The Science Of Selecting “The Right People”

The Mind-Set of Individuals conducting “Interviews” varies from situation to situation and hence the pattern invariably goes through highs and lows. As a result, the statement:

Good Candidate or Bad Candidate !

It has been taken for granted the process of conducting interviews is easy and one should complete the exercise in the shortest possible time. Thereafter, the onus shifts to HR to complete the joining formalities to get the new hire on board quickly.

“If we didn’t spend four hours on placing a man and placing him right, we would spend four hundred hours on cleaning up after our mistake.”

In picking people, we can use “Five Simple Decision Steps” in ensuring we are selecting the right people:

  • Assignment
  • The Fit
  • Performance Records
  • Informal Discussions
  • Appointee Understanding of the Assignment.


It is said: Don’t hire a person for what they can’t do; hire them for what they can do. Unfortunately, the tone of most interviews is to establish the weaknesses of candidates. This becomes a cardinal mistake as we eventually should hire people for their strengths. What are the scientific questions to determine the true strengths of a candidate? It is possible to categorize questions to determine qualities like Accountable, Attitude, Collaboration, and Motives.

“In looking for people to hire, you look for 3 qualities: Integrity, Intelligence, and Energy. And, if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffet

Most interviewers can easily determine the intelligence and energy of a candidate. How many can establish the integrity in an objective manner? At the same time, when it comes down to two equally strong candidates, what are the grounds on which you will make the final choice? Using the help of advanced ‘Psychometric’ Tests; it is possible to use ‘science in selecting the right people.’ The more objective the process, the probability of making the right choice becomes very high.

“Make decisions on people: Selection, placement, and evaluation – your top priority.” – Peter Drucker


And, it starts with Selection. If you get the first step wrong, the next 2 are meaningless

The Hidden Factor (Attitude!)

Many times, we easily comment on the behavior of others. Most of the relationships we break are because we get upset with the behavior of others. We are also most easily hurt when others comment on our behavior.

What is this mesmerizing thing about behavior,which,seems to be the deciding factor in our life…on the surface…it is visible …but it seems to come from inside us.

ATTITUDE!


Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it-Lou Holtz

You might be very competent in your area of work and also clear on the reasons for doing something. But, if your attitude is wrong, all the ability in the world and motivation is not going to take you anywhere in your life.

In order to change your Attitude, what is the hidden source inside, you need to tackle? Or before, you attempt the same, is there a check to determine, what is your Attitude? The following test will determine your attitude:

If you are feeling glad, your Attitude is Positive.
If you are feeling
sad, mad, or scared, your Attitude is Negative.
If the feelings are the driving force behind your attitude, it is important to work on the causes behind our feelings. Our feelings are a result of our thinking. Hence, it is important to work on our thinking.

Unfortunately, the world is very negative. So, we are left with two choices:

Change the Negative World.
Change our Thinking.
You can decide which is easier….!!! Now, the negativity surrounding us does not allow us to switch on our mind and say: Let us do some positive thinking! Under such circumstances, what is our hope?

Using simple techniques, one can bring a sea change in our attitude. Are you ready to learn how to go about changing your attitude?

We have a right to choose our attitude. – Viktor Frankl

Not Good, But GREAT Manager

Every Employee waits for his opportunity to become a Manager. Some employees will do anything to get the title of a Manager. Some employees even change companies to get the designation of a Manager. If becoming a Manager is everyone’s priority, why are we producing only

Good Managers, not GREAT Managers?


A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can. – Frederick W Smith

Reaching a Managerial position is a relatively easy task but what exactly needs to be done in a Managerial Role is totally a different ball game. The typical Manager is caught between trying to satisfy the expectations of the seniors who have given him the new responsibility and trying to manage below the team for delivering results and also meeting their expectations.

It is tough balance. Very few managers are successful in juggling both the balls in their hands! How can one strike the right balance between seniors and juniors to become a GREAT Manager?

Trying to do too much can destroy the most capable individual. One of the biggest mistakes made by managers is too attempt everything and as a result achieve nothing. Doing too little will not satisfy anyone.

There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job. – Peter F. Drucker

In order to avoid getting into the trap of being just a good manager, a manager needs to be clear on the “CORE FOUR” Functions of running the business. What are the clear “Do’s and Don’ts” to become a GREAT Manager? Finally, what are the “5” Share Areas to becoming a successful and effective manager?

Remember: Good Managers confuse activity with performance.
GREAT Managers distinguish between activity and performance.

