How to Improve Communication Skills in Business

Knowing how to improve communication skills as a business owner can make a big difference to how you're perceived as a leader. Clear, simple and regular communication ensures that less mistakes are made, less time is wasted and it also makes everyone feel more connected to your vision for the business. 

Business Coaching Insight:

If people don't seem to be getting your message, the onus is on you to change the way you communicate it

Like any skill, anybody can learn to improve their communication skills. 

Keys to improving your communication skills

If communication is a problem in your business generally, it is probably worth taking a look first at how well you are communicating with your employees. 

They are a few things you can do to start improving your communication skills:

1. Make yourself available

Are you having enough face to face meetings with your team?

Sometimes business owners can get so busy and distracted that meetings get dropped or postponed.

You might think you don't have time for a meeting right now but a 30 minute meeting now could save you many hours of mistakes later.

On top of which, these regular forums are important for the morale and cohesiveness of your team so consider how to improve communication skills in your business by making yourself more available.

2. Listen

One of the biggest barriers to effective communication is that most people don't listen properly! While the other person is talking we are already thinking about what we're going to say next.

Giving your employees the time and really focusing on what they're saying, can make a significant difference to your communication.

Most importantly, when they're telling you about problems or they're complaining about something to do with your business, don't take it personally or look for excuses or someone to blame.

It's important that employees know that you will listen to hard truths otherwise they will avoid telling you things you really need to know about.

3. Keep things simple

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” George Bernard Shaw

Before you speak or write emails to your employees, get into the habit of thinking about what you want to say first and then just double checking that your message is being conveyed clearly. 

When people are busy or stressed communication tends to suffer. Instructions can become vague and important pieces of information get skipped. 

It's also important to notice how people respond to your communication.

If your team start to glaze over or look confused, then look for a way to get your message across better, rather than getting frustrated with them.

4. Ask questions

Making assumptions is probably one of the biggest problems that causes communication breakdowns inside teams.

Whether its assuming you know what people mean when they're talking or assuming people have said things, done things or understood what you asked for, without checking they can all inevitably lead to problems.

To be sure you're all on the same page, check and ask questions.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Would your staff describe you as a good communicator?
  • Do you spend more time talking or listening with other people? 
  • What goals do you need to set in terms of how to improve communication skills?

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