Professionals in any industry can greatly benefit from business communication skills. Skills such as active listening and positive body language help ensure successful conversations in business settings. Such business communication techniques can be used during intra-organizational meetings to ensure that employees walk away with the information they need to more effectively perform their work.
These skills also apply to conversations with consumers, as knowledgeable business communicators have the tools needed to determine which interactions will best enable their organizations to forge more positive relationships with their audience. For professionals hoping to hone their skills as communicators, a Master of Arts (MA) in Business Communication can expose them to advanced communication techniques highly sought after by organizations around the world.
What Is Business Communication?
Business communication is any exchange of information between the stakeholders of an organization. This includes conversations among the employees of an organization, as well as information sharing about products and services with customers. Employees who excel at communication are therefore important internally and externally, as their skill sets can strengthen interpersonal relationships within organizations and keep customers satisfied.
Effective business communication entails having the ability to share information in whichever way it will be best received. Whether the intended message is positive or negative, a business communications graduate will have developed the tools needed to deliver that message.
Why Business Communication Is Important
Too little communication can leave employees and customers confused and uninformed, resulting in a negative outcome for the organization. Likewise, too much communication can distract stakeholders and delay them from receiving critical information. The educated business communicator understands how to purposefully deliver messages to achieve specific goals.
For example, many organizations periodically email newsletters to their customers to build brand loyalty. Yet, if these messages aren’t crafted by knowledgeable communicators, these organizations risk losing customers. The same concept applies to internal communications. Ongoing respectful, positive communication boosts employee morale, encourages feedback and ensures that all team members have the information they need.
Skills Learned with a Master of Arts in Business Communication Degree
The average undergraduate business student learns how to communicate at a basic level, but the curriculum of an MA in Business Communication program offers a focused academic experience aimed at producing graduates who can leverage advanced communication skills to accelerate their careers in business.
Properly articulating a message to an audience may seem simple at first glance, but MA in Business Communication students learn many technical skills to maximize the impact of verbal messages. The coursework covers how active listening, assertive language, asking questions and a positive attitude impact the effectiveness of a verbal message. For example:
- Active listening refers to concentrating on what others are saying and adapting the message based on the information received. Professionals can use active listening to discover the needs of a team and to ask clarifying questions that lead to solutions.
- Assertive language can also be used to convey the seriousness of a situation without eliciting a negative response from the audience. When speaking to groups, every factor can affect how employees perceive messages — even the slightest change in body language can change the tone of a message.
Business professionals often don’t have the luxury of having face-to-face meetings with their customers and colleagues and thus must learn how to deliver effective written messages. Strategic business writing coursework enables students to develop competency in creating content that will achieve specific workplace objectives. The way employees communicate to their bosses will vary from how they communicate with customers or other third parties, like suppliers or media outlets. Therefore, business professionals must develop their ability to identify the challenges they may face when writing to different audiences and adapt accordingly.
Business communication is at the core of marketing and public relations. Those educated in business communication are likely to excel in marketing roles as they learn how to analyze an audience and communicate with them in the most desirable way. By combining their knowledge of visual, verbal and written forms of communication, MA in Business Communication graduates can help marketing teams coordinate presentations that positively impact customer engagement.
Cultivating positive interpersonal relationships ensures that customers and employees will feel comfortable engaging with an organization. In leadership and management positions, business communication professionals have the tools they need to promote teamwork and collaboration. A way they can achieve this is by encouraging feedback about work conditions or job satisfaction from employees and initiating ongoing communication among team members. On the customer side, business communicators can analyze the needs of their audiences and respond with products or services that meet the demand.
Being organized requires precisely communicating goals to all stakeholders and following through on each objective. By thoughtfully communicating these objectives and goals, educated business professionals make it easier for employees to stay organized and on task. Effective communicators make it easier for business leaders to make decisions, delegate tasks appropriately and keep deadlines by routing important information to the people in the organization who can use it most efficiently.
The Importance of Business Communication for Managers and Leaders
Each of the previously discussed skills can be used to drive organizational growth and optimize business efficiency. Therefore, business communication skills are useful to managers and leaders responsible for coordinating the efforts of groups of employees. Managers and leaders can create teams that seamlessly work together by cultivating effective employee relationships. Likewise, leaders must act as intermediaries who can solve employee disputes by helping those involved find common ground. Business managers and leaders must also act as liaisons, ensuring that the priorities of the company are properly communicated throughout.
They can also apply their public speaking ability to keep employees organized and on task, boosting productivity. Most importantly, managers and leaders who are well versed in business communication boast the expertise needed to convey their organization’s messages and core values both internally and externally.
Learn About Rider University’s Master of Arts in Business Communication
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communications occupations had a median annual salary of $57,530 in 2018, compared with $38,640 for all occupations. As a business professional hoping to develop your ability to effectively communicate business goals and company messages, you can pursue higher education to qualify for positions in this field. By completing a Master of Arts in Business Communication from Rider University, you can sharpen your communication skills and prepare for marketing, PR, leadership and management positions in various industries.