Have you ever considered that communication could be beautiful?

If we were talking about Shakespeare’s sonnets, the two might be more readily associated but when thinking about your business communications, internal or external, has it crossed your mind that beauty should enter the equation? Surely, well-crafted, persuasive, or merely ‘timely’ would seem like more suitable priorities when trying to win over customers in your latest email campaign, than beauty?

Bathcomms were recently invited to join a panel discussion, where the topic was on precisely this: Beautiful Communications. We were challenged to give some thought to this intriguing question. As a company that prides itself in having expertise in how to communicate online, what role if any does beauty play in what we do?

The theme for the conference as a whole was Beauty at Work, and with the backdrop of a stunning Cambridge College, it seemed the perfect match of subject and setting.

What makes you beautiful?

When we speak about a person being beautiful, we might be referring to an aesthetic quality: their bright sparkling eyes, their flowing auburn hair etc. but we may also be talking about something else. We could be speaking of their character and personality. Oftentimes a beautiful person is one who is kind, compassionate, humble, truthful, someone who champions others – and when these traits stand out, that’s what makes them shine. It’s these internal traits we had in mind when contemplating what it means to strive for beautiful communication.

Beautiful communication builds up rather than tears down

Some of the most common and well-practiced sales and marketing tactics out there couldn’t honestly be said to be beautiful: bending the truth to make the sale, hiding key information in the small print or manufacturing scarcity to incite a fear of missing out. These are all acknowledged as effective ways to make a sale, but at what cost?

Words, written or spoken, have power. They have the power to build up, or they have the power to tear down. Words can add value or they can detract. When we strive for beautiful communication, we are striving to add value: to individuals, to communities, to businesses and to ourselves.

One of the key values we hold to in Bathcomms, is that we are ‘anti-churn.’ We value long-lasting partnerships because they benefit our clients, as well as ourselves, as we invest time in growing and learning together. If you say whatever you need to say to gain customers, you may win business in the short-term but as disillusionment sets in your customer retention will suffer and you will struggle to build anything that lasts.

Beautiful communication unites rather than divides

The 2018 film Bohemian Rapsody portrays the story of Freddie Mercury and the rock band Queen. Even if you haven’t watched it, you are likely familiar with the song: “We Will Rock You.” There is a scene in the film where Brian May is composing the song, designing the beats and the lyrics to be a song in which the audience can participate.

“I want to give the audience a song that they can perform.”
“Imagine … thousands of people doing this in unison.”

Flash forward to Queen performing in front of a huge crowd, the band begins to sing and the audience joins in: “We will, we will rock you.” They are united. They are no longer, band and audience but one voice singing together.

There are always two parties involved in communication: the one speaking and the one listening. When we acknowledge that communication isn’t one directional but that the audience has a key part to play that’s when we can truly place their needs first and know our communication will achieve its purpose.

It takes an extra effort to put connection-first in our communication. It’s easy to think that we know best. We have the stage so let’s use it to proclaim our voice, our agenda. It can be a lonely road that way. Beautiful communication is valuing the worth of the hearer, taking the time to listen first before speaking. It is often once people feel seen and heard, that they will be truly willing to listen to what you have to say.

Beautiful communication is essential

Beautiful communication isn’t only possible, but it is essential. It is essential if we wish to build businesses that will last. It is essential if we want to unite ourselves with our audiences. Beautiful communication causes us to raise the standards on how we operate, to pause and listen before we open our mouths.

Remember those traits of a beautiful person – kindness, compassion, humility, truth, being a champion of others? Ask yourself, how can you use those traits in your business communication today, so that everybody wins?