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Communication Skills that Make You Successful in Business

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Currently, a Business Development Executive with experience and training in business development and project management .

Business is Communication

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The first time Olivia was introduced to software project management, she knew immediately that she was close to getting the contract. Nothing was like it. Before her presentation, she had done background checks on her evaluation team and found out that her presentation would be an eye-opener to them. Finally, instead of an analysis of how well her firm could deliver, it became a training session; she had a fulfilled day.

Content and delivery are essential for effective communication.

When Isabella received the addendum, she immediately forwarded it to the QS for review and update, omitting the submission time. "it's the same time on a later date" she said, not wanting to be noticed as inattentive but hoping to confirm later. Guess what, her team was late for submission by at least an hour and a half.

Effective communication is devoid of assumption, misinterpretation, and misgivings.

The chips kept burning, and Eucharia never stopped advising her colleagues to listen to the printer. She said that when they pay attention to the photocopier, they will identify looming dangers to avoid, to safe the organization more cost in repairs.

Communication is not complete without responsibility.

It took the board 2-weeks, back and forth, to agree on reframing the entire IT infrastructure because of a vital omission which a customer insisted should be included. Not only did the delivery slip, but the organization axed some good, hands after they recorded a substantial loss.

Effective communication is documented and followed to the latter.

Ken still uses the manual system of filing and recording. For him, whatever is written in the stock card is unquestionable. He updates the Production Manager, who had requested earlier, that there were 20 dozen of water bottles, for an urgent supply. Production starts the next day, for delivery the same day but there are only 13 dozen.

Communication is real-time.

Garry's NGO invited a motivational speaker to take leadership training. Ken was acclaimed, in his field as an academician with a background in psychology. His speech was loaded, with leadership theories, and his audience clapped at his eloquence and confidence. The feedback was far from it; his audience could not apply the theories that he defined, to their job of fund-raising, and immunization of infants.

The expectation of the target audience is essential in communication.

Mia trusted him so much. He was a supplier for her company. Mia, at some point, was known to pick up her phone each time Guy walks into her office. "It's business," she says, and then she calls him for supply. Then he supplies his Turbocharger and submits his invoice to Mia for payment. Mia issues a check based on affiliation without confirming from the store for receipt and condition, hoping to do that later. Days later, the Workshop is yet to receive the Turbocharger there's none in the store.

Communication and relationship interplay; in business, they are not the same.

Thoughtfulness is the one word that describes effective communication. With it, you think for everyone; and act accordingly.

Birthday messages, gift cards, seasons greetings, social attendance are avenues for businessmen and women to engage their clients.

Time and content may vary even though the approach is the same- regard everyone. Always maintain a cordial relationship with your stakeholders irrespective, of their social status. Low-ranking employees have helped captains of industries achieve great results, it all depends on the manner of approach.

In communication, interest and stakeholder are synonymous. Find out what appeals to your stakeholders, and give it to them, and; you will be in business forever.

If you keep your communication flexible and engaging, you will grow fast in business.

Here are some communication skills to consider if you want to succeed in business.

Communication Technology

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Communication technology is the bedrock of modern business. Businesses use it to reach out to the world. Companies are run today from the comfort of a small room. Large transactions are effected from devices, as small as a computer mouse.

People don't gather any more for bid submission and opening. Instead, they sit in the comfort of their offices to witness bid opening, via applications and gadgets.

Meetings are done online, saving organizations hundreds of thousands in logistics. Team members relate via mobile apps. They update videos, photos, reports, and make recommendations online.

The level of human involvement has reduced considerably. Reports are updated real-time and transmitted to the server where authorized parties can access.

Conflicts on sites have reduced drastically with the aid of cameras that capture and transmit real-time videos, to sponsors and interested stakeholders

Conversely, technology is not without its downside - the risk of an information breach, that is on the rise.

Security is a concern that must be considered when sourcing for the right technology.

The application of technology in business is enormous. No business can strive exceptionally without technology.

Get the right technology; get business.

Written Communication

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Written communication is best for solving complex communication problems involving liabilities and responsibilities. Owing to its ability to establish contracts, and retain relevance over a long period.
Some influential stakeholders have a way of doing things differently, even when they understand the implications; they may still expect you to do otherwise.
Don’t create situations that make you look stupid, like carrying out verbal instruction with liabilities without endorsement or proof.
Finally, the 5cs of written communication are invaluable; use them always.

