Say What You Mean: Developing A Voice for Business

Like great leadership, great communication is a learned skill. Communicating effectively comes more naturally to others, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn the skill, how to say what you mean in business. The politics of the business world can often be tricky to navigate, and even more difficult to discern. In conducting business, as much is said as goes unsaid. That is, certain gestures or non-verbal communication are common practices in good “business etiquette.”

However, when it comes to speaking, actually saying things in business, it’s important that you develop a clear voice. Commanding your verbal communication can help you in a number of ways: negotiating deals, conflict management, asking for a raise or promotion, to name a few. In all of these instances, one principle is key: say what you mean, voice what you want.

A great communicator knows what they want to say and how they should say it. Effective communication requires that you understand the situation you are entering into. Who are you speaking with? Where are you speaking with them? How much time do you have to say what you want to say?

Don’t be afraid to say what you mean, ask for what you want; however, you should be mindful to ask yourself the above questions before you begin to formulate an appropriate and effective method of speaking or asking. For instance, you may not want to negotiate your salary with your boss at the office holiday party, but you may mention to her that you’d like to discuss your future at the company sometime next week or so, at which time you would lay out a clear vision of what you expect for your future at the company. Negotiations may ensue from there, but in the end, you might get exactly what you asked for or more.

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