Leadership By Choice, Not Chance

One of the most commonly held Management Fallacies: You need to be an Executive Director, CEO, COO, CFO, Vice President, Manager to be a Leader.

WRONG!!!


It is totally, the other way round: To be a successful and great Executive Director, CEO, COO, CFO, Vice President, Manager, or Supervisor – YOU NEED TO BE A LEADER FIRST and the rest will fall in place. Designations do not make Leaders. In other words, a Manager may not be a Leader but, a Leader can be anything – Manager, Supervisor, or Officer.

In order to get to the bottom of Leadership, it is imperative to understand the difference between Leadership and Management. The areas of differentiation will throw light on the importance of both Leadership and Management. To make “Leadership A Choice” does not mean, we need to abandon the virtues of Management. In a simple analogy, “why and what” decisions need Leadership Skills and “how and when” require the attention of Management.

To make the understanding of the concept of Leadership easier, it is important to relate to examples at the Personal / Social Level. After experiencing the journey at the Personal / Social Level, it is now easy to translate the understanding to Corporate Level. For any Leader to pass the “Test”, there are two simple but forceful questions to be answered. Do you know them? In one minute, you can judge, whether a person possesses Leadership Substance or not? Once the first test is passed, then, it requires additional probing to establish True Leaders.

What is the changeless core essential for any Leader? If this core is applied by human beings to all types of materialistic things, we need to place the same emphasis on the Leader in Public or Personal Role. From this core, one can easily manifest the Essentials of Leadership. It is important to understand the “4 Es ” of Leadership – Live By Example, Let Us Envision, Light The Energy, and Lead In Execution.

If you want to leave a mark in your life, personal or professional, it is imperative you make “leadership” become a central part of your day to day living.

So, you have a Choice to make Leadership happen to you and not let some Chance Event lead you to it!!!

Using Appropriate Words in a Speech

The selection of perfect words can be a challenge for some people. They get confused in the selection of different words during their speech. That is one of the reasons why they feel hesitant to speak in public. However, as a speaker, debater or a presenter, words play an important role in your overall speech.

They also act as tools for your impression while delivering a speech. If you are great at combining words together at the right spot, you for sure can achieve what is required in a best speech. It is not at all a big positive mark to avoid learning how to combine different words together. If you are good at combination of words, you could be more effective by learning them even in a more refined form. You need to learn some of the basics for how to use appropriate words in your speech.

Less Is More

If you want to remember your speech, you might go for having short sentences in your speech. Avoid long combinations of words that are separated by sentence connectors. Examples of sentence connectors include “and”, “so”, “actually”, “but”, “however”, etc. Such sentences are just too long to remember in their right order. You should know that long sentences just lose your audience’s attention towards your speech. Also, if you use long sentences, your audience gets confused whether to focus on the first part of your sentence or on the last part. Making use of short sentences in your speech helps you to interact with your audience easily. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you use short sentences to make your speech effective.

Avoid Jargon

Another important point to focus at is to avoid the usage of terminologies, slang, abbreviations and jargon in your speech. However, if it is absolutely necessary to include jargon, do explain a little bit about the meaning of the word in order for your audience to follow your speech.

However, if you are addressing a specific group of people who are familiar with the jargon you plan to use, then it’s perfectly okay to use it. For example, if you are explaining a medical concept to doctors, you will be expected to use technical terms related to the medical profession.

Avoid Pause Fillers

More often, speech deliverers have the tendency of adding casual words like “umfh”, “aah” and “aee”. These words are distracting towards the audience. Usually, these words indicate that the speech deliverer is either confused or is not feeling comfortable enough to deliver the speech. You need to try to exclude these words as much as you can in order to prevent your audience from losing attention. A simple way to eliminate these pause fillers is to speak slowly. The mouth has the tendency to speak faster than the brain can think. When this happens, the brain suddenly goes blank…and guess what…in come the speech crutches such as “ah”, “um”, “er”, etc.

Avoid Foul Language

Some speech deliverers think that the usage of foul words is supposedly “cool”. Trust me, the usage of such language only goes to show that the speaker has got bad upbringing. A well-schooled speaker will have an arsenal of refined vocabulary up his sleeve which can be utilized to convey any message effectively.

Your choice of words should ideally be generic in nature. This means that you should be able to deliver the same speech in front of your family, bosses, customers or friends without feeling embarrassed about your choice of words.

Usage of Homonyms

Homonyms are words that share the same pronunciation but may have different meanings. An example of homonyms are stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person) and left (past tense of leave) and left (opposite of right).

