Business Communications — Is It Different?
When most people think about “what is business communications?”, they tend to think of several high-level concepts. These individuals generally are thinking about branding, marketing, advertising and a variety of other “corporate level” type of communications. An enormous amount of time, effort and money is spent developing logos, marketing messages, commercial advertisements, new product announcements, corporate name changes; and, all sorts of major business activities. These concepts are most certainly business oriented, but are rarely used by individuals to individual.
However, there’s another kind of business communications which is, quite frankly, a great deal more important then the type of business communications we just covered. This is the type of communications which occurs between individuals. This can be either on a one-on-one basis or and meetings or other types of group environments. Mistakes made in these arenas often go unnoticed by the executives, but are truly enormous difference makers on a day to day basis.
Let’s discuss a pair of verbal and nonverbal activities and the issues with them. When these activities are done in an excellent fashion the results are typically the same. But, when they are poorly or inadequately executed, dire results can now take place.
Time. A great many people in the workplace are very casual about time. In a business environment (perhaps all of the time really) time is very expensive. In a meeting, for example, you’ve got to think of the cumulative time of all the people in the meeting. So, a poor meeting is an major time waster for a lot of individuals. This points to the fact that meetings need to be conducted in a very effective and efficient manner. We don’t have the time in this short article to talk about meetings in any great detail, but there is one key point I would like to make. It’s a totally within the capacity of every individual to honor everyone else in the meeting by showing up on time. When anyone is late to a meeting it’s a serious matter, but when the meeting organizer, for instance, shows up late everyone must wait. A ten-person meeting that has the leader show up 10 min. late means that a total of 100 minutes were wasted. You can do the math on that cost yourself. The message sent, “I don’t respect you and your time enough to show up on time.”
Focus. When anyone places their full attention on another, it conveys volumes of genuine interest. Everyone likes to have their messages listened to and loves to have them fully absorbed. Good posture, relaxed facial expressions, and solid eye contact convey full attention. However, when someone is leaning back in their seat, typing on a keyboard and looking elsewhere an entirely different signal is transmitted. The clear message here is, “I would rather take a nap, check my email and look at something interesting than listen to you.”
Mark Jefferies illustrated some other answers to what is business communications in the interview in the following video clip:
So what can you do to be quite a bit better in business communications?
- Show up on time.
- Stay for the full meeting.
- Sit up straight.
- Lean forward.
- Take notes with pen and paper.
- Ask good questions.
All very easy to do. Have a mental checklist with these items for your next business meeting.