Business communication final_tridat

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  • 1. Business Communication
  • 2. Contents A Quick Checklist......................................................................................................... 3YOUR TAKEAWAY GIFTS AT THE END OF THIS PROGRAM… ......................................... 5 OSCAR .......................................................................................................................... 6WRITTEN COMMUNICATION ................................................................................................. 7 E-mail ............................................................................................................................ 8 The 3C’s in written Communication ......................................................................... 10 OSCAR in writing ....................................................................................................... 13OBJECTIVE ........................................................................................................................... 14 Objective | A Review .................................................................................................. 17STRUCTURE .......................................................................................................................... 19 Structure | A Review .................................................................................................. 27CONTENT | ANIMATE | RESULT .......................................................................................... 29 CONTENT .................................................................................................................... 30 ANIMATE ..................................................................................................................... 32 RESULT .......................................................................................................................35 CONTENT | ANIMATE | RESULT - A Review ........................................................... 38VERBAL COMMUNICATION ................................................................................................. 40 In Person Communication ......................................................................................... 41 In Person Communication | A Review ...................................................................... 45 Telephonic Communication ...................................................................................... 47BUSINESS ETIQUETTE ........................................................................................................ 49 Business Meetings..................................................................................................... 50 Grooming – Make a lasting Impression. .................................................................. 55 2
  • 3. A Quick ChecklistMark a √ in the column that describes you the most.Know your ScaleScale 1 2 3 4Description Rarely Sometimes Most Times Always Check List Items Type 1 2 3 41 I feel that most people are eager to V hear me speak and they usually ask me questions to clarify their understanding.2 I express my opinions without V wandering off from the subject of discussion.3 Before I communicate, I think about V what the person needs to know, and how best to convey it.4 In spite of giving clear verbal V instructions or complete details, the (Reverse recipients still ask me for clarity scoring)5 If I dont understand something, I tend V to keep this to myself and figure it out (Reverse later. scoring)6 When I first meet someone, I wait for V the other person to make the (Reverse introduction first. scoring)7 I answer my calls during a meeting Etiquette (Reverse)8 While addressing letters and e-mails, I Written always use adequate social greetings9 While speaking on the phone people V usually ask me to repeat what I am (Reverse saying scoring)10 When I finish writing a report, or email, Written I scan it quickly for typos and so forth, and then send it off right away.11 I participate in chain mails Written (Reverse scoring) 3
  • 4. Check List Items Type 1 2 3 412 During meetings I ensure, my mobile Etiquette phone is on silent mode13 I have consistently been Listening complimented on my listening skills14 I am very careful of using cc, bcc, Written reply all while replying or sending e- Etiquette mails.15 When someones talking to me, I think Verbal about what Im going to say next. (Reverse scoring)16 I receive emails from colleagues Written asking me why I have not informed (Reverse them of a certain action taken. scoring)17 I am on time for meetings. Etiquette18 I summarize the objective of my email Written in the subject line itself. (Reverse scoring)19 I always make sure that I put down all Written my agreements/ discussions / action (Reverse points etc. with colleagues on an scoring) email.20 I have asked my colleagues to give V me feedback on my communication. Total ScoreInterpretationScore What the participants will see85+ Congratulations! You have what it takes to an effective communicator. Now all you need to do is polish your skills. This session will help you understand your strengths and practice them more consciously.50 – 84 Congratulations! You have what it takes to be an effective communicator although you need to develop your skills. In this session you will become aware of certain skills. Practice them and work with them in your daily life.0-49 Congratulations! You have responded with transparency! And this is the place for you to learn. Do not worry about making a mistake instead involve yourself in this session and practice the skill you learn – 4
  • 5. Your takeaway gifts at the end of this program…Business communication needs you to have the following: 1) Written Communication, a. E-mails & Business Communication 2) Verbal communication a. In-Person Communication. b. Telephone 3) Business Etiquettes a. In a Meeting b. GroomingYou will find yourself mastering all these aspects with the information and tips provided. Thisprogram will revolve around the concept of the 3C’s of communication. OSCAR, is the writtencommunication mascot - which will be introduced in the coming chapters. Do remember topractice these skills over a period of time to become an effective business communicator. 5
  • 6. OSCARObjective: The objective of communication is to get your message across to others clearlyand unambiguously. Your message should revolve around a central theme so as to notconfuse the recipient. You will be successful if you are clear about your goal beforecommunicating it.Structure: Effective communication is made up of many components. like the flow of yourconcepts, grammar, style, word choice and of course strong ideas. But none of these thingsalone will help you communicate effectively unless you have a solid structure followed.Structure is the foundation on which the other components rest and the lack of it can diminishan otherwise good communication. Following a Structure can make your email more readerfriendly and give you better responses.Content should be easy to understand and use regular English. Content has to power toattract and convince. Content makes up the core of any communication. Your targetaudience should always be kept in mind to keep them engaged.Animate: Your communication should energize and inspire people to move towards theaction you desire. Tuning into the audience and showing them a preferred future, whichmotivates them internally.Result: Your communication should yield the desired result. Result is the outcome offollowing a process. Follow the OSCAR model and your communication will yield results. 6
  • 7. Written CommunicationIn business, ‘communication’ is all that matters and counts. Typically, in a businessenvironment we spend 70 to 80 percent of our time engaging in some form of writtencommunication. A quick mental recap will help you realize the amount of typing you do on thatkeyboard of yours! That’s written communication for you. It could be as simple as sending ameeting request to as intense as formulating a policy. All formal and business communicationis by means of the written mode.Try communicating something important orally and pat comes the reply – “Email this to me forthe record!” or “I will require this for future reference. Can you send this to me in writing?”When it comes to the written word, it has to be drafted in a formal manner and every word hasto be weighed carefully as the text is the reflection of your thinking.Your written communication qualifies to be a good one when: It is comprehensive Does not confuse your reader by carrying irrelevant information Your information is organized based on the purpose You are sticking to the facts. Don’t let your judgments creep in.Focus in this section: 1) E-mails 2) Formal Communication 7
  • 8. E-mailThis popular communication tool has been adopted by organizations worldwide. Emails arenow a fact of life in many workplaces.Email has become a primary medium of communication revolutionizing the way businesscommunication is done.Emails may have replaced written memos, letters and postcards and yet composing an e-mailstill requires as much thought as writing a traditional letter.When you compose an email there are some simple rules that you can follow to ensure thatyour emails make a positive impression and get the response you desire.The following section illustrates the aspects you should follow before hitting that ‘send’ key; 1) Composing a formal, business email. 2) Netiquettes - Manners pertaining to Emails.Identify the errors in this e-mail by dragging and dropping those words into the spacebelow.To: vimaljain@abc.comCc: Priyankamani@abc.comBcc:Subject: My request for travel as per my scheduleDear Mr. Vimal and Ms. Priyanka,I request my travel booking to be done from Bangalore to Mumbai based on schedule sent toyou last time.This is for my induction at the corporate office for which I have got approval from mysupervisor Mr. Shukla. I really look forward.Rajesh Iyer 8
