The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in some modes of communication and has opened up professional spaces to using different channels. In this new and dynamic landscape of modern business, effective communication stands as the cornerstone of success.
Its significance goes far beyond the mere exchange of information. It is intertwined with the fabric of etiquette, creating a symbiotic relationship that fuels productivity, propels growth, and ultimately enhances profits. This intrinsic link between communication and etiquette drives organisational success.
Communication, the art of conveying ideas, thoughts, and emotions, is indispensable in the corporate world. Its impact can be profoundly influenced by the manner in which it is delivered. When US President Barack Obama visited Jamaica he greeted his The University of the West Indies audience with "Wah gwaan!" to admirable acclaim. This would not have the same impact as a Jamaican executive greeting prospective investors in Europe. This is where etiquette comes into the picture.
It is the unwritten code of conduct that governs social interactions. When communication is infused with etiquette, it evolves from a mere transmission of information to a respectful, empathetic exchange.
Etiquette encompasses various facets such as active listening, courtesy, and empathy. When individuals communicate with consideration and respect it fosters a positive environment where ideas are valued, and conflicts are minimised. This not only enhances collaboration with external stakeholders but also nurtures a sense of belonging among an organisation's team members.
When diverse perspectives are acknowledged, it lays the foundation for innovation and creativity to flourish. Multinational company Apple introduced its AI assistant "Siri" in 2011, and since then has had several different language and ethnic adaptations. This comes from an acknowledgement of the wide diversity within the company, which translates into their products and has reaped great success.
Recently, Jamaica's economic leaders noted that our productive output needs to increase for our nation to thrive because productivity is the heartbeat of any thriving organisation. The connection between communication, etiquette, and productivity is intricate yet potent. Clear and concise communication, paired with impeccable etiquette, minimises misunderstandings and inefficiencies. When instructions are articulated with precision, and receivers are attentive, tasks are executed accurately, saving both time and resources.
When leaders and employees genuinely listen to each other, concerns are addressed promptly, leading to quicker resolution. This, in turn, prevents hold-ups and empowers teams to maintain a steady workflow. Polished communication also streamlines decision-making processes, as well-structured discussions enable faster consensus-building.
As organizations work towards expansion, effective communication and etiquette emerge as catalysts for growth. Transparent communication from leadership instils confidence and trust among employees. When expectations, goals, and strategies are communicated openly, it creates a shared sense of purpose, aligning the entire workforce towards common objectives.
Furthermore, etiquette plays a pivotal role in forging strong business relationships. Whether it's with clients, partners, or investors, respectful communication establishes a positive image and fosters long-term connections. Networking events, negotiations, and presentations are all arenas in which communication can differentiate a company from its competitors. These relationships, nurtured by exemplary communication practices, can unlock opportunities for collaboration and expansion.
In addition, the synergy between communication and etiquette contributes to profit-building in multifaceted ways. Enhanced productivity directly impacts the profitability of a business. The minimisation of errors, reduction of conflicts, and optimised resource allocation collectively lead to increased efficiency and reduced costs.
Another bonus is that a company that prioritises open, transparent communication and upholds the highest standards of etiquette is likely to attract top talent. A positive work culture, characterised by effective communication, cultivates employee satisfaction and retention. This, in turn, translates to a motivated workforce that is committed to achieving organisational milestones.
The holistic impact of unity in an organisation that practises good communication etiquette extends beyond internal operations. A company that exudes professionalism and respect in its communication practices becomes an attractive choice for clients and partners. The trust garnered through impeccable etiquette can lead to increased client retention, referrals, and enhanced business opportunities.
Effective communication, when guided by etiquette, transforms interactions into meaningful exchanges that resonate with respect and understanding. This synergy drives productivity by reducing inefficiencies and enhancing collaboration. It cultivates growth by fostering transparent communication and strong relationships. Ultimately, it propels profits by optimising operations and positioning the organisation as a reliable and professional entity. As businesses evolve in a rapidly changing world, harnessing this chemistry between communication and etiquette will remain paramount in securing a prosperous future.
Dr Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd is a transformational leader and managing director of MYM Group Limited. She is a people, organisational, and middle manager development professional, as well as founder of Young Entrepreneurs Association. Coke is a national productivity ambassador, speaker, author, and adjunct professor. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or firstname.lastname@example.org.