The job of many professionals involves communicating within or outside an organisation. Presentations, writing business mails, negotiations, and communication within the organisation require specialised skills in communication. For businesses, professional development in business communication helps in building the reputation of the company, preventing conflicts and misunderstandings, and contributing to the smooth functioning of business processes.
The Written Word
Writing is not only about grammar, it is also about choosing the right words to communicate meaning, judging the reader’s/listener’s response, and knowing the technology and trends in communication. Professional training in business writing helps a person to:
- Develop impressive sentences and paragraphs
- Use the correct structuring and wording for different kinds of writings
- Proofread their writing for errors
- Use the different mediums of written communication effectively
- Use reviews and feedback to improve writing
- Gain knowledge about printing and publishing
With online mediums of communication such as social networking sites, blogs and emails, writing are also used for reputation management, promotion, marketing and resolving consumer complaints. The written word, whether it remains within the organisation or is read by those outside it, is a medium through which people judge the professionalism and worth of a company.
Verbal communication is both formal and informal, and each requires different skills. Giving presentations, negotiating with other businesses, public speaking, providing criticism and conflict resolution are some of the areas in which formal communication is required. The purpose of verbal communication is to express oneself or to influence the other person(s). Depending on the purpose, verbal communication needs to be tweaked.
A professional development course in verbal communication begins with recognising one’s own style of communication and the expectations of others. It also includes:
- Recognising the listener’s personalities and preferences
- Developing flexibility according to need
- Preparing for possible barriers
- Using the right tone and pitch
- Using nonverbal and paraverbal communication to express and influence
- Developing expertise in speaking on the spot
- Punctuating long speeches by asking questions and listening actively
- Relating with the listeners
Body Language and Paralanguage
How we stand, move, sit, listen and talk contribute to communication. Body language, if understood and used correctly, can make us understand others and express ourselves significantly. For example, during a negotiation, if the other person leans back, or begins to look around, or crosses his arms, the message you are getting is that he is not convinced by your arguments. If, on the other hand, he is leaning forward, listening to you attentively with his arms open, it shows that he is interested in what you are saying.
Body language plays a vital role in communication. Training in understanding and using body language help professionals express better and influence easily.
Paralanguage involves the loudness, rate, pitch and frequency of speech. Many people begin to speak very fast when nervous, some begin to stammer. Identifying and training one’s own speech is important for those professionals that need to verbally communicate with customers, business partners, and/or the audience.
Business communication includes many kinds of communications, and each of them is immensely important in the smooth and efficient functioning of processes both within and outside the organisation.