Communication is one of the most important competences, which make people different from animals. Taking for granted this skill, some people do not clearly understand how communication affects their lives. During the everyday activities in the society, it is hardly possible to imagine a person, who does not speak to anyone. Modern life is full of business relationships, which are based on communication. The ability to conduct successful negotiations and to run an efficient business mostly depends on the person's ability to communicate. Communication is not merely the ability to speak; it is rooted in the capacity to use language to generate personal thoughts into meaningful sequence of sentences linked to each other by the same idea. Communication skills are crucial for business graduates because the ability to learn these skills and the capability to use them guarantee running a successful business in the future.
Types of General Communication Skills
There are several types of general communication skills people should know in order to be able to lead successful discussions in everyday life. Verbal, written, and non-verbal are the main types of general communications (McFarlin n.d.). Verbal communication skills are important for all people, as the ability to express personal thoughts and ideas in a spoken manner is a competency, which must be obtained by everyone. We live in the social communities where people have to interact in order to lead successful lives. Written communication skills are also crucial for people. Modern information technologies such as mobile phones, the Internet, etc., allow communicating immediately not only via voice, but using written text. Modern youth cannot imagine life without texting, and much information is shared through emails. As for non-verbal communication, people are not robots, they are emotional living beings. While speaking with each other, people usually express some emotions, employ specific gestures, mimics, body language, etc. Using communication skills in everyday life affects human socialization and interaction (McLeod & Shah 2009). Those people who use communication competences effectively are sure to have many friends, build successful social relationships and get a lot of advantages in the working place.
Types of Business Communication Skills
Business communication skills differ from everyday communication abilities. This is due to the fact that during the dialogue with business partners, one should understand that he/she deals with professionals in their area. According to the research conducted by Conrad and Newberry (2012), business communication requires people to articulate a good command of English language, allow no mistakes, use strong and convincing gestures, and express motivation and encouragement. In addition, business communication includes other competences which guarantee successful conduction of negotiations. Even though rules for communication in the working place are a priority for many companies, Sow (2006) stresses on the necessity to reduce some regulations in case they bring inconvenience to employees. Communication at the working place requires from the employees the implementation of the leadership skills, persuasion, active listening, and similar skills. Working in a team people should assure that they speak for a team and from the voice of a team. It differentiates business types of communication from general ones (Kinnick & Parton 2005). Most of communication in the modern world occurs at the international arena. The professional interpreter is a must in these cases. However, in the case when people deal with different cultures, the knowledge should be present about the culture of a person one interacts with. People should always remember about iceberg analogy when doing business with people from other countries. Cultural competency is added to the common communication competences in the business type of communication (Batts, Breslin, & Winter 2012).
Examples of How Communication Skills Can Be Used in Business Environment
There are a lot of different examples on how professional communication skills can assist in the business environment. Figure 1 depicts personal benefits people have from better communication skills in their business careers. Thus, improved communication competencies in business guarantee more confidence in social situations, improved understanding of any written and oral information, skilful presentations for quality consumption of information, better reports which assure work benefits, a wider circle of business partners and more business ties, stronger argumentation, and better persuasion skills which allow getting more from the boss and business partners (Gallagher 2013).
Communication involves at least two people, therefore, it is important to be able to speak and listen. Ferguson Publishing (2009) stresses on the ability to listen, it is important in business. By listening to the customer attentively, a sales manager may guarantee that he/she is going to receive an order on time and of a discussed quality. Listening skills help save time on clarifying the details, omit conflicts and assure a successful outcome of the negotiations. Those who can successfully use listening skills in business always win more (Anonymous 2013a). Persuasion is another communication skill, which guarantees an effective outcome of negotiations. To be persuasive means to be able to present personal thoughts and to assure that a listener cannot argue with the ideas. Expressing thoughts and ideas in an efficient manner means that one can successfully operate knowledge and can use definite information in a particular situation. Emotions and strong voice are important in this case (Barker 2013). Communication skills people use in the business environment are usually related to interaction with other people. Business is mainly based on the ability to persuade others in ones' correctness and to motivate them do what one wants.
Recommendations to the Undergraduate Students of WBS
Undergraduate students are ready to start their new life in the world of business. However, the gap between graduates and those who have already practiced in business communication remains large. Students should have enough information to assist them in acquiring and developing different business communication skills during their studying of different modules of their course. It is obvious that they should get all they can from the curriculum. When studying business management, undergraduate students have to analyse the business practices for dealing with finance and financial services. The course teaches how to work with numbers and how to operate them in the necessary direction. Financial information should be used for enlarging the scope of knowledge related to finance. Communication skills require operation of much information. Organisational behaviour teaches people to become leaders in many areas, and students should get to know the principles of leadership communication. Learning French may help in cooperation with foreign partners. Even though a person may not know French perfectly, a couple of words in a partner"s native language may win him/her over. The principles of marketing subject teaches how to negotiate information and products at the market. When attending the classes on professional competences and business context, undergraduate students should note all the aspects discussed in the classroom, as these are the classes with the basic knowledge about skills and competences a business person should possess.
Furthermore, undergraduates should clearly understand what organisational communication skills, leadership communication skills, and interpersonal communication skills mean. Developing organisational communication skills means that a person is able to organise the working processes, and assure the collaboration between different people. Leadership communication skills involve vision and values of the organisation and its successful incorporation by the company"s employees. Interpersonal communication skills guarantee the ability to share information with several people simultaneously with the reference to previous capabilities and knowledge (Newberry & Conrad 2010).
In order to be a successful undergraduate, students need to practice. It is impossible to be a professional in any field until one does not start having practical trainings. Modern world of business professionals requires knowledge not only in commonly accepted communication competencies, but also in those brought by the information technologies, namely blogging in an online journal, participating in webinars, holding interactive online trainings, using social media for communication and commerce, etc. (Anonymous 2013b). If speaking to others in the frames of business relations, people have to remember about the importance and the effectiveness of informing co-workers, motivating them, and leading every time a business man speaks (Friedman 2011).
In conclusion, business communication competencies are closely interconnected with the general communication skills people use every day. However, speaking of the business communication one should remember that in the business environment people have to speak to others not for pleasure only, but with the desire to get particular advantages. Using organisational, leadership and interpersonal communication competencies people are sure to become successful in business. Undergraduate students have much knowledge and fresh ideas, which are very useful in business; however they are unable to apply their knowledge into practice in a proper way. Each of the subjects in the course of studies is aimed at teaching students communicate their ideas, share them and incorporate in one of the possible forms, verbal, written, and non-verbal one. Business communication skills, if appropriately applied, help students achieve great heights in their future business. Most of the theoretical knowledge received in college should be successfully implemented into practice.
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