the key to
an organization's success!
management is what sets the tone (and the limits) for success. Further,
there is a direct correlation between the skills and abilities of a
manager and the contribution of staff.
The above assessment is designed to give an indication about the
effectiveness of your management skills. Consider the following:
||GREAT management skills - you
are maximizing the contribution of your staff
||Improvement would be helpful -
your staff may not be able to fully engage with enthusiasm
||Improvement is necessary - your
staff are not able to meet their full potential
||Urgent help is needed -
productivity and profitability are suffering and your staff may be
below for additional information about effective management.
While we have spent many years learning
how to read, write and
speak, we hardly spent any time learning how to listen. Yet listening
is as important of a skill as the others in helping us understand
another human being.
Know how to listen. Listening is not just
person speak. It is having intent to gain a deep understanding of
another person. Good listening allows you get inside another
person’s frame of reference and view the world through that
paradigm. You understand how they feel and think. Just like close to
90% of our communication is represented by our body language, good
listening is characterized not only by our ears, but our eyes and
hearts. You listen for meaning and for feeling.
The other person should be able to
experience you, gain an
insight of your character even as you listen. From it, that other
person will come to instinctively trust you.
Human behavior indicates that needs that
have been satisfied
provide minimal, if any, motivation. The unsatisfied ones motivate.
After the physical survival the next human need is physiological
fulfillment – the need to be appreciated, validated and
understood. You provide another person with those needs if you know how
to listen well.
In a business setting the best opportunity
to listen to your
employees is during one-on-one meetings. Make the human element as
important as the financial or the technical. Your ability to gain deep
understanding of another person will help you gain great amount of
time, energy and resources. When you listen you give the people who
work for you physiological support. You inspire loyalty and integrity
that go beyond just the basic requirements of the job.
In communication with colleagues and your
boss, learn how to
ask good questions and engage them by getting them to talk about
themselves. Learn about their thoughts and feelings. That will also
help you become a great conversationalist.
Many say that communication skills are the
skills in our lives. This could be true, because most of our time,
while we are awake, we communicate. We communicated in different ways
– through verbal means, non-verbal means and visually.
Non-verbal communication is actually the
most powerful. During
face-to-face interactions, your body language has the most impact on
the person you are talking to. The content of what you are saying
accounts only for 7%:
- 55% of impact is determined by body
language—postures, gestures, and eye contact,
- 38% by the tone of voice, and
- 7% by the content or the words
Numerous studies indicate that only 10
percent of our
communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30 percent is
represented by our tone of voice and 60 percent by our body language.
Verbal communication refers to regular
speech and dialog
between two people, or group of people.
Nonverbal communication refers to your
body language and
includes gestures, posture, facial expressions and eye contact. People
also convey messages by choosing to wear certain clothes, having a
certain hairstyle or deciding to do (or not to do) something. These
nonverbal elements are part of our behavioral communication, which
helps us express our needs, feelings and thoughts.
The nonverbal elements of the speech
include your tone of
voice, the emotion you attach to what you are saying and your speaking
style. How fast or slow you speak, intonation and the words you choose
to emphasize all have an impact on the listener. Similarly,
you’ll find elements of nonverbal communication in the
written content, which would include your handwriting style if
it’s a hand-written document, structuring of your text or how
you use greetings in the email and so on.
Nonverbal communication plays a key role
in every person's
day-to-day life, both at work and at home.
We communicate visually when we rely on
use of certain visual
aid to convey our messages. The most common examples are images,
drawings, graphs and charts. Communicating with usual aid is often more
effective because it increases the chances of the message resonating
with the listener. Visual communication is often used in attempts to
persuade another person is and is effectively used by someone who has
good presentation skills (40). In using visual aid the important
element is the audience’s ability to comprehend the
information rather than the esthetics of the aid.
Face-to-face communication is an important
part of workplace
communication (40). Use this communication with others in situations
when their verbal and non-verbal language is important in determining
how you should respond. Such situations typically include:
- Presentations to senior management or new clients
- Brainstorming or analysis of complex topics that may
require use of visual aid, use of drawings, etc.
- Employee evaluations, personal, sensitive and confidential
- Discussion of issues that have higher probability of being
misunderstood if discussed in different medium
- Contentious issues that generate significant amount of
emails within your team
Face to face communication
Learn to be succinct:
Being brief and to the point is one of the most valuable communication
skills. Often, the higher you move up within any organization, the more
frequently you see how well the executives use this skill. They think
before they say and then express their thoughts in brief and the most
effective manner possible. Structure your messages with as few words as
possible, while still ensuring you are getting your information across.
They need to be brief and to the point.
Avoid using technical jargon,
abbreviations or fancy words.
This typically annoys the audience and breaks your connection with
them. Those in the audience who no longer understand your message
become confused and hesitant in replying, as they are no longer engaged
in what you are saying.
Ask targeted questions to
Part of being an effective communicator is asking precise and targeted
questions. This skill will help you significantly in understanding what
is happening with your team and exactly what is expected of you in your
own assignment. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need
to if that helps you clarify the situation.