  • 9. Sr.no Error Reason Correct1 Subject It is too lengthy and yet it does Travel Request | (Mention date) not specify the details.2 Salutation You have addressed the Dear Mr. Jain, concerned people differently, one by the last name and one by the first name. Also, If Priyanka is copied then the email should not be addressed to her. Avoid Mr. before the first name of the gentleman addressed.3 Schedule sent This is extremely ambiguous – I request my travel booking to be to you last time which date do you want to travel done from Bangalore to and by what mode? Mumbai air on the (date). I need to be in Mumbai by 9:00am for the Induction program.Well now that you have gone through a small exercise let us see how we can learn andpractice some of these skills.We will use the OSCAR model in the written communication section. At the center ofwhich are the 3C’s – Clear, Concise and Compelling.We will look at how we can apply OSCAR to written communication. But first the 3 C’sintroduce themselves to you again – Let’s see how we can apply them to our writtencommunication. 9
  • 10. The 3C’s in written CommunicationShape yourself to be an effective communicator by simply following these 3 Cs ofCommunication:ConciseBeing concise means sticking to the point and keeping it brief. Your reader does not want toread unnecessary sentences. Do not waste your words and make each word count.ClearDon’t flood your email with ideas. Make sure that it is easy for the reader to respond. Be clearabout the message you want to convey. If you need to communicate about a number ofdifferent things, it is recommended that you separate emails on each subject.This way your reader can address to each one individually and in the appropriate time frame.If you have several points to make because they relate to the same project then make surethat they are presented in bullets.CompellingYour email should generate the response it desiresBelow are examples of effective communication:1) Concise Dear Mr. Desai, I would like to meet you to discuss the launch of our latest product ‘Write Right’. Please come prepared with the following: 1) Branding Activities 2) Milestones for the project Let’s meet this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in the meeting room next to Mr. Raheja’s cabin. Dear Rajesh, This is regarding the article you submitted last week. I gave it to Professor Gayatri to proofread, and she brought to my attention that there are a few changes you’ll need to make. She will email you her detailed comments by 4:00 p.m. today. Please hold on to the article before sending it to the newsletter committee till that time. 10
  • 11. 2) Clear (make one point per email) Subject: Attrition Analysis Hi Gaurav, Thanks for sending in the Attrition report last week. I went through it yesterday and feel that you need to add more specific information regarding high attrition especially in our sales division. I also feel that the quality of analysis needs to improve. The report is going to be read by our Executive Team, and needs to carry strategic inputs to curb attrition. Do work on including that in the report. . Thanks for your hard work on this! Regards, Mr. SaduAND Subject: Meeting with Legal department Hi Gaurav, This is to inform you that Ive scheduled a meeting with the legal department for Friday, 10th September regarding the personnel contract for the new plant. The meeting is at 11:00am, and will be in the small conference room on the ground floor. Please confirm your availability. Regards, Mr. Sadu 11
  • 12. 3) Compelling Dear Arjun, Greetings from Bookworm Ltd.! We have introduced a special discount offer this month for avid readers like you. We recommend you visit our store before 30th of September to avail of this never- before discount. Choose from our hand-picked books, recommendations and special promotion orders for this month and get a flat discount of 30% on your total bill. What’s more, we are offering a yearly subscription of Readers Digest completely free if you purchase merchandise worth more than INR 2500. Don’t forget to check out our new arrivals section as we have the latest reads come in from your favorite author, Jeffery Archer. Add to your bookshelf today ! Best Regards, A recruitment advert by an organization looking for computer engineers – We are looking for computer engineers who like to solve difficult problems. Call us on this number now: x = 24, y = 30 . Phone = 044.(y2 – x).(y2-102)x10 12
  • 13. OSCAR in writingWe have gone through he OSCAR model – Now let us see how we can apply thisto our written communication. 13
  • 14. ObjectiveAny communication without direction and objective will not attain its end. In anycommunication, we must start with the Objective in mind.Your communication must answer the question, ‘what objective am I achieving through thiscommunication?’ Usually a single communication should have one objective only. Yourcommunication will be more effective if this is fulfilled.The communication to be Objective driven needs to fulfill the below mentioned criteria: 1) Single Objective 2) Specific Objective 3) The Objective should be mentioned in the Subject line.Lets take an example of communication going out from Mr. Fernandez to his supervisor.Subject | Assignments StatusDear Mr. Shah,Based on your request, I have attached the month end report, which represents my monthlytargets.It covers the following: 1) The Plan for this month 2) My Achievement 3) The target for next month 4) My areas of concernKindly go through the same.On a different note, I would also like to discuss with you the upcoming quality project and theannual day activity, which I am involved in.I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the same.Best RegardsMr. Fernandez 14
  • 15. Based on the above email, do you think the communication is Objective Driven?Let us revise the 3 criteria: 1) Does the communication reflect a single objective? Yes/ No 2) Is the Objective Specific? Yes/ No 3) Is the Objective mentioned in the Subject? Yes/ NoAnswers to Questions:1) No | The communication clearly is talking about 2-3 points of discussion that Mr. Fernandez has onhis mind.2) No | The Objective lacks detail. Is this just a summary report? Or does he need feedback from thesupervisor, Mr. Shah? Or is this about the quality project/ Annual day? It is not very clear.3) No | The Subject line is vague. The Supervisor has no way of knowing the objective of thecommunication by reading the Subject line.Let us look at another way of writing an ‘Objective’ driven email communication.Subject | Report Summary for monthly appraisalDear Mr. Shah,Based on your request, I have attached the month end report, which represents my monthlytargets.It covers the following: 1) The Plan for this month 2) My Achievement 3) The target for next month 4) My areas of concernKindly go through the same, as I would like to be appraised on my performance and getfeedback from you on the same.Best RegardsMr. Fernandez 15
  • 16. Now, let us together revise if this communication is ‘Objective’ driven.1) Does the communication reflect a single Objective?1) Yes | The communication clearly is talking about 1 thing. ‘The monthly appraisal’2) Is the Objective Specific?2) Yes | The Objective is specified. Mr. Fernandez clearly is looking at receiving feedback at theappraisal meeting. He has provided information regarding the same.3) Is the Objective mentioned in the Subject?3) Yes | The above Objective is reflected Subject line clearly. The Supervisor at a single glance canunderstand the objective of Mr. Fernandez.Make it a point to make all your communication ‘Objective’ driven. 16
  • 17. Objective | A ReviewA quick review on ‘Objective’ driven communication.Questions:1) Objective driven communication isa) Does not have more than 1 Objectiveb) Such that the objective is mentioned in the Subject Linec) Specificd) All of the aboveAnswer | ‘D’ – All of the above.2) Identify the most appropriate subject line in the following Communication sent by a teammember to the rest of the team with the ‘objective’ of communicating details of an upcomingtraining program on communication.a) Upcoming Trainingb) Effective Communication’ Program Invite | 1st November 2011c) Announcing the Effective Communication Programd) Announcing…Answer | ‘B’ – As this is the only option that specifies 3 things;1) That it is an invite2) The name of the program3) The date.This fulfills the criteria that the objective should be reflected in the subject line.3) Read the following communication and answer why this communication would beconsidered as Objective Driven.Subject Line | ‘An Urgent Request’Dear Mr. Shah,I regret to inform you that I will not be able to make it to the meeting tomorrow as I will be on leave asmy cousin sister is seriously ill and admitted to hospital.I need to be at the hospital and therefore I will not be present tomorrow. I will get an update from Mr.Kashyap and have spoken to him about the same.Best Regards,Mr. Fernandez 17
