Tuesday May 28th, 2013, 9:30 am
Business communications over the last 100 years have altered dramatically. Think about it. How easy is it for you, right now, to send an email, make a call, even have a live video conversation with somebody on the other side of the planet? Until recently, that would have been impossible! Over the last century we have gone from sending letters to emails, from no telephone to iPhones, invented the internet, and can now communicate with almost anyone, anywhere, at any time – thanks to communications technology.
Communications technologies have revolutionized the way we shop, live, talk, and even how we socialize. But aside from technology, how are these advancements changing communication skills themselves?
Good business communications skills should:
- Remove barriers to communication by making messages clear and concise.
- Allow pertinent information to be transmitted faster, and to the right people.
- Minimise barriers in status and hierarchy for effective, accessible communication (and more positive working spaces).
- Make communication seamless and encourage trust – minimising threat of competition through confusion.
- Address language barriers to facilitate understanding. This should spread out to cultural understanding – when we better understand people of other cultures, trust and relationships are improved, leading to better business partnerships and advancement in the global market.
And over the last 100 years, communications technology has encouraged business communications skills to much better achieve these goals. Improving interaction and professional success, as a result, skilled communicators are now:
- Faster. Increasing productivity and revenue, the telephone, video, email, social media etc have made us quicker, more concise (a tweet is just 140 characters), and allows better targeted, direct communication.
- Multilingual. Whether through translators or just the ability to communicate with a worldwide audience, business horizons have expanded, meaning professional relationships and international communication is more simple.
- Less forgetful. From calendar reminders to digital to-do’s and contact lists, you can track work and never lose contacts, making you look more professional and trusted.
- Constantly available. Related to speed, the ‘mobile office’ means accessibility is now 24/7, altering communication skills no end – we need to be communicative wherever and whenever necessary.
- More accessible and adaptable. Because we have so many options now, we communicate more with people at all levels, leading to increased trust and action. The skill now, lies in adapting to so many devices!
Alastair is a freelance writer and has provided this article on behalf of Communicaid a culture and business communications consultancy.