5 Tips for Mastering
Effective Business Communication

01/02/2024



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No matter what sector of business you work in. No mater what your office culture is like. No matter whether you write, negotiate, sell cyber security or promote social media influencers, you’ve got to have effective business communication skills. Internal communications professionals will tell you this much: poor communication within an organization can (and will) wreak havoc β€” and effective communication is a lot more than answering emails and phone calls.

External Business Communication

First, let’s quickly take a look at what external business communication can include. When you think about business communications, you may automatically think about phone calls and emails with clients and/or prospective customers. You may think about marketing newsletters and social media content. Or maybe it’s your company website or a press releases sent from your organization. Speeches at a conference or interviews with new organizations. These are all forms of external communication from your organization to the outside public β€” and they are absolutely important parts of corporate communication.

External communication comes in many forms β€” speeches included.

We’ve written a lot on these topics where you can go for more information (listed below) which is why in this specific blog post, we’re going to devote more space to talking about internal communication.

Before we move on, though, we wanted to mention the importance of ongoing training for customer facing roles. There are always new skills and techniques to learn for customer engagement. Make sure you prioritize the ongoing growth of your team members who work directly with customers. Excellent communication with your clients and/or customers is crucial to your success.

Read more on external communication:

Internal Business Communication Tips

Be smart with your face to face meetings.

We all need in person meetings to connect with coworkers, having important conversations and sometimes get on the same page about projects, but there’s a reason the phrase “this meeting could have been an email” is so popular. Your team leaders and team members will appreciate the care and strategy you put into meetings … including not scheduling one for every minor conversation. Be smart about when you pull everyone together.

Being fully present in a meeting includes active listening, maintaining eye contact and open body language.

Also, when meeting with a team member, make sure you are able to fully be present with them. Trying to answer emails, phone calls and the random questions of people who pass by your office in the process is not beneficial for your meeting and may cause your team member to feel like less of a priority. If you call a meeting, be in the meeting and practice active listening.

Have a real plan for remote work.

Remote work has increasingly become a reality for businesses and it’s important to have a plan for how communication will go on days when your team works remotely. A big part of good communication is setting clear expectations from a manager to team members, so consider these questions:

  • Do you expect these team members to be available on your instant messaging system?
  • Would it be beneficial to have a quick morning Zoom meeting (15 minutes or less) to check in about everyone’s work for the day?
  • For employees who work full-time remotely, is there a plan for company-wide information sharing? How are they learning the information others hear at in-person meetings?A successful company in 2024 will have a plan for how to handle remote work including how to maintain employee engagement.

Having the right tools in place will allow you to support remote employees for the longterm.

You need an effective way to share company news.

If you’ve ever worked for a large company, you’ve probably seen firsthand how rumors can swirl, misinformation can get passed along and confusion can brew from poor leadership communication. If top down communication is weak, there’s a high likelihood of people feeling left in the dark, unsure about changes in the company and less connected to the organization overall.

You can measure internal communications success by asking employees how much or little they know about the work of the company as a whole.

I once worked in the communications department of a company with about 200 employees. We took care of both external and internal communications. One weekly project my boss, the Communications Director, took on was a Friday email. This email was internal and sent to the entire staff. It was written with a heavy dose of her trademark sarcasm, but filled everyone in on news from different departments, the events of the week and what was coming on the horizon for the organization. It helped people feel connected to the organization at large and like they weren’t out floating off on their own.

While this Friday email route may not be for you and your company, think about what you could put in place to share news, increase employee engagement and facilitate communication between your teams/departments. Is it monthly staff meetings where you also feed everyone? Is it more celebrations of work anniversaries? Is it a Monday email with a rundown of the week ahead? Studies have shown again and again that employee productivity skyrockets when people feel connected to their place of employment. Finding a way to lower the communication barriers is paramount to your success.

How’s your upward communication?

As explained by Indeed, internal upward communication is “the process by which lower-level company employees can directly communicate with upper management to provide feedback, complaints or suggestions regarding the day-to-day operations of the company.” Traditionally, organizational hierarchy means feedback travels from the top down, but as companies put more effort into building strong company cultures, feedback from lower level employees has become increasingly important.

Part of managerial communication is having conversations with your team members about communication across the entire organization as well as communication coming from you. The feedback they provide will give you a lot of insight for how to improve organizational practices as well as your own leadership skills. And we all want to continue to improve and become better leaders and managers, right?

Know coworkers’ preferred communication style.

Knowing how your coworkers prefer to communicate is a key skill that a lot of people overlook. I once had a boss who spend 90% of her days in meetings. Sending her emails and/or calling her desk wasn’t effective. Instead, her preferred communication style was text messages and phone calls.

Good business communications includes knowing how your teammates prefer to communicate β€” texts included.

I’ve had team members who did not want to be interrupted when in the middle of a deep focus project. For them, emailing questions, which they’d get to during breaks or at the end of the day, worked best. Then there are people who are much better at phone conversations or face to face meetings. They work best handling the issue in the moment.

To build a good working relationship, you need efficient communication. To have efficient communication, you need to know how people best respond. Ask your teammates what they prefer and then try your best to honor their responses.

Be as open to receiving feedback as you are giving feedback.

We discussed feedback earlier, but let’s circle back one more time. It’s a great idea to regularly ask for feedback about your communication skills and style β€” with your team, with your business partners, with the whole organization and with clients. You may learn a lot about cultural differences within your team, a need to revamp organizational goals and, in the long run, avoid low employee morale.

Tips and Tools for Error Free Communication in Business

These tools can help you improve your business communication from the inside out.

  • Check and recheck your written communication. From typos to ensuring you send your email to all the necessary people to making sure you hit the “reply” button and not “reply all” β€” it will do you a whole lot of good to slow down and reread what you’ve prepared to send people. Effective communication is thought out, including basic email messages.
  • While written communication is easy, sometimes it’s much more beneficial to pick up the phone and have a conversation. When it comes to written communication, things like tone and follow up questions get lost. However, phone calls allow for effective business communication in a timely fashion. You can clear up a misunderstanding and have a positive back and forth conversation. In a world of texting and emailing, don’t forget how useful verbal communication can be.
  • Use programs like Grammerly to check your spelling, grammar, syntax, etc. Also, there are software solutions for issues like how to share important documents, logging hours on projects and communicating new project needs. Don’t be afraid to contact outside experts for some advice on new systems that improve business communication.

Want read more on the topic? Mind Tools has a great article on The 7 Cs of Communication. Meanwhile, Thryv has an excellent article with 10 business communication catastrophes and advice on how to fix them. Finally, Forbes gathered great communication advice from 15 business coaches.

Can We Admit One Last Thing to You?

Okay, before we conclude here, let’s make sure we have one thing straight: there is no perfect company with a perfect communication strategy that is 100% error free.

There will be miscommunications.

There will be organizational practices that need to be reimagined over time.

There will be balls dropped and apologies made.

The important thing is knowing how to handle these errors when they arise. Not if, but when.

J.O. Agency Knows Effective Communications

Do you need to make business communication an important priority this year? If you want to communicate effectively and get outside assistance, look no further than J.O. Agency in Fort Worth, Texas! Our team has worked with businesses big and small for the last 25 years to create practices for effective business communication, raise public relations standards, advise on information flow and more. Contact our team here on our website or at 817-335-0100 to get started working together.

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