An Effective Communication is a communication between two or more persons wherein the intended message is successfully delivered, received and understood.
In other words, the communication is said to be effective when all the parties (sender and receiver) in the communication, assign similar meanings to the message and listen carefully to what all have been said and make the sender feel heard and understood. In the business context, the communication is effective if the information shared among the company employees contributes towards the organization’s commercial success.
The effective communication includes not just the way you use the words but also covers several other skills such as, non-verbal communication, ability to understand your own emotions as well as of the other person with whom you are communicating, engaged listening, ability to speak assertively, etc.
There are several barriers to effective communication which are listed below:
- Semantic Barriers
- Organizational Barriers
- Psychological or Emotional Barriers
- Personal Barriers
Effective communication in the organization enables the employees to deepen their connection with others and improve teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving capacity. The communication is a skill which is learned, and an individual can gain spontaneity in it by putting in his extra efforts and participating in more public conversations.
Significance of Effective Communication
In this section, we will understand the significance of effective communication:
Construct and Foster Sustainable and Productive Relationship
Effective communication should be the focus in businesses as it becomes largely difficult to properly construct and foster productive relationship without it.
Give space to Innovations
Effective communication facilitates innovations in a business organization by allowing employees and management to come up with innovative ideas that might further help in the overall development of the organization.
Help Build an Effective Team
A work environment enriched with effective or open communication helps in building a cohesive and effective team. Effective communication always boosts the morale of employees. It brings in the zeal in employees to work towards achieving the common objectives of the organization. Regular internal communication can also lead to an improved work ethic if the staff are reminded of achievements and feel that they are working towards a common goal.
When there is hassle-free and open communication between the management and the employees, it leads to a steady rise in the pace of progress of the organization. Effective communication, therefore, yields effective management. Managers come to know the attitude and grievances of the employees and the latter gets to know the managers’ attitudes towards them and also the policies of the organization.
Contributes to the Overall Growth of the Organization
Effective communication builds desired interpersonal, interdepartmental and management-employee relationship which in turn are essential preconditions for realizing the vision of the organization. In other words, effective communication contributes to the overall growth of the business.
At the professional level, it is essential to know how to deal adequately with peers, make good decisions even in stressful situations. This is one of the reasons why effective communication skills are increasingly valued.
Effective communication in the organization enables the employees to deepen their connection with others and improve teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving capacity.
Characteristics of Effective Communication
The characteristics or principles of effective communication are pivotal for ensuring a productive communication. The major characteristics are as follows:
Completeness of the Message
Communication must be complete so as not to baffle the recipient. Better communication helps in better decision-making by the latter. It develops and enhances the reputation of an organization.
Clearness and Integrity of the Message
The message to be conveyed or sent must have clarity and integrity for better understanding. Clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of the message. The pith and substance of the message should be based on honesty and accuracy.
Conciseness of the Message
The intended message must be free from verbosity and should be so written that it is intelligible at the first sight. Short and intelligible message sent to the receiver is ever appealing and comprehensible. It saves time and cost as it is understood at the first instance.
Consideration of Physical Setting and the Recipient
In order to make communication more effective, the overall physical setting, i.e., the media of communication and the work environment, must be considered. The content of the message must take into account the attitude, knowledge, and position of the recipient.
Clarity of the Message
The message should have clarity of thoughts and ideas in order to be understood clearly. Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words and symbols.
Courtesy to be maintained
The sender’s message should be so drafted or prepared that it should be polite, reflective, and enthusiastic. It must show the sender’s respect for the receiver and be positive and focused at the receiver.
Correctness of the Message
The drafting of the message should be done in such a manner that the final message doesn’t have any grammatical errors and repetitions of sentences. The message should be exact, correct and well-timed.
Effective Business Communication
Successful business largely flourishes on effective business communication. Effective communication skills are vital for building active and effective interactions among the colleagues, clients, bosses, and media.
It is of foremost importance for all personnel in all phases of business life in any organization.
Although everyone employed in an organization boasts of having acquired the skills of effective business communication, there is a need ever felt for improving these skills.
Methods of Effective Business Communication
- Web-based communication: For better and improved communication, anytime and anywhere.
- Video conferencing: This allows people in different locations to hold interactive meetings.
- Reports: This is important in documenting the activities of any department.
- Presentations: This is a popular method of communication in all types of organizations, usually involving audiovisual material, like copies of reports, or material prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Flash.
- Telephone meetings: This allows speech over long distance.
- Forum boards: This allows people to instantly post information at a centralized location.
- Face-to-face meetings: The nature of such meetings is personal and should be succeeded by a written follow-up.
Effective Business communication can further be categorized into:
- Effective oral business communication
- Effective written business communication
Effective Oral Business Communication
Effective business communication mostly involves listening and speaking. Both the speaker and the listener share responsibility of making the message clear and understood. Besides, body language, tone of voice, choice of words and phrases, message clarification and communication style also play a role and impact the effectiveness of interpersonal transaction and interactions.
Techniques of Effective Oral Business Communication
In this section, we will discuss the different techniques of effective oral business communication. The techniques are described below:
- Speakers should know how to articulate their message so as to enable the listener to understand it well and deliver it in a manner that is consistent with the message itself.
- The speech or spoken words should be properly worded and concise.
- The speech should be contextual like serious issues are best delivered in a serious tone.
- Knowing the listener(s) and how they react is instrumental in conceiving the subject matter of the speech.
- For effective business communication, quiet location counts much. If one party is distracted by both external and internal distractors like sound, communication fails to yield desired result.
- Involvement of all the concerned is of vital importance to make communication effective. Involvement means complete attention and dedication to discussion or analysis.
- Effective or active listening is essential for participants in a communication. It is practiced by both the speaker and the listener in effective communication.
- In order to become a better listener there is a need to eliminate all distractions during the conversations.
- Active listening involves eye contact, nods, gestures and brief comments to show understanding. On the basis of these gestures and comments, the listener’s comprehension and reaction can be assessed. In case the listener seems confused, the speaker needs to re-assess the wording or delivery of the message.
- The listener may ask questions, validate what is being said and provide input if necessary.
- While speaking or interacting with someone, don’t just listen to whatever they are saying rather be attentive and make mental notes.
- Asking questions during discussion or an important conversation adds weightage to communication. It also helps the participants to learn everything they need to know. It shows that they are listening and confirming understanding and giving respect.
- Questions are powerful instruments to make communication effective. It enables the persons concerned to get required feedbacks.
There are usually two types of questions to be asked during a communication process.
- Close-ended questions, which are often answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are essential when the communicators want to gather basic information quickly or want to obtain an answer without a long or drawn-out explanation.
- Open-ended questions provide a broader and more comprehensive answer.
Feedback is a crucial part of communication and is vitally required by all concerned in a communication process. It marks the end of a communication process. The communicator on one side should convey his/her information in such a way that his/her targets can offer feedback or criticism on the information given.
During a particular conversation, a discussion or meeting proper and relevant communication types and the mediums should be put in place. Visuals should be shown to present information in a pleasant and palatable manner.
Reinforcing a positive and supportive culture will develop a clear understanding between employees. One of the very effective ways of communicating company’s culture is by taking help of the culture deck.
It is hard to have open communication if both sides fold their arms, clench their jaws and refuse to look each other in the eye. Nonverbal communications like gesture, tone of voice, eye contact are more meaningful than spoken words. If nonverbal messages are overwhelming the conversation, it might be better to wait until things settle. Nod your head and maintain an open posture to show you’re absorbing what the other person is saying.