Verbal Communication

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Words go a long way; to brighten up, inspire or break a person.
Avoid cultural bias, gender insensitivity, and unethical expressions in your speech.
Be clear and audible when speaking; use a familiar language, to avoid getting your wires crossed with your audience.
Do not put your subordinates on the spot with questions. Guide them instead, where they lack knowledge.
If talking to a colleague or partner is like talking to a brick wall, rephrase your language and style. Sometimes you need to butter them up to elicit the required action.
Show confidence and charisma when you speak, it portrays ability, and that’s what investors, employees, and customers admire.

Nonverbal Communication

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Nonverbal communication is used more often than other forms of communication.
Gestures are significant in communication. They show your level of sincerity and confidence. Also, your nonverbal reaction can tell a lot about you so, guide your emotions, especially in public.
Practice your geticulations properly so, you don’t give conflicting expressions with your gestures.
Consider impression management. In that case, investigate your potential prospects before you meet them. That way, you’re able to understand their preferences, to tailor your attitude likewise.

Listening

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Be it critical, informational, or empathic listening, no matter the mannerism, body language, choice of words, tone, or vocabulary, before you respond, you should decode the message first.
A project starts to fail when there isn’t proper listening during requirements gathering and documentation.
Good listening produces proper documentation. Proper documentation facilitates implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
When you listen attentively, you capture relevant information for further processing without which resources allotted subsequently could have been a waste.
Listening aids understanding, feedback, follow-up questions and clarifications.
It is important to decipher which, the messenger is conveying- express or implied before reacting.
As much as you can, maintain eye contact and give appropriate feedback when you listen so that your speaker is motivated to say more, and explain deeper.
Feel relaxed, maintain an open mind, and don’t show sentiment to avoid any form of bias from your speaker.
Don’t interrupt or try to impose your expression on your speaker. That could make them forget what’s in their mind and lose track of their speech.

Don't Make a Snap Judgement

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Occasions will arise where you should communicate decisions to your stakeholders; make sure you fully understand the implications before you do so.
It will help you send the right information across without misinterpretations that could undermine your integrity.

Plan Your Communication Strategy

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Your communication plan depends on the resources that are available to you.
To develop a relevant plan, you need to do a proper investigation to capture the preferences of your stakeholders.
Your communication plan should include; message, stakeholder, designation, frequency, action taken etc.

Implement Your Communication Strategy

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Execute your plan unless there are changes to the preferences of your key stakeholders. In that case, it should be updated first, before implementation.

Maintain Your Communication Strategy

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Timely and appropriate collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, and disposal of information in line with your plan puts you on top of your game.
The essence of sticking to your plan as signed off by the stakeholders is to avoid penalties should there be unintended consequences if you deviate from the planned approach.

Manage Your Communication Strategy

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The flow of information could be irregular, so you must keep it under control. Update your plan regularly, and ensure that your stakeholders don’t get dissatisfied with your style and level of communication.

The interest and level of stakeholder involvement change from time to time, so do their communication needs. You should be in touch with them to identify when these changes occur so you can devise better ways to manage their predilections.

A document control system can help you manage documented information. With it, you can track, safeguard, recover, backup, send, and retrieve vital documents, and media files. You can also track reviews and backlogs of such information, over their review cycle.

Never Say "I Don't Know"

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You could be required to give information that you are not immediately aware of; never show ignorance. Say “give me a minute; I will get back to you immediately on that.”
As much as you can, be abreast of every vital information that you can lay your hands.

Show Concern

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Sometimes we neglect the needful believing that all is well.
Keeping in touch smoothens your way to any stakeholder’s heart. They may ignore you. Never mind, send a text message, and guess what; that’s when you realize that they had suffered a setback or lost your contact or had a tight schedule lately that caused them to skip over you.
They may also have skipped out on you because you offended them without knowing it, and the missing friendly call had been the barrier. It would just be nice if you made a friendly call, now.

Envisage

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You would have to make presentations now and then. Prepare for what you know and what you do not know.

Take note of call ups. In all, the best way to be well updated is to have an interest in what you do.

Envisage follow up questions that could come, and prepare for them as well, not to be taken by surprise.