  • 18. The above communication is considered as ‘Objective’ driven becausea) The communication reflects a single Objective i.e. Leave Applicationb) The communication is specific and gives details and reasonsc) Both (a)and (b)d) The communication is not ‘Objective’ driven.Answer | ‘D’ – You are right! The communication in fact does not satisfy all theconditions for it to be ‘Objective’ driven. Let us see how.1) Does it reflect a single objective? | Yes2) Is it specific? | Yes it does mention details and reasons of leave application3) Is the objective mentioned in the subject line? | Oops, NO! The supervisor at a singleglance cannot gauge what is the objective of the communication.Great you are ready to move to the next section. Remember though that yourcommunication is effective only if it Objective Driven. 18
  • 19. StructureAny communication with structure also has purpose. It is easy to read and understand and italso helps to bring out the objective better. For sure that is what you would want as someonewho is receiving communication.It will be appropriate for your written communication to be structured reflected below. It is aseasy as A B C… Your written communication must first bring to the ‘ATTENTION’ of the reader – the objective of the communication. This sets the tone for the body of the email, which is to come… In this part of the communication ‘ATTENTION’ is drawn to the ‘objective’, which we have covered in ‘O’ of the OSCAR model. We hereby introduce the topic of this email before getting into the details. The ‘BODY’ is the central part of the communication. This must contain all the details required for the communication to be effective. In this part of communication, you must add character to the message. This is where you will influence decisions, explain, provide details etc. This is a critical component of communication. The ‘CLOSE’is the part of the communication wherein the sender concludes the communication. In this part of communication, you must clearly specify the action that needs to be taken. A lot of communication fails as the sender does not CLOSE the communication. 19
  • 20. Let us look at how we can structure our communication.Attention: The purpose of the attention statement is to bring to the notice of the receiver thepurpose/objective of the communication. The Attention statement would comprise 2 aspects. 1) Salutation: A Salutation is how you address the receiver. E.g. Dear Mr. Joshi or Dear Sheetal or Dear All etc. 2) Opening: This is an opening statement/s, which greets the receiver/s and also provides the reason for writing this communication. We will see how we can use this together with the salutation. Dear Mr. Shah, Greetings from Mumbai! This is to bring to your attention the points discussed at the quality meet.. 20
  • 21. Let us see how we can practice writing an effective Attention statement/s.Attention StatementI) Salutation:The salutation is an address to the receiver. Keep the following in mind whilewriting your salutation. 1) Mister: Use the word Mr. (Mister) when you address a person by their last name, avoid it when you address a person by their first name. For e.g. It would be appropriate to write Dear Mr. Fernandez. Avoid writing Dear Mr. Vivek. Note: In formal email communication it is advised that you address the person by the first name only if you know the receiver personally or the two of you are friends. Else it is better to address the receiver using the word Mr. (Mister) together with the last name of the person as demonstrated above. If the receiver is a doctor, you mayaddress the person as Dr. Fernandez. However, each organization is different in their cultures and communication styles. Be careful to follow your company norms, which are based on culture of your organization. 2) Miss and Mrs.: Use the word ‘miss’ when you are addressing a single woman. i.e. a woman who is not married. Use the word ‘Mrs.’,when addressing a woman who is married. For e.g. Dear Miss Sheetal (Assumes that Sheetal is single/ not married. e.g. Dear Mrs. Gandhi (Assumes that Mrs. Gandhi is married). Note: If you are not sure of the marital status of the woman that you are addressing, it is better to address her using the word miss (Ms.). e.g. If you are not sure of the marital status of Sheetal with whom you are interacting for the first time, then address her in the following way: Dear Ms. Sheetal or Dear Ms. Gandhi, 21
  • 22. When you are addressing 2 people: When you are addressing 2 people you can write boththeir names in similar fashion i.e. on a first name or last name basis. Dear Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Gandhi, Avoid writing, ‘Dear both’ or ‘Dear both of you’, Instead, you can write ‘Dear colleagues’ or ‘Dear team’, 3) When you are addressing 3 or more people: In this case you can simply write, ‘Dear all’. Remember; use ‘Dear All’, only when you are writing to 3 or more people. It is incorrect to write ‘Dear all’, when you are writing to 2 people.Remember; please do not use the following salutations when you are communicationin a formal/ professional setting: 1) Dear Friends, 2) Hi/ Hello, 3) Dear concerned person, etc. 4) Dearest (unless the person is very close to you – you would usually use dearest when addressing a family member)Attention StatementII) Opening: An effective opening is short, crisp and covers the objective of thecommunication or provides a background to it. The Opening line must fulfill 2 criteria 1) It must greet the receiver. 2) It must reflect the reason for which the communication is sent. Thereby, expressing the OBJECTIVE clearly.Let us look at how Mr. Fernandez can write an effective ‘opening’ statement. We will use thesame email as last time. Last time Mr. Fernandez wrote an OBJECTIVE driven email – wecan fine-tune it better this time focusing on his need for feedback being brought out inthe OPENING.Subject | Report Summary for monthly appraisalDear Mr. Shah,Greetings of the day!Please find attached the monthly report based on which I would like feedback from you for themonth gone by.The report covers the following: … 22
  • 23. An effective opening line makes the communication clear and readable. This is a critical partof written communication.BODY: The ‘BODY’ is the central part of the communication. This must contain all the detailsrequired for the communication to be effective. 1) Details: The Body of the email must carry all the details required to make the communication effective. Answers the question, are all details present in the email body? 2) Presentation: The body of the email should have all details in a presentable fashion so that it is easy to read. Answers the question, are all the details easy to read?Let us look at the following email sample wherein the body of the email covers all details inan effective presentation.The email has the various sections pointed out through an indicator.Subject | Report Summary for monthly appraisalDear Mr. Shah,Greetings of the day!Please find attachedthe monthly report based on which I would like feedback from you for themonth gone by.The report covers the following: 1) The Plan for this month 2) My Achievement 3) The target for next month 4) My areas of concernI have booked meeting room no 3 from 3pm to 4pm today, on the 1st floor.Best RegardsMr. Fernandez 23
  • 24. Let us see if the BODY is effective by answering 2 questions: 1) Are all details present in the email body? Answer: YES 2) Are all the details easy to read? Answer: YES – Mr. Fernandez has presented the details in form of a numbered list.A few golden rules of constructing an effective body: 1) Provide details as far as possible in a bulleted manner. a. Bullets: Use bullets when the items have no priority or when the items have no logical sequence. Where all items are equally important e.g. In communication announcing the annual event you can use bullets by writing, ‘Bring along with you: • A pair of shoes • Your clothes • Medicines • A towel There is no priority / logical sequence here – all items are important to carry. So bullets here are ideal. b. Lists: Use a list when the items have a priority between each other or there is sequence/ logic in the list. e.g. In communication announcing the annual event you can provide directions to the venue by using a numbered list by writing, ‘To reach the venue: 1) Proceed from the office building along highway 17 2) At the end of the Princeton Exit take a left 3) Follow the road till you arrive at the YMCA hostel 4) At the Hostel take a right and 100 meters to the left you will find “Hotel All Star” There is a priority / logical sequence here – you cannot change the order of directions and so it is advisable to use a numbered list. 2) If the BODY of your email if going to be large. It is better to create a document and send it as an attachment to the email. 3) Include those details that are necessary. Remember KISS (Keep It Short and Simple). 24
  • 25. CLOSE: The CLOSE focuses on closing the loop. We need to take action and sign off thecommunication now. Dedicate a sentence to this – as the rule suggests. KISS – Keep It Shortand Simple.Action Points:It is now time to take action. Tell the receiver what you expect from them andwhat action needs to be taken.Signature: Your communication is nearing its end. You need to sign off with a formal closingstatement and end with your signature.Make sure your signature has your: • Name • Address • Contact DetailsThis makes it easy for the receiver to be in touch with you easily.Let us put this into action together with Mr. Fernandez. So far he has included anOPENING Statement and has structured the BODY of the message. Now let us havehim CLOSE.Mr. Fernandez has not closed the loop so far. He has not stated the expected action nor hashe included a signature. So let us see how we can do the same. 25
