Believe it or not, the success or failure of one’s corporate life is mostly determined by a person’s ability to communicate. You will be surprised to learn how much your conversing style, attitude, or the words you use, affect your corporate life.
There are some basic rules for communicating in the corporate world, which if followed, at least you will never have to worry about communication. Following these rules will always help you to stay one step ahead of others. The rules are:
1. Find out the Proper Channel for Effective Communication
The key objective of effective communication is to ensure that both parties in the conversation clearly understand what the other is trying to communicate. Communication of any sort – corporate or not, requires a definite medium.
In different corporate or business settings, the medium of communication is considered different. In some places, email is considered as the best medium, whereas other places might consider a WhatsApp group to be the best place to communicate.
So, to get your idea across and communicate effectively about anything, you need to first find out which medium is used at your workplace for communication. Remember, the medium can be anything ranging from formal emails to dawats at your colleague’s places.
And of course, don’t forget to enhance your basic communication skills like active listening, public speaking, written communication, non-verbal communication, and other important elements of communication if you want to have effective conversations at your workplace.
Lastly, avoid resorting to communicating on informal mediums like messenger or WhatsApp if you’re unsure about your teammates using them to communicate.
2. Be an Active Listener
Good listening skills are extremely important when it comes to meetings and any other kind of conversation. Your ability to carefully listen and understand the other party’s words represents how much you’re willing to participate in the conversation.
On the other hand, if you’re only concerned about what you want to say while talking with someone, it will portray you as an inattentive person.
Now, when it comes to business communication or meetings of any sort, you need to actively listen to others and take notes of the conversation rather than planning on what you have to say next.
During any meeting, always try to listen carefully and attentively to others and wait for your turn to give any feedback. Even if you have the strongest urge to say something while someone else is talking in the meeting, never stop them to put your point across. This will help you to become an effective communicator at your workplace.
3. Do not communicate before you understand the full circle of a project
When your team is discussing an upcoming or ongoing project, you might think that it’ll be a good idea to ask a lot of questions. While that’s somewhat true, but it’s important to understand what, when, and how you should ask the questions about a project.
Always avoid asking questions or communicating about something irrelevant before you understand the complete workflow of any project. If your team is discussing phase Z and has already discussed phases A, B, C long ago, do not turn back and ask anything about phase A/B/C. If you do so, you’ll be considered immature.
But does that mean you cannot talk about the phases of a project if they’ve been discussed once before? Not at all. If you have to talk about any of your concerns or queries regarding the previous phases of a project, note them down, listen to the full discussion of the whole workflow and then present your opinions/questions with permission at the end of the discussion.
4. Do proper homework before facing a task
In business communication, be it participating in a meeting, stakeholder management, project presentation, or even client meetings, proper homework is extremely crucial for maximum output.
For proper homework, research about the historic data, future potential, research data, supervisor recommendation along with your experience to be fully equipped to tackle any project or task at hand.
Before you start any task, always try to know, understand and prepare everything you need for getting the job done. By doing so, you will be able to remove any kind of probable obstacles you might have faced otherwise while doing the work.
5. Follow up Proactively
Make sure you always follow up about your work no matter how small the task is. Be it an instruction over a phone call, a deliverable or responsibility mentioned in the meeting minutes, or a small task list sent in the WhatsApp group, never forget to follow up about the task, in the proper channel.
Also, remember to complete the follow-up before your Supervisor asks you for it.
In the corporate world, the person who follows up proactively about his/her tasks without needing anyone to push them about giving updates is considered to be the most efficient employee at the workplace. So, proactive follow-up is a must, if you want to thrive in corporate communication.
6. Do not keep your supervisor in the dark
Following the chain of command is more important than you think in the corporate world. Never try to bypass your supervisor about your work, no matter what.
Even if you think you are way more skilled and talented than your Supervisors (which you’re not), you have to keep them in the loop about any project you’re working on. Otherwise, it will create an arrogant, “one-man show” image of yours at your workplace, which is extremely detrimental to your growth in the corporate world.
Remember, experience has value. You might think that you can successfully hide something from your supervisor, but that’ll go in vain. Your supervisor, line manager, or required project personnel know everything about you and your work. So, it’s better to always keep them updated on your tasks rather than bypassing them.
7. Predict the Next Step
In any corporate communication, while your teammates discuss the present phase of any project, you have to be able to predict the next steps of the project and communicate the needful effectively.
The ability to predict the needful will help you in your decision-making in any task and also speed up the process. Do proper research and surprise your boss by completing whatever he/she could’ve asked you to do the next day. This will help you stay a step ahead of others at your workplace.
8. Your communication should be actionable
Make sure your communication has something actionable instead of being just wordy. Your recommendations and opinions should have direct involvement with the business and must have something easily actionable, which will make your communication effective.
9. Always Keep everything Documented
The thumb rule of Corporate Communication is to keep anything and everything properly documented. Be it your discussion with the procurement team, or the department of the supply chain, or your supervisor, or even with your colleague from any other department, you have to document any sort of decisions taken, suggestions rendered, or recommended actions, in pen and paper.
Always try to keep the email proof, approval note, or written proof of anything discussed. While you might think of not bothering with these to speed up the process, these documentations will be your savior when anything goes south.
10. Avoid Self Branding and Always talk in Collective Noun
In business communication, it is indecorous or inappropriate to use self-branding words like “I”, “Me”, “My” while communicating about anything with your team. Rather, you should mark yourself as a team player with a predominance of “We”, “Our”, “Together”, “Team” in your sentences while communicating.
The reason to avoid self-branding in corporate communication is that, such a style of communicating points towards an Individualistic Self Centered Personality. This will indicate that you’re not a team player and won’t be comfortable working in a team.
So, if you want to show that you’re great at teamwork, always watch out for these self-branding words and talk in the collective nouns.
Now that you know all the basic rules of corporate communication, start implementing them from today to pave the way for success in your corporate life.