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What's the right method for these 5 situations? Improve your business communication strategy

Posted by: Schepisi - Friday, July 10, 2015

We lived in a technologically connected world. It’s truly incredible: we can communicate better and faster than ever before, and we’re adapting to all the new ways in which we talk with people both in and outside the office walls.

business communication strategy improvements and solutions from Telstra business partner Schepisi

There’s a time and a place, though, so we’ve picked five of the most common situations and listed the effective communication methods you should use in order to successfully and efficiently get a message across. 


Anger

A work-related argument or disagreement is never pleasant, but there’s definitely a wrong and right way to go about it.

No matter how tempting is appears, or how riled up you are, yelling and refusing to listen to the other side of the story is not going to solve your problem. Further, it’s simply going to waste both parties’ time, too. Effective business communication when you’re angry should follow two simple rules:

Avoid email

For personal matters, say with a friend or spouse, you might frequently use email or text. But at work, it’s a different story.

Don’t argue through email.

Meaning will get lost in long threads of discussion, and if you’re angry, you’ll end up writing a self-righteous email that puts down the other person (or people) to get your point across. And what good will that achieve?

Worst of all, if you’ve attached co-workers in the email, they’ll follow the entire argument, too! Doing it in person will make your conversation less of an attack and more of a discussion that requires a solution.

Think of it this way: if you’re not prepared to say something to a person’s face, what does it convey when you’re hiding behind a computer or phone?

Keep it private

Arguments or disagreements should be rationally handled in person, privately, without the wandering ear of co-workers. Don’t store up reprimands; address them immediately after such behaviour or incident has occurred. There’s no “good” time to reprimand someone, but doing it publically is a technique used by bullies. Never, especially, reprimand in front of a customer!

Questions

Well, this really depends on the magnitude of the question. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • If a mass email has been sent out and you require further clarification, think about the rest of the group: will the answer be beneficial to them, too? Then leave them CC’d in and help tie up any unanswered queries.

  • If it’s a question that can be only answered by one person – but such an answer will help others, too – BCC others into the thread.

  • They’ll see that they’re attached for a reason (to read the answer) but they needn’t reply (because they’re BCC’d into the conversation).

  • If it’s a question specifically about your role, communicate directly with whoever send the initial email.

  • If a conversation thread becomes unmanageably confusing – stop! Ask in person, or if the matter is more complex, schedule in a meeting to iron out any confusion.


Proposals

Try to meet in person

In person is the best way to propose an offer, solution, or strategy to a client (or even internally). This way, you can meet the client, face-to-face, and read any body language cues.

Or, choose video conferencing

The next best thing is via video conference. Virtually meet a client, see their face, and read their body language to create a deeper and more meaningful relationship than one created through an awkward crackly call on a free service (which is not good enough).

Meetings

The greatest thing about today’s technological world is that there are so many ways meetings can be conducted.

Think about all the different meeting types businesses all over the world conduct on a day-to-day basis: there are weekly team meetings, remote worker meetings, intra-office meetings, presentations, workshops, and job interviews (to name just a few!)

Further to all these meeting types, there are also a number of solutions businesses use to execute effective and successful business communication. Our favourites are:

Landline business phone systems

These are great for one-on-one meetings or smaller scale conference calls. Simple set up, easy transfers, and crystal clear quality means everyone gets their word in, and you can introduce and remove participants as needed.

Run through next week’s presentation or finalise the guest list for next month’s event via a conference call.

Explore our business phone systems here:

► Mitel phone systems

► AASTRA (Ericsson) phone systems

► LG Nortel phone systems


Mobile devices

When you’re on the go, you still need to communicate. So whether it’s a scheduled call early in the morning or you’re out and about between meetings, smartphones take care of the personal and business side of things.

Video conferencing hardware or software

Depending on your budget and specific IT needs, video conferencing hardware or software could be the solution that fills the void in your business’s overall communication network. Your robust IT team manages hardware on-site, while video conferencing software delivers the solution through a secure cloud.

In a video conference, a number of end-points can be set up to connect employees to a client, his copywriter, the project manager, the accountant, and the freelancer.

Learn more about the benefits of Lifesize Video Conferencing for your business.

Keen to try it out? Great! You can sign up for a free two-week trial and access all Lifesize Cloud features immediately.

Feedback and follow-ups

Asking for feedback sometimes feels a little daunting. Asking to give feedback normally achieves the same sentiment. But what about when you really require valuable input and opinion from an individual about an event or a product?

Surveys are a great way to get feedback (especially if participants want to remain anonymous!)

Have you just held an event, launched a product, or tried out a new meeting venue? Ask for feedback from those involved and see where you’ve soared, and where people think you could further improve. Not everyone is going to be willing to contribute, but there’s no harm in asking!

SurveyMonkey and Zoho are great tools where you can make online surveys and questionnaires, and email them straight to participants. Keep surveys succinct and as simple as possible to complete.

Internally, you might like to schedule a 30-minute meeting, where employees can share their own personal experience and opinion of an event and you can gather true feedback from those who you work with.