  • 26. The email has the various sections pointed out through an indicator.Subject | Report Summary for monthly appraisalDear Mr. Shah,Greetings of the day!Please find attachedthe monthly report based on which I would like feedback from you for themonth gone by.The report covers the following: 1) The Plan for this month 2) My Achievement 3) The target for next month 4) My areas of concernI have booked meeting room no 3 from 3pm to 4pm today, on the 1st floor.I look forward to meeting with you later today.Best RegardsMr. FernandezABC Ltd.Corporate ParkB-12, 3rd Floor,Off Highway 17,Tel: 022 28787878Note: You can customize your signature to suit your requirement.Now that you have worked on structuring your email, we will look at building theCONTENT around it. 26
  • 27. Structure | A ReviewA quick review on how you can ‘STRUCTURE’ your communication.Questions:1) Structuring you communication is as easy as the ABC model. Where ABC isa) Action; Body; Closingb) Attention; Body; Closec) Attention; Brief; Conclusiond) None of the aboveAnswer | ‘B’2) Identify the most appropriate salutation. You are writing to Sheetal Rane for the first timeand are not sure of her designation or marital status.a) Dear Mrs. Rane,b) Dearest Sheetal,c) Dear Sheetal Rane,d) Dear Ms. Sheetal,Answer | ‘D’ – As this option is professional and does not assume that the lady inquestion is married.3) Read the following communication and advise the writer which of the options below heshould consider:Dear Ms. Sheetal, 0900 hoursGreetings from Mumbai!We will be conducting a meeting to discuss the recent quality issues that have cropped up.I would like you to conduct this meeting and take charge of the issues. Please note the agenda will beto discuss the customer complaints received in the previous month, to analyze the feedback providedby the quality team and to discuss the future course of action.I would like you to verbally take me through how you are going to take charge of this meeting. I lookforward to your response by 3pm today.Best Regards,Mr. Fernandez 27
  • 28. Drag and drop (into the blank area to the right) what you feel is true based on the abovecommunication a) There is a greeting! b) The ATTENTION line draws attention to the objective of the email. c) The BODY of the email is presented as per recommendations. d) There is an action point in the CLOSE.Answer | ‘Options 1,2 and 4 can be dragged into the empty space as they areappropriate.4) Drag those options given below(into the empty space on the right) which you feel are true a) The Salutation is incorrect b) Bullets should be added to explain the meeting agenda c) A signature is needed d) More detail could have been addedAnswer | ‘Options 1,2 and 4 can be dragged into the empty space as they areappropriate.5) A signature should compulsorily have which of the followinga) Your Mobile numberb) Your Namec) Your Full Addressd) Your Email IDAnswer | Option B is correct. ‘Options a), c) & d) are not compulsory.Great you are ready to move to the next section. Remember though that yourcommunication should always be effectively structured for best results. 28
  • 29. Content | Animate | ResultIn this section let us look at some communication and see how we can improve theCONTENT by ANIMATING the same and achieving the desired RESULT.CONTENT: At the center of any communication is the CONTENT. The actual message thatneeds to be communicated to the receiver.ANIMATE: In this crucial step, we add life to the content so it becomes alive to the reader andthis facilitates action!RESULT: This is the outcome of following a set process. The RESULT that you shouldachieve is to get feedback of your communication from the receiver to know how well it wasreceived and understood.These 3 aspects of the model are all related and we will look at understanding themthrough this example. 29
  • 30. CONTENTThis is the first email sent by the Mr. Sharma to his supplier, as he is concerned withthe discipline issues that have cropped up.Dear Mr. Gupte,This is regarding the discipline issues that have been observed of late. Your Consignmenthas been arriving at our office late now for the last 3 days continuously. I will not tolerate suchindiscipline from your end and will be forced to take disciplinary action against you.We will need to meet regarding this.Awaiting action from your end.Mr. SharmaObserve, the points Mr. Sharma has not mentioned: 1) Has Mr. Sharma mentioned the time of the meeting? 2) Would you be open to do business with Mr. Sharma? 3) Would you be adequately prepared if you were meeting Mr. Sharma? 4) Is the message focusing on what Mr. Gupte needs to do to improve?Let us look at some questions that arise – that will help us frame content better.What do you think of the tone of the email? 1) Rude 2) Polite 3) Abrupt 4) None of the aboveWhat do you suggest to Mr. Sharma to improve his content while he is writing thisemail? 1) Consider future business with the supplier 2) Focus on improving the tone from rude to more development based. 3) Mention the meeting time 4) All of the aboveIf Mr. Sharma really wants to meet his OBJECTIVE of getting quality from the supplier,what do you suggest he does with his content? Rank in order of priority 1) Discontinue the services of Mr. Gupte. 2) Provide Specific feedback to Mr. Gupte as to how he can improve service. 3) Mention the meeting time 4) Point out all the issues in detail. 30
  • 31. Based on the above email, we understand that the best CONTENT has the followingcharacteristics: 1) TONE: The tone of your email should be polite and conducive to building a relationship with the receiver. 2) Developmental: Content should always be positive. Focus on how something can be improved rather than bringing out the negative only. At times you need to bring out the areas of improvement but that should be done with the focus of improvement. 3) Specify: Mention the specific details required for the person to take action.Let us look at how Mr. Sharma altered his communication after understanding this.Dear Mr. Gupte,Greetings of the day!I am writing to you, as there are some issues we are facing with the service provided by youand I would like to come to a common solution for the same.It has come to my notice that the bulk consignment that we have been ordering from you hasbeen arriving late for the last 3 days. There have also been issues with your packaging asthere was a dent in the packaging, which has affected the product. This is a serious cause ofconcern for us as receiving the consignment on time and as per specifications is important forus so that we can meet our deadlines too.In this regard I would like to meet you this afternoon at 3pm sharp at my office.Looking forward to going the mile with you,Best Regards,Mr. SharmaBased on the above email, what can we now say about the communication: 1) TONE: It was Firm but polite. 2) Developmental: The Content is positive and is focusing on how something can be improved rather than bringing out the negative only. 3) Specific: The specific details required for the person to take action will be discussed at the meeting. Also specific feedback has been asked for Mr. Sharma’s team to support the customer too 31
  • 32. ANIMATEOnce the CONTENT is ready as seen above – but do you think Mr. Gupte has seen anythingin the above email that will tell him 1) Why he should act on this and 2) What will be his benefit if he acts on itYou need to ANIMATE the content by adding life to it. The secret here is to tell the receiverthat there is something in it for him/her to act upon.When we ANIMATE, we communicate a selling point to the receiver that there is somereason for the receiver to act on the content.Let us see how we can animate or in other words add a SELLING POINT to the abovecontent.Dear Mr. Gupte,Greetings of the day!I am writing to you, as there are some issues we are facing with the service provided by youand I would like to come to a common solution for the same.It has come to my notice that the bulk consignment that we have been ordering from you hasbeen arriving late for the last 3 days. There have also been issues with your packaging asthere was a dent in the packaging, which has affected the product. This is a serious cause ofconcern for us as receiving the consignment on time and as per specifications is important forus so that we can meet our deadlines too.I would like to understand how we can together improve the processes that we are currentlyemploying and what support you require from us to help you deliver better. I believe this willhelp you provide better service and strengthen our relationship.In this regard I would like to meet you this afternoon at 3pm sharp at my office.Looking forward to going the mile with you,Best Regards,Mr. Sharma 32
