Communication is a wonderful ability bestowed upon all the beings by nature. Creatures communicate for their existence. When it comes to business, communication plays a major role in building and continuing relations among customers as well as employees, for businesses are operated to meet human needs by the human. That’s why strong communicators are in high demand. Organisations tend to incur losses, as the right thing is not communicated to the right person at the right time.
As a business organisation is a collective effort to make consumers satisfied with goods and services being sold in the market, the way to get an idea whether they are really satisfied with or not is nothing other than communication between the company and customers. What is important to be noted is that communication is always a two-way process. For an effective communication, there should be a sender as well as a receiver that respect each other and try to understand what others say. Having considered these, it can be stated that a business is just like a communication centre where views and ideas of the two sides are exchanged.
The root of the word ‘communication’ in Latin is ‘communicare’, which means to share or to make common ideas. Communication can be further defined as a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feeling but also create and share meaning. In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places. In business, it is one of the key functions without which a business cannot be operated.
Strong and skilled communicators are highly demanded by modern businesses, as it is believed that they are capable of creating a competitive advantage over the competitors in the same industry. Consequently, every business professional is expected to be a strong communicator armed with technical knowledge. Communication skills can be learned, so that it will add a value to your technical wisdom. Hence, Seven Cs of communication can be used to sharpen your communication skills. So, let’s have a closer look at them.
It implies that the massage that you communicate should be clear, so that your listeners can easily understand. First and foremost, you have to be clear about your goal or massage, if not, your audience is also not clear. This has a bad impact on effective communication. Once people are not clear and try to make their own assumptions, nothing useful happens other than a wastage of time and money. When it comes to business, effective communication is the key for team success. Moreover, unless the goal which is going to be achieved is not clearly communicated to the team members, their contribution is poor. Therefore, every team member must be clear of the goal.
When you are concise in your communication, you stick to the point and keep it brief. As everyone is busy with his/her daily plans, he/she is reluctant to spend much time on understanding something. You should be able to get the task fulfilled through effective communication. Hence, the massage should be a massage that can be easily kept in mind, so that you don’t want to repeat it again and again. For an instance, just look at commercial advertisements, they are concise and memorable. If you talk to a group of customers, they might not want to listen to what you say. That is why it is up to you to make your massage concise, so that you can position your massage in the hearts of others.
When your message is concrete, your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them. If you can use clear and proven details you can convince others. In other words, what is known is that pictures are more memorable than words. The audience should be able to picture about your story. This is really helpful for them to arrive at a conclusion how practical your massage is. Communication can bear the fruits, only if others believe in that massage can be put into practice. Having previously considered the problems that might emerge in the minds of the target audience, you ought to design a communication process whereby all the problems are practically answered. In a nutshell, image building words play a great role in this respect.
It means that what you say should be not only correct but also in the right way. Generally, we do not have an opportunity to speak to people whose level of education, social exposure and aspirations are same. Hence, it is up to the communicator to change his style and technical terms used as per the audience. Sometimes, similes and metaphors have to be used for further simplifying the massage, so that even an audience that is not so knowledgeable of the subject can get an idea. Furthermore, if it is conveyed in writing, grammar and letters should be correct, so that the receiver does not misunderstand. When speaking, pronunciation must be up to the standard. The content also should be correct, in order that your audience believes in you.
When your communication is coherent, it is logical. All points are connected and relevant to the main topic. A common error is that speakers use some irrelevant examples which really make the audience confused of the topic. On the other hand, it is at the end of the speech that you find the topic has not fully covered. When a speech or a letter goes smoothly and coherently, it captivates the audience. If you draw attention of the audience towards different topics, you can divide up the main topic into few sub topics. Sometimes, it is better to communicate highly different subjects in different ways.
A massage has to be complete. Your audience must be provided with all the necessary facts. You might want the receiver to take an action. For a massage to be complete, there should be dates, names, contact details and time so on. After the massage delivered, the receiver should no longer be thirsty for the information that is not included in the massage.
Courteous communication is friendly, open and honest. There are no hidden insults or passive-aggressive tones. How you say is more important than what you say. Consequently, the way you tell others decides the way others respond. When you are courteous, you spontaneously build an image which convinces people that you are right. Some cases can be seen where speakers whose knowledge is superb are refused by the audience, as they do not know how to deal with audience. Courteous smile helps you to build a friendly relationship with the audience, even before speaking.
Companies that achieve a culture of effective communication often benefit from enhanced productivity and deeper customer relationships. Moreover, business organisations, which are capable of understanding how to effectively communicate their goals to employees and values to consumers, earn more with less advertising cost.
(Amila Muthukutti holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colombo and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)