Why should a company provide effective communication training to staff? The reason is ineffective communication can be a business’s biggest downfall. It affects productivity, creativity, workplace relationships, and customer satisfaction. At least half of a person’s work day is spent communicating with colleagues, clients or customers for a variety of reasons. Communication comes in various forms; face to face, on the phone, or in writing. The key is to ensure all messages are clearly delivered. When a verbal, non-verbal or written communication is misunderstood or misinterpreted, it can impact the company’s bottom line.
It has been said that poor communication within an organization can become the organization’s biggest problem. Lee Iacocca said, “We can have brilliant ideas, but if we can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” Sending a clear message is more than just deciding ‘what you’re going to say.’ The words are a small but important part of any message. Did the listener understand what you said? Did the speaker use company jargon?
Gestures, posture and facial expressions also cause messages to be misunderstood. Over half of what is said is sent non-verbally. If there is a mismatch between verbal and non-verbal communication, the listener may receive an unintended message. When an employee is asked to ‘please sit down’ as he/she enters the boss’s office, the words are wrapped around tone, volume, and non-verbal communication. The message can be positive, when paired with a smile and positive hand gestures or negative based on tone, volume, and gestures. Non-verbal communication often sets the tone of any meeting long before a word is uttered.
It takes only 3 seconds to make a first impression. The key is to make it a great lasting first impression. Your client, customer or patient’s first impression begins with their first phone call or in-person contact with your business. Were they greeted with sincerity and warmth? Was the person answering the phone or greeting them smiling? Was the person multi-tasking? Eye contact, a smile, and a handshake go a long way in sending a warm, welcoming greeting. As a company, you don’t want to lose a potential customer, client or patient because their first 3-second connection with your company wasn’t welcoming.
All employees should understand the importance of being an effective communicator. Since communication is a two-way process, listening and speaking are equally important parts of that process. Being an effective listener is as important as being an effective speaker. How many times have you heard someone say; “You weren’t listening to what I said.” Or “I told you that 2 weeks ago!” Poor listening can damage professional relationships.
People who understand the power of effective communication are more likely to have meaningful conversations. Those conversations can be the springboard to a company’s growth and expansion. Deep discussions are often the catalyst for new ideas and products and may lead to the development of effective and efficient policies and procedures. Advancing and honing a staff’s communication skills and strategies is another tool in building a successful business.