When thinking about the new skills they need to acquire to further their careers, most entrepreneurs focus on marketing or leadership skills. Both areas are important for business, but there is also a third skill that is essential: effective communication. Indeed, being a good communicator is vital to a company. Below, you’ll see why.
What are the Types of Business Communication?
When talking about business communication, one must divide it into two categories: internal and external. Both are vital for the well-functioning of your company. Let’s define each one:
- External communication. It refers to how you interact with other businesses, partners, etc.
- Internal communication. This is an often unnoticed aspect that refers to how you communicate within your enterprise.
Internal communication divides further into three categories: lateral, upward, and downward. Lateral communication refers to how well you interact with your colleagues and equals. Meanwhile, upward communication concerns your skill in talking to your superiors.
What about downward communication? That focuses on interactions with your employees and subordinates. In other words, those who are on a lower level than you in the company.
Why does External Communication Matter?
Ensuring that you put up a professional front immediately smooths over any business interactions you might have, both now and in the future. The way you carry yourself and how you interact with other professionals dictates how they will perceive you and how much or how little they will respect you.
It also affects how inclined they are to do business with you. Good external communication builds trust because it is essentially showing the world that you have your things in order and are competent.
To enhance your communication skills and build the confidence of those around you, brush up on your skillset. The Influential Communicator business certificate can help you do exactly that.
Is Internal Communication as Important as External?
While many businesses are aware of how important how they relate with other organizations is and how they handle their external communication, relatively few take an interest in internal communication. That oversight could be seriously affecting their business, for a few reasons:
Firstly, good internal communication increases employee satisfaction and, subsequently, productivity. If you give your employees fewer reasons for discontent, they will be better able to apply themselves to the tasks at hand.
Secondly, strong internal communication strengthens relationships within the company. Interpersonal relationships dictate so much of life.
Good relationships are built on trust and empathy. By properly communicating with your colleagues and subordinates, you improve their trust and desire to work together towards a common goal.
So, what are you doing to improve communication inside and outside your company?
Final Words on Improving Communication
For internal lateral communication, talk about it. Instead of hoarding various dissatisfaction points with your colleagues, work your way through them before they become a problem.
As for internal downward communication, keep things clear and professional, but don’t be afraid to show you are human. By building a personal relationship with your employees, you bring them closer to the company.
Regarding internal upward communication, keep things efficient and professional. Do not assume too much familiarity, but also don’t do anything to further the gap between ranks. If you think you should, speak up.
Lastly, for external communication, keep things polite and professional. Often, simple is best.