Effective communication is essential to be a successful business. The ability to communicate well does not come easy. Like any other skill, communication needs to be studied and kept current. In this day of technology, there are always new forms of communication developing and evolving to learn and master.
Good leaders accept responsibility for good communication. No one is a perfect communicator.
If you are still not convinced that good communication is vital, here is some data. According to a Holmes report, companies with effective communication have 47% higher returns to shareholders, more engaged employees and less employee turnover. Conversely, among 400 corporations were surveyed over a year. An estimated $37 billion was lost due to employee misunderstanding or error due to poor communication.
Tips for Improving Communication:
Manage by walking around. Interact with as many people as possible, at all levels. Walk around. Comment on company business, problems, opportunities, and plans. Communicate informally.
Learn by listening. Make your message clear. Achieve more in less time and take responsibility for understanding.
Lean on your team. Develop a team with strength diversity.
Practice email etiquette. Respond to all emails and within 24 hours, if only to say you have received and you will be responding soon. Read email again before pressing send.
Make written communication short and clear. To the point. Easy to understand. Avoid excessive explanations and arguments.
Learn to listen. The talkative sales person cannot hear the customer. A good listener does not interrupt, but shows interest and tries to understand the other party – what makes him or her tick.
Accept frank opinions from peers and employees. Criticism is communication too. Take ownership and responsibility. Do not shoot the messenger.
Think before you communicate. Consider the other party, anticipate reactions. Do not tell people only what they want to hear. Give bad news in a sensitive way.
Stay well informed. Via networking; interacting with colleagues, clients, and suppliers; with others connected to the business. Their input is important.
Other methods include information to new hires; progress briefings; information on notice boards; meeting notes for all to view, using appropriate language to boost team spirit and promote new ideas.
Among all forms of communication, nothing equals a face-to-face exchange. There is no substitute for body language. The tone, facial expressions, and gestures that go with the words cannot be expressed in writing or even over the phone.