Effective communication skills are a key component of successful relationships both at work and at home. It is interesting to note that effective communication is not so much about what you are saying but how you are saying it! You can easily improve your communication skills by applying effective communication techniques. The goal of your communication should always be that the message and information you are sharing are easily heard and understood by your audience. Effective communication can enhance relationships even when there is a significant difference of opinion between the parties. Ineffective communication can irritate, divide, and breakdown relationships. Notice that the points listed above are universally considered good communication techniques and they can be applied in any type of verbal communication.
By using these types of words and enhancing your message, you make it more likely that people will listen to what you are saying and increase the likelihood that they will use similar language to reciprocate your communication. This is a key element in having a productive conversation. While these types of words are important in any communication, they can be especially useful at times when the communication may be adversarial or when you are asking someone to consider a point of view that is different from their own.
Effective communication is about listening just as much as it is about what you are saying! Active listening means fully concentrating on what is being communicated to you and listening without planning a response or a rebuttal. Studies have shown that most people absorb less than half of what they hear during a conversation! This is caused by inattention, distraction, or spending time formulating a response. Active listening gives you the opportunity to determine what information they have and what information they still need from you. You can then tailor your communication to address the confirmed gaps in what has been understood or retained. Adapted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Actively-Listen
Here is a great mnemonic device to help you remember the important components of listening. Listening involves so much more than simply nodding your head and muttering “Mmmmhmmmm” every now and then! http://www.faculty.londondeanery.ac.uk/e-learning/appraisal/skilful-questioning-and-active-listening
Visual, or nonverbal, communication represents over 65% of all communication! Nonverbal communication can portray a message by combining verbal communication and body signals. Visual communication is comprised of posture, appearance, gestures, eye contact, kinesics, proxemics, and haptics. These can be conscious efforts, like dressing a certain way and making eye contact, or unconscious like a facial tic or fidgeting. The wrong message can inadvertently be communicated if the visual communication does not match the verbal message. Regardless of the message you are verbally communicating, your non verbal communication is what ultimately decides if someone likes you, respects you, trusts you, or wants to engage with you. Inappropriate, confusing, or negative visual communication can significantly erode trust and damage relationships. Adapted from: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm and www.wikipedia.com
Paralanguage is a non-verbal element of communication that is used to change meaning and express emotion. It may be expressed knowingly or unknowingly. Elements of paralanguage that affect communication are: tone, volume, rhythm, intonation, emphasis, and speed.
Part of our job as a communicator is to figure out if our audience is really listening to what we have to say. If they are not listening, it is the responsibility of the communicator to figure out how to get the message heard. The tips and techniques we have already reviewed will work to help get your audience engaged. But. . . How can you tell if no one is listening? Your communication needs revamping if you notice the following: no eye contact, outrageous statement are not challenged, no response at all, no questions, no paraphrasing, constant interruptions, inappropriate responses, or easily distracted.
Business writing has two goals:to make people understand you and to get them to take some action.For the reader to understand what you want (and then do it), they must first understand what you mean in your writing. If they have to guess, there's a good chance the guess will be wrong.People who read your letters, e-mails, faxes, reports, and memos have no opportunity to interpret your body language or tone of voice. While you should write much as you speak, you should think of the times when you speak at your best -- when your words, sentences, and paragraphs are more precise than your typical, everyday speech.Follow these tips for writing great letters: be concise, use nouns and verbs more than adjectives, use the active voice, be specific, be interesting, write to your readers not down to them, use a positive tone, be accurate and factual, and be clear.Adapted from: http://www.penmachine.com/topten.html
You should consider the tone of your message, whether you are writing a memo, letter, report, or any type of business document. Tone is present in ALL written communication. Ultimately, the tone of a message is a reflection of the writer and it does affect how the reader will perceive the message. You can ensure your tone is accurately interpreted by the reader by taking care when drafting the document. For most business correspondence, you should strive for an overall tone that is confident, courteous, and sincere; that uses emphasis and subordination appropriately; that contains nondiscriminatory language; and that is written at an appropriate level of difficulty. The only major exceptions to these guidelines are when you need to write a negative business message, such as when you deny a job offer or a customer request.https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/652/1/
Sometimes it's necessary to write a negative letter: turn down a request, refuse someone a job, announce a change in policy that may not be popular. Your purpose when sending a negative letter is to create goodwill around the bad news. Effective negative letters follow a four-part sequence: greeting, explanation, the bad news itself, and a closing action. These can be arranged in four paragraphs.The advantage of this sequence is that the bad news is put later in the letter and, as such, is not the primary focus of the correspondence.