  • 33. Ask yourselfIf you were Mr. Gupte, would you have some reason or benefit in acting on the request thathas come from Mr. Sharma?Mr. Sharma has offered the possibility of a long term working relationship with Mr. Gupte if heacts on the suggestions made at the meeting. This will enable Mr. Gupte to act on makingchanges to the system too.Exercise:This is communication going from Mr. Fernandez’s end to the canteen vendor at yourworkplace.Dear Mr. Agarwal,Greetings from ABC Ltd!This communication is to give you feedback about the food quality being served at ourpremises at ABC Ltd, Mumbai.It has been observed that in the last week the quality of the food served has deteriorated. Thefollowing has been noted:1) The servers are not using gloves while serving2) There was a small stone found in the gravy.3) The Sandwich bread is cold and hard most of the time.This has created huge dissatisfaction amongst the employees.I would like to meet you to discuss the same. Please come prepared to my office at 5pmtomorrow.Best Regards,Mr. Fernandez.This Communication has the following: 1) OBJECTIVE 2) STRUCTURE 3) CONTENTHowever, for sure there is no clear benefit for Mr. Agarwal to act on this email. In fact he willbe quite defensive when he comes for this meeting.We need to add a selling point to the content and thereby ANIMATE it. 33
  • 34. After reading this email, go through the options below, whichare possible ways through whichyou can best animate the content. Select the option that you will add in the last line of theemail above. i.e. I would like to meet you to discuss…. a) I would like to meet you to discuss this with you, as we are very disappointed with your service and many employees have demanded that we change the contractor. Please do come prepared with your responses. b) I would like to meet you to provide feedback and also set our expectations so that you are clear as to the service you need to provide. I am sure this will enable standard quality from your end. This will also give us the opportunity to assess how we would like to take the contract ahead henceforth. c) I would like to meet you to show you the chaos that is there during the lunch hours do to non-adherence to simple canteen standards from your end. This will prove to you what we are saying and clear any doubt in your mind about the inefficiency of your staff. d) I would like to meet you to point out the customer complaints we have received at our quarterly town hall meetings. This will tell you where all you can improve your service to us.Answer: Option B is correct as it provides Mr. Agarwal the answers to both thequestions 1) Why he should act on this and 2) What will be his benefit if he acts on it 34
  • 35. RESULTOnce the CONTENT is ready and ANIMATED as seen above we need to see a RESULT.RESULT answers 2 questions: 1) Feedback: Has the receiver understood the communication 2) Action: What action will the receiver take to complete the loop?Let us see how we can incorporate the RESULT aspect into this communication. We will usethe same communication sent by Mr. Sharma to Mr. Gupte about the delay in consignmentreceipts.Dear Mr. Gupte,Greetings of the day!I am writing to you, as there are some issues we are facing with the service provided by youand I would like to come to a common solution for the same.It has come to my notice that the bulk consignment that we have been ordering from you hasbeen arriving late for the last 3 days. There have also been issues with your packaging asthere was a dent in the packaging, which has affected the product. This is a serious cause ofconcern for us as receiving the consignment on time and as per specifications is important forus so that we can meet our deadlines too.I would like to understand how we can together improve the processes that we are currentlyemploying and what support you require from us to help you deliver better. I believe this willhelp you provide better service and strengthen our relationship.In this regard I would like to meet you this afternoon at 3pm sharp at my office.Please dorevert to me if you have any doubts/ queries. We would also like to know what action will betaken at your end to improve this service.Looking forward to going the mile with you,Best Regards,Mr. SharmaFeedback: The Highlighted Line added now completes the feedback loop. The RESULT linehelps you understand as seen above if Mr.Gupte has clearly understood you or not.Action: You have also asked Mr. Gupte to revert with action that he will take henceforth. 35
  • 36. Exercise:This is communication going from Mr. Fernandez end to the canteen vendor at yourworkplace.Dear Mr. Agarwal,Greetings from ABC Ltd!This communication is to give you feedback about the food quality being served at ourpremises at ABC Ltd, Mumbai.It has been observed that in the last week the quality of the food served has deteriorated. Thefollowing has been noted:1) The servers are not using gloves while serving2) There was a small stone found in the gravy.3) The sandwich bread is cold and hard most of the time.This has created huge dissatisfaction amongst the employees.I would like to meet you to provide feedback and also set our expectations so that you areclear as to the service you need to provide. I am sure this will enable standard quality fromyour end. This will also give us the opportunity to assess how we would like to take thecontract ahead henceforth.Best Regards,Mr. Fernandez.This Communication has the following: 1) OBJECTIVE 2) STRUCTURE 3) CONTENT 4) ANIMATEHowever, for sure there is no feedback taken to see if the communication has beenunderstood. Also Mr. Fernandez has not communicated specific action from Mr. Agarwal.We need to add the RESULT aspect to the content and thereby complete the OSCARModel.Let us look at how we can add this aspect to the communication. 36
  • 37. After reading this email, go through the options below, which are possible ways through whichyou can best include the RESULT aspect in the communication. Select the option that you willadd in the last line of the email above. a) Do let me know if you have any questions?We would appreciate if you can let us know what steps you intend to take to make improve the service delivered. After all the health of our employees is primary. b) We are fed up of complaints and you have to now pull up your socks now or we will be forced to look elsewhere. c) You should give serious thought to this, as it will affect our relationship going ahead. I would like to see the action taken by you regarding this immediately. Please share the same with us at the meeting. d) None of the above.Answer: Option A is correct as it provides Mr. Fernandez the answers to both thequestions 1) Feedback: Has the receiver understood the communication 2) Action: What action will the receiver take to complete the loop? 37
  • 38. CONTENT | ANIMATE | RESULT - A ReviewA quick review to understand if your ‘Content’ is reader-friendly.Questions1) Drag and drop (into the blank area to the right) what you remember as the characteristics ofBest Content a) Simple b) Direct c) Specific d) Tone e) Developmental f) TimelyAnswer | ‘Options c, d and e can be dragged into the empty space as they areappropriate.2) Developmental Content should be:a) Assertive & Logicalb) Sensitive & Surec) Focused & Positived) Logical & Feedback OrientedAnswer | Option C is correct. ‘3) Read the following communication and advise the writer which of the options he hasignored while composing the content of the email:Dear Kishan,This is regarding the parking facility given to employees in the basement of our premises.The understanding given to me by people in your team is that this facility is on First – Come – First –Serve basis. Regardless of how early I arrive and regardless of the number of vacant parking slots Isee around, the security guard does not allow me to park my car in the basement parkingWhy this discrimination against me? I have to park on the main road and my car has got towed 3 timesalready this month. I am not going to waste my hard-earned money and valuable time anymore.Please tell the security guard how to do his job.Regards,Mr. Kothe 38
  • 39. Questions3) Drag and drop (into the blank area to the right) what you think is the emotion/ feeling withwhich Mr. Kothe is writing this communication a) Frustration b) Anger c) Both of the above d) None of the aboveAnswer: Option C is correct4) Given that Mr. Kothe is upset how can he add CAR to his email? Select the best option frombelow. a) I feel upset and angry that I am unable to park even though I arrive early. This wastes a lot of my time and resources as my car has been towed on occasions in the last month. Can you provide an explanation as to why this is happening? Do I have to complete some formalities? I think creating this process will make your processes more efficient. b) I need a written confirmation from you about whether I can park my car or not so I can show it to the security who stops me each time. c) I have wasted a lot of my time and energy in something as simple as parking a car. I am truly frustrated. Please do tell me what I should do to make this easier for both of us. I sincerely am looking at a permanent solution here. d) The original email is fine.Answer: Option A as it not only communicates his emotion honestly and upfront but alsoprovides how taking this action will benefit the department. The content is animated and resultoriented. 39
  • 40. Verbal CommunicationMost of our working day, we speak and communicate to others verbally. We either speak toour teammates sitting beside us or pick up the phone and call others.We spend a great part of our lives communicating to others through the verbal medium.In this section we will focus on two things:, 1) In Person Communication 2) Telephonic CommunicationWe saw the 3 tenets of Clear, Concise and Compelling being incorporated in writtencommunication. Now we will see how we can do the same in Verbal Communication.Your In Person Communication should be: 1) Clear 2) Concise and 3) Compelling 40
