The 3 Different Methods of Communication in Businesses—and When to Use Each

In business, how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate—and the method you use can go a long way in increasing the effectiveness of your professional communication.

Communication is one of the most important parts of growing a business. In order to grow and scale a business, you need to be able to effectively communicate with your team, your customers and your community.

But not all communication is created equal. There are plenty of different methods of communication in business—and if you want your business to thrive, you need to be able to effectively communicate through each of those methods (and know where and when to leverage each).

Having an effective communication style has always been an important part of running a successful business. But it’s been especially important this past year when, due to COVID-19, many of the ways we’re used to communicating (like in-person meetings or conversations) haven’t been an option—and business owners have had to rely on other forms of communication (like Zoom) to connect with their team and customers.

The more methods of communication you can master in your business, the more successfully you and your team will be able to connect and communicate with each other, clients and customers—even when a curveball like COVID-19 makes communication more difficult.

So the question is, what methods of communications are available for your business—and how can you leverage each for maximum impact in 2021 and beyond?

Verbal Communication Methods

You can’t talk communication without…well, talking.

Verbal communication is one of the most commonly used forms of communication in business—and it makes sense. Talking (whether that’s in a face-to-face interaction; a “face-to-face” interaction, like a video chat; or a phone call) is one of the most natural and comfortable forms of communication for many people—and can feel more personal, collaborative and engaging than other methods of business communication.

Some of the different types of verbal communication you may use in your business include:

  • In-person meetings
  • Virtual meetings
  • Phone calls
  • Verbal presentations
  • Trainings (virtual, in-person or video)
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Feedback meetings
  • Performance reviews

One of the main benefits of verbal communication is that, again, it’s a method of communication that a lot of people are familiar and comfortable with. And because so many people are comfortable both expressing themselves verbally and listening to other people’s verbal expressions, it can make for easier communication.

It can also be easier to get your message across accurately through verbal communication. When you’re speaking to someone, they can hear your tone of voice, which can help them better interpret your message.

That same interpretation isn’t available in written forms of communication, like an email, text or Slack message—which can increase the chance that people might miss the context or intention of what you’re saying.

Verbal communication is the ideal method of communication for a variety of situations in business, including:

  • When delivering feedback. If you have to give someone feedback—particularly if it’s negative or challenging feedback—it’s always better to do it in a verbal conversation (and, if possible, face-to-face over video chat or, when it’s safe to do so, in person). When you have an actual feedback conversation—instead of sending a feedback email or message—it’s easier to convey empathy and understanding, which can keep the recipient from going on the defensive, and help you more effectively deliver your message.
  • When clarity is important. As mentioned, because it’s hard to capture tone and context in written communication, sometimes things get lost in translation in an email, message or text—so if you need to communicate something with absolute clarity, it’s generally better to do so verbally. (Having a conversation also allows people to ask questions in real-time—which can also increase their understanding of your message.)
  • When building connections. Connecting with someone verbally—whether that’s meeting with them in person (post-pandemic, of course), chatting on the phone or having a Zoom call—typically feels more personal than written communication. So if you’re really looking to forge or strengthen a connection with your team, clients or customers, verbal communication is typically your best bet.

Written Communication Methods

Sometimes, it’s best to say what you need to say in your business—and other times, it’s better to write what you need to say. – Read more

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