Although email has been around for quite some time now, many businesses and organizations do not provide many guidelines to help employees send effective and appropriate emails. Since email is a regular form of communication, it is important to understand how to write emails effectively. http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/04/
When representing your position or your organization online, it is critical to remember that online communication is instant, wide-reaching, and difficult to retract.A couple of seconds re-reading your post, thinking about the photo, or running the worst-case scenario through your head can save you a lot of real-life pain. Take some time to make sure all your online postings pass the THINK test!Is it true?Is it helpful?Is it inspiring?Is it necessary?Is it kind?If what you are about to post does not meet all these criteria, it might be a good idea to discard the post or revamp it so that it passes the THINK test.
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C O R P O R A T I O N C O N F E R E N C E
L I S A P E C K H A M
Effective Communications and
The information presented to you today is considered
to be general best practices for organizations across
Canada. The information is not intended to provide
legal counsel or legal advice.
Verbal communication skills
Non verbal communication skills
Written communication skills
Traits of a great facilitator
Communication doesn’t have to be complicated!
Speak clearly with appropriate tone and speed
Use language appropriate to your audience
Use appropriate non verbal cues
Make eye contact
Use active listening skills
Words that fall into these categories help to enhance
Treat all people equally
Objective and factual
Words that fall into these categories will hinder your
communication. Without fail.
Refrain from interrupting
Respond with your interpretation of what was said
Ask for further clarification if required
Advantages of active listening
Helps to develop a good relationship
Facilitates further disclosure and deeper discussion
Provides ample opportunity for further explanation
Helps both parties to stay focused on the
Increases retention of information
Non verbal communication
Non verbal communication is communication through
visual and auditory cues. It is considered to
represent over 65% of all communication.
Non verbal communication can significantly enhance
or distract from your message.
Stand tall with head up and
expressions, nodding, winkin
g, clasping hands
Make eye contact regularly
Body movement and
The space between
individuals while they
Hand shake, high five, pat on
Are you being heard?
No eye contact
are not challenged
The same interjection
Writing great letters
Use nouns and verbs more than adjectives
Use an active voice
Write TO your readers, not down to them
Use a positive tone
Be accurate and factual
Why am I writing this document?
Who am I writing this for?
What do I need them to understand?
What kind of tone is appropriate?
Writing negative letters
Friendly greeting that demonstrates familiarity with the reader
and their situation or concern
Demonstrate the procedures the organization has in place to
deal with the reader’s issue or concern
Detail the action that has been taken
Deliver the negative message clearly, concisely, and factually
Invite further contact with the organization, offer an
alternative, provide an incentive
Assume all email is in the public domain
Get to the point
Use short paragraphs, bullets, and numbered lists to
make it easier to read
Facilitation is the art of bringing adults together
through learning and self discovery. Effective
facilitation emphasizes the acquisition and use of
new knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities.
Facilitating versus presenting
Don’t use this meeting facilitation technique!
Planning for success
Define the meeting purpose and objectives
Create the participant list
Facilitator, meeting leader, meeting planner, recorder
Develop the agenda
Identify and assemble background materials
Executing for success
What will be achieved
Map out time limitations for each agenda activity
Establish ground rules
Breaks, mobile devices, respectful communication
Tools for decision making
Consensus decision making
Tips for meeting success
Design a realistic agenda
Be aware of content and process
Keep the group moving towards its aims
Use a variety of facilitation tools to keep all
Create a safe and empowering atmosphere that
encourages contributions from every participant
Do not allow negativity, interrupting, or domineering
Writing your presentation
Capture the mind and the heart using personal
stories, anecdotes, and metaphors
Create slides that answer the questions
why, how, and what
Why should the audience care? How will this improve their
situation? What should they do?
Use simple language
Use images to explain concepts and data
Designing your presentation
Have a consistent visual theme
Make sure colors and fonts are not
harsh, distracting, or illegible
Incorporate high quality graphics
Use appropriate charts to display data
Avoid too many transitions, builds, and animations
in the slides
Deliver your presentation
Be passionate about the topic
Be aware of your verbal and non verbal
Use a handheld remote to advance slides
Make eye contact
Encourage audience participation and engagement