But how do you know what good communication skills are from a Business Analysis point of view? From the BABOK® Guide (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®), here are the definitions of the different types of communication skills and ways to know whether you’re effective in using them.
Oral communication skills verbally express ideas or information. Effective oral communication skills include both the ability to make oneself understood and the active listening skills that ensure that the statements of others are accurately understood. Tone can positively or negatively influence the listener.
Oral communication is most effective when the information being communicated will be used in the short term. Effective oral communication skills can be demonstrated through:
- Effectively paraphrasing statements to ensure understanding.
- Effectively facilitating sessions, ensuring success through preparedness and coordination.
- Developing and delivering powerful presentations by positioning content and objectives appropriately (i.e. positive vs. negative tone).
Teaching skills ensure that business analysts can effectively communicate and that the information communicated is understood and retained. Teaching requires an understanding of how people learn and the ability to use this understanding to effectively facilitate the learning experience.
A business analyst must be aware of different learning styles, including:
- Visual learners (who learn best through the presentation of visual guides and models).
- Auditory learners (who learn best through oral communication and written language).
- Kinesthetic learners (who learn most effectively through doing).
The business analyst should understand how different learning styles may determine the form of requirements communication. Effective teaching also requires an understanding of methods that may be used to confirm that the student has learned and can apply what they have learned.
Effective teaching skills can be demonstrated through:
- Verifying that learners have acquired information that has been imparted to them.
- Ability of learners to use new skills or demonstrate new knowledge.
Written communication skills are necessary for business analysts to document elicitation results, requirements, and other information for which medium-to-long term records are required.
Written communication involves the use of symbols to communicate information. Written communication is required when information will be used at a time or place that is remote from the time and place it was created.
Effective written communication requires that the business analyst have a broad vocabulary, strong grasp of grammar and style, and an understanding of which idioms and terms the audience will readily understand.
Effective written communication skills can be demonstrated through:
- Ability to adjust the style of writing for the needs of the audience.
- Proper use of grammar and style.
- Appropriate choice of words.
- Ability of the reader to paraphrase and describe the content of the written communication.
Our online training will help you develop the effective communication skills you need to be an effective business analyst.