  • 41. In Person CommunicationLet’s jump straight to the point. When we speak to each other we need to ensure that weincorporate the 3 tenets of communication. 1) Clear: Being clear shows the communicator’s thought processes. It also makes the communication effective and result oriented. 2) Concise: Remember in any communication – less is more. The less you write the better. However, that doesn’t mean you do not complete the communication. 3) Compelling: Your CommunicationI) A caseYou are in the quality function, which is preparing for the quality audit and everybody hasspent the last 2 days/ nights continuously working on this. You are also busy filing a newproduct report too for which you are working with Ramesh Shah – your subordinate. He isfully involved and is engaged with his work.As you are leaving office you are thinking of the audit, which has been preponed to nextweek. You are quite stressed and thinking about the fact that you had no time to buy yourdaughter her birthday gift. It is 9:00pm and as you leave office you shout out to Ramesh‘Please ensure the files are ready by tomorrow, I need them by 8am’.You are thinking that you will submit the documentation in the audit files to the legaldepartment so they can verify the same. You are confident that Ramesh will deliver andbreathe a sigh of relief.Ramesh is also confident of completing the files and he orders dinner and calls’ home sayingit is going to be another late night. He brings out the files concerning the new product reportwhich he has been working on the whole evening under the guidance of his boss and beginsconsolidating.Ramesh wakes up early and is in office at 7:30am with the files ready to be submitted. At8:05am he hears his boss raise his voice as he calls him to his office. He is confused anddoes not know what could have gone wrong… He is thinking, “I have worked so hard and nowthis…it is not worth it”. The boss is thinking “I should have stayed back and done this myself,what a waste of time and now I am behind my schedule’. 41
  • 42. Questions:1) Which tenet of communication do you think was not followed due to which thismiscommunication happened? a) Concise b) Clear c) Compelling d) None of the aboveAnswer: Option B – Clear. The boss does not clarify which files he wans Ramesh towork on.2) Who do you think was responsible for the miscommunication? a) The Boss b) Boss and Subordinate c) The tight time schedule d) None of the aboveAnswer: Option B – Both persons involved are responsible for the communicationmishap. It takes two to clarify.3) What could the boss have done differently considering they were working on 2important projects at the same time? a) Held 2 separate meetings for both projects b) Deputed Ramesh on only 1 project c) Clarified as to which report he wanted the next day d) None of the aboveAnswer: Option C – The boss could have been Clear in his communication to Ramesh.II A case (Continuation)The boss gives Ramesh a piece of his mind and asks the whole team to assemble in themeeting room at 9am. At the meeting talks about the importance of communication and howthis project is of extreme importance for the team and company. He then begins talking aboutthe expectations of the quality audit and the steps ahead.After 30 minutes, Sheetal and Ravi look at each other wondering why their boss is saying allthis. After all they are working with Ramesh on the New Product Launch and they areresponsible to make the presentation by lunchtime. They nudge each other with creasedeyebrows and Sheetal says, ‘ why is he wasting our time – does he not know that we are not 42
  • 43. even involved in this’. ‘Exactly!’ exclaims Ravi, ‘He will then accuse us of not submitting thepresentation on time’.Questions:1) Which tenet of communication do you think was not followed due to which this teamis frustrated? a. Clear b. Compelling c. Concise d. None of the aboveAnswer: Option C – Concise. The boss could have covered only the important pointsand saved the lecture for after the audit.2) Who do you think happened as a result of the communication not being concise? a) The team was frustrated b) Everybody lost precious time c) The Timelines possibly suffered further d) All of the aboveAnswer: Option D – All of the above happened as a result.3) What could the boss have done differently considering they were working on 2important projects at the same time? a) Spoke more on the importance of the Quality Audit. b) If at all he was having a meeting it should be to review the project rather than lecture. Kept it Short and Simple (KISS). c) Shouted only at Ramesh d) All of the aboveAnswer: Option B – The boss should have considered that everyone was pressed fortime and called for the meeting only if it was necessary for the entire team to reviewthe process.III A case (Continuation)The next day after the whole team settled down into the schedule. The boss took Rameshaside and said ‘I understand the mix up that happened yesterday and I appreciate the hardwork you are putting. However, after this project we would like you to move to the qualityteam for the manufacturing location. Off course you have been performing very well and sothis is due for you. Ramesh is stunned, he appreciates that his performance is noticed. In hismind he also knows that he will move closer to his family but this has hit him all too fast. He is 43
  • 44. very doubtful about the future course of action. “What does this mean?’ “What should I say?’he murmurs to himself.Questions:1) Which tenet of communication do you think was not followed due to which Rameshis left shocked? a. Clear b. Compelling c. Concise d. None of the aboveAnswer: Option B – Compelling. The boss plainly told Ramesh of the transfer withoutmaking Ramesh understand how he will stand to gain.2) Who do you think happened as a result of the communication not being compelling? a) Ramesh was happy to hear that his performance was recognized but he could not understand how this impacted/ benefitted him. b) Ramesh was happy about the transfer. c) None of the above. d) All of the aboveAnswer: Option A – Ramesh could not understand how this would impact him. To bemotivated internally to do something you must see a benefit in doing the action.(In thiscase accepting the transfer in a positive manner)3) What could the boss have done differently considering this information involved a ‘big change’ for Ramesh? a) Told him about the transfer through an email. b) Told Ramesh that he should go with what the management wants, as they know best. c) Explained to Ramesh about how he will benefit from this move. d) All of the aboveAnswer: Option C – The boss should consider that this decision is not easy andRamesh would need to know the benefit that there is for him. The communication inoption B is ‘compelling’. 44
  • 45. In Person Communication | A ReviewA quick review on using the 3 tenets of communication in Verbal Communication.Questions:1) The 3 Tenets of communication area) Complete; Concise: Clearb) Creative, Comprehensive and Courteousc) Compelling, Controlled and Cleard) Clear; Concise and CompellingAnswer | ‘D’2) The most important aspect that I will consider while making my communication ‘compelling’isa) Communicate the good features alwaysb) Communicate the ‘benefits’ that the receiver will gainc) Sell, Sell and Sell the idead) All of the above.Answer | ‘B’ – As this option compels the receiver to see the benefits for him andthereby will compel him to ACT.3) Read the following case and answer the questions below:Dr. Reshma has decided to meet her teenage daughter for lunch. She is glad she has been able totake some time out of her busy schedule to meet her daughter. The seminars, increasing number ofpatients and continuous reading has been eating away into all of her family time.It is Mother’s Day today and of course Dr. Reshma has no clue. Early in the morning just before Dr.Reshma is about to leave for the clinic, her daughter Anita, suggests having lunch together. Thisseems like a perfect opportunity for us mother and daughter to bond, thinks Dr. Reshma. She couldsurely squeeze in an hour for her precious daughter.So pleased is Dr. Reshma with Anita’s idea that she decides to treat her at her favorite fast-foodoutlet. Her daughter simply loves the burgers and fries they serve and although Dr. Reshma does notendorse unhealthy diets, she wants to give in to her daughter’s happiness. She immediately agreesand asks Anita to meet her at the fast food outlet at 12:30 p.m. Anita jumps out of joy and kisses hermother good-bye.Fast forward to 12:30 p.m. and Anita is waiting for her mother to walk in at any moment in the fast foodoutlet near her college. At another outlet of the same fast food store near her clinic Dr. Reshma iswaiting for her daughter to arrive anytime now. As time begins to run out, Dr. Reshma calls herdaughter to find out her whereabouts to discover this confusion.Think about it: Why do you think this miscommunication happened? 45
