Communication is essential for life in general but in business settings, it is critical. Communication is more than just a matter of speaking and hearing, especially within a business setting. Good communication means that your message will be sent and that the people or organizations understand the message in its entirety. Further, they are much more likely to respond in a positive manner if the message was communicated effectively.
Today, many businesses are relying on the Internet as a way to communicate. This can be especially trying when trying to communicate effectively as there is no body language to rely on and there are no spoken words. The reader can only make assumptions based on written words. Electronic communication can be difficult and challenging but can also result in favorable outcomes if executed properly.
Body language plays a large role in live communication. If you are making person-to-person contact, you are then able to read non-verbal body signals and possibly rely on that for a clue as to the effectiveness of your message. Watch for disinterest, eye rolling, body slumping, lack of interest, looking in another direction, these are all non-verbal body-language signals (and not very good signs). If you are delivering an oral presentation to a group, you can attend to their non-verbal body language and determine if you are captivating them or simply boring them. All you have to do is pay attention and if you adjust to communicate effectively and are organized, the result will likely be positive.
Cultural communication is another area where problems can arise. It is best when dealing with various ethnic groups or cultures to learn about them before you attempt communications. What one culture embraces, another finds offensive and this applies to both verbal and non-verbal communications. Be proactive when approaching other cultures. Remember, their learning styles, their religious beliefs, and their family patterns are sometimes completely different. Do not rely on stereotypes and do not identify them based on their population. Differences are evident within all groups so avoid classifying them together as one. To be effective with cross-cultural communications you have to be knowledgeable about diverse cultures and open to new ideas.
Ineffective communication is a major obstacle in any business. To communicate in the best interest of all parties, everyone should understand each other. You also need to get the attention of the person that you are attempting to communicate with. Define the barriers that hinder effective communication and work on them. Some of the barriers that can cause communication breakdowns are physical barriers resulting from people not really getting to know each other. Perceptual barriers occur because we all view things differently. Emotional barriers are based on fear and lack of trust. Cultural barriers stem from a lack of understanding. Language barriers, gender barriers, and interpersonal barriers can be based on your own thoughts, biases and feelings. Get over the obstacles of ineffective communication by taking time to understand your own method of communicating first. W