Use leadership

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Communicate your vision to your stakeholders; show leadership.
Do not scold in public; do not vent in the open. Instead, encourage, reward, and celebrate.
Teach, coach, and mentor as often as possible.

Be Politically Aware

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To be in their good books, you have to be aware of the powers that be and recognize them. Otherwise, it will be a wild goose chase to discuss contracts with those who cannot authorize the resources that you need.

Identify the decision-makers to channel your communication strategy appropriately. It doesn’t mean that you should despise low-ranking stakeholders. Of course, though they may not be btight-lined; they could help you establish formidable rapport with influential stakeholders.

Feng Shui It

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Sometimes, especially during verbal conversations, the atmosphere may become ill-natured, making you tensed as well. Try as much as you can to control your emotions, so that you can control the situation, and keep everyone in a good mood.
Use everything within your powers to ensure that no person else decides the atmosphere but you. Negotiate, pacify, persuade, justify, show remorse or excitement, make an offer; control the situation.

Choose Your Words

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To sound professional, you have to learn the ropes. The essence is to connect with your professional audience so that they understand and trust you enough to work with you.
There is usually some level of disconnection when you sound unprofessional to an elite group, which threatens your chances of working with them ever.

Apologize

communication-skills-that-make-you-successful-in-business

Remorse strengthens communication, but as much as you can, reduce circumstances that create scenarios for such apologies.
Humility is essential for communication efficiency among people. People are more disposed to communicate with you when they hold nothing against you.
Unforgiveness can be a barrier to effective communication because, with a grudge in mind, people tend to frustrate the efforts of their offenders.

Counsel

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Counselling is necessary for effective communication. With it, disloyal and demoralized staff tend to open up on grievances, creating room for reconciliation.
Companies have run into losses in thousands of dollars for not using this tool to cushion employee-related gripes that resulted in lawsuits.
When you counsel a staff, you give them a sense of belonging to trust and work with you effectively; to understand them better and relate with them productively.

Use Emotional Intelligence

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Have you ever noticed an uninterested fellow, while you did a presentation; or have you been made to react overboard when you least expected it? These occurrences are common in business.
You need to observe people, and if necessary, act likewise.
Self-awareness is the first thing you learn in emotional intelligence. Understand thyself first, so that you can manage your emotions.
Show respect for language, culture, and other forms of diversity whenever you notice.

Leverage on Silence

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Silence can communicate beyond words in many ways.
By keeping quiet, you make other people use their initiative.
For fear of the unknown, people tend to act with caution when you keep silent.
Do not demean others with your words no matter the circumstance or poke your nose into their affairs.
Refrain from impulsive or presumptuous statements; speak with purpose. In business, the numbers count not perception.

Use Face-to-Face

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Do not strike a deal in absentia; do it face to face.
If you sell a slow-moving item, you need to have a one-on-one with your prospects.
If you need an uncommon favour from a stakeholder, it has to be a face to face meeting.
Of all communication forms, man-to-man explains, validates, approves or disapproves the most.
Should the need for a handshake arise; make it firm and comforting.

Use Visual Aids

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A picture is worth a thousand words.
Design facilitates understanding. It establishes an agreement between the parties involved, on the output, outcome and expectations.
Clear visuals should be used for a variety of representations including; schedule, and procedure.

Designs also unveil limitations to drawings that should be corrected before implementation.

Maximize the Social Media

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To reach a robust network, consider having a social media handle but be very careful of the risk. Once information is disseminated; you cannot estimate the impact.
Handle your critics with care, and your fans with respect.
For security, use a multi-level security architecture.

Utilize Virtual Teams

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Before you resort to remote teams, establish a good working relationship and document agreements on commitments and expectations.

With the latest communication gadgets, location is not a barrier.
There are so many collaboration applications and IT infrastructures that can help you communicate effectively with stakeholders near and far apart.

In general, use a combination of communication strategies for communication effectiveness.
Stakeholders should be able to reach you via several avenues including, but not limited to phone, e-mail, chat apps, social media handles.
Barriers to communication like language, inappropriate expressions, and distance, can stall effective communication. Thus, there should be a continuous effort to suppress them with technology or skill.

Finally, social computing has become prominent for information transfer; get involved, and reach out to the world.

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