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  1. 1. Communication Essentials at Work Communication Essentials at Work
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Verbal communication 2. Assertive communication 3. Email etiquette 2 Communication Essentials at Work
  3. 3. Verbal Communication 3 Communication Essentials at Work
  4. 4. Section agenda  Understanding client communication  Consulting characteristics  Listening  Empathic listening  When and why do we not listen?  Listening traps  Best practices in client interactions  When does communication fail and why?  Speaking: The four MAT module  Parameters to evaluate spoken skills  Effective client interaction 4 Communication Essentials at Work
  5. 5. Understanding client communication In order to deliver superior value while communicating, we should know the art of consulting. This includes the following skills, though not necessarily in the order mentioned. They are: Advice: It is not enough to be correct, the act of giving advice is crucially dependent on a deep understanding of people and then adapting the advice, giving process to individuals involved. It is based on understanding the client‟s perspective, finding the right words, teaching the client, and giving exploring options. Relationship: These are the same skills that we all use to develop deep relationships in other parts of our lives (for example, being understanding, thoughtful, considerate, sensitive to feelings and supportive). Relationship building requires us to find a common and not a separate ground. Trust: Trust is earned over time. Trust is a two way relationship and is both rational and emotional. Trust is intrinsically about perceived risk. Trust is different for the client than it is for the advisor. Trust is also personal. 5 Communication Essentials at Work
  6. 6. Consulting characteristics The consulting characteristics are as follows:  Technical expertise: The knowledge or skill of an expert within that technical field  Business management skills: The act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively  Client management skills: Managing client expectations about project details, identifying project requirements ensuring a positive working relationship 6 Communication Essentials at Work
  7. 7. Activity: Sometimes it is good to pay attention 7 Communication Essentials at Work
  8. 8. Listening To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation: A Chinese proverb  “Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking,” by Bernard M. Baruch  “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”, by Anonymous 8 Communication Essentials at Work
  9. 9. Activity: I have two ears and one mouth 9 Communication Essentials at Work
  10. 10. Empathetic listening Empathetic listening is listening to help others. When a friend listens to your feelings about your divorce, or a mediator listens as you discuss your interests, empathetic listening is taking place.  When we listen empathetically, we go beyond sympathy to seek a true understanding of how others are feeling. This requires excellent discrimination and close attention to the nuances of emotional signals. When we are being truly empathetic, we actually acknowledge what they are feeling.  In order to get others to expose themselves to us, we also need to demonstrate our empathy in our demeanor towards them, listening sensitively and in a way that encourages self-disclosure. 10 Communication Essentials at Work
  11. 11. When and why do we not listen? Some common reasons why we do not listen to our clients includes:  We think we already know  We are pretending to, but not listening  We are busy listeners  We miss the big idea  We are just not prepared 11 Communication Essentials at Work
  12. 12. Listening traps The features of listening traps are as follows:  Giving a mixed message  Wrong path  Misunderstanding  Overload  Discomfort 12 Communication Essentials at Work
  13. 13. Best practices in client interactions Below are some tips for communicating effectively with a client:  Show interest  Focus on the key issue  Summarize and check  Listen for the common thread  Explore feelings openly 13 Communication Essentials at Work
  14. 14. When does communication fail and why? Video: MIND your Language Common barriers in communication:  Polarization  Lack of emotional connect  Abstraction and the speech in itself  Inappropriate use of expressions  Language differences  Differences in interpretation  Inadequate knowledge and preparedness 14 Communication Essentials at Work
  15. 15. Speaking: The four MAT module What else? How? 15 Why? What? Communication Essentials at Work
  16. 16. Speaking: Parameters to evaluate spoken skills Parameter Explanation Speed Clarity Was the message audible and free of distortion? Pronunciation The (correct) utterance of speech. Familiarity Your acquaintance with the words used. Punctuation The (correct) use of various kinds of pauses. Fluency Being able to express easily. Expression The act of transforming ideas into words. Content 16 The number of words spoken per minute. The meaning or substance of speech. Communication Essentials at Work
