Most businesses are made up of a series of interactions with other people. Clients, customers and colleagues alike all rely on communication in the workplace. The importance of communication cannot be overstated. Effective communication often mitigates conflict as well by allowing each person to get their needs met quickly.
Effective communication is important in business because it can help increase productivity, reduce the potential for error and facilitate understanding among colleagues.
Forms of Communication
Good communication in business includes written skills as well as speaking skills, and nonverbal cues as well as physical cues. Those in charge of the business need to be skilled in effective communication and know when to employ the most effective communication forms. For instance, when ensuring company protocol is followed, often a “paper trail” is important, so communicating through email may be the best way. The beauty of this written form of communication is that everyone is clear on the message and it is literally spelled out for them. And when everyone is clear on what they need to do, it saves time, and, of course, in any workplace time is money.
Another communication form in business is verbal communication. When a manager, for instance, praises an employee on their performance, it boosts morale. If that same manager sees an employee slacking at work and seems tired, it's a nonverbal cue to ask the employee what is going on. Reading your employees' or clients' body language, as well as tactile clues, gives managers and business owners cues on when to speak up and make a human connection in order to solve a problem. The importance of communication is that it allows everyone to feel they are being heard, which makes any workplace run more smoothly.
What Are Some Roadblocks to Effective Communication?
- Judging a situation before learning what is going on.
- Rejecting the feelings or opinions of those involved.
- Blaming or criticizing in a negative way, or when others are present.
- Calling people names.
- Inconsistency with policies and protocol.
How is a workplace dedicated to the importance of communication supposed to get around these roadblocks? Classes that teach the value of good communication in business may be beneficial for employees and many offer workshops conducted in the workplace.
Managers and business owners are the model for effective communication in the workplace and thereby set the tone for how issues should be addressed, and how to relay messages effectively. Paying attention to body language – your own and those around you – as well as taking notes and speaking honestly all lead to effective communication.
Communication in the workplace is necessary for the business to succeed. Furthermore, effective communication plays an important role in making people – from the business owner to employees and customers – feel respected and valued. The natural outcome is high employee morale and a good rapport throughout the workplace, as well as positive word-of-mouth customer feedback.