If you have an accent which is deemed foreign to your audience, it is best to avoid homonyms as you will most likely confuse your audience with your pronunciation. If you really have got no choice but to use a homonym, make your message clear by using hand gestures or body movement to emphasize your words.

If you will follow these basic rules in your speech, you would definitely excel in your communication skills. All the best to you in your next presentation. I wish you well.

Four Different Ways to Reach Your Audience

There are four different ways in which your audience will assimilate information. They are: visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinaesthetic. While your listeners will process information using all four of these approaches at different times, each person will tend to depend on one of these approaches more than the other three.

Therefore, if you want to reach into the heart and souls of everyone in the room, you will need to employ all four approaches.

Visual

Do you like to present with props, flip charts, PowerPoint or video clips? If you do, you are probably a visual presenter yourself.

Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise as compared to others. They will quickly lose concentration by long, verbal presentations as their minds begin to wander. They are fascinated in how your presentation appears. They like it when you use picture painting phrases like “see the blue sky, look across the room, envision standing on top of a hill, imagine driving a Ferrari, etc.” in your presentation as these words encourage them to make pictures in their minds.

Therefore, in order to reach out to these people, you will need to employ a lot of vivid imagery in your sentences.

Auditory

When I attend seminars, I hate to take notes. If I do take notes, I will most likely not refer to them anyway. I like to listen to the speaker. Guess which category do I fall into? You guessed right. I am an auditory person.

People like me are easily distracted by any noises occurring during the presentation. These audience members learn by listening. Your vocal tonality and vocal quality will be very important with these people. Phrases that resonate well with people in this class include “hear me, listen to him, the sound of rain, I could resonate with her ideas, etc.”

As such, in order to connect with such an audience, you will need to vary your speech according to the pitch, tone, volume and rate.

Auditory Digital

This kettle of fish spend a good amount of time in their heads talking to themselves. They memorize and learn by steps, processes, and structures.

They want to see a proper or logical flow in your presentation. Your presentation has to make “sense” to their sense 🙂 Words that will make “sense” to these group include “sense, experience, understand, think, motivate, and decide.”

It would be helpful to use Gantt Charts, Excel Spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides to help your audience along under such circumstances.

Kinaesthetic

These are the “feeling” guys. They often speak very slowly in order to feel their own words.

They learn by keenly doing something and deriving the actual feeling of it. They are attracted towards a presentation that “feels right” or gives them a “gut feeling.” Phrases that are effective with such listeners include “I felt happy, she touched my heart, I grasped his hand, they were elated, etc.”

When telling a sad story or speaking in a loving manner to your loved ones, it is a good idea to go into the kinaesthetic mode in order to “touch” the soul of your audience.

Now that you have gained a deeper insight into the visual, auditory, auditory digital and kinaesthetic audience, you will know exactly how to effectively deliver your message across to them.

All the best to you in your next presentation

Moving from Good to Great in Your Public Speeches

Kaizen is a Japanese practice of continuous improvement. Today, Kaizen is accepted worldwide as an important mainstay of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. As a public speaker, you too need to “Kaizen” your delivery skills in order to remain relevant to your audience. Here are some tips on how to take your speech from good to great so that you continue to remain relevant.

Research Your Listeners

I am amazed at how some speakers will arrive for a speaking engagement without knowing anything about the audience they are about to address. I am fastidious about researching the demographics and desires of the audience before speaking to them.

Some complacent speakers feel that their message is so important that everyone would want to hear it. Therefore, they do not take the initiative to understand the desires of the audience. They couldn’t be more wrong. Your fundamental message may be about the same thing, but knowing your addressees will enable you to customise the information to suit the crowd. As such, your audience will feel that your talk was specially prepared just for them. Dale Carnegie called this “baiting the hook to suit the fish.” They will relate much better to your message and appreciate your initiative for creating something unique for them.

Practice

Rehearsals cannot be delegated, unfortunately. If you want to look polished while speaking you need to practice. For a five minute speech, I will normally rehearse for one hour. Don’t fall into the trap thinking that your PowerPoint / Prezi slides can do the talking for you. You are the master and your slides are your slaves. If you think that you can reverse this equation, you are courting trouble, my friend 🙂

There are specific methods used to rehearse that don’t take much time. One of these methods is called bits. You rehearse a short bit of material over and over again. You don’t rehearse it verbatim, but just speak your way through it. I normally do it in my car while driving. This way your mind won’t black out when you are distracted on stage.

