5 Ways To Improve Your Communication in Business and Why It's Important

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

Understanding the importance of communication methods in the business world is crucial to a company's success. Communication is the process of how we share information, whether it is in verbal or written form. Learning to communicate better can improve job performance and advance your career. In this article, we discuss why communication is important in business and how you can improve your business communication skills.

Types of business communications

Business communication comes in a few different forms and isn't limited to speech. Companies work with a wide range of people and other businesses, prompting them to communicate in a variety of mediums. To be effective, care is given to the tone and clarity of the message regardless of the communication method.

There are four standard methods of business communication:

  • Verbal communication is the use of your voice to convey an idea or speak an opinion. Examples include virtual meetings, phone calls and in-person conversations.

  • Visual communication is the use of images or graphics to make an idea clear. Examples include charts, maps, infographics and videos.

  • Nonverbal communication is the message we send and receive through behavior. Examples include body language, gestures, dress and facial expressions.

  • Written communication is what we deliver through print or digital media. Examples include emails, letters, memos, reports and other documentation.

Read more: 4 Types of Communication (With Examples)

Communication Types

Image description

Types of Communication

  1. Verbal

  • Use a strong, confident speaking voice.

  • Use active listening.

  • Avoid filler words.

  • Avoid industry jargon when appropriate.

  1. Nonverbal

  • Notice how your emotions feel physically.

  • Be intentional about your nonverbal communications.

  • Mimic nonverbal communications you find effective.

  1. Visual

  • Ask others before including visuals.

  • Consider your audience.

  • Only use visuals if they add value.

  • Make them clear and easy to understand.

  1. Written

  • Strive for simplicity.

  • Don’t rely on tone.

  • Take time to review your written communications.

  • Keep a file of writing you find effective or enjoyable.

Why is communication important in business?

Communication in business is important to convey clear, strong messages about strategy, customer service and branding. A business building a brand reflects a consistent message tailored to its audience. Internal communication builds rapport among employees and managers and encourages teamwork and collaboration.

Good communicators are vital to a business' profit margin and reputation. Employees who communicate well and understand the company's vision help make the company successful. Using effective communication skills can benefit a business and its employees in a variety of ways, including:

  • Building better teams

  • Preventing misunderstandings and conflicts

  • Improving customer service

  • Meeting goals and earning success

  • Promoting creativity and innovation

  • Advancing individual career prospects

Building better teams

Effective communication builds a positive atmosphere where teams can flourish. When communication is positive and encouraging, team members become stronger and work better together. Those who practice good communication skills make working beside them easier and less stressful. Job tensions or friction are promptly addressed since effective communicators work toward finding solutions.

Preventing misunderstandings and conflicts

Listening is a part of communicating used to understand a situation fully. Good communicators listen well, think before they speak and react appropriately. Good listeners are more likely to find solutions without becoming defensive. When conflicts arise, good communicators address the problem right away and listen to the other side.

Related: 8 Steps to Building a Successful Team

Improving customer service

Businesses need to know what their customers want and need from them to serve them. Forming business relationships is how companies build trust in their brand and bring customers back. Reliable and positive communication with customers is paramount to maintaining a valued customer service reputation.

Effective communication with customers by answering questions and providing solutions helps to improve the business' reputation. Communicating well over the phone or through social media or email improves customer confidence and loyalty. Written communication that is consistent with the brand's voice can help promote community between customers and organizations.

Meeting goals and earning success

For a business to be successful, short- and long-term goals must be clear and concise. When employees know what the goals and visions of their company are, they are better able to focus their efforts on achieving them. Communicate goals clearly, and regularly remind employees of the team or individual goals to keep them motivated and encouraged. It can also help employees understand the importance of their roles in making the company successful, which can improve loyalty within the company and reduce hiring turnover.

Promoting creativity and innovation

People who are good communicators are usually open to sharing ideas without judgment. When trust is built based on effective communication, team members are more apt to share with each other to inspire creativity. Effective communicators are more inclined to collaborate to find creative solutions, as well. When employees are keen to share ideas, companies can transform their approaches and find unique ways to serve customers and clients.

Advancing individual career prospects

Good communication skills, such as open and honest communication, eliminate surprises and reinforce your commitment to solve problems and support the business. This can help you earn promotions and secure leadership positions in your current organization or pursue new advanced career opportunities elsewhere.

Five ways to improve your business communication skills

Improving communication skills takes a little practice and thoughtfulness. Try one or more of the techniques below to become a better communicator:

  1. Practice listening.

  2. Improve your memory of faces and names.

  3. Take a course.

  4. Attend motivational seminars.

  5. Use technology.

1. Practice listening

Apply active listening techniques and turn off internal dialogue to fully focus on what is being said. Repeat what you heard, but phrase it differently to demonstrate you understand. Consider using nonverbal communication, such as affirmative body language, facial expressions and gestures, to let speakers know you are engaged while they talk.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Improve your memory for faces and names

Being able to remember another person's name can help you better connect with coworkers, supervisors and clients in the workplace. Take the time to match names to faces, and find ways to boost your memory. Discover a fact about each person, such as their hometown or favorite food. Make mental notes or write them down. You can also consider using a mnemonic strategy to help you remember, such as Brian likes bagels or Margaret lives in Madison.

3. Take a course

Consider taking a course in communication at your local college or university. Online classes can also let you set your own learning schedule and may offer different courses of various communication styles. Invite a coworker to join, and practice your skills with each other.

In addition, you can also ask your supervisor to consider hosting a communication workshop or plan a team-building exercise that focuses on these skills as well. This step can show your dedication to improving your skills and your coworker's skills to improve collaboration and conflict-resolution in your workplace.

4. Attend motivational seminars

Motivational speakers know how to communicate. Attend a seminar, and take notes on the positive language the speaker uses. Note their body language, use of eye contact, accompanying visuals and the consistency and/or repetition of the message. Then, apply those techniques. Stand in front of a mirror and practice your own motivational speech. You can also make an effort to use those techniques in your next meeting while speaking with a customer or giving a presentation.

5. Use technology

Today's technology makes communication faster and more effective. Consider using a company intranet or shared platforms that let you communicate with speed and efficiency. Integrate collaboration programs that can keep employees aware of each other's progress and provide guidance throughout a project.

In addition, consider training in the best practices for digital communication via instant message, email and specific collaboration software to ensure you and your team can communicate effectively in any format.

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