Business communication are of a very wide variety ranging from very simple face to face communication to highly structured and formalized communication such as in complicated reports, seminars and advertising campaigns. It may not be very good Idea to have a common system of communication planning with formally defined steps. For example a busy manager may have scores of face-to-face business talks with juniors, colleagues, seniors, customers, suppliers, and so many other possible. Planing each of such communication formally will not only be highly time consuming and wasteful, but also result in poor and ineffective communication.
Instead of trying to plan each and every business message using a common planning process, it will be better to follow some general guidelines for effective business communication. These include the following:
- Communication should be designed to suit the recipient. It should use such language that it is understood by the recipient correctly and clearly.
- Wherever possible, a confirmation should be obtained that the message has been received and understood by the recipient as intended.
- Timing of the communication can have considerable impact on how the message will be understood, accepted and used by the recipient. Making a proposal to your boss about some long term plans, when he is busy dealing with some immediate crisis on the shop-floor, is not very likely to receive much attention. Also, a reminder for a meeting due may be most effective when given, say, fifteen minutes before the meeting is due rather than four hours before meeting or just when meeting is about to start.
- Too much details in a message tend to dilute the important parts of the message. Therefore, the purpose of each much should be identified and the content of the message should be limited to the information essential to achieve such objective.
- Consideration should be given to the need for being precise and for desired permanency of the message. An advice from a manger to his subordinate can be an informal chat. But a shop-floor machine loading schedule must available in some form of record as it needs to be precise, and may need to be referred for some time after the communication.
- Adequate care should be taken to maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality.