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Effective Communications
At Work
Workplace Information Management
4
Jayadeva de Silva
OVERVIEW OF SESSION
 TYPES OF
COMMUNICATIONS
 TIPS ON HOW TO BE
EFFECTIVE WHEN
COMMUNICATING
“Communication is not a mysterious
process.
It takes place when the ideas from your
mind are transferred to another’s and
arrive intact, complete, and coherent”
“Make Presentations with Confidence,”
Barron’s
FACTOID
The average employee receives about
190 communications a day by paper,
voicemail, email, phone, etc.
from a Pitney-Bowes survey
TYPES OF
COMMUNICATION
 FACE-TO-FACE
 MEETINGS
 WRITTEN
 ELECTRONIC
(EMAIL)
 TELEPHONE
(VOICEMAIL)
FACE-TO-FACE
Most people prefer to
get information face-
to-face, especially
from their immediate
supervisor
The Benefits (face-to-face)
 Opens two-way communication
 Allows for immediate response to questions,
misinterpretations, feedback, etc.
 Takes advantage of voice and body language
The Challenges (face-to-face)
 Use in-person communication when you have
to share information that will affect the
audience
 Use for performance evaluations and
feedback
 Use when the information being
communicated needs immediate attention
 Be prepared to answer questions directly and
immediately
The Do’s and Don’ts (face-to-face)
 DO -- give people your undivided attention -
- listen, really listen, give full attention
 DO -- give people honest, direct and
comprehensive information
 DO -- treat people’s ideas and concerns as
critical and serious - EMPOWER THEM
Face-to-Face cont…..
 DON’T -- tell people “what”, tell them
“why, how, and the larger picture”
 DON’T -- make the conversation one-
way. Invite responses -- discuss and
debate
 DON’T -- answer the phone or take a
call when someone is in your office
Face-to-Face cont...
 DON’T -- wait too long to ask for (or to give)
feedback, gather information immediately
 DON’T -- hold back bad news. Treat people
as intelligent adults, they want to hear the
truth
Communication is not over
when you finish delivering
your message
Types of Meetings
 Executive Briefing
 Informational
 Meeting with a Sponsor
(e.g. Site Visit)
 Staff Meeting
 Team-building
 Informal
 Others...
Let’s Meet
Why Meet?
The primary reason for meetings are to
share or brainstorm information or to
develop action steps toward
accomplishing a goal
Making Meetings Work
1. Make an agenda and stick to it. Send it
out before the meeting, if possible
2. Be clear about the reasons for and goals
of the meeting
3. Have a facilitator -- either a professional
or ask someone at the meeting to step
into this role
Making Meetings Work cont.…
4. Watch the time -- do not overrun -- keep
the agenda flowing
5. Add humor, allow for laughter, have fun -- it
makes for a much more productive
meeting
6. Allow for conflict but deal with it
immediately
Making Meetings Work cont….
7. Maintain control of the meeting at all
times. Don’t get off track
8. Eliminate attendees’ behaviors that are
disruptive
9. Allow for questions, be prepared to answer
them
10. Wrap the meeting up with what was
accomplished and action items
Meeting “Killers” -- why they fail
 Poor Preparation
 Ignored agenda
 Poor time management
 Lack of participation
 Strong personalities
 Lack of leadership
 Lack of humor and fun
 No/poor closing
The only thing worse than a bad meeting
is a great presentation that could have
been sent as a memo
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
 MEMOS
 REPORTS
 BULLETINS
 LETTERS
 NEWSLETTERS
 HANDWRITTEN
NOTES
The Benefits (written)
 Creates a permanent record
 Allows you to store information for future
reference
 Easily distributed
 All recipients receive the same information
 Necessary for legal and binding
documentation
The Challenges (written)
 May seem extremely formal -- use
handwritten notes when it is to be
personalized
 Must be well written, straightforward and
concise
 Written communications are usually not read
right away
DO’s and DON’Ts (written)
 DO -- realize it is not read as soon as it is
received
 DO -- make sure that there is enough time to
prepare and send, and for the recipient to
receive and digest
 DO -- assess writing skills, if poor -- get help
Do’s and Don’ts… (written) cont...
 DO -- outline key points before producing a
draft
 DO -- always draft a written piece and then
reduce all unnecessary language -- be brief
 DO -- proof-read very carefully before any
document is distributed
Do’s and Don’ts (written) cont...
 DON’T -- use this form of communication if
writing is full of errors -- this reflects poorly on
the writer
 DON’T -- use if communication is time
sensitive. If immediate feedback is necessary
-- use email
Is it clear? Have you hit your target?
