Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Effective Communication Skills in the Business World

Communication is the key that unlocks the potential of all people undertaking businesses. Two can never walk together unless they agree. Communication is the sure way of keeping in touch in the business world.

At the work place, bosses can give instruction to their juniors even when they are out of the office. But it is important to know how to clearly communicate to your juniors to ensure duties are performed effectively.

Lack of clear protocol at times leads to mismanagement. Sometime junior staffs fail to understand their tasks due to lack of clear guidelines of how to perform their duties. Big companies have a way of assembling their workers to brief them over daily or weekly duties to be undertaken. Failures to offer good leadership through communication, businesses tend to bend on either side of making profits or losing. All this can be blamed to lack of clear communication skills.

Some juniors especially, lack motivation to perform their duties because of being mishandled by their equal colleagues as they take up their respective responsibilities.

Business people should make every effort to embrace sound communication skills in their business. For example, advertise your products or services through affordable means like using small brochures, radios and banners. Talk constantly about the products you are offering, keep advertising over and over again until when people think of any product close to what you are offering, they will run to you. Efficient marketing strategy calls for an entrepreneur to relay relevant information clearly to the target audience.

All in all, communicating to your staffs, suppliers and customers will ensure a smooth flow of business operations. Successful businesses worldwide have embraced effective communication skills that have ensured that they stay afloat in the current competitive market.

Developing International Management Skills

Some years ago I was working on a project for my company on how to develop international managers and I thought I would start by asking companies who had been doing it for years.

I went to Paris to meet with the French HR Director of a multinational oil exploration company and asked him what was the “secret” of building a truly international management group?

He told me “No secret, there are just 2 simple steps.

First – you recruit people around the world in proportion to your business, if 10% of your business is in Nigeria, 10% of your managers should be Nigerian .

Second – You mix them up. If they never leave their homes they never become international managers, send them on visits, expatriate assignments, put them in international teams and projects so they mix with their colleagues and learn.”

”What next” I asked

”Nothing” he replied “If you do these 2 things, in no more than 50 years you will have an international management group.”

It as still one of the best answers I ever got to my question – though my boss was not happy when I told him it could take 50 years!

His basic message was a good one – recruit for diversity to match your environment and build experience and common ways of working to get things done.

It takes time to develop a truly global mindset and management capability and, for companies relatively new to working internationally it can be a whole management generation before people with this capability work their way through to the top of the organization in sufficient numbers to really make a difference.

I think we can accelerate the process with the right international management training and exposure to international experiences – but a lot of management training continues to carry a very mono-cultural view of the world (usually Anglo-Saxon management theories.

What is different about international management – we talk about DCCT – distance, cultures, timezones and technology

National cultural differences are often the first thing that people notice but rarely the toughest one to solve, with the right mindset we can learn to enjoy and manage cultural differences quite quickly.

Distance is a bigger barrier – people are much more comfortable with face-to-face contact and the lack of this can have major consequences for trust and management styles

Timezones are a fact – there is no right time for a global conference call, we just have to be aware and adapt our practices to recognize this.

Technology is both an enabler and a barrier; it makes international management possible but can often get in the way of communication and effectiveness (think of all those unnecessary emails and conference calls).

An additional barrier is the sheer business complexity of large multi-site organizations – the subject of my book Speed Lead – faster, simper ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies

When we talk to managers about developing these skills they are often skeptical about the investment of time in training. When we ask them how they learned to work internationally they often tell long stories of the mistakes they made and the time it took to recover and put things right.

Our question is always – can you afford the time and cost of letting everyone in your organization learn by expensive trial and error?