Communications Skills

Business Communication – How Effective Are Your Meetings?

Meetings can be valuable or they can be a total waste of time. Much of a meeting’s value depends on the level of communication that goes on. Effective business communication skills help every aspect of your business, including meetings. Here are a few simple tips to open up the lines of communication and make your meetings more effective.

A Safe Place

Your meetings should be a safe environment where participants feel okay sharing their feelings and opinions. Cut down on the formality and make it warm and friendly. Make sure everyone knows that their input is highly valued.

You Have the Floor

Make sure that when participants are speaking, all eyes are on them. Let them ‘take the floor’ and speak their piece before others respond. Make sure there is no checking of smartphones or other distractions that keep people from giving their fullest attention.

Save Your Response

Often during meetings, we’re thinking about our response rather than focusing on the speaker. Practice active listening during your meetings so that you fully understand what is being said. Make understanding, rather than simply getting your opinion out, the main purpose.

The Quiet Ones

It’s only natural that in every office or workplace, there are those who stay quiet for a number of reasons. They may simply be shy or feel that their input isn’t important. During the course of the meeting, try to give them opportunities to speak and encourage them to do so.

Follow Up

Follow up with your meeting participants afterward and seek their feedback. Try to find out whether the meeting was helpful for them and what they thought about its contents so you can make improvements for future meetings.


Communications Skills

Common Email Communication Mistakes

Email makes it easier for us to communicate with each other, but in a way it presents new challenges. An email message can’t convey the tone of your voice, your facial expression, or other types of body language. Because of this, the meaning of your message can be lost or misunderstood. Here are some tips for communicating more effectively through email.

Be Extra Polite

In usual business conversation, we try to be positive and polite. With email, you should be even more so. Bump your positivity up a notch. The reason for this is that there’s a big difference when you say something with or without a smile. Email isn’t only without a smile, it’s without any expression whatsoever.

Edit Before You Hit Send

You may be busy with many emails to write, but don’t fire them off just yet. Take a second to look over your email and make sure it comes off the way you want it to. Imagine you’re the receiver. What would you think if you received this email? Reading it back also gives you a chance to correct any spelling or grammar errors.

Not Appropriate for Email

There are some things that simply shouldn’t be communicated over email. High among these is serious or bad news. When you deliver bad news you need an extra bit of sensitivity and this is impossible to achieve over email. You also need to pick up on the nonverbal clues and nuances of what the other person says to make sure they understand completely.

Say It Face to Face

Finally, don’t let email become a substitute for face-to-face communication. Email is convenient but simply not as personal as talking in person. Whenever possible, create opportunities for your staff to communicate in person, even if it’s remotely over the Internet. The personal touch goes a long way in creating good communication.