Most business people find the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of formats and to a variety of audiences to be a tremendous asset. Modes of communication typically encompass writing, reading, speaking and listening, while the target of these efforts might include customers, staff, colleagues, bankers, accountants and more. Regardless of the specific situations in which they are used, there are a number of general communication skills highlighted in this article from Entrepreneur magazine which can be of great value. These include:
- listening deeply: many of us fail miserably at this!
- interpreting non-verbal cues: one study cited in the article estimated that more than half of the meaning contained in face-to-face communications is non-verbal.
- managing expectations: being clear about results and timeframes is preferable to promising more than can be delivered.
- providing productive pushback: communicating skillfully under pressure can minimize conflicts.
- being concise: this helps the time challenges of the entrepreneur as well as those of the audience.
- confidently stating value and differentiation: these are essential components of building a brand.
- knowing your why: don’t limit the focus of communications to how masterfully something is stated; be sure to know the reason why it’s being communicated and the desired result.
For more details, take a look at the full article or at some of the business communication resources at the Naperville Public Library.
(Neal, James E.)
(Barbara Pachter and Denise Cowie)