so they can repeat it in front of the court.
As a business communicator, this is one skill that can help sharpen your communication skills.
When you train yourself to communicate off the cuff, you learn how to distill your thoughts into points you can pass across without memorization. As such, you can think through your message from all angles and make the most of it.
Aside from that, off the cuff communication can help you adjust your presentation in real-time to respond to reactions or questions satisfactorily.
The more you exercise this aspect of your business communication, the more skill you gain communicating from prepared material and also field unexpected input in real-time.
Make Efficient Communication Core to Your Business
When you fail to make efficient communication an essential part of your business, you risk eroding your top-line due to errors that curtail optimal productivity. To avoid these real-world effects of poor communication, you need to learn how to package and pass on your message. The better you communicate, the more significant the results, which bolsters your company’s performance.
Are you looking to streamline how your business operates? Check out more of our content for valuable pointers on how to help your firm grow.