Business communication skills: 16 examples & techniques
Effective communication is at the core of leadership. It’s at the heart of every successful team, customer relationship, and marketing initiative.
Effective business communication skills help make sure your brand’s message fits your target audience. Business communication skills also help inside your organization. They help build professional relationships and successful teamwork.
You’re here to improve your internal and external communication skills in business and in life. Rewards are waiting on the other end: a happier workplace, increased production, and more profit.
In this blog post, you’ll discover three things:
- What business communication skills are
- Which ones matter the most to you and your team
- How to improve business communication skills and see near-instant benefits
What are business communication skills?
Business communication skills help you get your point across quickly and effectively. But that’s not all, because communication is a two-way street. You can lead and command respect while staying open to feedback. In business communication, no one technique or skill matters more than another. Instead, they’re like cards you can have up your sleeve, ready at any moment.
Why business communication matters
We can think of more than a few reasons. In fact, in many of our blog posts, we discuss strategies that depend on effective business communication.
- The modern workplace puts a lot of emphasis on employee satisfaction. Leaders use their ability to persuade, give feedback, and listen to empower employees to do their best.
- You must deliver an “over-the-top” customer experience to stand out in your market. You want to deliver a fantastic customer experience. This takes a team effort. It involves every department in your company. It requires delegation, listening, and presentation skills.
- In the early stages of a business, you may seek investors. Pitching a business idea requires persuasion, presentation, public speaking, and body language reading.
- You need to implement systems that scale to grow a good business into a great one. To systemize your business, you’ll rely on delegation, writing, and presentation skills.
In addition, poor management and communication can be devastating to business performance. The standard for a desirable workplace is on the rise. Employees are more likely to leave a company that does not make them feel valued. This can have serious emotional effects such as stress and conflict. It can also snowball into a loss of revenue.
Ten examples of business communication skills
As a business owner, you’re the captain of the ship. You don't need formal business communication training to become a better leader and communicator. You can grow in this area by deciding to practice and improve these core skills.
Persuasion is the ability to influence your audience’s views. Persuasion can help you close a deal and increase sales. It’s also an effective business communication tool. Use persuasion to motivate your staff to do their best work.
As a persuasive leader, you can get buy-in from employees. You can inspire them to overcome challenges through optimism and hard work. There’s a reason How To Win Friends & Influence People is one of the best-selling books ever.
By feedback, we mean any response — positive or negative — to a worker’s performance. When delivered with care, feedback reinforces positive habits and helps correct negative ones.
To be effective, feedback should be objective, kind, and given positively. It’s also important to share criticism in private. This is good workplace practice. It makes it more likely that the employee will receive your feedback well. If you want the best from your team, create a feedback culture. That’s an environment where people feel free to share and receive feedback.
Delegation happens when a leader spreads work out to others on their team. Throw out the idea that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. We get it; every business owner and leader has been burned. You delegate a “simple” task only to receive poor work. But when it succeeds, delegation is extra effective. It allows the most qualified employee to perform a task. And it frees up your schedule and brain power for higher-level duties.
Delegating well requires these three skills:
- Finding talent in others, even when they don’t see it themselves.
- Empowering people to do their best work.
- Giving feedback and suggesting adjustments when needed.
Conflict resolution is helping to bring a peaceful ending to a dispute. Conflict resolution drives business results by turning efforts toward more productive tasks. It also fosters a pleasant work environment.
Successful conflict resolution takes communication, active listening, and empathy.
Listening is arguably one of the most influential business communication skills. Listening means consciously taking in messages from a conversation partner with empathy and concern. Active listening is crucial. It helps you avoid misunderstandings, allow your employees to feel heard, and address issues before they escalate.
What does effective listening look like?
First, receive the message and acknowledge it. Next, ask how you can serve this person, given what they’ve told you.
Sometimes, that’s just listening and telling them you understand. Other times, that’s taking action to prevent the issue from happening again. And sometimes, it’s telling someone to toughen up or do better. Leadership isn’t always about making people happy.
― “One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears –– by listening to them.” –– Dean Rusk
Whether you like it or not, you are a salesperson. You’re persuading others to work with you, invest in you, and buy from you. Negotiation can happen on an internal level, or it can involve clients and stakeholders. Mindful negotiation lets all parties lay out their expectations and be heard.