Take Care of the Troublemakers

In some cases, I have noticed that the heckler is normally the senior executive of the organization who is craving for a sense of importance in front of his / her subordinates. On other occasions it could be someone who knows the subject better than you and therefore has got little or no respect for you.

Well, you’ve got to handle the situation whether you like it or not. This will be the ultimate test of your communication skills and people handling expertise.

Use Visual Aids

A picture paints a thousand words so does a visual aid. Visual people will find it easy to anchor a thought in their minds when it is linked to a visual object. Just like “seeing is believing” to them, “seeing is understanding.” Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures. They love it when you use words that create vivid imagery like “see the dark clouds, look across the beach, envision celebrating your wedding anniversary, imagine driving a Volvo, etc.” in your speech as these phrases paint pictures in their minds.

You could employ a combination of large, small, weird or colorful props. PowerPoint or Prezi will also come in handy here. Always ensure that your prop serves to make your point clearer or more understandable.

Conclusion

One of the most interesting features of Kaizen is that huge results come from numerous little changes accumulated over a period of time. Today, you have embarked on Kaizen by implementing these four suggestions which are Research Your Listeners, Practice, Take Care of the Troublemakers and Use Visual Aids. In just a matter of time, you will see massive improvements in your presentations; trust yourself.

I wish you well.

Utilizing Body Language in a Speech

Your body language plays an important part in making your speech a perfect one. Normally, the tactics of verbal communication focus a lot on proper mapping of the body language. Body language has its instinctive impact on your speech as it involves non-verbal communication. Body language is all about conveying a message to another person without having an interchange of words. It is calculated that most of the messages that we interchange with each other are through body language.

From 1967 to 1971, Professor Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He discovered that when there is communication on a face-to-face basis, the audience would be able to guess the intention of the speaker accurately 55% of the time from his / her physiology. What’s important here is that the exact percentage is irrelevant. The crucial part is that most face-to-face communication is nonverbal.

Therefore, you must be aware of how to use your body language in your speech. For expressive people, body language is a very strong point in their speech and for the docile ones, it is not. So, if you do not have it as your strength, it would be a good idea to learn how to make it your strength. Flaunting your physiology appropriately will augment your speech deliverance.

Generally, body language is divided into 3 parts:

Gesticulation

Gesticulation is also referred to as “making proper gestures”. The different movements that we make using our hands are called gestures and the process is called gesticulation. Whenever a person delivers a speech, there comes certain points when he or she has to focus a bit to grab the attention of the audience. Proper use of gesture by making particular arm movements in the air can grab the attention of the audience.

In addition, the gestures are directly proportional to the size of the audience. If you are having a small meeting, you do not need to overly exaggerate your gestures. On the other hand, if you are a political leader or a person similar to that, you can have an audience of a million people in front of you. At that spot, you will need to focus on a powerful speech. Therefore, your gestures need to be exaggerated, deliberate, slow and accentuated. This is because you need to give adequate time for a million pairs of eyes to follow your movement.

Facial Expression

Facial expressions are indeed a very important part of your overall body language in your speech deliverance. Your audience will draw a conclusion or an idea of what you are talking about or what your mood is just by observing your facial expressions. So, if you want to deliver a successful speech, you need to focus on how to maintain the appropriate facial expressions during your presentation. Facial expressions of a debater or presenter greatly depends upon the lip and face movements. Many debaters and presenters are unaware of these facial expressions and just neglect them. Therefore it would be a good idea to rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or record your speech on video in order to observe your facial expressions.

Another aspect of your facial expressions is your eye contact with your audience. Eye contact is generally referred to as the point of confidence in your speech. If you are shy in making eye contact with your audience, you cannot deliver a good speech. You need to build inner self confidence to make eye contact with your audience. Your eye contact will help your audience connect with, like and trust you.

It will not be practical to establish eye contact with every individual in the room. So, a good way to deal with large crowds is to look at the people in the first few rows only. Beyond the third row, all you’ll see is a sea of heads with no eyes anyway. If the room had got a video camera which is projecting you on the big screen, lucky you. All you need to do is to look at the camera while speaking. Your eye contact with the camera will appear as eye contact with the audience on the big screen.

Body Posture

Last but not least is how you stand. It is also referred to as your body posture. Your body posture is very important as it will enable you to breathe well and portray a sense of confidence. If you have the inclination to sway or rock while speaking, spread your feet out almost in line with your shoulders, parallel to one another. Standing in this position will minimize any swaying or rocking motion and decrease disturbing heel movements. Feel free to move around and return to this posture, just don’t pace.

