Effective Business Communication: Core Factors

Introduction

Effective communication plays an indispensable role in the success of any business. As such, people should learn and acquire effective communication techniques as part of personal and business development strategy. This paper explains some of the norms of effective communication in a business setting. The role of interpersonal communication for managers and employees is also addressed.

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Specific techniques that could be used to overcome communication barriers will also be highlighted. In addition, the role of international and intercultural interpersonal communication in today’s global business environment is discussed. Additionally, verbal and non-verbal management and approaches to effective written management communication will be discussed. In the process of communication, audiences should be engaged and thus this aspect will be addressed. The issue of conflict resolution will also be analyzed together with techniques applied when leading teams and groups in meetings.

Effective Communication Norms in a Business Setting

The success or failure of any business depends on, among other things, the effectiveness of communication strategies used between the management and employees. Effective communication goes beyond the message and its transmission to cover the exchange of mutual understanding among the involved parties, especially the recipients. Therefore, some of the effective communication norms include structuring messages so that they could be understood by the recipients, use the appropriate tools, and creating a feedback mechanism in a bid to address business needs conclusively.

Additionally, communication between the management and employees should be free and open to avoid the creation of distrust and unwarranted conflicts in the day-to-day running of organizations (Husain, 2014). Finally, the person or entity communicating should be in a position to respond to questions or issues raised by the recipients of the messages.

The Role of Interpersonal Communication as a Manager and an Employee

Weak or poor interpersonal communication affects the way an organization operates because people have to work in teams and for successful teamwork, such a skill is needed. According to Day (2014), interpersonal communication helps in all aspects of running an organization including leadership, training, motivation, human resource management and performance assessment among other areas involved in running a business.

As a manager, I have worked with new recruits at different levels and the success of our interaction is based on our interpersonal communication skills. My role as a manager is to ensure that people that I work with get the needed training so that they gain the requisite skills for effective communication. As an employee, I have worked under different managers and other workmates and I have noted that my interpersonal skills have played an important role in how I relate with such individuals. I have forged meaningful relationships with other employees by affirming their abilities and encouraging them to stay motivated.

To some extent, I think I have made significant progress in my career due to my well-developed skills in interpersonal communication. My role is to ensure that I communicate effectively without antagonizing other people. Even if I do not agree with someone, I always find a way of expressing my opinion without creating conflict.

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Specific Techniques I have used to Overcome Communication Barriers

I have encountered communication barriers severally during my work life, and thus I have come up with strategies to deal with such issues as they arise. First, I give only the needed information to avoid burdening the recipients with unnecessary materials that add no value to what is being said. I normally tell my colleagues to avoid making jokes when communicating important business information for the sake of clarity. I also avoid slang and casual language when communicating.

According to Patoko and Yazdanifard (2014), slang differs across cultures and generations, and thus its use could cause confusion, alienation, and frustration, which contribute significantly to teamwork dysfunction. Thirdly, I am always aware of cultural differences to ensure that communication takes place effectively. For instance, from experience, I have learned that Spaniards normally maintain eye contact and they support their messages with hand gestures. Therefore, I remain aware of these cultural differences. Finally, I am open-minded to questions and answers that I may receive in the process of communicating with others.

The Role of International and Intercultural Interpersonal Communication in the Global Business

Globalization and technological revolution of the 21st century allow people from diverse backgrounds and cultures to work together as teams in the business environment. As such, proper international and intercultural interpersonal communication skills are needed to achieve the set organizational objectives. Hofstede cultural dimensions model could be used to design effective communication strategies for the international and intercultural workplace. This model considers aspects such as power distance, individualism and collectivism, the value of masculinity and femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long or short-term orientation (Minkov, 2018).

Knowing such attributes concerning the recipient’s cultural background allows the communicator to tailor messages in ways that could foster effective communication. The success or failure of organizations will depend largely on effective communication across different cultures and nationalities.

