WHAT DO WE MEAN BY BUSINESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS?
The client, who “didn’t understand that when you print on uncoated paper rather than coated
paper, the color wouldn’t be the same.” The new designer used the word “match” in an e-mail, and
the client took that to mean the colors would be exactly the same. This miscommunication led to
disagreements and disappointment about what should have been a routine matter, and the new
designer had to learn the hard way that written and oral communication are as important as visual
communication when everyone gets down to business. That’s the reason why the want ads for
new designers state, “Excellent Communication Skills Required.” Some of you claim in a line on
your resumés that you have “excellent communication skills,” and no doubt you have developed a
skill or two in a college research, writing, or speech class or through your work experience. But the
industry leaders we interviewed tell us that while you may think you have overall good written and
oral communication skills, most recent graduates and new designers are abysmally lacking in
these areas. These industry leaders have noticed that many newly hired designers seem unaware
of their communication deficiencies and, what’s more, don’t know or care about what they’re
missing. Either way, the leaders in your field are not happy about it. So all other things being equal,
those of you who develop your business communication skills will be recognized and valued more
than those who don’t bother. You’ll come out ahead. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY BUSINESS
COMMUNICATION SKILLS? When we talk about business communication, we’re referring to the
variety of ways that people send and receive business messages. The more you understand and
practice the following communication modes, the more skilled you’ll become as a business
communicator. • Writing/reading • Oral presentations/listening • Nonverbal signals/observing You
can see that this list is formatted in a way that highlights the sending/ receiving dynamic of
communications. As a design professional, you’ll need to practice both halves of each equation: •
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