The Importance of Interpersonal Communication in Business

by Zachary Fenell; Updated September 26, 2017
Interpersonal communication refers to communication between two or more individuals.

Interpersonal communication, which consists of correspondence between two or more individuals, has many functions within business. Organizational communication relies on interpersonal communication to disseminate information between employees, management, and customers, as well as influence behaviors.

Types

The methods of communication, referred to as communication channels, used in business communication can generally be categorized into two types: traditional and electronic. Traditional communication channels include staff meetings, presentations, bulletin board postings and post office mail. Examples of electronic communication methods found in the workplace include email, instant messages, voicemail, teleconferences and faxes. Electronic communication has benefited organizational communication by eliminating time and distance as barriers to communication.

Effective Communication

Effective communication occurs when the person you communicate to interprets your message as you intended. Factors contributing to the effectiveness of your communication include flow and channel. Flow refers to the direction of your message. Pearson Education, the leading publisher in educational textbooks, notes the importance of feedback in the communication process. Feedback can help ensure your message doesn’t become a victim of miscommunication.

Another important aspect of effective communication involves picking an appropriate communication method. Mariposa Leadership Inc. CEO and author of “Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Stage,” Susan J. Bethanis recommends in an article written for Marcoworld, to use multiple channels of communication for sending a message, as not everyone responds to all communication channels the same.

Considerations

For international businesses, global communication, communication between cultures, plays an important role in a business succeeding. According to Kwintessential, a company which hones people’s global communication skills, practicing effective global communication increases your chances of achieving your international business goals. The foundation for effective global communication involves understanding other cultures. You can gain this knowledge through research, cultural sensitivity classes and personal experience.

Internal Structure

Internally, interpersonal communication aids in developing a business’s operational structure. Workers rely on managers to communicate the expectations of the workers. One communication tool which may be used in internal business communication includes the Intranet, an Internet-like network for a company’s exclusive purposes. Interpersonal communication also helps to solve problems within the workplace, bettering the work environment. For example, Pearson Education notes managers can use Intranet gripe sites to field complaints from workers in an effort to learn about problems in the workplace.

Customer Service

Areas of interpersonal communication important to customer service include marketing and customer retention. Marketing helps to attract new customers. Once you obtain a new customer, the challenge turns to making that customer a regular. According to Pearson Education, important elements of customer retention include personalizing messages and avoiding stereotypes. Developing a personal connection with your customer will attract customers to continue to do business with you. Avoiding stereotypes proves important as Pearson Education indicates stereotypes can offend or intimidate individuals.

About the Author

Zachary Fenell is a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame College of Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication with minors in philosophy and writing. Fenell has been writing since 2002, when he joined his high school newspaper, "The Arc Light." In college Fenell won awards for excellence in English and communication.

Photo Credits

  • business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com