Core Competencies of Business Communication

Our purpose in developing this book is to help you build your business communication competence. With that in mind, we have identified five core competencies required of all business communicators. These are the standards by which business professionals tend to judge messages—whether those messages are emails, letters, reports, or presentations.

In order to represent themselves, their organization, and their profession well, business communicators must adhere to the standards of the broader business community. They exhibit care and attention to detail, use a courteous tone, and follow standard business conventions.

In order to facilitate effective and efficient business functioning, business communicators must create messages that are easy to understand and to act upon. They lead with the bottom line up front, organize points in ways that are easy to follow, use simple and unambiguous language, and make basic formatting choices to help the receiver process the message.

In order to be sensitive to the fast pace and time constraints of business, business communicators must deliver messages that are as short as possible while still being complete. At the big-picture level, they cut out extraneous information. At the detail level, they edit their documents to reduce wordiness.

In order to guide well-supported business decisions, business communicators must deliver messages that are thoroughly supported by evidence. They describe the supporting evidence in clear and compelling ways, they explain the credibility of their sources or analyses, and they use data displays to convey complex information.

In order to advance business goals, business communicators must deliver messages that convince their receivers to support a position or take specific action. They clearly state strong overarching persuasive positions, create and support logical sub-points, and adhere to ethical standards in their attempts to influence.

Each of the following chapters will cover these competencies one by one and provide you with practical advice and examples for how to demonstrate those competencies in your own business communication.


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Business Communication: Five Core Competencies Copyright © 2023 by Kristen Lucas, Jacob D. Rawlins, and Jenna Haugen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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