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The process of sharing ideas, information, and messages with others in a particular time and place is known as communication. Communication includes writing and talking, as well as nonverbal communication (such as facial expressions, body language, or gestures), visual communication (the use of images or pictures, such as painting, photography, video, or film), and electronic communication (telephone calls, electronic mail, cable television, or satellite broadcasts). Communication is a vital part of personal life and is also important in business, education, and any other situation where people encounter each other. People in organizations need to communicate to coordinate their work and to inform others outside the business about their products and services.
Effective communication ensures that all persons and organizations understand the message sent. They also are more likely to respond favorably to the message if it appears to be reasonable and fair to both the receiver and the business. Communication plays a major role in employer-employee relationships in any organization. It also affects the relationships among members on the management team. Although effective communication does not guarantee success of a business, its absence usually assures problems. A communication problem may soon become a crisis or it may linger on for years.
Benefits of Effective Communication:
The following can be the benefits of effective communication;
• Steady Workflow:
The first benefit of effective communication is the steady workflow as in organization if the message is completely conveyed and received it will results in positive feedback of steady workflow. •
Effective business communication helps in providing solutions to any problem. It helps in developing relationships which make easy to find solution if any problem arises.
• Achieving Goals:
Organizational goals can only be attained through effective business communication. It makes the business relations more strong which enhance opportunities for any organization.
• Enhance Productivity:
It enhances productivity of both monetary and human capital in terms of performance. People get clearer picture of what they have to give as output which increase output in any organization.
• Global Market:
You can overcome the challenges in global market only through effective business communication. Developing right attitude is crucial to effective communication in international markets.
• Decision making:
Only through effective business communication one can make decision making easy and timely for both customers and investors.
Strategies to Achieve Effective Business Communication:
The following strategies can be adopted to achieve business communication;
• Facts and Figures:
Effective communicating is driven by having the facts to go along with message. No small detail is insignificant. For example, when writing down a phone message, be sure to ask for all the correct contact information, the caller's first and last name, and their message. •
Try to be complete in all respects of the message whether it’s a written message or oral message. Complete picture should be provided to customers so that he is able to make decision.
• Listening Customers:
Always listen to customer and answer questions if any. Listening displays commitment to the customer’s needs and wants. As a business owner, listening should be done first and then speaking with the customer.
• Ensure Active Participation:
A good in person conversation entails eye contact which deems it necessary to be looking at each other during communication. When you and your customer are not looking at
each other, it doesn't allow for “active listening”. Wait until there is an open, clear line of communication before you speak. By speaking while in another room or with your back turned, it may appear the customer may feel unimportant, which can lead to frustration between you and your customer.
• Try to be innovative:
Always try to be innovative in your ideas so that you can capture customer's attention. Analyze your entire contemporary and find ways to differentiate yourself from the pack. •
Think Before Speak:
One must be sure that he has a clear idea about the message he wants to convey. It’s better to make an outline in mind before words spoken. •
Be careful with acronyms and technical language:
Common acronyms, words, and phrases within your specific industry may seem like everyday language if you’re writing to a colleague in the same field. But if you’re writing to someone and you’re not certain what their level of understanding is, spell it out in clear terms everyone can understand.
• Know your audience:
Successful communicators understand their audience because they connect with an aspect of our lives, whether it is personal or professional. When you are in tune with your customer’s lives, the business relationship develops on a more personable level. This can be a factor when deciding to go with a company for business.
• Patience really is a virtue:
Don’t let your impatience get the best of you when trying to communicate. The true meaning of your message may get misunderstood if you decide you need to tell your customer something too quickly. This could lead to a misperception of your message and then you will need to spend more time trying to explain what the message was you were trying to convey.
Put yourself in customers shoes:
Try to put oneself in customer’s shoe in order to identify their needs and problems.
Barriers in Effective Communication:
The following are the barriers;
Too information is bad as too little information because audience lose concentration on most important messages.
• Premature Evaluation:
Premature evaluation of results is one of the barriers in effective communication. People often assume results on the basis of initial facts and figures which lead to miscommunication.
• Language Barrier:
Language that describes what one want to say in his terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions, buzz-words and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a way of excluding others. In a global market place the greatest compliment one can pay another person is to talk in their language.
The person who wants to tell something will not get through to you if you're thinking about something else while one's talking. Instead of listening, you may be thinking of ways you can enhance your image, escape punishment, dominate, or win. •
The person who wants to tell something will not get through to other if he is thinking about something else while person is talking.
• Interpersonal barriers:
There are six levels at which people can distance themselves from one another: Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. It is both refusals to be in touch and time alone. Rituals are meaningless, repetitive routines devoid of real contact. Pastimes fill up time with others in social but superficial activities. Working activities are those tasks which follow the rules and procedures of contact but no more. Games are subtle, manipulative interactions which are about winning and losing. They include "rackets" and "stamps". Closeness is the aim of interpersonal contact where there is a high level of honesty and acceptance of yourself and others.
• Perceptual barriers:
The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. If we didn't, we would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory perception would take its place.
One of the chief barriers to open and free communications is the emotional barrier. It is comprised mainly of fear, mistrust and suspicion. The roots of our emotional mistrust of others lie in our childhood and infancy when we were taught to be careful what we said to others. •
Physical distractions are the physical things that get in the way of Communication. Examples of such things include the telephone, a pick-up truck door, a Desk, an uncomfortable meeting place, and noise.
Remedies to Remove These Barriers:
The following steps can be taken to overcome the barriers to effective communication; • Have a positive attitude about communication. Defensiveness interferes with communication. • Work at improving communication skills. It takes knowledge and work. The communication model and discussion of barriers to communication provide the necessary knowledge. This increased awareness of the potential for improving communication is the first step to better communication. • Include communication as a skill to be evaluated along with all the other skills in each person's job description. Help other people improve their communication skills by helping them understand their communication problems. • Make communication goal oriented. Relational goals come first and pave the way for other goals. When the sender and receiver have a good relationship, they are much more likely to accomplish their communication goals.
Approach communication as a creative process rather simply part of the chore of working with people. Experiment with communication alternatives. What works with one person may not work well with another person. Vary channels, listening techniques, and feedback techniques.
Accept the reality of miscommunication. The best communicators fail to have perfect communication. They accept miscommunication and work to minimize its negative impacts.
Try to improve listening skill, verify your interpretation of what’s been said. Empathize with speaker and resist jumping to conclusion.
Try to build credibility so that people starts trusting your information.