How to not lose the art of communication by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Technology has revolutionized the way we connect and, with more and more people working across different locations and time zones, effective communication is more vital than ever for business success. Companies need to ensure they are using the best tools in the most effective ways to maximize efficiency and maintain clear lines of connection across the business.

Emails, while used across the world of business, are all too easy to hide behind when trying to avoid the emotional discomfort of a real-time conversation. Recent research by PowWowNow found that two-thirds of Brits find it difficult to interpret tone or sentiment of an email and that messages sometimes get lost in translation via that medium.

With messages via email or other text-based tools being delivered without obvious tone, facial expressions and body language, it becomes easier to misinterpret meaning, leading to increased instances of frustration or disagreement. This can risk damaging business relationships or over-complicating situations that require a swift resolution.

Issues that are awkward, emotionally sensitive, complicated, time-sensitive, or collaborative, are often far better communicated through other methods that replicate a sense of reacting in real-time to the issues, or through ways that allow body language, facial expression or emotion to be conveyed. This is why, when a physical face-to-face meeting isn’t an option, communication is often more effectively carried out using video conferencing tools, where non-verbal aspects of a conversation can be more effectively conveyed.

Moreover, for remote or flexible workers, agencies, or clients that businesses don’t frequently meet with in person, web meetings are vital for improving and maintain team and customer relations. Using a webcam and adding video to meetings means face-to-face interaction can help to nurture business relationships and build new ones.

Web meeting tools are also key to ensuring those working away from the office feel fully connected to the rest of the team and up to date with processes and plans. As well as these, shared documents and calendars allow employees to collaborate away from the desk in productive ways; while messaging applications can ensure that everyone can stay in touch and up to date at all times.

Another issue with traditional forms of business communication is knowing whether people are fully engaged with what is being said. They could be giving something else their attention, putting the conversation on mute, or talking to someone else.  Methods for maintaining engagement and ensuring employees communicate efficiently and effectively include using additional web meeting tools to enhance the meeting. For example, chat features inbuilt into video conferencing tools can be used to discuss and react to points in real-time. Some web meeting providers even include bookmarking tools to highlight points of interest to revisit or follow up with after the meeting has finished.

Sentiment is also important during communication; tools that allow workers to react in real-time about particular points enable employees to replicate face-to-face communication through the imparting of emotion.

Meanwhile, keeping things visual through the use of video conferencing and screen sharing means workers can connect in a face-to-face setting as well as share and annotate documents and whiteboards; ensuring workers are kept engaged and can gain more hands-on involvement when required.

For extended meetings that require more in-depth work, including projects, interviews, training sessions or work that requires collaboration with colleagues, web meetings are far more useful than trying to negotiate via email or even over the phone. If an employee needs to collaborate with a colleague on a project, they will need audio, but visuals will also be important to ensure everyone understands what’s going on. Consequently, web meeting tools allowing screen, video or document sharing can assist employees with transferring information at speed and to stay engaged during longer meetings.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, communication is always crucial. Relying on messaging applications and email is not always enough to maintain efficient lines of communication with all team members and business associates. As such, business leaders need to carefully consider how new communication technologies can affect transfers of information, and how they can be implemented for best results going forward.

It is vital that companies on-board the right mix of communication tools and use them properly for the right reasons. Tools need to be viewed as being useful for achieving a desired outcome and integrated in the best possible way to attain these goals. By ensuring communication methods within a business are as successful, engaging and effective as possible, businesses can build better relationships with clients, customers and workers, and move forward successfully.

 

March 12, 2019 at 05:54AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasondownes1/2019/03/12/how-to-not-lose-the-art-of-communication/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
http://bit.ly/2CMy7Yu