by Suzanne Duval d'Adrian
What’s one of the most essential things you do every day – next to breathing, eating and drinking water?
Communicating is something we don’t think about doing, it just comes naturally. In fact, social or human interaction is a basic need and a key element on the wellness wheel. Being able to connect with others allows us to feel that we’re part of a bigger picture – to share experiences and be exposed to new things. It’s why social media is so important today. Communication is every bit as important in our business dealings as it is in our personal lives. Interacting with those around us is so innately intertwined into our daily life that we don’t even stop to think about it, or appreciate all of the benefits it brings.
As we go about our workday, we communicate with clients and colleagues in many ways – phone conversations, exchanged emails, Skype or real live meetings. These exchanges offer an opportunity to both receive feedback and make suggestions. Plus, they allow us to interact and develop more personal connections.
In business, communication is critical because:
It creates feelings of value and appreciation.
There’s a message that comes across loud and clear: “You’re important enough for me to stop everything, focus on and communicate with you.” With the hectic schedules that are so common today, taking time out to participate in an engaged (or conscious), two-way conversation underlines the value you place on that particular relationship.
It fosters trust and strengthens relationships.
As conversations take place, little tidbits about the non-business side of life tend to pop up. Camaraderie is built and a sense of bonding forms – everyone is working toward the same goal and resulting successes are shared. It’s the feeling of partnership in its truest sense. Both parties connect to a common goal, which leads to stronger collaboration.
It increases efficiency.
Understanding an individual’s communication style streamlines the business process. Rather than devoting time to writing a detailed saga-style email to a business partner or colleague who values brevity, a short correspondence outlining key points saves both parties time and frustration.
It expands knowledge and awareness.
The normal give and take of business conversation equips each participant with new information. Connecting with others exposes us to new points of view, expands our knowledge and inspires new ideas. Sharing with others and the world around us helps us develop on both professional and personal levels.
It revitalizes shared goals.
It’s easy to get caught up at our desk or glued to the computer screen, but reconnecting with a client or co-worker’s sense of purpose creates a stimulating change of pace. It can actually serve as a morale booster.
Final tips to enhance daily communication:
- Strive for equal balance in the tools you use. Is email your main format? Do you often pick up the phone and take time to meet?
- Are you listening as much as you’re speaking?
- Know how much is too much. Is the topic and manner right for the setting and purpose?
- Learn your style. How and when do you communicate best?
Interested in knowing about your own communication style? Take this quiz.