Communication is an essential soft skill that allows you to excel in any aspect of business. Good communication skills make all the difference when interacting with coworkers, business partners, and customers. You can leverage the power of communication as a key soft and social skill to improve business communication.
To do that, you will need to work on these five social skills that align with your needs to become a better business communicator. So with that said, let’s start.
Work On Becoming a Better Listener
Listening is an essential component of everyday communication. When interacting with business partners, it takes two parties to hold a conversation. Therefore, one might confuse listening with being quiet. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a good listener means knowing when to be quiet and verbally observing what the other person is saying.
The notion that you’re only supposed to keep quiet and doze off will only work against you.
After all, you don’t want the other person to think they’re boring you. One massive advantage of being a good listener is the ability to solve problems. Some experts even suggest that being a good listener will help you uncover new opportunities.
But how so? Well, it all comes down to this: Being a good listener will help you understand what people want. As such, being a good listener will improve all aspects of business communication, as it will enhance your popularity.
Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence
It’s no secret that the best business books on communication emphasize emotional intelligence as a key social skill to improve business communication.
Emotional intelligence is a social skill that allows you to be in tune with others’ emotions. In the business world, you’ll come across plenty of interactions where the other person isn’t “feeling it.” Everybody has bad days at work and issues at home that make it apparent they are negatively affected in one way or another.
Emotional intelligence skills will help you uncover that there is, in fact, something wrong. Although you will need to dive deeper into the conversation to find out the source of the problem, just know that emotional intelligence is an essential social skill to improve business communication.
But how do you improve it? Well, it’s quite simple. To improve EQ (emotional intelligence), you must learn how to become an observer, whether observing yourself or the other person. For example, you observe how coworkers or business partners react during the day and examine their reactions to a stressful situation.
But don’t forget to self-evaluate yourself and how you react in these situations. As one of the most important social skills to master for business communication, high emotional intelligence is the foundation for tolerance and acceptance – two mandatory aspects of behavior in the modern business world.
Practice Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is one of the most underrated social skills for business communication. Why? Because non-verbal communication makes up a large portion of day-to-day communication – you just don’t know it yet.
Non-verbal communication makes up every action and behavior of communication that doesn’t transfer information flow verbally. The most common forms of non-verbal communication include facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and posture. Some communication experts even add voice quality in this category, as not every vocal queue is considered verbal communication.
The way to practice non-verbal communication is simple. First, you must observe your actions and behavior when in a non-verbal stance during a communication. For example, pay attention to eye movement; are you making enough eye contact? Secondly, be aware of yourself and those around you when holding a conversation. Experts suggest keeping a distance between 18 inches and 4 feet to hold a professional conversation.
Finally, make sure to constantly smile, as everyone in the business world loves to be a part of a warm and comfortable atmosphere with plenty of friendly faces.
Non-verbal communication is an essential social skill to improve business communication. Not only is it very common, but mastering it will provide a new dimension to your communication with business partners, coworkers, and customers.
Learn the art of Public Speaking
Public speaking is an essential social and business communication skill that everyone must master at some point. If you’re ambitious and serious about taking your career to the next level, public speaking will help you convey your ideas clearly and concisely.
However, public speaking is one of the most anxiety-inducing things we could experience. The sad truth is that not everyone is born a natural public speaker. As said by Warren Buffet himself, public speaking has a strong entry barrier. But being a master in the art will increase your professional standing tenfold.
Although many consider public speaking an art, you don’t have to take it to a new level. All you need to do is learn to speak in front of a small crowd. Then, work your way up by speaking to a much bigger crowd.
If your professional career takes you to a point where you’ll be speaking in front of a TED Talk-style audience numbers, you know you’ve made it.
As such, public speaking is not only a social skill to master to improve business communication but a vital skill that can take you to the very top of the pyramid.
Don’t Forget Written Communication
In the modern business world, many professional conversations are held through electronic mediums such as email, social media, etc. As such, we cannot forget the importance of written communication.
Written communication benefits you in your business and personal lives. Therefore, knowing how to write an email is a crucial business skill everyone must know. Furthermore, written communication is essential for professional and business communication. So don’t forget about it.
That concludes the five social skills to master to improve your business communication. Business communication helps you communicate more effectively with coworkers, partners, and clients. It helps you convey your ideas more clearly and concisely. In addition, business communication is vital for problem-solving and taking your career to the next level.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.