The Business Communication Process

Yes, there is a bestbusinesscommunity communication process in every business. More than likely it is a combination of formal and informal practices, procedures, and policies that have evolved over the life of the business.

The process may be characterized as cohesive and aligned, or, it may be characterized as full of contradictions and cross-purposes. Two extremes, but not unrealistic. In businesses which focus on developing and maintaining effective communications, constant effort and attention is given to the effort.

As a leader and a manager it is important to understand what the glue is that can hold your business communication efforts together. Most often that glue starts with a commonly shared perspective on the company purpose and mission, whether that purpose and mission is written or unwritten. Where the purpose and mission are unwritten it is an important first step to discuss with staff their understanding of the company’s purpose and mission.

There is a need to develop a commonly shared understanding and statement that is written down. Substantial literature exists on the methods and modes of communicating with others. For our purposes we will not reiterate the excellent research available.

Simply put, effective communication involves a message being sent, received, understood, and feedback on that understanding being provided from the receiver back to the sender. In this context it is important to understand each person’s perspective, his motivation, his professional standards, and even his personality in order to build and maintain effective communication.

In order to identify this perspective in your business, doesn’t it make sense to ask a series of questions to individuals at various levels of your business? What can you observe in communications and meetings between staff and customers and between superiors and subordinates? Can you look for verbal communication as well as non verbal communication?

Does it follow for you to look at body language, tonality, dress, and attentiveness in order to help you understand whether there is alignment in communications and whether there is a solid groundwork for true interpersonal communications to occur? Remember that effective communication occurs when words spoken by the sender are understood by the receiver and the meaning of those understood words are communicated from the receiver back to the sender.

These are basic communication standards that sometimes we forget in our business. Each person is the sum of all his parts. Each organization is the sum of all its employees and its customer’s parts. When a social set is created by having at least one person interacting with another, social standards begin to get established. The interaction becomes increasingly positive and productive the more effort is expended in understanding the perspective, the motivation, the standards and personalities of the other party to that social set.

As a CEO to several organizations I deliberately used a concept of “building on a firm foundation” and often in my talks with fellow staff, talked about how we were rebuilding the foundation of the business. That foundation was and still is people. No matter what business we are in, we are in the people business. In order for our business to experience maximum performance we need to maximize our efforts to understand each other’s perspectives, motivations, standards, and personalities.

There is however a more subtle reason for this being important. Asking or inquiring of another person his perspective, his motivation, his professional standards – in a way that is comfortable, unassuming, respectful and sincere shows respect for that other person. Showing respect and caring about another helps to create a strong interpersonal bond that, once created, is difficult to disassemble.

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