In order for a small business to flourish, it is imperative to be a an effective business communicator because employees and customers respect what is done as much as what is said, simple explanations are clearer, and using both ears and eyes for listening makes for better understanding. Other professionals believe an effective communicator sticks to what has worked in the past. This academic expedition discusses both sides of the issue.
Actions Speak as Loudly as Words
At the heart of gaining, the respect of both employees and customers is honesty. The best way to exhibit honesty that sets a good reputation as an honest business and business owner is following through doing. Dalla Costa (1998) puts this in perspective, "Ethics are not an antidote to ambiguity; they are an aptitude that, with practice and conscientiousness, develops the individual's confidence and flexibility for creatively dealing with uncertainty" (p. 113).
Forming a Company Culture of Honesty
According to Heath (1994),"Management defines corporate culture by what it says and does". Making sure what is said and done is not misinterpreted means having a company culture of being transparent to both employees and the customers. In other words, management voicing how they expect quality from either the goods or services they "sell" then it has to happen so that no one interprets "quality is a slogan, not a commitment." The management "voice" should always have the actions that support what is said (p.126).
Adapting Company Culture to the Times
Part of the transparency of a culture is how the company fits into society. This means how to present services and products that fit in with social concerns such as sustainability and recycling. Taking a stand as a company as a proponent of these ideas and following through with sustainable and recycling shows employees and customers how words and actions are honest (Kneen, 2006, p. 446). In addition, "Just as the mastery of quality brought with it the wider skills of employee motivation and customer satisfaction, so the genuine commitment to ethics has the potential to revitalize the entire managerial skill-set" (Dalla Costa, 1998, p. 113)
Keeping Dialogue Clear
Effective communicators use clear language with both employees and customers. This does not mean throwing grammar out but rather, taking complex ideas and simplifying them. Keeping verbal as well as written instruction of important ideas in business is another hallmark of a good business communicator incorporating the type of language used and the method for delivering the information.
Successful businesses learn the important role language plays. An important thing in language is to stay away from assuming communication takes place just because words are expressed or exchanged. Czerniawska (1997) explains, "If it makes people think about the words they use in their business lives, and the words they hear others using, it (language) will have succeeded " The challenge remains not to become accustomed to dialogue that makes assumptions about communicating clearly (p. 14).
Listening with the Eyes
Observing body language of the people involved in a conversation tells much of the manner a person reacts to what is said. Body language is another tool of the communicator as well as an indicator if what is communicated is understood. Some of the best listeners with their eyes are teachers. In business, taking a cue from teaching methods applied to listening skills is a smart move. Language of a laugh, sullen face, or a look of puzzlement all speak volumes. Listening with the eyes helps read others involved in the conversation. (Queen & Adams, 1995)
Good Listening Skills
Effective communicators listen. They develop good listening skills. According to Queen and Adams (1995), there are a number of ways to express and use good listening skills. Engaging and facing people, sitting or standing near them, and having an alert body posture shows engaging behavior as an effective communicator. Showing a relaxed demeanor, making and maintaining eye contact, and leaning toward the person or group all contribute to good listening skills as a communicator in any endeavor but remains essential in business (p. 13).
The Old School Way of Doing Things
Numerous businesses continue existing with communicator abilities the same as they always have been applied. The belief that what has always worked continues working for the good of the company using established scripts for communicating. ""Competent communicators have the procedural knowledge to construct and act out these scripts within different social situations, and must have the perceptive ability to 'read' social situations'" (Payne, 2005, p. 63).
Communicators sticking to a standard method of this field of business look at the interpersonal competency prototype as their direction. The prototype for business communicators means education, experience, and observing. With these, the communicator needs nothing more for understanding "the organizational standards for communication" (Payne, 2005, pg. 63).
Lesson learnt in coming up with a position paper about effective business communicator
- One is able to evaluate the effect of the way to approach issues within the organization.
- It enables the organization to help and eliminate any element of misunderstanding that may be caused by miscommunication.
- It helps one to identify his or her boundary as far as the communication is concerned and this also enables them to ensure a good hierarchy of communication channel is followed, right from the manger to the lowest employee in the company.
As expressed in the introduction in order for a small business to flourish, according to my own feelings, it is with great importance that one becomes a proficient and an effective business communicator in the business environment since it has a positive impact on the operation of the business in general. The way the employees relate with the manager, and also with the fellow colleagues will only be determined with the effective communication within the organization. It is my understanding that many organizations have failed to achieved their desired goals due to poor means of communication which later brings constant wrangles within the organization and finally the collapse of such companies are witnessed. The effective application of the established company culture of honesty and keeping with socially conscious trends as a business communicator contributes to the company success. Keeping information clear means using understandable dialogue and presenting the information in a no-nonsense manner. Finally, an effective business communicator must listen with both the eyes and the ears. This takes practice and commitment to continually honing these effective tools of a communicator. While tried and trued ways that work has their pluses and using prototypes for directing business communicator activities, it is the ability to remain flexible while keeping focuses on continually bettering the essential attributes discussed in this paper that makes the best business communicator.
Czerniawska, F. (1997). Corporate-Speak: The Use of Language in Business. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan.
Dalla Costa, J. (1998). The Ethical Imperative: Why Moral Leadership Is Good Business. Reading, MA: Perseus Publishing.
Heath, R. L. (1994). Management of Corporate Communication: From Interpersonal Contacts to External Affairs. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kneen, B. (2006). Chapter Forty: The Invisible Giant Cargill and Its Transnational Strategies. In N. Haenn & R. R. Wilk (Eds.), The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living (pp. 443-448). New York: New York University Press.
Payne, H. J. (2005). Reconceptualizing Social Skills in Organizations: Exploring the Relationship between Communication Competence, Job Performance, and Supervisory Roles. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11(2), 63
Queen, J., & Adams, D. (1995, January). How to Talk So Students Will Listen and Listen So Students Will Talk. Vocational Education Journal, 70(1), 13
Turk, C. (1985). Effective Speaking: Communicating in Speech. London: E & FN Spon.