Business Communication Course Overview

    What is Business Communication?

    Communication is an essential element determining business success. ‘Business Communication’ is the process of transferring information from one person or party to another, within and outside of the business environment. This term is derived from the general communication linked with business undertakings. In other words, communication between people or business parties for business-centric tasks is known as ‘Business Communication.’

    As per the fundamentals of business communication, the methods, types, process, principles, etc., are almost identical to general communication. The key difference exists in their areas of application. Communication is considered the lifeblood of business, considering its value to businesses in several ways.

    The constant flow of information is the key idea behind business communication. Its integral part is feedback. These days, organisations involve a huge number of people, and different levels of hierarchy exist in an organisation. The number of levels is directly proportional to the difficulty of managing the organisation. At this point, communication plays a vital role in the business environment in directing and supervising the people in the organisation.

    Effective business communication between subordinates and superiors is the secret to business success. It helps avoid misunderstandings and facilitates immediate feedback. Generally, business Communication covers various aspects like interpersonal communication, marketing, customer relations, public relations, etc.

    components of business communication

    A few decades back, business communication was restricted to telephone calls, paperwork, etc. However, with the technology revolution, we now have cell phones, emails, video conferencing, satellite communication, etc., to support business communication.

    Effective business communication assists in creating goodwill for an organisation. Moreover, effective business communication is the approach management, and employees communicate to achieve organisational objectives. The key objective is to enhance organisational efficiency by decreasing mistakes.


    Fundamental elements of Business communication:


    If you aim to
    learn business communication, you must know its fundamental elements stated below:

    • Sender

    • Business Information

    • Receiver

    • Feedback

    The aforementioned elements denote business communication as a process in which business-centric information is exchanged between various business parties like employees, business clients, suppliers, customers, etc. The purpose is to have effective administration in place.


    For successful
    communication in business communication, a regular flow of information and feedback is crucial. Due to various levels of hierarchy and the participation of a huge number of people, business communication is vital in various management functions like planning, directing, organising, and controlling.

    Methods of Business Communication

    After getting familiar with the fundamentals of business communication,one must understand different business communication methods.There must be clear methods of communication in place in a workplace. They ascertain that everybody knows the exact process and that nothing would get missed.

    Each method comes with its purpose and benefits. You can determine which approach to employ based on what message to impart.

     methods of business communication

    1) Email Messaging:


    One of the greatest methods of business communication is sending emails. Email messaging offers a rapid, easy, and economical way to send messages wherever an Internet connection is accessible worldwide. Emails can be delivered 24 hours daily, and the delivery is prompt.

    One of the key benefits of email messaging in the workplace is you can easily refer to the message history. This method reduces the need for printing and storing physical documents. Moreover, it decreases the issues of ‘who said what’ in the conversation because you can easily track the message from the email. It is one of the most prevalent written business communication skills to learn.

    Emails are extremely useful for delivering messages that include too detailed or lengthy information.  Sending an email is a perfect method to reach out to a client, seek approvals, and send business approvals. The reason is the formal tone the emails convey. Moreover, emails are useful for sending a project brief, organising a task, and sending business documents (like invoices, contracts, etc.). Email messaging is also useful when the message sent doesn’t need an instant response. The corresponding example can be circulating company newsletters and announcements.

    Although email messaging offers various advantages at the workplace, it has some limitations. Firstly, sending and reading emails can be time-consuming and productivity-killer. Secondly, it can be annoying when you are copied to email threads that don’t need you to be in. Thirdly, email messaging can make you susceptible to viruses, phishing scams, spam, and ransomware risks.

     

    2) Team Meetings:

    Team meetings work as a collaborative tool that engages employees with the business. Team meetings must be used to keep ideas flowing, brainstorm, share immediate feedback, and make mutual decisions. When used effectively, it can assist employees in becoming more productive and creative.

    To ensure a meeting doesn’t become disruptive, ascertain that it always follows a predefined agenda. Get rid of getting off-track or discussing irrelevant concepts. Keeping meetings action-focused and brief will help you a lot. Moreover, it is recommended to be watchful of the duration of the meeting. Without being lengthy, it should outline the decisions and call to action.

    When team meetings are used as brainstorming sessions, sitting around and thinking will not work. As an alternative, people about to attend meetings must be ready with their suggestions before they approach. Keep in mind that team meetings should serve as a platform to discuss and improve the idea, not a place to think of fresh ideas.

     

    3) One-on-One Personal Communication:

    In several cases, face-to-face conversation is the best approach to discussing business-centric matters. The digital forms of conversations may not feel natural. On the other hand, the body language and non-verbal cues involved in one-on-one personal communication eradicate misunderstandings usually experienced with electronic communication.

     

    This business communication method is useful for various purposes. If you wish to discuss a confidential or sensitive issue with a client or colleague, it is better to face-to-face meet another party instead of a phone call or email.

    Managers also use one-on-one meetings to give feedback or training. Employees can use one-on-one meetings to describe a project detail, provide status updates, or obtain a quick decision from a superior or client.

