Posted on September 8, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Effective Business Communication
- Why is business communication important?
- Accounting is a client/service business
- Goal is to make sure the message gets to the receiver effectively
- The ONLY way to improve communication skills is PRACTICE
- Language is the primary form of communication BUT there are many other forms
- THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE!
- Make sure you can answer the "5 W's" when using written communication
- Who - make sure all parties are included and ONLY those parties
- Avoid sending requests for information/action to multiple people
- Why - are there better ways to convey/send the message?
- When - written communication (even e-mails) are not always immediate and they often don't elicit immediate responses
- Deadlines are always something to consider in public accounting
- Where - remember that e-mails can be easily distributed
- What - are you conveying the right tone/message with an e-mail?
- Use the correct salutation
- PwC (and most other accounting firms) do not use formal names internally
- No Mr./Ms. just use their first name
- External communication (clients for example) may use more formal salutations
- Ideally you will have already met personally and know how the client would like to be addressed
- Write a meaningful subject line
- Help the receiver:
- Know the content of an e-mail
- Find it later
- Avoid words such as "urgent", never overuse
- Maintain professionalism and tone
- Keep a neutral tone at all times, do not send an e-mail when mad, hungry, etc.
- Keep it brief
- If an e-mail is too long, another form of communication might be more effective
- Spell check!
- Avoid trivial attachments
- Don't overuse e-mail
- It doesn't foster close relationships or trust
- Convenient for the sending, not so much for the receiver
- Use CC (carbon copy) sparingly
- Avoid BCC (blind carbon copy)Comes off as trying to be "sneaky"
- Setting up your personal voice mail
- Be professional, clear, and brief
- This is the rule not only when in a working environment, but also when trying to get in a working environment (like when you are a student!)
- Answering your phone
- Speak clearly
- State your name when answering (especially for unknown callers)
- Be courteous at all times
- Leaving voice mails
- Be short and to the point
- Always leave contact information
- If you have an urgent message think of other/better ways to get a hold of a person
- Most modern firms have internal instant messaging
- Statuses are used to let others know your availability ONLY
- Use good judgement when communicating through this channel
- Although less formal, communications are recorded
- Utilize available templates
- Know your presentation
- Organize ideas
- Who is the audience?
- Know subject matter inside and out
- Anticipate questions
- Remember to introduce yourself and tank your audience
- Consider time constraints
- Keep slides brief
Tips for Success
- Effective communication takes time and patience
- Commit to continuous improvement
- Compare yourself today with yourself yesterday NOT to others!
- Ask for feedback and be open to coaching
- Seek out a "proofreading buddy"
- Be an active listener
- Ask questions and take notes
- Strive for greatness
- Test your spelling skills! (can you beat Kelsey's 70?)