In the business world, good communication is as vital as breathing. In fact, much of the success or, on the contrary, the failure of any business company can be attributed to how well or poorly it communicates with its partners and competitors.
In assessing the importance of communication in business, it is crucial to consider the human factor. Companies are not made up of robots; they are made up of people, people that are bound to have different views, opinions and reactions.
Instead of trying to correct this natural pattern, companies should be concerned with regulating improper behavior, for optimal communication both internally (within the company) and externally (with other companies, particularly business partners).
This presupposes the establishment of a clear hierarchy within the company, and the placement of people with good communication and diplomacy skills in key positions. In the interest of maintaining good relationships with business partners, a company must be careful to delegate people who will not let personal judgments stand in the way of a professional dialogue.
In any business partnership or business relationship in general, it is important to consider the cultural differences between the parties (if any) and consequently, be careful in how you address issues that might result in unintended offences or conflicts. It serves to be sensible with such matters so that unnecessary conflicts can be avoided.
However, chances are conflicts will arise even in the most prosperous business relationships. Anything from differences of opinion or diverging interests to ambiguous communication (be it verbal or written) can lead to such unfortunate situations.
This is why any company must implement some sort of conflict management procedure, so that such problems can be promptly mitigated and possibly prevented in the future. It goes with saying that business relationships operate on the same common sense principles as any other type of relationships: mutual respect and the desire to solve a problem when it arises rather than prove the superiority of one’s judgment over the other’s.
As for the means of communicating with external parties such as business partners, the digital era we are currently part of gives us a large variety of options. No longer do we have to resort only to written communication, through documents rich in ponderous, overly-formal language that hinders the communication process.
Needless to say, written communication is still of the essence. It is imperative that any kind of official documents that circulate between business partners be written using language that is formal yet clear, descriptive yet precise. Any contract that is signed by both (all) parties should outline the responsibilities and liberties of each in a manner that is comprehensible to all.
Nowadays, technology empowers us to explore new ways of communicating every day, and that certainly applies in the business world as well. As such, whenever circumstances do not allow face-to-face communication as part of a business meeting, companies may resort to technology to stay in touch with business partners. Video conferences are, thus, the most common means of communicating remotely and holding interactive meetings with partners.