  • 46. Questions:3) Who do you think is responsible for the miscommunication?a) Dr. Reshmab) Anitac) The Fast Food Outletd) Both (a) and (b)Answer: Option ‘D’. Both Dr. Reshma and Anita operated out of an assumption. Dr. Reshmaassumed, “Obviously, we are going to meet here. It’s closest to my work.” But Anita assumed,“Of course, we’re going to meet near my college. It is closer to my errands.”We tend to jump to conclusions without stopping to verify the facts. Both Dr. Reshma and Anitaassumed that the other person was aware about the goals. People routinely fail to realize how littlethey are actually communicating.4) Based on the communication in the case between the mother and daughter what can youdefinitely say caused the miscommunication?a) The fact that they were emotionalb) There was no feedback taken to see if the other person has understood the meeting details.c) Dr. Reshma was in a hurry and she did not close the communicationd) All of the aboveAnswer: Option ‘B’.5) If Dr. Reshma and Anita were to repeat this process what should they do differently?a) Think of a place that does not have any outlets. No room for confusion!b) Have dinner at homec) Take feedback and confirm if both of them are talking about the same thing.d) To stop celebrating Mother’s Day!Answer: Option ‘C’ When we assume that other people know what were thinking, and what weare expecting of them, we do them a real disservice. Assuming that weve been clear aboutwhat we wanted, we blame them when things dont go as planned.It is best to pause for just a second and confirm with your recipient that you both are really talkingabout the same thing. Check and double check that you are both going to the same place, at thesame time for the same purpose. Sounds too simple? It is simple but it will save you lots of time andaggravation. 46
  • 47. Telephonic CommunicationHow many times have we spoken on the telephone with someone and as a result finished alot of work, saved a lot of time, closed a lot of business, made impressions etc?The Telephone today is a common place in our lives. Let us learn how we can maximize oureffectiveness in communication while on the telephone. We shall do this by attempting a quiz.QUIZ: 1) How many times must the phone ring before we should answer it ideally? a. 3 Times b. 5 Times c. Let it ring! I am too busy d. Answering the phone is a waste of time. Why can he not come and talk personally? Answer: Option (A) As per the golden rules of Customer Service it is appropriate for you to pick the phone within 3 rings. Think about it. Do you like to endlessly wait when you dial somebody? 2) What are some things that I will avoid while speaking on business call? a. Speaking Loudly b. Eating while speaking c. Speaking on another line while the first person is waiting d. All of the above Answer: Option (D) It is not polite to do any of the above. 3) What should I definitely do while I am making a call to a business associate? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. Make the call while I am still finishing a previous call. I Do not have time you see. b. Make a list of the points that I will cover in the conversation c. Make a call while I am angry or in a bad mood d. Smile while I am calling. e. Move to a silent place so there is no disturbance. Answer: Option (B & D & E) All these are conducive to a focused discussion and also on building a professional relationship. 4) What are some of the greetings I can offer when I receive a call from a known business associate? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. ‘Tell Me’ b. ‘Good Morning! Mr. Shah. How can I assist you? c. ‘Can you call me back in ten minutes?’ d. ‘Good Morning! Mr. Shah I am in a meeting right now, can I call you back in 30 minutes?’ 47
  • 48. Answer: Option (B & D) Do receive a call when you can. It may be urgent/ important. Youcan always be honest and say you will call back. It helps you manage your time better andthe other person will appreciate it. If you feel you should talk to the person at that time –then move into a place that is conducive to having a professional conversation.5) What are some of the places at which it is advisable to answer an important business call? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. While I am at my seat. b. In the elevator c. In the canteen while I am at lunch d. In the washroom. e. While I am in the middle of a conference f. When in a conference room that has been specifically blocked for the call.Answer: Option (A & F) These places have the right atmosphere and are conducive to afocused conversation.6) What are some of the things you can do when you are not in the right place to attend to an important business call? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. Say I will call back politely and give a time b. Be honest. Say I am busy right now and will call you back. Give a time. c. Let the call ring till it goes off. d. Have someone else pick and say that you are busy e. All of the aboveAnswer: Option (A & B) Always be transparent. It will be appreciated. Give a time – anhonor it.7) What are some of the greetings I can offer when I make a call to a business associate for the first time? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. ‘Hi. Am I speaking with Mr. Shah?’ b. ‘Good Morning! Mr. Shah, this is Rahul from ABC Ltd, is this the right time to speak?’ c. ‘Mr. Shah?’ d. All of the aboveAnswer: Option (A & B) These are polite and gives space to the receiver. Also, it introduceswho you are so the receiver is not confused. ‘Mr. Shah?’ is not an appropriate way to begina conversation with someone you are talking to for the first time as it throws the receiveroff balance. 48
  • 49. Business EtiquetteThe world is becoming a smaller place each day that passes. Businesses are consolidatingand the need for demonstrating standard business etiquette is increasing.It is the day of the professional. Let us see how you can improve your demonstration ofstandard Business Etiquette.In this section we will look at the following: 1) Meeting Etiquette 2) Grooming 49
  • 50. Business MeetingsHow many times have you gone for a meeting and come out saying ‘ What a waste of time!’Meetings can consume a lot of unnecessary time so watch out. Time is of essence and it isimperative to have focused and productive meetings.In this section, we will cover a few things that can help you be more productive while in ameeting.Meeting EtiquetteThe points mentioned below are things to keep in mind while at a meeting. These are positiveactions that enhance meeting productivity. Be Clear about the agenda: The attendees should be informed of the agenda well in advance. Time the meeting: Set a clear time for the start and completion of the meeting. Chair the Meeting: Elect someone to convene the meeting. This person must be assertive so as to ensure that the agenda of the meeting is adhered to. The easiest thing is to divert the conversation to ‘Anti Corruption’ and the ‘Cricket Match’. Ensure that the agenda is adhered to. Prepare: Prepare well for the meeting. Take with you all reports, notes etc. relevant to the meeting. This will help you be clear and brief while speaking. This will create a good impression of you. Manners: Keep your phone on silent and receive the call only if it is urgent after excusing yourself. Record the meeting: It is a good practice to make minutes of meetings and circulate them so that everyone present knows about what action will be taken next.In most circumstances, it is possible to employ the above points. It is you who have to makethe choice. So can you?Let us now look at how we can employ these best practices. 50
  • 51. A Simulation | A meeting we attendBelow is a narration of an important meeting at ABC Ltd.Mr. Prasad (Head Quality, ABC Ltd.) has called for a meeting to discuss the new CrossFunctional Project work, which has been an outcome of a quality initiative.The members of the Cross Functional Team (CFT) are aware that they are part of this team.They are excited as they look at it as a challenge and a good addition to their profiles. Theyare all very apprehensive. The team comprises 34 quality champions who in this meeting arerepresented by Managers from various departments. This is the first meeting so only the 7department representatives i.e. the core team are at this meeting. They are 1) Alka Shah | Quality 2) Zeeshan Mistry | Quality 3) Pradeep Mishra | Manufacturing 4) Rahul Sharma | Sales & Marketing 5) Ashutosh Ghosh | HR 6) Praful Patel | Finance 7) Preeti Nayak | R&DMr. Prasad has informed the core team about this meeting specifying that it is at 3pm at theconference room. He has told his assistant to send this communication since he had been intransit. He has mentioned that this is the first meeting and that this is to commence the (CFT)quality initiative.A brief insight into the Core Team.Mr. Prasad | Stakeholder of the project is stressed yet excited about rolling this out. This ishis baby and he will see to it that it is rolled out. He is a disciplinarian.Ms. Zeeshan Mistry | Has been consistent performer and due to issues in work-life balanceshe has been considering a shift. This is going to add to her already pressing timelines.Mr. Praful Patel | Is wondering what will be suggested and how he can cut costs. He isattending this type of meeting for the first time and wants to make a contribution.The remaining Core team: Is very apprehensive. The want to know 1) What is their role? 2) Will it interfere with their already pressing schedules? 3) Will this extra work count in their performance? 4) And many more questions…Let us see what happens at the Meeting 51