In written communication
most confusion &
frustration are caused
by failing to be specific
…..
Make it clear, brief and
concise…..
THE PROBLEM
WITH COMMUNICATION
IS “the illusion that it has been
accomplished”
George Bernard Shaw
EMAIL
Email is now the
dominant method of
communicating in
business. It is quick,
inexpensive, flexible
and convenient
But it could be a time-bomb
USE WITH CARE….
The Benefits (email)
 Can be sent and received any time
 Very time effective, can be sent and received
within seconds
 Cost effective -- no paper, no stamps, no
costs -- yet(?)
 Allows for direct access to others
 Messages can be saved and stored
The Benefits (email) cont...
 Convenient for communicating with people in
different places and different time zones
 Easier to communicate with people who
understand written English but don’t speak it
well
 Excellent mechanism for follow-up or action
items after a meeting
The Challenges (email)
 Not everyone has an email account or
access to email at all times
 Email etiquette -- no standards -- people
make up own styles, can be very
confusing
 Email is not confidential -- emails can
be obtained from central network even if
deleted from personal computers
The Challenges (email)
cont...
 Email is too often used to distribute
inappropriate material, such as racial and
gender jokes
 Email is too often used to avoid
confrontation and can be easily
misinterpreted
The Challenges (email)
cont...
 Email is often sent out without re-reading,
proof-reading and other standards applied to
written communications. We press the send
button too soon…
 Emails can be forwarded and sent to others
without the author’s approval or knowledge
The Challenges (email) cont...
 Emails are often casual and informal -- this
can create a potential hazard
 Senders often assume that email is read
immediately which can create problems
Do’s and Don’ts (email)
 DO -- always begin your email with a
salutation and the person’s name -- a date is
a good idea as well
 DO -- always close the email with a closing
sentence and your name
 DO -- in the subject line write a brief and clear
reference to your topic
Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
 DO -- consider the order of the recipients --
be sensitive to organizational hierarchy
 DO -- limit the number of attachments
 DO -- consider the purpose of the email --
why is it being written in the first place?
 DO -- consider alternatives -- phone, voice
mail, note, etc. can be more appropriate
Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
 DON’T -- Send the entire email when
replying. Only send the part that is
essential
 DON’T -- Be too blunt -- email is the
coldest form of communications. Watch
the tone. Be friendly but polite
 DON’T -- Write an email longer than two
screens -- it probably won’t be read
Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
 DON’T -- use “CAPS” for emphasis in the
body of the email. It looks and “sounds”
angry
 DON’T -- use an automatic signature with
every email. Use only in your initial email, not
when replying to a message
The biggest difference in the
quality of your email
messages is made by you
Telephone and Voicemail
 Most employees
have access to a
phone (and
voicemail)
 Using a telephone
can be spontaneous
and often friendly
Benefits (telephone/voicemail)
 Immediate access to audience
 Communication is direct and timely
 Takes advantage of tone of voice and
language
 Allows for immediate response to
questions, feedback, etc.
Challenges (telephone/voicemail)
 Too spontaneous, might not be ready to
have a conversation
 Not prepared when a call is received but
take it anyway
 Can’t reach party in time to relay
information
 Not everyone has voicemail
Tips for telephone & voicemail
 Let your voicemail speak for you (don’t have
someone else record your message)
 Record a daily greeting - let callers know
when you are available
 When leaving a voicemail message tell the
person what you want and how they should
reply to you
Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...
 Leave your name and phone number at
the beginning of the voicemail message
not at the end
 Before placing a call write down key
points you want to cover
 Give undivided attention when speaking
on the phone
Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...
 Try to return calls immediately, if
someone is calling -- it must be
important to them
 Avoid calling when angry, be friendly
and helpful
FACTOID
55% of what people perceive of others
comes from body language and facial
expressions
38% comes from tone of voice
7% is based on the actual words people
use
Final Thoughts
A person’s competence and a person’s
effectiveness are based on their ability to
communicate effectively
Competence isn’t the problem --
How you Communicate is
Resources
 Seymoure & Shervington,
“Essential Managers,
Maximizing Performance”,
DK Publishing, Inc.
