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Knowledge and Skills in a Business Conversation

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Knowledge and Skills in a Business Conversation

20.06.2008 ob 12:07

Knowledge and Skills in a Business Conversation

A business conversation is the most common application of the basic knowledge and skills on effective communication with the least distractions possible. In the past, business persons could leave the writing of business correspondence to their secretaries or clerks, while business persons of today cannot forgo business conversations, which are an important if not an essential component of their activity and one that decides on their personal success and personal development.

A business conversation is only rarely intended for bilateral exchange of information. The parties involved, as a rule, attempt to use business conversation to influence other participants in the conversation. This is why knowledge and skills of interest-driven behaviour, encouragement, power, responsiveness and many other areas are crucial for a business conversation.

Spoken communication is the core of a business conversation; however, it forms a synergetic whole with other non-verbal forms of communication in an effective conversation. And last but not least, a business conversation is merely a means, which must have content, and is effective and successful only if participants posses sufficient expertise and information on the matter being discussed.

Business Conversation as the Foundation of Communication

A business conversation is the basic form of interactive spoken communication. It therefore represents the foundation for other forms and purposes of business communication: for business meetings, business negotiations, business presentations, business consultations and many others. A business person and expert will be ineffective and unsuccessful in all of these forms of communication if they do not possess sufficient knowledge, skills and experience in handling business conversations.

Design and Preparation of Business Conversations

A business conversation proceeds in real time. It is live. There are no repetitions. Only exceptionally can participants excuse themselves and get time to think things over, for consultations, search for additional information, find an excuse for providing incorrect information or for a hasty gesture, reaction etc. It is risky coming to a business conversation unprepared.

An old wisdom in business states that no special preparations are needed for business conversations for which there is almost an unlimited amount of time to conclude. It could be said that one hour of preparations suffices for a one-day, protracted, non-intensive conversation, while a one-hour long intensive conversation might require even more than a day’s worth of preparations.

A business person or an expert will be overtaxed by the business content in a business conversation, which is why the communication aspect should be a skill that comes naturally and is applied with ease. And this skill is based on expert knowledge, experience and practice as well as comprehensive preparation. A business conversation is intensive, arduous and responsible work.

Summarised from Poslovno komuniciranje: Evropske razsežnosti, Maribor 2004

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