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Communication plays a part in almost every aspect of your business, so being able to communicate well can boost your overall performance.
Good communication is essential to building a cohesive and effective team. Good communication skills are essential to managing the performance of your team members, and if you know how to communicate well to large groups you can minimise the risk of industrial problems developing in your workplace.
Communication skills can be particularly important during times of higher workplace stress, for example during downsizing, where good communication is an essential part of change management.
You also need to communicate well to build and maintain effective relationships with your suppliers and clients. Communication skills are crucial to dealing with customer complaints effectively and limiting any negative word-of-mouth about your business. You can draw on communication skills when you assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
The first step in good communication is to listen effectively. Today s trend is away from top-down management, where decisions and policies are proclaimed from above. Good managers now consult a lot with their teams, using them as a resource for information and suggestions.
Consultation is not only a good way to get ideas on business strategy, it is also a way of making sure that when you do decide on policies, everyone feels like they have been involved. Your team will be able to implement policies more effectively if they have been involved in their formulation. They will be more familiar with the issues - you will have dealt first-hand with any misgivings they may have.
Effective listening is based on having the trust of the people you are speaking to. People may not offer their true opinions when they are wary about how they will be received. So being a good communicator means winning the trust of those around you. It also means being able to foster a work environment where people treat each other fairly, where they respect each other s opinions and where there is a minimum of anti-social behaviour such as backbiting or rumour mongering. Bullying or harassment of any kind will build walls in a workplace. It will stunt communication, shut down co-operation and hurt efficiency.
People feel more in control when they have all the relevant facts and they are warned of issues well in advance. This means you need to be able to maintain close contact with your supply chain. you will know how to give clear feedback on performance while not denting people s self-esteem. Honing your communication skills will help you determine which materials are appropriate and they will enable you to give clearer briefs. If you have good communication skills. The more people feel in control.Good communication skills are a key part of managing individual employee performance. You will be able to keep a professional and impersonal tone in the face of provocation and this will help you deal with conflict situations. you will know the difference between being assertive and aggressive (aggression merely gets peoples backs up). Business operations are becoming very finely tuned. where goods are delivered precisely at the right time and place. determine personal goals that will suit them and help them to work towards those goals. counsel those who overstep them and. Being a good communicator will also help with your marketing. Good communication skills will enable you to work more closely with your team members. They are likely to feel more confident and secure when they know where an organisation is headed. Your business partners also need to feel confident that they can raise issues with you and that you will be responsive to them. Team morale tends to be higher in a workplace where communication is good. fire people while minimising the risk of getting involved in litigation. if necessary. It will also help you set clear boundaries for acceptable behaviour. the lower their stress levels tend to be. . You need tobe able to clearly explain any concerns you have and negotiate issues with a minimum of friction. thanks to trends such as just-in-time manufacturing or retailing. While you may not get closely involved with the design of your marketing materials you will want to assess them. where they have the information to plan their medium and long-term future. Good communication skills also help when you are dealing with suppliers and clients. As a good communicator.
you maximise efficiency. Some employers like to ration such information. important new contracts or company performance against health and safety benchmarks. of course. If you and your team communicate well. Knowing when and how to release information is an important way of maintaining your image with your team members. However. does not mean being indiscreet. It s generally better for you to provide bad news. Public companies need to provide a lot of information as a condition of being listed.Good communication generally means being open. your skills as a communicator are felt in nearly all of your business dealings. how much information have you picked up on your competitors through informal sources? Good communication skills thus involve good PR skills. Where information is particularly sensitive. as it sometimes contains bad news. finance. Being open. but quite a lot of information seems to leak out through informal channels. good communication involves identifying how to distribute information effectively on a need-toknow basis and deciding who needs to sign confidentiality agreements. For example. Having good communications skills is like having a good IT system .information flows faster and this saves you money. rather than having it leak out at an inopportune time and in a way that is distorted by rumour. It s useful to keep everyone updated on such issues as production. it s often better to have bad news out in the open. . Private companies need to divulge less information publicly. Basically. It also means being realistic about what can be kept under wraps. your clients and the market in general. You find out about issues earlier and can deal with them without adding further complications or misunderstandings.