Communication is the heart of any business regardless of what you do, how many employees you have and to whom you sell. The process of interpersonal communication in business involves sending and receiving messages with colleagues, managers, partners, customers and other business stakeholders. Effective interpersonal communication happens when the message is understood as it was intended.
Sharing Information Effectively and Solving Problems
Interpersonal communication helps organizations to come up with solutions to ensure the business runs smoothly. Interpersonal communication examples include:
- Speaking on the phone with a supplier
- Having a staff meeting with all employees
- Helping a customer in the store
- Emailing instructions to a colleague
- Chatting on instant messaging with a peer
During interpersonal communication, employees share information, provide updates, clarify misunderstandings, offer solutions and introduce new ideas. Effective interpersonal communication helps to ensure everyone in the business is aligned.
For example, when the human resources manager shares new health and safety rules with employees, he is communicating vital information that helps them to do their jobs more effectively. Doing so helps to avoid risk and reduce workplace issues for everyone involved.
Becoming More Aware of Nonverbal Communication
Interpersonal communication helps employees to focus on nonverbal communication. Sometimes, it is not just what is being said that matters but how it is being said. Nonverbal communication includes tone of voice, eye contact, body posture, hand gestures, facial expressions and physical contact. By tuning in to nonverbal communication signals, employees can better understand the message being sent.
For example, if a customer service representative asks a customer who is browsing in the store whether she needs any help, the customer may respond by saying she is OK. However, if her facial expression looks confused, then she may just be too shy to ask for help. Through effective interpersonal communication, the employee can let the customer know he is available anytime to help her find the right product.
Building a Culture of Employee Engagement
Interpersonal communication in business helps to create an open and honest work culture where employees feel they have the ability to communicate with all levels of the organization. Strong interpersonal skills help to make people more relatable to others, which is an important quality in the workplace.
A new employee may feel out of place or nervous about interacting with others. Through effective interpersonal communication with colleagues and management, the new employee can begin to open up and feel more at ease in the workplace.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Interpersonal communication in business is vital for keeping customers happy. Interpersonal communication includes negotiation, conflict resolution, relationship nurturing and other skills that are required to successfully communicate with customers.
Ensuring all customer-facing employees have the training and knowledge they need to effectively communicate with customers results in higher customer satisfaction. Focusing on interpersonal communication also shows customers that the business values its relationship with them and puts in the effort to ensure it can share information effectively.
Respect and Empathy Through Interpersonal Communication in Business
The importance of interpersonal skills in business is that they help individuals to show respect for one another. Whether you are dealing with colleagues, customers or partners, showing respect is not only courteous, but it helps to build trust, credibility and confidence.
Interpersonal communication in business also helps to show empathy. This can boost employee morale and create loyalty in the workplace. For example, if an employee is having trouble with his car and is not able to get to work on time, you can offer him the ability to work from home for a day while he gets his car fixed. This helps to foster a sense of community in the workplace, where people take care of one another.
- Concordia University: Developing Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Workplace
- CareerAddict: The Importance of Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace
- Big Think Edge: Top 8 Interpersonal Skills for the Workplace
- Organizational Architecture: The Importance of Interpersonal Communication
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.