Mastering Professional Communication: The Secret Ingredient of Business Success

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Saphia Lanier
Saphia Lanier



What’s poor communication costing your business? In the US, businesses are losing $1.2T annually, which amounts to $12,506 per employee per year — all due to ineffective communication. This wake-up call for companies shows professional communication isn’t merely a nice-to-have, but a must-have. 

Professional communication: a conference call.

To thrive in this era, you must go beyond the ordinary and master the art of effective communication.

Table of contents:

What is professional communication?

Professional communication is the act of sharing information, ideas, opinions, and emotions to establish mutual understanding within a business setting. It includes verbal, written, visual, and nonverbal communication tailored for specific professional environments. 

For example, delivering a persuasive presentation, writing a concise email, or engaging in a productive meeting demonstrates effective professional communication by conveying messages clearly and professionally.

Professional communication examples

Professional communication is diverse, ranging from high-stakes presentations to nonverbal cues. Here are examples of the most common professional communication scenarios.

Business emails

Love or hate them, emails are the preferred method to communicate with business clients. A recent survey found that 62% of professionals prefer email over other platforms like Slack (11%), project management tools (11%), phone (9%), and face-to-face meetings (3%).

The same is true for internal communication — emails are at the top with a 31% usage rate, followed closely by Slack at 30%.


Presentations bring ideas and visions to life and influence decision-making. A well-executed presentation has the power to captivate your audience, convey complex information with clarity, and leave a lasting impression. It combines the art of storytelling, effective visual aids, and confident delivery to engage, inform, and persuade.


Meetings allow your teams to exchange ideas, make decisions, and ensure everyone’s aligned on shared goals. However, poor professional communication might affect the productivity of meetings — 60% of individuals report regularly wasting time in meetings.

To make your meetings meaningful, communicate objectives and agendas clearly, only invite essential participants, and maintain a structured and focused environment. 

Written communication 

Written communications in the workplace vary based on your industry and role. However, the most common forms include business letters, memos, project proposals, meeting minutes, and reports.

Their purpose: to provide clear communication among stakeholders. For example, conveying information, making inquiries, sharing updates, seeking approvals, maintaining strong relationships, and helping leaders make informed decisions.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication encompasses a wide range of professional interactions, from engaging in face-to-face or phone conversations to building meaningful connections through business networking.

Examples of verbal communication include:

  • Small talk to build relationships (e.g., talking about the weather, family, and hobbies)
  • Information sharing (e.g., asking for or providing information, addressing questions, and discussing ideas)
  • Public speaking (e.g., delivering presentations, hosting or moderating panels, and participating in meetings) 
  • Negotiation and persuasion (e.g., presenting arguments, convincing others, and reaching agreements)
  • Active listening (e.g., showing interest, asking clarifying questions, and summarizing key points)
  • Conflict resolution (e.g., discussing and resolving disagreements, finding common ground, and compromising)
  • Giving and receiving feedback (e.g., providing constructive criticism, acknowledging achievements, and seeking improvement)
  • Networking and relationship-building (e.g., attending events, introducing oneself, and engaging in professional conversations)
  • Conducting interviews (e.g., asking questions, evaluating responses, and assessing candidates)
  • Team collaboration and coordination (e.g., discussing tasks, assigning responsibilities, and coordinating efforts)
  • Mentoring and coaching (e.g., providing guidance, sharing knowledge, and offering support)

Social media and online communication

Social media and online communication can open doors to opportunities for professional engagement. For example, creating engaging posts to build relationships and conversations that can lead to business collaborations. Or hosting webinars and livestreams to connect with your audience and drive more sales, sign-ups, or leads for your company. 

Leveraging online channels can help you build brand loyalty and share valuable insights while building a vibrant online community.

Why is effective professional communication important for business?

The pandemic brought forth more remote workers, making professional communication critical to the continued success of organizations. But a 2023 report shows 32% of professionalsbelieve communication with their clients and co-workers has become more challenging in the past 12 months.

Businesses noting this are trying to adapt, with 74% adopting new tools to organize, communicate, and manage projects better.