  17. 17. Effective client interaction: A few tips The tips are as follows:  Understand their processes.  Pre-empt issues in the future (if possible)  Never refuse. Learn to offer  Give-up front. Think emphatically and from a customer‟s point of view  Be proactive and seek help  Understand the „power ratio‟  Make others feel important  Be interested in their business and speak their language  Remember to address them by their names 17 Communication Essentials at Work
  18. 18. 2. Assertive Communication 18 Communication Essentials at Work
  19. 19. Section agenda  Types of behavior  So what do I gain by being assertive?  Reaction techniques  Factors in client interactions 19 Communication Essentials at Work
  20. 20. How do I convince you 20 Communication Essentials at Work
  21. 21. Types of behavior The types of behavior are as follows:  Aggressive behavior: Standing up for your rights and violating the rights of other people. Expressing your own needs, wants and opinions (honest or dishonest) inappropriately. Winning at all costs, if necessary at the expense of others.  Submissive behavior: Failing to stand up for your rights or doing things in such a manner so that others can easily disregard or ignore them. Pleasing others and avoiding conflicts at all costs, even if we do not get what we want. 21 Communication Essentials at Work
  22. 22. Types of behavior (continued)  Assertive behavior: – Being honest with yourself and your clients – Having the confidence in yourself – Being positive – Maintaining your own self respect and also respecting others – Having the ability to say directly what you want or feel (but also understanding client sensitivity) 22 Communication Essentials at Work
  23. 23. Types of behavior: So what do I gain by being assertive? Below are some tips for communicating effectively with a client:  An increased chance of your needs being met  Greater confidence in yourself  Greater confidence in others  Increased responsibility for your own behavior  Taking more initiatives  A saving in energy  Overall, it will result in you being more effective in your job as a support practitioner 23 Communication Essentials at Work
  24. 24. Types of behavior: Conclusion Win - Win Win - Win Assertive Responsive I care about yourself I care about you Aggressive I care about myself, I do not care about you I Win – You Lose 24 Communication Essentials at Work Submissive I do not care about myself, you are more important You Win – I Lose
  25. 25. Reaction techniques The reaction techniques are as follows:  Broken Record: Choose a phrase with which you will feel comfortable and, without getting angry repeat the original assertive statement each time the person tries to divert you or asks you to change your mind. Resist temptation to justify, answer, or get angry.  Saying no: Just try saying „No‟ when you want to refuse a request. In client interactions, however try to avoid this.  Empathy: Many people feel unhappy while refusing a request in an assertive way, feeling that it somehow means they are rejecting the person. Using empathy softens the „No‟.  Workable compromise: If you find that the Broken Record technique has not worked, it is useful to follow up with compromise. The main thing is to ensure that you maintain your self respect and not that you get your own way done in whichever manner. 25 Communication Essentials at Work
  26. 26. Reaction techniques (continued) The reaction techniques are as follows:  Inviting criticism: It is all about inviting more criticism. It is almost like saying, „You and I disagree on this, now tell me how do you want me to proceed?”. The advantage is that without being rude you can tell the other party that there is no way you are going to agree and hence, a compromise is required.  Buying time: This is something that many people use. It is a good way to control nervousness and say „I will get back after thinking about it‟. It is absolutely okay to not give your opinions immediately. In this way, you will be able to think and then get back with an appropriate answer.  Usage of „In my opinion‟: It firmly denotes your perspective about an issue. This is important for people to understand what you feel. So instead of saying an immediate „No‟, you can comfortably say „In my opinion, this could be like this‟ and so on. 26 Communication Essentials at Work
  27. 27. Handling tough situations Activity: When the going gets tough 27 Communication Essentials at Work
  28. 28. Factors in client interactions The factors are as follows:  Scheduling  Communication breakdowns  Priorities  Cost and financial objectives  Pressure  Differing expectations  Personality conflicts  Personal problems  Administrative procedures  Inadequate interpersonal skills 28 Communication Essentials at Work
  29. 29. 3. Email Etiquette 29 Communication Essentials at Work
