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Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Communicate Effectively in Business

How would you decide to solve a jig-saw puzzle if you were only handed the pieces, without a clear picture of what it should look like when it's completed? This is what commonly happens when communication is unclear. Even though you have got the essential information, you can't seem to get to a productive final result.

In this era when everyone is pushing the outer limits with their personal time, precise and short communication is the key to unlocking the benefits of anonymity.

Imagine the feeling you would experience if you were no longer required to recite the same statements over and over again! Imagine if all of your employees got what you said at the drop of a hat! Yes, that's the power of effective communication. Letters and words - when painstakingly chosen, can turn your company around more rapidly than you can imagine. There is absolutely no doubt that listening and giving your attention to non-verbal cues comprises a significant part of interpersonal communication, but why not also work toward speaking with accuracy - sprinkled with charisma and magic, so that listeners can do nothing but follow and do as they're told.

Be as clear in what you say as possible, and don't leave any guess work for the listener. Any unclear aspects of your conversation stand equal chances of being understood or misunderstood entirely, so even if it's a supplier you've been dealing with for ages, don't rely on what you think should be 'obvious'. At the very minimum, what should be done in situations like these is to create a document that outlines all of the mutually 'understood' aspects, which you can then get the other person to agree to verbally - and if possible, sign it as well. Any new clause that you plan on introducing into the current agreement should be delivered to your partner as quickly as possible for their own individual consideration, and if both parties agree, add a written amendment with the place and time when the new clause becomes binding.

Dealing with internal and external customers also follows a similar plan. The employees (internal customers) should be given an exact position which they're to strive to reach. This should be stated in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Besides this, a career plan for each of them should be clearly charted out and broken down into an unmistakable time-line. Supplement this process with technological solutions to save time when transferring information. Motivate and train your employees to communicate effectively while preparing the reporting hierarchy (i.e. who is to report to whom). This will help them to acquire a broader picture of the organization and pave the way for long term benefits for your company.

Last - but never the least, always 'Keep Your Word'.

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