 Boylan, “What’s Your
Point?”, Adams Media
Corporation
 Ivy Sea Online,
“Interpersonal
Communication Quick Tips”
http://www.Ivysea.com
 “Writing Professional E-Mail
Messages”, compositioncafe.
http://www.compositioncafe.com
 Vivian Buchan, “Make
Presentations with Confidence,”
Barron’s
 Maureen Bauer, “Learning Tips
for Effective Communication at
Work”, Click10.com

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Workplace Information Management 3

  • 1. Effective Communications At Work Workplace Information Management 4 Jayadeva de Silva
  • 2. OVERVIEW OF SESSION  TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS  TIPS ON HOW TO BE EFFECTIVE WHEN COMMUNICATING
  • 3. “Communication is not a mysterious process. It takes place when the ideas from your mind are transferred to another’s and arrive intact, complete, and coherent” “Make Presentations with Confidence,” Barron’s
  • 4. FACTOID The average employee receives about 190 communications a day by paper, voicemail, email, phone, etc. from a Pitney-Bowes survey
  • 5. TYPES OF COMMUNICATION  FACE-TO-FACE  MEETINGS  WRITTEN  ELECTRONIC (EMAIL)  TELEPHONE (VOICEMAIL)
  • 6. FACE-TO-FACE Most people prefer to get information face- to-face, especially from their immediate supervisor
  • 7. The Benefits (face-to-face)  Opens two-way communication  Allows for immediate response to questions, misinterpretations, feedback, etc.  Takes advantage of voice and body language
  • 8. The Challenges (face-to-face)  Use in-person communication when you have to share information that will affect the audience  Use for performance evaluations and feedback  Use when the information being communicated needs immediate attention  Be prepared to answer questions directly and immediately
  • 9. The Do’s and Don’ts (face-to-face)  DO -- give people your undivided attention - - listen, really listen, give full attention  DO -- give people honest, direct and comprehensive information  DO -- treat people’s ideas and concerns as critical and serious - EMPOWER THEM
  • 10. Face-to-Face cont…..  DON’T -- tell people “what”, tell them “why, how, and the larger picture”  DON’T -- make the conversation one- way. Invite responses -- discuss and debate  DON’T -- answer the phone or take a call when someone is in your office
  • 11. Face-to-Face cont...  DON’T -- wait too long to ask for (or to give) feedback, gather information immediately  DON’T -- hold back bad news. Treat people as intelligent adults, they want to hear the truth
  • 12. Communication is not over when you finish delivering your message
  • 13. Types of Meetings  Executive Briefing  Informational  Meeting with a Sponsor (e.g. Site Visit)  Staff Meeting  Team-building  Informal  Others... Let’s Meet
  • 14. Why Meet? The primary reason for meetings are to share or brainstorm information or to develop action steps toward accomplishing a goal
  • 15. Making Meetings Work 1. Make an agenda and stick to it. Send it out before the meeting, if possible 2. Be clear about the reasons for and goals of the meeting 3. Have a facilitator -- either a professional or ask someone at the meeting to step into this role
  • 16. Making Meetings Work cont.… 4. Watch the time -- do not overrun -- keep the agenda flowing 5. Add humor, allow for laughter, have fun -- it makes for a much more productive meeting 6. Allow for conflict but deal with it immediately
  • 17. Making Meetings Work cont…. 7. Maintain control of the meeting at all times. Don’t get off track 8. Eliminate attendees’ behaviors that are disruptive 9. Allow for questions, be prepared to answer them 10. Wrap the meeting up with what was accomplished and action items
  • 18. Meeting “Killers” -- why they fail  Poor Preparation  Ignored agenda  Poor time management  Lack of participation  Strong personalities  Lack of leadership  Lack of humor and fun  No/poor closing
  • 19. The only thing worse than a bad meeting is a great presentation that could have been sent as a memo
  • 20. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION  MEMOS  REPORTS  BULLETINS  LETTERS  NEWSLETTERS  HANDWRITTEN NOTES
  • 21. The Benefits (written)  Creates a permanent record  Allows you to store information for future reference  Easily distributed  All recipients receive the same information  Necessary for legal and binding documentation
  • 22. The Challenges (written)  May seem extremely formal -- use handwritten notes when it is to be personalized  Must be well written, straightforward and concise  Written communications are usually not read right away
  • 23. DO’s and DON’Ts (written)  DO -- realize it is not read as soon as it is received  DO -- make sure that there is enough time to prepare and send, and for the recipient to receive and digest  DO -- assess writing skills, if poor -- get help
  • 24. Do’s and Don’ts… (written) cont...  DO -- outline key points before producing a draft  DO -- always draft a written piece and then reduce all unnecessary language -- be brief  DO -- proof-read very carefully before any document is distributed
  • 25. Do’s and Don’ts (written) cont...  DON’T -- use this form of communication if writing is full of errors -- this reflects poorly on the writer  DON’T -- use if communication is time sensitive. If immediate feedback is necessary -- use email
  • 26. Is it clear? Have you hit your target? In written communication most confusion & frustration are caused by failing to be specific ….. Make it clear, brief and concise…..
