Professional communication refers to the oral, written, visual, and digital forms of delivering information in the context of a workplace. Effective professional communication is critical in today’s world. Most problems in an organization arise as a result of poor communication. Effective communication ensures a smooth flow of ideas, facts, decisions, and advice. This way, employees eliminate hindrances in achieving the organization’s target.
On the other hand, poor communication may lead to the loss of time, money, opportunity, energy, and even good will in any enterprise. It is, therefore, essential to understanding the various features of professional communication. As a result, you will be able to foster growth and development in the organization. This article lists some of the most critical features of professional communication.
Accuracy is one of the most vital features of professional communication. The relayed information needs to be correct. Inaccurate information cannot be viewed as credible. It significantly undermines the reputation of any organization. It may also attract litigation. Additionally, anyone who relays incorrect information also risks losing their credibility.
Apart from the accuracy of the content conveyed, effective professional communication also needs to be accurate even in simple things such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Even one mistake has the potential to lead to miscommunication between parties. Consequently, this may lead to financial losses for the business.
2. Clarity and Brevity
Communication needs to be brief and to the point. Professionals don’t have time to read long circulars and letters littered with superfluous information. They will feel more comfortable with short letters designed to convey the message quickly.
Additionally, the information therein needs to be clear and free from any ambiguity. Therefore, a professional communicator needs to be conscious of the objective of their communication. This way, they avoid ambiguity which breeds miscommunication.
Communication in the professional world is done with a particular goal in mind. Generic professional communication will not achieve the intended objective. One needs to be specific to communicate effectively. The more specific the message is, the more the target audience is likely to understand it and the more it meets the desired objective.
Any communication in an organization should only deal with one particular subject at a time. This is the only way to reach effective results. Dealing with multiple issues at a time has the potential to create chaos and confusion. This is a threat to sound management.
When it comes to professional communication, employees in any organization, even the small ones, will have different needs, interests, and desires. Therefore, communication needs to be tailored to meet the specific needs of the target audience for it to have the desired effect or impact.
Communication in any organization needs to be segmented for specific departments. For example, writing one letter to all the departments and individuals may not be an effective way of communicating. The communicator should tailor the information to particular departments. Additionally, communication should be handled by an individual specialized in the workings of specific departments especially when expert knowledge is required.
Continuity is also one of the most crucial features of professional communication. Communication must always be present in an organization. Without it, a company cannot claim to exist. As blood circulation is critical to a living body so is communication to a company. Managers should, therefore, ensure that communication is adequate and flowing smoothly in all directions.
Whenever there is a breakdown in communication, a misunderstanding arises leading to unfavorable hostility, conflict, and attitudes. Therefore, communication needs to be continuous. It should move up, down, and sideways to ensure that all concerned parties remain in the loop and are participating actively.
6. Internal and External Fields
Communication in an organization is primarily internal. It is an essential component in administrative function and is targeted to employees and other members belonging to a company. A public notice informing members of an annual general meeting in an organization is an example of internal communication. Internal communication may be either vertical or horizontal.
Communication may also go beyond the borders of an organization. When it extends to external parties who aren’t necessarily members of the company, it is referred to as external communication. Such communication is usually intended to maintain relationships between external parties and the organization. It has a broad coverage and occurs less frequently than internal communication.
7. Two-Way Traffic
Communication is a two-way traffic. As it flows downwards from a superior to a subordinate, so should it flow upwards. For instance, when a manager conveys information to the employees, they should be ready to receive reactions and responses. Otherwise, they may not meet objectives efficiently.
The chain of communication is not complete until the receiver gets the message and the sender receives the response. Management should be able to speak, inform and order. On the other hand, they should also be good at listening. Employees deserve an opportunity to share their opinions, thoughts, and feedback. Two-way communication benefits management and employees. In the end, the entire organization will have to gain.
Communication can be achieved through a wide variety of channels to ensure that it reaches audiences in different forms of settings. There are many channels to choose from including meetings, print, and bulletin boards. These fall under the category of traditional forms of professional communication. The new electronic means of communication are email, social media, smartphone, and chat app.
Many factors should inform the choice of the medium used to communicate. The communicator should consider the nature of the communication, the sense of urgency, and the distance between them and the recipient.
Effective communication is critical to any organization. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the essential features of professional communication. Communication needs to be accurate, brief, to the point, continuous, specific, and segmented. It can either be internal and external. Moreover, we can channel it through a wide variety of mediums including print, oral, and electronic.
Communicators in the professional world have a lot of tools at their disposal and should choose which ones to use carefully. They should factor the essential features of professional communication and take their audience and intended goals into consideration before making decisions to ensure that their efforts pay off.