March 30, 2015
Communication skills provide a foundation for everything that happens in our world. We communicate with people every day in a number of ways and for a number of reasons. The business world is no different. Every type of interaction calls for a different type of communication. Consider training your employees to improve these eight communication skills, and watch your office communication and productivity improve.
1. Appreciate Differences
You can’t assume that everyone communicates the same way. Doing so will make you appear distant, and people will question your emotional intelligence. You must get to know the people you are communicating with. You can’t talk to a boss of one company the same way you talk to a boss from another company. They are different people with different backgrounds. You must appreciate these differences and understand them when you communicate with your business partners.
2. Assertiveness vs. Aggression
Have you considered the difference between assertiveness and aggression? Teach your employees the difference. An assertive person is confident in stating what they need, but they also continue to consider the needs and desires of others. An aggressive person only looks out for his or her own needs and desires, and other people don’t matter to them. Assertive people can find compromises and still get what they want easier than aggressive people.
3. Edit Work
Are your people sending e-mails littered with errors? This looks poorly on them and on you. Encourage your employees to move beyond the automatic spell checker. Instruct them on how to edit their own work. Using a dictionary is a good idea to look up words you don’t understand. Watch out for tricky differences in words, such as the difference between your and you’re. Sometimes it can be hard to see errors in your own work. Find someone else in the office that can read over your documents to catch errors.
We have to be givers and takers in business. Negotiation training benefits every employee no matter what position they hold within your company. When the time comes to promote someone, you will likely consider how good that person negotiates on behalf of your business. Improving the negotiation skills of your employees will increase your profits now and in the future. You will empower them to disarm the other side during intense negotiations. This is one of the most valuable skills in business.
5. Knowledge of Products and Services
Make sure your employees are constantly informed about new products and services your company offers. Why is this important to communication? Customer service begins with patience and understanding. You know how things work, but the person calling you doesn’t. And that is why they need your help. If you know your stuff, you can quickly answer their questions and help them solve their problems. People will know if you have no idea what you’re talking about.
6. Praise in Public, Reprimand in Private
In an office full of other employees, your handling of a situation goes a long way toward resolving it. When someone on your team does something great, you should announce it to the entire company if possible. If they made a big sale, tell everyone. Their success is the success of the entire company. On the other hand, mistakes must be addressed as well. But you should do this in private. Pull your co-worker or employee aside and make them aware of their mistake. You don’t want to humiliate people in front of their co-workers.
You can never have too much teamwork in an organization. Teamwork is essential for a business for several reasons. If a customer calls one member of a business, they expect to receive similar responses from other members, too. Teamwork ensures that you will be on the same page with your bosses and co-workers. You will seem more organized as a company. You will also share more of the company’s successes if you have a team mentality, and you can help each other through tough times.
Patience is a natural quality, but some people can improve it. It takes patience to understand what other people need in complex situations. Managers must also be patient with their employees near deadlines. Customers truly appreciate patience when they have a concern or a question that they need answered. Patience also shows people that you care and that you can be trusted. Nobody likes to be rushed. They want a quality solution even if it takes a few more minutes. Your increased patience will pay off in the future.
David Glenn is a technology fanatic and business enthusiast who loves to keep up with the advancements in each. When he writes, he draws from his experience of more than 30 years as a business owner and entrepreneur.