These are some of the non-verbal messages your audience may interpret when you do the following:

Leaning to one side – You are uncomfortable being on stage, you are trying to escape.

Pacing across the speaking area like a caged tiger – You are trying to break free, just like the caged tiger.

Rocking back and forth – Loss of power, you are nervous.

So there you go, my friends. Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture will make or break your speech. While we all want to believe that it’s sufficient to be natural in front of a room, achieving this is easier said than done. It’s a strange and uncommon thing that produces strain, pressure, and ‘butterflies” in our stomachs. Being natural is insufficient. We need to be more dramatic, larger and more commanding. It takes additional determination and vigor. It also takes talent and rehearsal. With so much reliant on communication and communication contingent upon our physiology, it’s worth getting it right. Toil on your Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture to make the most of every speaking occasion.

Good luck

Establishing an Emotional Connection with Your Audience

If you take care of the beginning, the end will take care of itself ~ Anonymous

When we communicate in public, we have approximately one minute to engage our audience’s attention, establish believability, familiarize them to our topic, and encourage them to listen.

If you waste those valuable opening seconds with an irrelevant joke, or an apology your listener’s minds are likely to wander, and you may not get them back. Losing them for 5 seconds is bad enough because it will take them another 10 seconds to catch up with you.

Here are some tips to engage your audience on an emotional level so that you will have their undivided attention throughout your presentation.

Use Emotional Language

Dull timeworn facts seldom excite people into action. Using words that evoke emotions will make a much bigger impression when you speak. There are numerous sentiments you can activate in the audience by using the appropriate choice of words. Delight, rage, sorrow, melancholy are just a few. Knowing your reason for addressing the group will help you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When you know your purpose, choosing the appropriate words to elicit the desired emotional reaction becomes easier. For example, if you desire to take your listeners back to a childhood experience you might say, “Do you recollect the time when your classmate did something bad at school and your teacher caned him in public?” The phrase “caned him in public” would induce an emotional response that many grown-ups can relate to. A “generation Y” audience may not relate to this phrase since corporal punishment is not widely practiced in schools these days. Therefore, it is advisable to pick words that your audience can relate to.

Show Your Vulnerable Side

Many speakers are hesitant to implement this idea because they like to remain detached and supposedly dignified. If you fall in this category, I don’t blame you. You may not know what is appropriate and what is not.

You don’t have to disclose your “skeletons in the closet” when on stage, but you could talk about how much you like dogs, or how you love to play with your children. . .anything that will give them an insight into the “human” side of you. By exposing the “softer” side of you, your audience will develop a stronger bond with you. Once the bond is established, it would be easier for you to influence or inspire your audience effectively.

This concept is also known as establishing common ground with the audience.

Use Jokes

Humour is a potent and effective instrument that gives the audience’s mind an opportunity to breath in the face of heavy material. It also makes you more affable and enjoyable to listen to. When your audience like you, your emotional connection with them becomes stronger. A humorous speech is also more likely to make your information more unforgettable.

There are four basic methods to add humour that don’t necessitate any skill at all. Just remember this acronym; P U U I.
P = puns
U = unexpected twists
U = understatements
I – irony

Just Google for “jokes with puns” or “jokes with irony” and you will get loads of samples with detailed explanation on what a pun or understatement joke is.

Similar to props, ensure that your humour relates to the point you are trying to make.

Be A Problem Solver

An effective way to make the audience love you is to convey solutions to their difficulties. If you have researched your audience well, you should know what their problems are. It’s your business to suggest solutions for them to try. In modern day rational this is what motivational discourse is all about. No longer is it sufficient to get your listeners all fired up where they are vigorously bouncing off the walls without a hint as to what they will do with this new found enthusiasm and stimulus. Modern skilled motivational speakers bring solutions and a strategy of action to attain them.

Are The Logistics Okay?

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the Kings horses & all the Kings men,
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Take cue from this nursery rhyme.

The best groundwork, rehearsal, and audience study could be ruined if you overlook any details surrounding the logistical arrangements. You want to know what is going to transpire before you speak, and what will occur after you speak: What is the seating arrangement? What kind of microphone will you be using? How big is the screen for the PowerPoint presentation? Will the people be consuming alcohol? Is the lighting sufficient?

These and many other questions will significantly enhance or ruin your presentation.

Remember, the same speech conveyed with significantly dissimilar logistics could be received in an entirely different way. You could even go from a superb evaluation to a “Humpty Dumpty” just because of the way your audience were seated. You need to know the differences and how they will affect your presentation.

Conclusion

Many believe that good public speakers are born, not made. I wish that was true of me. Well, some people are more tranquil and at ease speaking in front of others, and I’m happy for them. Perhaps they have learnt how to establish an emotional connection with themselves first before attempting to do the same with their audience? Now that’s something to ponder upon…

I wish you well in your next presentation

Business Communications

Business communications are amongst the most important in life – getting what we do right in the workplace is essential. Being a good employee has benefits for the whole team – including you, and being great at your job starts with being a good communicator. It doesn’t matter where you sit in the business hierarchy, because everyone is protected by employment law and other rules and regulations.

There are four ways you can ensure you’re communicating effectively with your colleagues, these are:

Feedback – always tell your colleagues what they’re doing well

Progress reports – keep your superiors in the loop

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind (in moderation)

Seek feedback from colleagues

Feedback

We all love a bit of feedback – usually when we’ve done something well. A pat on the back and a show of appreciation from superiors is usually enough to put a smile on the face of any employee. It might not always be you wearing that smile – but it can be you putting that smile on someone else’s face. So next time your work mates do something to help you, or impress you – make sure you thank them for it, and their efforts don’t go un-praised.

Feedback works both ways too though – so if they do something you don’t quite approve of it’s important you tell them. In a roundabout way it’s a good idea to mention to your colleagues what you don’t appreciate from them – but don’t go in all guns blazing. Usually a civil conversation will straighten out any kinks in the relationship between you and your colleagues. Effective business communications start with feedback.

Progress reports

If you forever seem to be behind with your work, and always in trouble with your boss – now’s the time to turn a new leaf. Keep your boss in the loop – tell them where you’re up to. Communication is great – because your boss might suddenly realise the fault doesn’t lie with you, and they’ve been overloading you with work. Keeping your superiors and colleagues in the know with where you are up to really helps everyone out.

Speak your mind

This tip is to be used with caution, because 99% of the time managers do know what they’re talking about. Here we’re looking at the 1% of the time they don’t. It’s up to you to raise it with them when they’re wrong – in a civil manner of course. It’s not an opportunity to be a know-it-all, but it is your opportunity to have your say. Speaking your mind is also a good tip for those who feel picked on or bulled, don’t suffer in silence.

Seek feedback

Regularly asking your colleagues and bosses how you’re doing might appear on the surface like you’re fishing for compliments, but it’s actually a good way of finding out where your weaknesses lay. When you know your weaknesses, you can address them – and that’s great for everyone. Don’t go annoying the rest of the team asking them questions about your performance, but by all means bring it up in conversation now and then if you’re genuinely interested in how other people feel about you as a colleague.

Unfortunately not all employees are proficient when it comes to business communications – which can lead to much bigger problems further down the line. These top tips are a good way to start becoming more proficient in business communications.

Written Communication

If you want to know how important any written document can be, just ask a lawyer. They will tell you that in today’s litigious environment, it is imperative that any written communication be precise, thorough and well thought out; saying no more or no less than the author intends. Everything considered, a written communication could include anything from a formal legal document or a simple business email to correspondence of either a personal or a business nature. Of course, drafting legal documents requires, among other things, an advanced education, specific areas of expertise, vigilance and meticulous attention to detail. So, what about others outside the legal arena who wish to communicate in writing? Are the rules that much different?

Generally speaking, the rules for written communications are the same. The subject matter and other circumstances may dictate how they are applied, but overall, there is a combination of factors necessary to successfully compose a written document that will enable an author to express an opinion, share an idea, propose a course of action, or achieve some other specific purpose the author has in mind. To write successfully requires, among other things: organization, a basic understanding of grammar and style, a thorough command of the English language, a respect for accuracy and a logical mind.

With these skills, an author should be able to effectively compose a document that is focused, arranged in an organized and coherent manner and avoids confusing or incomprehensible language. If the writing is straightforward, concise, reader-friendly and well thought out, it should accomplish its intended purpose and be a credit to the author. On the other hand, a composition that is written in a careless and imprudent manner can cause the author considerable embarrassment. Additionally, if it is unnecessarily complicated, ambiguous, rambling and takes liberties with facts, it can easily be misinterpreted or misunderstood, and the author could potentially find himself in a very uncomfortable situation

Ideally, most high school graduates should have the skills necessary to adequately draft a written communication on a fairly sophisticated level, but that is not always the case. On the other hand, having a college degree is no guarantee that a person has the ability to communicate effectively in the written word either. With the unlimited informational resources offered by the Internet, anyone who is serious about securing the knowledge and skills, which would enable them to write effectively, can find seminars or workshops on that subject or locate colleges and universities offering online courses to improve the skills and abilities necessary for them to reach their goals.

