As an entrepreneur and business owner, learning to communicate clearly ensure business success, opening doors to honest and goal-oriented conversations that allow you to set expectations and avoid pitfalls.
The ability to communicate with people both inside and outside your business is a key characteristic of successful business builders.
Some of the benefits of clear communication include:
- Stronger decision making
- Faster problem solving
- Earlier warning of potential problems
- Increased productivity
- Steadier workflow
- Stronger relationships
- Clearer messages
- Higher employee satisfaction
- Better financial results
We have compiled some top tips for communicating clearly in your business.
Practice active listening
To be an effective communicator you need to learn the art of active listening.
Great listeners can concentrate entirely on what is being said, understand the details expressed, respond when appropriate and remember the information communicated.
To improve your listening skills, remove all distractions from the conversation. This could mean turning off your phone, shutting off your computer or moving the conversation to a quiet space.
With social media, instant messaging and tweets limited to 140 characters, we have gotten used to brief communication.
Over-communicating does not mean communicating everything taking place in your business, it means you take the necessary time to communicate the right things, such as your business’s vision, goals, deadlines and expectations.
Communicating clearly will ensure there are no surprises for your team members.
One of the easiest ways to avoid challenges and obstacles in your business is by communicating any anticipated hurdles, delays, budget shortfalls, risks, and liabilities. This will give you and your team the opportunity to think of solutions before problems arise.
Also make sure you communicate about important meetings in advance, to allow time for preparation. This will streamline the meeting, saving time and money.
Make documents and information easily available
By making important information readily available to all employees, you’re developing a sustainable communication resource to keep all employees informed.
Important documents include protocol plans, operational workflow and processes, training manuals, marketing material, organisation mission statement and vision plan.
Due to the advancements in communication technology, you have many resources at your business’s disposal.
Communication technology isn’t just limited to mobile phone technology. Remote employment, telecommuting, virtual offices or any other type of work-from-home engagements are made easier because of technology. Software like Skype, Zoom, and other video/audio conferencing technology has made it easier for companies to communicate with employees who work remotely.
You may want to use a dedicated platform for day-to-day communication. There are many applications that can help businesses facilitate employee-to-employee communication and document sharing.
Ensure solid relationships
When we do not take the time to clearly communicate when something isn’t working, we waste time, energy, resources, and ultimately relationships.
Clear communication creates accountability, builds a positive, trusting environment, avoids confusion, and provides a guiding source of vision.
No matter how difficult it might be, it is always in the best interest of your business and your relationships to be clear. Being clear demonstrates mature leadership.
Feedback is a critical step in the communication loop for businesses.
To succeed at communicating, your business needs to find a process for collecting and disseminating feedback. It’s important to remember that feedback shouldn’t be one-way, especially not top-down.
Communication is more than just relaying information, it is a powerful tool that can improve employee morale, mitigate issues in the workplace and increase productivity.
Communicate well to improve profitability
No matter your specific goals, your success or failure depends to a large degree on your ability to communicate.
If you learn to write well, speak well, listen well and recognise the appropriate way to communicate in various business contexts, you’ll gain a major advantage that will serve you and your business.
Get ahead by communicating clearly
Technical people with good communication skills earn more, and those who are weak communicators suffer.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to analyse their communication methods to optimise the channels they use to send and receive messages, reinforce positive communication skills into their employees, and develop a culture that welcomes and encourages feedback and professional growth.