  30. 30. Section agenda  Questions to ask  Do's and Don'ts  Factors for effective written communication  Cardinal rules  Responding to an email  Forwarding an email  While writing an email remember  Ten commandments of writing emails  Efficient email communication 30 Communication Essentials at Work
  31. 31. Let us connect 31 Communication Essentials at Work
  32. 32. Questions to ask Below are the questions you need to ask before communicating through email:  How do I begin?  What is my purpose?  How do I make my point clear?  How do I create a logical flow?  How do I say what I mean?  How do I avoid grammatical errors?  How can I make my message brief?  How can I create a visual effect? 32 Communication Essentials at Work
  33. 33. Remember Below are the points to consider in written communication:  Dos – It should be concise and to the point – The language used should not be overly informal – Essence of your message  Do not’s Below are the points that should be avoided in written communication: – Wrong subject or confusing subject – Over use of the word YOU – Flaming – Overtly friendly and SHORT WORDS – Too many (discussion) points – Decorative font style or crowded style – Incomplete or inconclusive sentences 33 Communication Essentials at Work
  34. 34. Factors for effective written communication Factor Explanation Completeness Correctness Information should be relevant and precise Credibility There should be sound support for the argument Clarity The message should not be vague, confusing, and ambiguous Conciseness The message should be to the point Consideration One should anticipate the reader‟s reaction Vitality 34 All information needed is provided One should use active voice rather than passive voice Communication Essentials at Work
  35. 35. Cardinal rules  Consider those who need to know about the subject or those who need to take some action  Justify each person in the email list, as to why they need to be included  Exclude anyone who does not need to have the information you will be sharing  Keep lines or white space in between spaces  Use short paragraphs and bulleted points  Use closed-ended questions  Use it to save time  What are your requested actions items?  Be specific and clear  Who are you asking to do these?  Do not include a lot of details or lead-ins  Be clear and specific  Lead with the most critical point  Make it fast and easy  Keep it positive  Thank your recipients  Include your contact information 35 Communication Essentials at Work
  36. 36. Responding to an email Below are parameters that need to be considered wile responding to an email:  Answer quickly  Be clear and specific  Pare down recipients  Answer questions to pre-empt future ones  Clearly state any questions you have, how you will follow-up or action items and your timeline  Do not reply unless you have to (Do not reply with thanks, OK, or see you there) 36 Communication Essentials at Work
  37. 37. Forwarding an email Below are parameters that need to be considered when forwarding an email:  Abbreviate forwarded emails, if possible  Do not forward anything unnecessary, sensitive or inappropriate  Refer to what is in the prior email (You can mention, „See below…‟)  Change the subject if needed or create a new email 37 Communication Essentials at Work
  38. 38. While writing an email remember: Reduce large portions of text (use bullets, paragraphs or just shorten what you are saying)  Keep it brief  Take notes, reorganize, and then write the email  Do not use abbreviations, jargon, big words, acronyms, slang, emoticons, or unclear words  Check the use of commas to separate elements in a series and to separate ideas, or clauses  Check the punctuation in abbreviations (for example: e.g., i.e., etc., and so on)  Do not use multiple punctuation marks (for example: !!!, ..., ???)  Check the punctuation of lists and tables  Check the usage of hyphens and dashes  Use active voice  Do not switch tenses very often  Proofread for accuracy 38 Communication Essentials at Work
  39. 39. Ten commandments of writing emails The ten commandments of writing emails are:  Know what you want to say before you say it  Keep it simple  Use bullet points  WIIFM (What Is In It For Me?)  Do not get bogged down  Call to action  Edit  Spell check  Take five (minutes) before hitting „send‟  Follow up 39 Communication Essentials at Work
  40. 40. Activity: My writing style 40 Communication Essentials at Work
  41. 41. Efficient email communication The steps involved in efficient email communication are:  Utilize full potential of written communication  Use frequent emails as per your requirement  What you write will ultimately define you as a professional to your colleagues, superiors, and clients  Match the appropriate communication method to the recipient  Eliminating excessive or unnecessary communication will improve your workflow  Mastering these skills will improve your ability to interact better with the end clients 41 Communication Essentials at Work
  42. 42. 42 Communication Essentials at Work