What are interpersonal skills?

The Internet and the communication tools it brought have transformed the world irreversibly. Now, becoming social is a more important than ever. In fact, chances are you have been listening a lot about interpersonal skills lately. What but what are they, really?

Etymology and Definition

Unfortunately, there’s not a strict consensus about what are interpersonal skills. The word “interpersonal” comes from Latin, prefix inter-, meaning between, and the word persona, meaning “person;” Literally, this means “between people.” When it comes to Marketing and Business jargon, though, interpersonal communication is usually defined as how well you communicate with people around you.

Is “Interpersonal Communication” the Same as “Social Communication?”

Even though interpersonal communication means “communication between people,” it is usually seen as something very different from social skills: social communication usually refers to talking to a broad audience; interpersonal communication, however, is usually seen as something more restricted, meaning you usually talk to 3 people, at most. Nevertheless, knowing how to talk with a co-worker or boss usually leads to a better work environment (or even the promotion you’ve always wanted).

Four ways of Interpersonal Communication

Though the process of Interpersonal Communication is something extremely complex, (and, therefore, would be someone to be discussed in a book) for didactic purposes we are going to split the process into four basic, pragmatic ways so you can start to understand what interpersonal communication skills are all about:

Empathy – of all the skills, take note: this is the most important. Empathy basically means you try to think about how a friend or co-worker would feel or react about something. This allows you to “synchronize” with him/her, as if you two talked the same language. If you lack empathy, the other 3 skills are seriously compromised.

Active listening – this refers to the skill of paying attention to what your co-worker has to say. The better you are at this, the better chances are you will be heard as well.

Perceiving non-verbal language – this skill refers to how well you’re able to read the body language of a person: the better you are, the faster you can take action to know if (s)he is upset or not – and even act in advance to prevent misunderstandings. Notice, however, the even body language may vary from a culture to another, or to a gender to another, and so on. Therefore, reading the body language of a person may take some practice to truly master (for this very reason, avoid buying books about non-verbal language and then assuming every person crossing his/her arms doesn’t want to listen to what you say, please).

Assertiveness – this refers to how well you are able to evaluate someone’s requests and statements, and to express your opinions about them. Good assertiveness also means you can be firm without being rude (unless, of course, your friend / co-worker is also being rude – but that’s another story, isn’t it?).

Verbal communication Skills

It’s obvious that verbal communication skills form a part of our every day. From expressing happiness, to appealing for sympathy – we use verbal communication skills for a whole manner of different things. It’s important therefore to communicate effectively, and in a way that will help best.

Many people lack confidence when it comes to verbal communication skills – but there are four simple ways in which you can help yourself to improve your verbal communication skills. These are:

Improving your vocabulary Projecting your voice when speaking Speaking clearly Practicing public speaking

They might seem quite straight forward – and they are. By taking these things into consideration you could dramatically improve your verbal communication skills.

Improving your vocabulary

The more words you know, the more you can say! It’s simple. The fact is you’ll never know every word in the dictionary – but at the same time, if you make a little effort to expand your vocabulary gradually you’ll find yourself with an expanse of different words to choose from. An impressive vocabulary can lead to better articulation – and better articulation is one of the key factors behind improving your communication skills.

Projecting your voice when speaking

You can be talking for hours on end – but if you’re not projecting your voice no one will hear you. It’s imperative you project your voice effectively – it doesn’t matter if you’re having a chat with a friend in a bar, or you’re speaking publicly. Voice projection is a major area in which a lot of people can dramatically improve their verbal communication skills.

A quiet, withdrawn speaker appears not confident and shy. That’s almost certainly not the image you want to be portraying – no matter why you’re speaking. So adopt a positive posture, raise your voice slightly and speak with confidence.

Speaking clearly

You can have all the confidence in the world with an expansive vocabulary, but if you speak too fast and people can’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll never get your point across. From speed to accents – we all speak differently – and some people might find it hard to understand you. So speak slowly to really ensure your audience understand every word you’re saying.