     

    4) Presentations and Training:

    Most employees refer to presentations and training sessions as meetings. But they serve a unique purpose. Meetings are collaborative and demand the active participation of the attendees. On the other hand, training and presentations are typically one-sided.

    One team or employee presents their ideas to another party in a presentation session. Their major time is devoted to one party while explaining messages. The presentation session usually concludes with a question-and-answer portion. In most cases, the content of a presentation is extended for the first time in the session, so you must not expect detailed feedback.

    Companies conduct training sessions to educate their employees about new processes. Although several tech innovations are prevalent, training is still valuable.

     

    5) Instant Messaging:

    Instant messaging is outstanding tool employees use to exchange messages in real-time. These messages can be sent one-on-one, or employees can be engrossed in a group conversation.

    You can use online applications (like Skype, WhatsApp, etc.), text messages linked to your phone line, or direct messaging tools over your social media channels.

    Usually, one-on-one instant messaging is used to have quick updates, deliver reminders to your colleagues, or ask easy questions. The response is quicker than email. But unlike in a phone call, there is no pressure to answer instantly.

    Several online applications like Skype and Slack allow multiple users to engage in team conversations in real-time. It is beneficial specifically for connecting employees from various business locations and departments.

    Several young workers choose Instant Messaging because it is less formal than emails and doesn’t need much time, unlike Team Meetings.

     

    6) Video Conferencing:

    The advent of fast Internet connections in various parts of the world has improved video conferencing. Video call is an upgrade from voice calls because it allows participants to see one another over calls. So, video conferencing avoids dialogues’ overlapping.

    This method is a superb alternative when in-person conversations are not possible due to location constraints. Video conferencing is a great option if in-person meetings and training are unachievable. 

     

    7) Voice Call:

    Many businesses still use voice calls either via phone or Internet applications. Frequently, customers reach out to companies through toll-free numbers or hotlines. Clients, colleagues, and business partners also use voice calls.

    Although voice calls used to be a favoured business communication method, it has become less popular these days. The reason is that phone calls are not free and can cost excessively if you call somebody from another city or country.

    Avoid voice calls to discuss sensitive information and lengthy topics. With voice calls, it is possible to detect whether that person is ready with a response or not. Hence, more employees prefer emails or instant messaging.

    Important Aspects of Communication

    The aspects discussed below will further strengthen your fundamentals of business communication:


    1. Listening:


    Without listening, you can’t understand how the team feels and can’t know their ideas for the organisation’s growth. The team’s voice indicates their interest in the project. Businesses must ensure the right forum for the team to explore their views. In a group discussion, every team member will not be confident to convey their opinions. They can feel more confident if they practice listening skills.

    Speaking only when necessary adds value to a conversation. If you do not have anything valuable to add to a conversation, you must listen to absorb what the speaker is delivering fully. Attentive listening ensures effective communication with the team.


    2. Trust:


    A team can’t work effectively for you if they don’t trust your actions or instructions. Establishing trust is the most significant aspect of a successful leader. Without trust, the team can’t follow the strategy or direction suggested.

    Trust is one of the vital aspects of business communication because it can resolve mistakes or misunderstandings. Moreover, it helps the team feel encouraged to take up the responsibility. Transparency from the leader makes sure the team is more likely to work instantly without any fear. Consequently, it fosters an honest partnership between the manager and the team.


    3. Control and focus:


    In business environments, many projects may not accomplish as per the plan. So, the question is how to maintain control of the situation. It is possible by focusing, being judicious, and guaranteeing that the team is being communicated effectively.  The team should be agile and problem solvers to ensure control and focus.

    For example, team members may feel demotivated in a crisis if their leaders got out of control and stressed. So, the team members need a leader who can control the situation and bring things back on track.


    4. Encouragement and Confidence:


    Confident people can easily tackle a challenge and can influence people around them. Such people can inspire others with their determination and ability to handle tasks consistently. So, if you are not confident in what you speak, you can’t expect anyone else to be. Therefore, confidence and encouragement are the key aspects of business communication.

    Especially when formulating the vision of the business, confidence and encouragement are the foundation stones. Many businesses often overlook these aspects, but business success is difficult without them.


    5. Clarity


    Lack of clarity can create misunderstandings and other unexpected concerns that can significantly impact the business. Firstly, the team must always remember the idea it aims to deliver. Next, they should know how to express their views clearly.

    Often, the message is not clearly expressed because it isn’t customised to the right audience. The message may have lots of acronyms that people find difficult to understand. The person delivering the message must always keep the target audience and their expectations in mind.

    When delivering the message, make sure there are more applicable people to deliver it better. This is because the right person can better deliver the message. Furthermore, the message must be brief, concise, and clear.

    Barriers to Effective Business Communication

    When you learn business communication, one of the key facets you must not ignore is the communication barrier. You may thoroughly learn the fundamentals of business communication, but without knowing the barriers, the learning is incomplete.


    The communication barrier prevents a message from being received as envisioned. In some instances, the message may not reach its targeted audience at all or may reach only in parts. In other cases, the message may be poorly translated, fragmented, or misinterpreted by the recipient(s).


    Key types of barriers to effective business communication: