Have you ever received a memo and felt the sender really wasn't thinking about what you needed to know or hear? Maybe you have attended corporate presentations that have simply left you cold?

Communication is something we do reflexively -- like breathing. We talk to our spouses, kids and friends without giving much thought to how we're doing it.

There is not one "right" way to communicate, but you should be aware of what is appropriate and when. Your chosen method of communication is dependent on the situation. Put yourself in your customer's or your employees' shoes. If you needed to have a certain message conveyed to you, think first how you would like to receive it. Use your good judgment of the situation and be considerate of your employees, and you will be an effective communicator.

Today, it’s easier than ever before for small business owners to communicate with their customers, employees, and suppliers. That’s because almost all of us are constantly carrying smartphones, putting phone calls, text messages, emails, and many other methods of communication in our hands (or pockets) at all times. But that brings up a whole new problem of its own – how to choose the most effective way to communicate what we have to say.

Know Who You’re Talking With
One of the biggest problems with trying to choose the right method of communication is the fact that no two people are going to be the same. In many situations, the best way to communicate your message is going to vary depending on the person that you’re speaking with. Some people do better with face-to-face interactions, while others are more confident and able to concentrate while on the phone. Still others – especially those who are constantly busy and dealing with multiple tasks at once – find written messages such as email the only way to actually remember anything.

Choose an Appropriate Way to Convey Your Message
Just as how your method of communication can differ depending on the person you’re talking to, it can also change based on the message you have to share. Some topics are personal or in-depth and require direct conversation, while others are so minor that they don’t warrant wasting time on a face-to-face meeting.
The following are three of the top ways we communicate in the business environment, and which situations each are best suited for:
• In Person – Meeting in person is the best way to handle any conversation that is going to be of a personal or important nature, like employee reviews, serious customer issues, and supplier negotiations. Face-to-face meetings are also often the best way to have conversations on detailed topics that require a lot of back-and-forth discussion.
• On the Phone – Phone calls are generally used for communication when there is a good deal of back-and-forth discussion, but it’s not an important or complicated enough topic to need to be talked about in person. The phone can also be a great way to get a quick answer or solution when you don’t have time to wait for a response.
• Via Email – Increasingly becoming one of top ways of communicating in the business world, email allows us to instantly send someone a message regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. Emails should be used for brief communication that doesn’t require conversation and aren’t time-sensitive, or for topics that need to be put down in writing for accountability purposes.

Conveying the right message can mean the difference between reaching your company’s goals and falling way short when it comes to the results. For a business leader to be successful, however, they need to learn how to effectively communicate with their team, their company’s customers, and the other suppliers and vendors that play an important role in their organization’s success. By choosing the right method of communication based on who you’re talking to and the subject at hand, you can improve your message’s reception, comprehension, and implementation.

Ask open-ended questions about their interests. Ask questions that will get them to talk about their interests and their life in a way that provides you with insight into their needs and wants. When you help them gain a new, positive perspective about their situation, they will feel a deeper sense of connection with you.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber & her team of business solutions experts help business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. We believe in the power of hiring the right people, and we help our clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.