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How To Communicate Effectively In Business Management
The Basics Of Effective Business Management Communication
In business management, as in life in general, verbal and written communication is both necessary and unavoidable. Regardless of your position or title, in business, if you are either currently responsible for managing others or aspire to managing others, you will be communicating to and expecting some kind of action or response from the people you manage. No matter how many people you manage, how long you've been a manager or your expectations for your career as a manager, one thing is certain, if you don't adopt and then follow specific communication guidelines your career in management will not be successful. After being a professional business manager of varying size groups throughout my career, the most important thing I've learned was that in business it's not who you know, but how you communicate to who you know that matters.
WHAT COMES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH
The first rule of effective business management communication is to realize everything you say and every place you say it matters. As a manager, even the most innocent of comments made at a casual lunch, a social business gathering or on the way to a meeting, can and will be remembered and either used for or against you. As a manager you represent the company and even when you make what seems to be an innocent remark that has nothing to do with how the over-all company feels, your words will be construed by others as the "company's official position". Also, remember effective business management communication takes into account that everyone, either consciously or unconsciously, is trying to get ahead and looking for any way to get your job. And that even your most trusted business associates may not intentionally be trying to derail you, but if they they get the opportunity to make themselves look good at your expense they will most certainly take advantage of it. So, as paranoid as it sounds, always be aware of what you say and to whom and manage your words carefully and think before you speak. Also, remember that as a manager and not an average employee, your words are heard and remembered and that in business there is no such thing as "off the record". As most politicians know, whether it's on the phone or in the john, what you say can and will be used for or against you, it's just a matter of opportunity.
WHAT GETS WRITTEN DOWN
In today's business environment, besides verbal communication, there is one other critical way management communication is carried out, in writing. While emailing can be an effective and quick way of getting information out, it can also be a effective and quick way of derailing your career. Many people in business rely heavily on emailing to communicate. After all, emails give them the chance to say things quickly to a lot of people without having to take the time to say things personally. But unlike face to face communication that may be forgotten, emailing is a written document that can and will be saved and reviewed. Managers seem to forget that business emailing belongs to the company and that once it's written, it's has a record that can be retrieved and maintained even though you've deleted it. The most important rule of written management communication is to only put in writing what it necessary and appropriate for others to read. Emails should be used just for limited, to the point sharing of information that for whatever reason either needs to have a record, has to be shared with a lot of people at one time or can't be delivered face to face. Don't get in the habit of substituting the impersonal, indirect and oftentimes cowardly email method for the real, personal and direct style of face to face communication.
Like many things in life, effective business management communication is a skill that takes time to perfect, but once acquired and then diligently practiced can have a profoundly positive affect on your career. So, as stated earlier, always remember "it's not who you know, but how you communicate to who you know" that matters most in life and in business.