Practice public speaking

Public speaking is a daunting prospect for most people. In fact lots of people actively try to avoid it. From presentations in school, to addressing meetings in the workplace – there’s just something about public speaking that most people really don’t like. There’s no need to be afraid, however.

By being confident, and following the other tips above you will find speaking in public isn’t quite as daunting as you thought. In fact, you might even enjoy it! Next time it’s your turn to speak in public, for whatever reason – don’t try to shy away from it, embrace the occasion!

There are many different ways to improve verbal communication skills – but these are four of the best tips for those looking to improve on one of their most used skills. Verbal communication skills say a lot about you – what are yours like?

Assertive Communication

How can you use assertive communication without being the bad guy?

Many people confuse being assertive with being selfish. Being assertive means nothing more than being clear on what you want and expressing it.

Sometimes, the recipient of your message will make an emotional judgment about what you’ve said that is based on their own needs. Because this judgement is an emotional one, it’s often the case that it’s not rational. Separating emotion from logic is one of the challenges that you will face when making an assertive communication.

It goes without saying, therefore, that before using assertive communication you will have stepped back and looked at all of the options objectively. Until you have done so, and you’re absolutely certain that what you’re about to say is in the best interests of all concerned, it may be better to hold your counsel.

By going through the process of stepping back you’ll be able to assess the situation from a detached and logical view point. Having this objectivity will assist you greatly in deciding whether or not it is prudent to use assertive communication.

In all communications between people the ultimate objective is to create a situation in which all parties win. Being assertive does not imply that you must win and they must lose. Nor should it imply that you must be right.

When approaching a situation where you feel you need to use assertive communication, it may be better to look at it from the view point of “what can I do or say that will make this situation better for me and for the other person?” If you also start your message to the other party by reframing it with a statement such as “I have thought this through and I believe that this may be the best course of action for us to take. I’m say this because I believe this is in both of our best interests. I’m not saying this because I want to, or need to, win. What I’m about to say is so that you can win and I can win.”

At this point, it would be better if you wait for the response from the other person and adjust your message to address their answer. By doing this, they will feel heard and understood, and they will be far more likely to cooperate with your request.

Once you’re both agreed that the conversation is about creating the best possible outcome for all parties, you can then proceed with your assertive communication.

Being assertive does not mean blaming, criticizing or putting the other person down in any way. You merely state what happens, the concrete affect that it has on you, and how you feel as a result of it. By doing it this way, if you stick to this formula, the other person will be unable to dispute what actually happens when they do whatever they do.

However…

There’s always the danger that the other party will disagree with whatever you say, including the things in the formula. At this point you’re then faced with a choice. You can either restate the things you said earlier or you can choose to terminate the conversation and reconsider other ways you can say what you want to say.

In some situations, other people are so entrenched in defending their way of thinking or being that nothing you say will change their perspective. If that is the case, you may have to reconsider whether or not you wish to continue with that relationship.

Business Communication-You need to Be Understood and More Effective

Communication in business is essential for many reasons.

Your organization’s planning and monitoring of business processes require you to convey the information required to facilitate getting the task completed . This can take many forms and may include modern electronic methods or a simple office circular .

What is important is that your message is comprehended by the recipient . Communication is based in encoding your message in a manner that people can decode it and still know the exact meaning of what you said.

The English language is crammed with ambivalent words that can have many interpretations subject to the circumstances they are used in. It’s a bit like the children’s game called Chinese whispers. A classic example is “Send reinforcements we’re going to advance” which is eventually transformed into “Send three and fourpence, we are going to a dance”.

This is fun in a child’s game a business owner needs more than fun to survive .

So… What is a way that you can check that your message has got through so that you get the exact results you expect ?

It’s quite easy …

Simply ask !

By ascertaining that your instructions is clearly decoded in the way that you needed it to be simply ask the receiver of your email what they understood about your meaning and the reason for sending it .

You can also train your teams or other business associates to reflectively listen to what you have said or written .

eg : You have just sent out an email to all of your team telling them that sales are down and if the sales revenues aren’t increased then your quarterly income targets won’t be met .

Active communication is where the person who gets your communication will reflect back to you what they understood about what you said .

” So, John , what you are telling the team is that we have to increase our sales this month or we will be out of business “

Your options are then to either make the message clearer , If it isn’t received correctly or you can state that Yes that’s correct . The advantage of active listening is that all parties are clear right from the start and this will reduce lost time, later when you have to rectify the mistakes created by bad communication .

There are so many ways that you can have more powerful business communication.