New Ways of Business Communication
Communication is one of the most important parts of running and growing a business. Given that we live in an age that’s rich in information, the tools to expedite interaction and collaboration are more advanced than ever. Here are some of the most cutting edge and contemporary modes of communication for businesses that are taking center stage in 2015.
Live Content Sharing
Forbes recommends file sharing programs as one of the most essential communication tools for businesses, citing the necessity of efficiently sharing projects and information. However, you can go one step better than that by using Blue Jeans for video conferencing. BlueJeans.com allows collaborators to not only communicate via video, but to also share content mid-conversation. This might include everything from particular websites to infographic presentations. While ten years ago you would’ve had to rely on a PowerPoint slide show in a stuffy, dark conference room, today sharing visual content is as simple as joining a video conference meeting and pulling up the relevant material. Real time communication is the next big thing when it comes to cutting edge collaborative tools.
Direct Communication With Employees
You should always be aware of how information is distributed in your business, and this is achieved by putting methods of communication into place and establishing consistent company values and policies. However, Business News Daily points out that one of the most common failures in business communication is when external circumstances dramatically impact your company, and then there’s no explanation. Their solution is that you need to address the event swiftly and communicate with your employees in order to stay on the same page. This is how panic is avoided while allowing you to retain control over company culture. For example, during the 2008 economic recession, any business in the financial industry that didn’t address the situation directly and communicate frankly with employees probably faltered. People are inclined to panic if they think their jobs are in danger, or they don’t understand what’s going on. Old school communication models were all about keeping the boss informed and subordinates on a need to know only basis. Today, however, with information becoming more freely available, maintaining transparency and actively communicating with your employees is what will get things done.
Body Language, Not Text
One reason that video conferencing is so effective and increasingly popular is that it allows people to communicate on multiple levels. According to Fast Company, expert interviewers who shared their recommended methods to elicit the most efficient communication noted the efficacy of matching your partner’s energy levels, mood, and body language. This can also be applied to business communication. While you’re not necessarily interviewing a colleague or a client via video conference, the same principles certainly apply. In order to convey an effective and positive presence, try some of the following basics during a video conference meeting:
- -Sit up straight to exude confidence.
- -Maintain eye contact with the person who’s speaking.
- -Dress in appropriate, professional attire to convey respect.
- -Keep your attention focused on the meeting at all times.
By adhering to these basic points, you’ll elicit the most effective response out of the person with whom you’re conversing. This is how the best communication is accomplished, and in turn, how business is conducted at a high standard.
The Short Meeting
The art of the fifteen minute meeting is catching fire as quickly as the meeting itself. In today’s business and social world, everything happens swiftly. Approaching meetings the same way, whether by video conference or in person, is a new way that business communication is taking place. The idea is that by limiting interactions to a narrow window of time, you’re able to eliminate superfluous chit-chat and aimless conversations, increasing the concentration of meeting participants.
Accommodating busy schedules of employees who are often doing the work of two, or even three people also shows appreciation and sensitivity toward the fact that their time is limited. You don’t necessarily need an hour just to go over an annual report or cover something in a live meeting that could just as easily be addressed in an email. Keeping it short, sweet and simple is one of the most effective ways of fostering effective and fruitful conversations in your business. It also highlights the idea of information rich conversations and content sharing. Every second should be filled with a meaningful exchange that will be beneficial to everyone as they approach projects efficiently and creatively. This is also a great philosophy to employ with clients, since one of the most common gaffes businesses make is to get sidetracked when a client is unclear in their requests. Keep it short and on point.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the viability of your business is to consistently be open to re-evaluating the way that you communicate. Whether it’s meetings with colleagues, interactions with clients, or interactive brainstorm collaborations amongst your staff, being open minded about new tools that improve channels of communication will benefit your business greatly in the long run.