  • 27. THE PROBLEM WITH COMMUNICATION IS “the illusion that it has been accomplished” George Bernard Shaw
  • 28. EMAIL Email is now the dominant method of communicating in business. It is quick, inexpensive, flexible and convenient
  • 29. But it could be a time-bomb USE WITH CARE….
  • 30. The Benefits (email)  Can be sent and received any time  Very time effective, can be sent and received within seconds  Cost effective -- no paper, no stamps, no costs -- yet(?)  Allows for direct access to others  Messages can be saved and stored
  • 31. The Benefits (email) cont...  Convenient for communicating with people in different places and different time zones  Easier to communicate with people who understand written English but don’t speak it well  Excellent mechanism for follow-up or action items after a meeting
  • 32. The Challenges (email)  Not everyone has an email account or access to email at all times  Email etiquette -- no standards -- people make up own styles, can be very confusing  Email is not confidential -- emails can be obtained from central network even if deleted from personal computers
  • 33. The Challenges (email) cont...  Email is too often used to distribute inappropriate material, such as racial and gender jokes  Email is too often used to avoid confrontation and can be easily misinterpreted
  • 34. The Challenges (email) cont...  Email is often sent out without re-reading, proof-reading and other standards applied to written communications. We press the send button too soon…  Emails can be forwarded and sent to others without the author’s approval or knowledge
  • 35. The Challenges (email) cont...  Emails are often casual and informal -- this can create a potential hazard  Senders often assume that email is read immediately which can create problems
  • 36. Do’s and Don’ts (email)  DO -- always begin your email with a salutation and the person’s name -- a date is a good idea as well  DO -- always close the email with a closing sentence and your name  DO -- in the subject line write a brief and clear reference to your topic
  • 37. Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...  DO -- consider the order of the recipients -- be sensitive to organizational hierarchy  DO -- limit the number of attachments  DO -- consider the purpose of the email -- why is it being written in the first place?  DO -- consider alternatives -- phone, voice mail, note, etc. can be more appropriate
  • 38. Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...  DON’T -- Send the entire email when replying. Only send the part that is essential  DON’T -- Be too blunt -- email is the coldest form of communications. Watch the tone. Be friendly but polite  DON’T -- Write an email longer than two screens -- it probably won’t be read
  • 39. Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...  DON’T -- use “CAPS” for emphasis in the body of the email. It looks and “sounds” angry  DON’T -- use an automatic signature with every email. Use only in your initial email, not when replying to a message
  • 40. The biggest difference in the quality of your email messages is made by you
  • 41. Telephone and Voicemail  Most employees have access to a phone (and voicemail)  Using a telephone can be spontaneous and often friendly
  • 42. Benefits (telephone/voicemail)  Immediate access to audience  Communication is direct and timely  Takes advantage of tone of voice and language  Allows for immediate response to questions, feedback, etc.
  • 43. Challenges (telephone/voicemail)  Too spontaneous, might not be ready to have a conversation  Not prepared when a call is received but take it anyway  Can’t reach party in time to relay information  Not everyone has voicemail
  • 44. Tips for telephone & voicemail  Let your voicemail speak for you (don’t have someone else record your message)  Record a daily greeting - let callers know when you are available  When leaving a voicemail message tell the person what you want and how they should reply to you
  • 45. Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...  Leave your name and phone number at the beginning of the voicemail message not at the end  Before placing a call write down key points you want to cover  Give undivided attention when speaking on the phone
  • 46. Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...  Try to return calls immediately, if someone is calling -- it must be important to them  Avoid calling when angry, be friendly and helpful
  • 47. FACTOID 55% of what people perceive of others comes from body language and facial expressions 38% comes from tone of voice 7% is based on the actual words people use
  • 48. Final Thoughts A person’s competence and a person’s effectiveness are based on their ability to communicate effectively Competence isn’t the problem -- How you Communicate is
  • 49. Resources  Seymoure & Shervington, “Essential Managers, Maximizing Performance”, DK Publishing, Inc.  Boylan, “What’s Your Point?”, Adams Media Corporation  Ivy Sea Online, “Interpersonal Communication Quick Tips” http://www.Ivysea.com  “Writing Professional E-Mail Messages”, compositioncafe. http://www.compositioncafe.com  Vivian Buchan, “Make Presentations with Confidence,” Barron’s  Maureen Bauer, “Learning Tips for Effective Communication at Work”, Click10.com