Communication is one of the most important skills you will need in the world of business. It’s what will allow you to market your products, find investors, keep your team working toward the common goal, and ensure that your company runs smoothly.
If you want to master business communication skills, here are a few of the important aspects to practice:
Understanding what is unspoken
Roughly 80% of communication is non-verbal, meaning that people’s body language says more than their words ever will. If you want to be a master communicator, it’s worth studying body language and expressions. You’ll be able to read people much more easily, and you’ll have a much easier time convincing them to do what you want.
We’re not talking about just listening, but we’re talking about paying serious attention. Solid listening skills are a must in the world of business communication, so practice it on a daily basis. Lean toward the person talking to you, turn your body to face them completely, and keep your eyes on their face. Don’t let your mind wander or think about what you want to say, but focus on them and their words. A good listener is a successful person!
Learn to push back politely
There will always be conflict in business, but how you handle conflict can make or break your company. You need to know when to push back, but how to do it the polite, productive way. You’ll need to practice being firm, kind, polite, and courteous, and knowing when and how much to give.
Try to be as clear as possible about what you can deliver and when you can deliver it by. The world of business is full of people who want top quality work RIGHT NOW, but that’s not how things work. Always "under-promise" and "over-deliver"--in this case, that means finishing the work well before the deadline. Be clear with your timeframes and results, and keep your clients appraised of your progress.
You know why clients should choose you, or why your product or service is worth choosing, so be confident in it. Stand by what you are offering, and state the value of your product/service clearly. Communicate your points of value, but highlight the things that make you different from your competition. Confidence is a huge bonus in business communications.
Trim the fat
How many words do you really need to use to communicate your point? Could you trim your statement down to 20 words instead of 100? There are times when you will need to elaborate, but try to be as concise as possible in your communication. The more information you can pack into a concise statement, the greater chance you will have of arresting the attention of those you are trying to communicate with. Get your point across as clearly and concisely as possible, and trim the verbal fat from your conversations.
It takes years to master business communication skills, but the advice above can help you start down the road to becoming a master communicator!