Business Communication & Message Types

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In the 21st century, technology has offered the business world a host of methods by which to communicate - some more effective than others. Communication is one of the most important elements of a successful business: When team members talk to one another and listen to what others say, then each member can be sure she is complementing her colleagues' skills and knowledge. And getting your business message out through effective communication means is essential. There are four main ways by which people can communicate in business.

Face-to-Face

  • As good as communication technology is, when possible, always seek to discuss business matters face-to-face with others. This is because your body language accentuates and helps to demonstrate what you are verbally expressing. Communications that involve only text do not have this added benefit, and as such the tone of your written message can be misread. If you are geographically apart from a business contact, you can use video conferencing software to interact face-to-face online.

Telephone

  • Telephoning someone - either via a landline, mobile network or through Internet voice messaging - is the next best thing to talking face-to-face, as the tone and pitch of your voice can be used to convey your feelings and emotions. Another advantage of telephoning someone is that you receive a reply straight away, whereas with written communication you often have to wait for a response.

Emails and Text Messages

  • Emails and text messages are a good way of sending information online, especially if you are in a hurry and do not have the time to engage in a verbal conversation. In addition, you have a permanent record of your correspondence, which could be valuable when looking back over previous dialogue to clarify discussion points and decisions. The disadvantage of text conversations is that feedback is not immediate, and you can wait for hours or even days for a response. Your message can also be misread, with the recipient interpreting a different meaning to that which you were conveying.

Memos

  • Memos differ from emails in that they are not a personal message directly from one to another, but more a blanket form of communication to a number of people at once. Memos are used to pass on company information, such as quarterly financial results or a change in company policy. Memos are also often emailed to a block of people. The drawback to a company-wide memo is that your staff may not feel any obligation to reply, which means you can lose out on valuable feedback and opinion.

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