Communicating in the Business Arena
Clear communication in business is an essential part of being courteous to others, whether you're conversing in person, talking on the phone, writing a letter, or chatting on the Internet. What you say reflects who you are, so you want your words to build others up rather than tear them down in any way.
Polishing your introductions
In the business world, you meet new people all the time, for many reasons and in many situations. Being able to introduce others makes everyone feel comfortable and is one of the most useful skills you can acquire in business. The ability to remember names, shake hands properly, and graciously accept and receive a business card demonstrates that you're at ease and in control, which sets others at ease too.
Knowing how to make a graceful introduction not only allows you to concentrate on making a good impression, but also gives you the confidence and power to nurture relationships from the get-go.
Mastering the art of conversation, in person and on the phone
So many people work in front of a computer screen all day that they tend to forget the usual social graces of conversing. A conversation occurs when two or more people discuss a topic, exchange ideas, share information, and give one another an opportunity to contribute. Having a conversation is the best way to find out what other people like, think, and need.
Every time you make or receive a telephone call at work, you're representing your company. Many times, the first contact a person has with a company is over the phone, so the impression you make on the phone may be a lasting one. Therefore, you want to sound professional.
Take the opportunity to reinforce your business contacts and improve your work relationships by exercising your best manners when conversing in person and using the phone.
Understanding business writing, online and off
Just like a handshake or good phone skills, business correspondence can tell people a lot about you. Anything that you mail out is a reflection on your company, so make sure that you correspond professionally. Selecting appropriate stationery, crafting a business letter correctly, and remembering to send thank-you notes not only makes you look good, but also shows that you care about the impression you make for your company.
Communicating by e-mail is no different from writing on company letterhead. A business communication is business, period. A certain degree of formality is required. Just because e-mail tends to be more immediate and personable doesn't mean that it needs to get personal. Just thinking about how the other person is likely to receive your communication can go a long way toward preventing misunderstandings and offenses. A simple test is to ask yourself, "How would I feel in these circumstances if I received this message?"