Building Strong Relationships

Communicating effectively makes building strong relationships with your clients and co-workers easier. For example, you can develop trust and rapport with clients by asking them questions, listening to their needs, providing helpful advice, and delivering a consistent and excellent customer experience.

For co-workers, you can improve collaboration and create a positive work environment by sharing information, respecting others’ opinions, and demonstrating empathy.

Enhancing Productivity

Effective communication has a direct impact on productivity levels within an organization. Employees who feel connected and well-informed are 71% more likely to be productive.

Conversely, communication issues can lead to wasted time and reduced efficiency. A survey by shows 68% of people admit to wasting time personally as a result of communication issues in their business.

Poor communication can also contribute to burnout, stress, and fatigue, and inefficiencies. For example, 35% of individuals noted experiencing frustrations with lost and missing files due to communication breakdowns.

Resolving Conflicts

Conflict in the workplace can happen anytime. Professional communication can mitigate and resolve conflicts more efficiently. Fifty-three percent of people in’s survey have missed important messages because of communication issues in their business. Miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings and tension among team members.

This can sometimes result in employee turnover, with 10% of businesses losing employees because of communication issues. Fostering transparent communication channels can address conflicts promptly, reducing their negative impact on the business.

Establishing a Positive Image

Effective communication extends beyond internal interactions and plays a vital role in shaping a company’s external image. The quality of communication heavily influences the customers’ experiences they receive from a business.

Thirty percent of people in’s survey have had a poor customer experience due to communication issues in businesses they interacted with. And another 12% of businesses lost customers to competitors for the same reason.

By prioritizing effective communication, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, build trust, and establish a positive reputation in the market.

Professional communication skills

Mastering professional communication skills is necessary in today’s workplace. Here are several essential skills that can improve your communication abilities:

Clear and concise expression: Articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly and deliver them concisely for effective communication. For example, avoid jargon or unnecessary complexity, so the person you’re communicating with can understand your message.

Active listening: People tend to trust you when they feel heard. Active listening is more than mere listening — paying attention, asking relevant questions, and demonstrating empathy are essential aspects of active listening. It shows respect and understanding, which fosters meaningful conversations.

Emotional intelligence: Recognizing and managing emotions, both your own and others’, plays a vital role in professional communication. In fact, experts believe emotional intelligence to be one of the 10 most-sought skills in job hunting by 2025. High emotional intelligence facilitates effective collaboration, conflict resolution, and rapport building among co-workers and customers.

Nonverbal communication: Body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice contribute to communication effectiveness. Being aware of and controlling nonverbal cues helps convey messages accurately.

Albert Mehrabian, a renowned professor emeritus at UCLA, introduced the 7-38-55 communication rule highlighting the importance of nonverbal communication. According to this rule, words only account for 7% of the overall message, while tone of voice contributes 38% and body language speaks the loudest at 55%.

So don’t overlook honing your nonverbal communication skills in the workplace.

How to improve professional communication skills? 

Developing strong professional communication skills is an ongoing process, so incorporate these practices to enhance your abilities:

  • Seek feedback: Feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or mentors can identify areas for improvement in your communication. Leverage constructive criticism as an opportunity to refine your communication skills.
  • Practice active listening: When conversing, try to engage with intent and listen to the speaker actively. Then practice summarizing and paraphrasing for better clarity.
  • Enhance written communication: To improve your written communication, pay attention to grammar, tone, and formatting in your written pieces. Also, be concise in your writing and proofread the content before sending important emails, reports, or documents.
  • Embrace technology: Stay updated with digital tools and platforms that facilitate effective communication, such as project management software, videoconferencing, and collaborative tools.
  • Participate in professional development: Attend workshops, seminars, or courses focused on communication skills development. These opportunities provide valuable insights, strategies, and networking possibilities.
  • Try AI tools: Grammarly and ProWritingAid help business professionals improve their emails and other communications by correcting grammar and improving your tone. 

Achieving excellent communication skills requires consistent effort. Put clarity, active listening, and nonverbal awareness into daily practice. By doing so, you can enhance your communication abilities and pave the way for greater success in your business.

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