  • 52. The Setting • It is 2:55 pm and in the conference room Mr. Prasad is at the head of the oval table. Drumming his pen against the table. • By 3pm (Shown by a ticking clock) The core team enters one by one….all except Ms. Preeti Nayak. It turns out that she had to travel to the corporate building and was not familiar with it. She took a while to find the conference room as nobody specified which conference room. She enters in embarrassed and tries to catch her breath. She also notices that all the gentlemen are wearing ties except Mr. Mishra and Rahul Sharma. She thinks ‘It is a Friday and it is an informal day at work – so may be they got confused – nobody specified it anyways’. • Meanwhile, before Preeti got into the meeting and while the rest were waiting for Preeti to arrive, Mr. Ghosh (HR) begins speaking about the Diwali gifts that need to go out. Everyone is busy talking about what the concept should be. There are sharp suggestions from Marketing and in the middle of the conversation…Mr. Prasad butts in “Since everyone is now here..can we start?’ • The room comes to a silence as Mr. Prasad continues by saying ‘It is very important for this team to stick to the timelines; after all we are the core team. People will watch us and look for an example’. Mr. Ghosh casts a furtive glance at Preeti who looks down at the table and says to herself “Boy! I am not going to speak much here”. • Mr. Prasad convenes the meeting and says talks about why everyone is here by giving a history of the initiative and then gets straight to the point as to what the project is. He is reading from a PowerPoint to an audience that is hiding their irritation now. Zeeshan says to herself “Its been 30 minutes, I already know the history and the project details. But what am I supposed to do? Will this interfere with my already stretched time lines?” From her silent voice rises the booming order of Mr. Prasad. The next slide is a list of DO’s and DON’TS with regards to the project. No one has spoken yet besides Mr. Prasad. • 40 minutes (being tracked through a visible clock on the screen) into the meeting finally some queries are being passed to Mr. Prasad. While Mr. Patel (Finance) asks a question about the budgets - Mr. Mishra from Manufacturing gets a call to which he jumps up and darts out of the room to the surprise of the core team and the raised eyebrow of Mr. Prasad. Anyways Mr. Prasad asks each of the core team members to write down and speak about the budgets they have and the role they have assigned to each of their team members. A blank audience looks down at their notebooks and begin scribbling something…. Rahul Sharma (Marketing) puts his hand up and says “Mr. Prasad, I am not clear about what my role is? And I have not come prepared to answer your questions. This is the first meeting and if I am sure about my role – I could come prepared with the budget etc next time”. Mr. Mishra comes back into the room and whispers to Ms. Mistry siting beside him “What time is this ending as I need to be at another meeting in ten minutes”. 52
  • 53. • The meeting ends after 15 minutes and a dissatisfied and shocked Mr. Prasad emerges out of the conference room and into his cabin. He orders a cup of coffee and decides to give his assistant a piece of his mind for the miscommunication about the conference room. But that will be later. First he has other things to think of. What happened? Why is everyone so blank and uninterested? Why am I the only one riding against the tide?Look at the questions below and help Mr. Prasad (and the core team) to review thewhole meeting: 1) What are some of the outcomes of this meeting? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. Mr. Prasad was frustrated b. The Core team was Confused c. Everybody was clear about their roles d. The Meeting was very successful e. The Core team was engaged at the meeting and all members contributed f. Ms. Preeti did not contribute g. Members were wondering when the meeting would end. Answer: Option (A, B, F &G) how many times have you come out a meeting with this outcome? 2) What are some of the reasons as to why these outcomes happened? Drag and Drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. No Agenda was sent to the audience b. The Core team was not well selected c. Mr. Prasad is a disciplinarian. d. Simple Meeting norms were not followed. e. The meeting was not timed. Answer: Option (A, D & E) These are simple meeting norms and etiquette that need to be observed. Or else you know the outcome now. 53
  • 54. 3) What was the key reason as to why the core team did not contribute? Select the one answer that you think contributed the most to an unproductive and silent audience. a. The Core team was wrongly selected. b. Mr. Prasad is so strict c. Mr. Prasad spoke so much that no one else could speak d. The core team was not prepared as there was no agenda sent e. The core team was under pressure and could not think of what to say.Answer: Option (D) Again a simple meeting norm was not followed and as a result theoutcome was that no one could contribute. Mind you they wanted to but they could not asthey were not prepared.4) What were some of the events that took place that lacked the demonstration of basic etiquette? Drag and drop the answers you think are appropriate. a. Mr. Prasad did not set a time nor the agenda b. Ms. Preeti arrived late c. The dress code was not uniform d. Mr. Mishra Accepted a call. e. Mr. Rahul Sharma was bold and directly spoke with the Mr. Prasad f. All of the above.Answer: Option (A-D) Again these are all examples of simple meeting norms not followed.Mr. Rahul Sharma has the right to raise a question and infact it was good that he did.5) Who was responsible for the unpreparedness of the team? Select the most appropriate answer from options below. a. The Core Team – they never clarified what the agenda was. b. Ms. Preeti and Mr. Mishra were unprepared and uninterested. c. Mr. Prasad – as he did not provide clarity of agenda or time. d. Both (a) and (c) e. All of the above 54
  • 55. Grooming – Make a lasting Impression.How many times have you gone to a business associate and said ‘what an untidy person?’ orconversely ‘what a polished and well dressed individual?’First impressions are lasting. Let us see how we can groom so that we make lastingimpressions. Let us see how we can focus some more on our grooming at work: The pointsmentioned below are things to keep in mind about grooming. These are positive actions thatenhance the impression you make and your professional image.For MEN:Sr. Items What is appropriate?No1 Shirts Prefer Light colored shirts | White, Off White, Cream, Beige, Lemon, Light Blue/Green/ Grey are colors you can wear. Pin Stripes: You look taller and thinner with Pin Stripes. Prefer thin stripes specially if you are short and on the heavier side. Checked Shirts: You look broader when you wear Checked shirts. Wear them specially if you are thin and want to look broader.2 Trousers Prefer wearing Dark colors: Black, Brown, Navy Blue , Charcoal Grey etc. Self Colored trousers work best specially if you are wearing stripped or checked shirts. Ensure that at no point you are wearing a printed shirt and a trouser as it will look very loud and unprofessional.3 Shoes Black leather shoes are best and go with most trousers except brown trousers. If you are wearing brown trousers – wear Brown shoes that are darker in shade than the trousers.4 Socks Usually should be the same color as the shoes. Wear Dark Colored socks to be safe. Never wear White socks with black shoes unless you are performing at a dance show.5 Ties Make sure your tie matches your shirt. Your Tie should end just above the buckle of your belt Ensure the knot is well formed and the tail is tucked into the shirt or the fold at the back of the tie.6 Accessories If you are at an important meeting you can wear a tie pin or a cufflink. Ensure though that you keep it simple.7 Neatness At least 2 things you should ensure: Make sure your clothes are ironed Make sure your hair is combedYou are ready to make a great impression. 55
  • 56. For WOMEN:Sr. Items What is appropriate?No1 Shirts/ Prefer Light colored shirts | White, Off White, Cream, Beige, Lemon, Light Blouses Blue/Green/ Grey are colors you can wear. Pin Stripes: You look taller and thinner with Pin Stripes. Prefer thin stripes specially if you are short and on the heavier side.2 Trousers Prefer wearing Dark colors: Black, Brown, Navy Blue , Charcoal Grey etc. Self Colored trousers work best specially if you are wearing stripped or checked shirts. Ensure that at no point you are wearing a printed shirt and a trouser, as it will look very loud and unprofessional.3 Skirts / You can wear self-colored of printed skirts/ dresses. Dresses Ensure that they are not loud. A light color like blue, brown, beige etc works well Be modest in the length of your clothes4 Indian Wear Indian wear works well and is professional. Ensure again that you wear sober outfits. A sari works well for an important meeting/ presentation.5 Shoes Wear shoes that contrast with your trousers/ skirts6 Accessories/ Accessories like earrings, chains, necklaces; nose rings, bracelets, make up bangles etc can be worn but do not over do it. Wear one or two accessories that are simple and bring out your personality. A scarf is a good idea for an important meeting. If worn, It should contrast with your shirt/ blouse. Ensure your make up is minimal and to the extent required.7 Neatness At least 2 things you should ensure: Make sure your clothes are ironed Make sure your hair is combedWe will animate characters who demonstrate desirable / undesirable grooming and youwill need to select what according to you is the most appropriate option. 56