Let’s list a few negotiation mantras:
- The person in the driver's seat has the advantage. What can you do before and during the negotiation to gain the advantage?
- People are more driven by the fear of loss than the desire for gain.
- Know in advance what the other party wants and why. This allows you to develop criteria that a solution must fulfill.
Body language is powerful. But it’s often overlooked as a method of communication. It’s the
nonverbal portion of verbal exchange. It includes gestures, tone of voice, and behavior. Studies show that body language makes up over 55 percent of effective communication.
For good nonverbal communication, keep an open and relaxed posture. Hold eye contact. Show you’re engaged through facial expressions like nodding and smiling.
Written communication includes all forms of professional interactions using the written word. In the modern workplace, this doesn’t just mean business letters. It can include everything from emails to texts to direct messages.
Written communication creates a permanent record of successes, ideas, and events. It sets the tone for the brand. It protects the integrity and transparency of an organization. It allows for quick distribution of information.
Successful written communication doesn’t just use correct grammar. It’s also clear, concise, respectful, and inclusive.
Presentation skills include delivering compelling messages to a variety of audiences. These may include employees, clients, or stakeholders. Trying to close a sale or motivate your peers to start a new project? Presenting your ideas effectively can make or break your chances of success.
Effective presentation skills rely on a blend of compelling visuals, clear and engaging words, and approachable nonverbal cues.
Public speaking is our last example of business communication skills. Public speaking can help leaders to grow their client base. It can help earn the buy-in of their stakeholders. It’s a powerful tool for internal communication, motivating and engaging employees.
Effective public speakers deliver clear and concise messages. They can read the room and keep confident and relaxed body language.
How to improve business communication skills
As with most things in life, practice is key. You can improve business communication skills through openness, attention to detail, and practice. Ready? Here are six business communication tips you can implement today to transform your team.
Be a problem solver
If you took a time machine back to the 1980s, you'd find that most business books were about management. Today, the shelves are full of books about leadership. A core difference between leaders and managers is that leaders lead from the front.
One way to do that is by relentlessly solving problems.
Successful problem-solving involves finding the root cause of an issue. From there, you can strategize a resolution and establish a course of action. On the other hand, poor problem-solving skills can result in a lack of empathy. This may lead to gossip and failure to make the necessary changes to prevent future conflicts.
Practice emotional intelligence
This is the ability to identify and regulate your own emotions while also being open to the emotional expressions of others. Emotional intelligence is essential in professional settings. It promotes rapport and defuses conflict. It contributes to a healthier and more functional work environment.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are self-aware and trustworthy. They’re capable of delivering unbiased feedback while being open to constructive criticism. They see the bigger picture, even when realities threaten to block the light at the end of the tunnel.
Be clear and concise
Clarity is one of the most important elements of effective communication. When you deliver concise instructions, everyone understands their role on the team and can meet their deadlines and goals. Great leaders make difficult-to-implement ideas simple to understand.
Be mindful of nonverbal communication
Mindful nonverbal communication is the ability to recognize your own emotions while also reading the emotions of others. Body language awareness can help you get your point across more effectively in business. It can encourage healthy interpersonal and professional relationships.
Successful leaders know they must appear approachable and receptive through positive behavior, such as handshakes and smiles. They also avoid appearing closed off due to things like folding or crossing their arms.
Practice active listening
Active listening is the art of acknowledging your conversation partner in a way that validates them. Being receptive to your employees’ points of view and concerns can improve the quality and productivity of your workplace.
As an active listener, be attentive to your conversation partner. Then, consciously remember and think about the information as you make decisions.
Build communication into your workplace culture
As a business owner, you aren’t the only one who stands to gain from improving communication. Make it a team effort. Foster a culture of open communication for every company member.
Communication culture in the workplace is reflected in how you engage with your employees. It’s also shown in how your employees engage with you and one another. Team members are encouraged to share their vision and be open about their concerns. They’re empowered to brainstorm solutions to any problem that may arise. This results in improved employee morale, satisfaction, and productivity.
Communicate to win
Having a scalable, fail-proof communication strategy can make or break the success of your business. A clear brand message in marketing is also essential to building loyalty and generating leads. Remember when we said that great communicators aim to simplify? Well, ComplYant has a tool that works to simplify the world of taxes for business owners.