Verbal and Non-verbal Management Communication

Communication is classified into two broad categories – verbal and non-verbal communication. Any written or spoken information falls under verbal communication and it plays an important role in management. For any team to perform optimally, verbal communication is critical because it facilitates the sharing of goals, articulation of visions, and execution of plans. On the other hand, non-verbal communication entails unspoken or unwritten messages that can only be conveyed through body language. This subtle way of communication plays an important role in how messages are received, understood, and interpreted. Leaders and managers should be well trained on how to communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally.

Approaches for Effective Written Management Communication

In a bid to communicate effectively through written information, the following approaches could be used. First is to know the target audience, which allows the communicator to tailor information and deliver it in the best possible way (Mayfield & Mayfield, 2017). Second, professional tone should be observed when writing messages because recipients form opinions based on how they are addressed. The information should also be written precisely with clarity for easy reading and comprehension. Additionally, the information should be formatted correctly based on the objective of communication. Lastly, where necessary, visual aids should be used to help recipients understand the message well.

Approaches for Engaging an Audience during a Presentation and Encourage Active Listening

Speakers should ensure that their audiences are engaged throughout a presentation for effective communication. This aspect fosters active listening and the audience becomes involved in the presentation. Some of the ways that could be used include having discussions as a way of ensuring the full participation of the audience. Using visual aids also plays an important role in promoting active listening. Additionally, physical objects could be passed around for the audience to touch and feel as part of improving participation. Finally, using short stories and personal anecdotes to inspire an audience makes it engaged throughout a presentation.

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Effective Methods of Conflict Resolution

Conflict is bound to arise whenever people work together as teams due to differing opinions and preferences. Therefore, conflict resolution is an integral part of management (Fotohabadi & Kelly, 2018). One of the ways of addressing conflict is negotiation whereby the involved parties communicate on the best way to solve their differences. Mediation is another common strategy whereby a third or neutral party is engaged to resolve issues between the involved parties. Arbitration could also be used in which a third party, normally a person with the powers to make binding decisions, is involved. If all the listed avenues fail to resolve conflict, adjudication is used by involving the courts to settle issues.

Techniques for Leading Teams and Groups in Meetings

In the workplace, people work in teams and groups, and thus leadership is needed for the accomplishment of the set goals and objectives. The first step for any successful meeting is to set the agenda by stating clearly the purpose of the meeting. Second, the meeting space/environment should conducive for all members. For instance, comfortable chairs should be availed for all attendees. Third, a leader should start and direct the discussions by ensuring that meeting sticks to the set agenda. Additionally, a leader should be a good listener to make the best out of any meeting. Finally, it is important to draw timelines for the achievement of the set goals.

Conclusion

Effective communication is a skill that can be learned, and thus individuals should endeavor to become lifelong students in a bid to address the many challenges that arise during day-to-day interactions with other people. The role of interpersonal communication cannot be overemphasized especially in the current world of globalization. Different approaches could be applied when leading teams, resolving conflicts, and making presentations among other management duties in the workplace. Ultimately, effective communication is one of the leading determinants of success or failure of an organization.

References

Day, D. (2014). Effective management: Interpersonal skills that will help you earn the respect and commitment of employees. Toronto, ON: Productive Productions.

Fotohabadi, M., & Kelly, L. (2018). Making conflict work: Authentic leadership and reactive and reflective management styles. Journal of General Management, 43(2), 70-78.

Husain, Z. (2014). Effective communication brings successful organizational change. The Business & Management Review, 3(2), 43-51.

Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2017). Leadership communication: Reflecting, engaging, and innovating. International Journal of Business Communication, 54(1), 3-11.

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Minkov, M. (2018). A revision of Hofstede’s model of national culture: Old evidence and new data from 56 countries. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 25(2), 231-256.

Patoko, N., & Yazdanifard, R. (2014). The impact of using many jargon words, while communicating with the organization employee. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 4, 567-572.

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