Learn how to
During your conversations with others learn how to take your cue from
their behavior. Listen to their responses, but also observe their body
language. If the person seems to feel uncomfortable, avoid talking
about personal matters. At the same time, try to make your body
language more inviting and open, which will make another person feel at
ease. The easiest and most effective way to achieve that is by smiling.
That will make your conversation with another person warmer and easier.
Use a positive tone:
Avoid being negative. It makes others feel defensive and reduces your
ability to communicate with them. Keeping a positive attitude, on the
other hand, and asking the questions in a positive way conveys to the
other person your expectation of a positive outcome. For example,
let’s say you made a mistake and are asking for the feedback
from your boss. Instead of asking “What did I do
wrong?” you can ask “What could I do differently
Communication on the phone
As in face-to-face communications,
remember to be professional
and courteous. Listen carefully, try to not interrupt and be direct and
succinct in your communication.
Many people do not realize that our body
language has an
effect on how the other person hears you on the other end. Your
enthusiasm, energy and the positive tone of voice could be enhanced if
we did the following:
- Use a quality headset. It will help you reduce fatigue,
free up your hands to take the important notes and allow you to stand
and move around while you are talking
- Standing up during the conversation will help your body
language become more confident and project that strength and conviction
in your voice.
- Smile when you say “Hello” and
“Good Bye.” Not only will that help you remain
positive, but the energy will be clearly felt in your voice, leaving
another person with a positive impression.
If you need to leave a phone message, make
sure you are
prepared to do that. Be ready to leave a message even before you dial.
Adhere to the same principles of communication as in face-to-face
situations – clarity and brevity. Try not to exceed 20-30
seconds. State your name, company or department, your title and the
number to reach you at. Speak slowly and clearly, because the person
picking up the message will likely be writing the information down.
Toward the end of the message, try to increase your energy. Finish on a
high note, with enthusiasm and passion. If necessary, replay and
Email has become one of the main mediums
of communication in
today’s business. It is good to know, however, when emailing
is the right way to communicate your message. Some subjects,
particularly those where gauging somebody’s body language
would help you tailor your response, are better handled face-to-face or
by phone. Typically, email is ideal for the following:
- When you need to share a document or a report, or share the
information with multiple parties
- When you need a written record of communication
- When you don’t want to the recipient on a spot
and let him think about the issue before his response
- When you’re unable to reach a person in any other
- When you try to avoid the person for one reason or another
(you don’t have time for small talk but don’t want
to offend him)
- When time differences create inconvenience
Email format :
The most effective emails are short and to the point. Long emails often
overwhelm the recipients, and end up at the bottom of their queue. Such
emails often do not fit on one page and require scrolling.
That’s why many experts suggest limiting emails to just about
three-four paragraphs, or less. If there is no way around you sending a
longer email, try doing one of the following:
- Send your long message as an attachment. Include a few
sentences in the body of the mail explaining what you are sending.
- Learn to use bullet points rather than narratives,
particularly as related to central points of the email
- Remembering that most people primarily read the first
paragraphs and often scan the rest:
- Include the most important point in the first sentence
- Make your email call for action, again either at the
very beginning or at the end. Again, this is for those who like to
- If you forward an email string to others, make sure the
preceding discussions are relevant to what’s at hand.
Otherwise, delete and leave what’s relevant.
Sometimes you’ll need to provide
feedback on a list
of questions or points. The best way to do it is by hitting
‘reply’ and then use different color to reply to
each individual point in the body of the original message (blue or red
are common colors). This will help senders avoid scrolling up and down
from their original question to see your responses.
Compose a clear and targeted subject line.
Your goal is to
tell the recipient the purpose of your email and to make his interested
in actually reading your email. Today, many companies use anti-spam
software, which picks up the following words and phrases, so try
avoiding to use them in your subject lime:
- Your order
- Limited time only
Keep all business correspondence formal even if you have friendly
relationships with your co-workers and clients. First, these messages
reflect on your professionalism. Some recipients may forward them to
others, or print and pass them along to other businesspeople, who may
not know you as well as the original recipients. You may not know where
your email may appear. Keep it professional and formal.
Just like with traditional emails, follow
the basic rules of
curtsey and professionalism:
- Use traditional salutations such as
“dear” and “hello” and closing
remarks like “best regards” or
- Use clear and proper English. Avoid using jargon or slang.
- Avoid using abbreviations or contractions that may not be
- Do not use all capital letters. First, text consisting of
words typed in upper case is more difficult to read. Second, words
spelled in upper letters indicate shouting. That may appear annoying to
- End your emails with your name
- Check for misspelling
Take a moment to read what you composed.
Often, print the
draft and reading it on a paper helps provide a fresh look at the
content. Remember that the way you communicate is a reflection of your
professionalism. Typos and misspellings may indicate your lack of
attention or care.
- Try to cc- only those on your emails who really need to
- Take care of privacy of your contacts. If you send an email
to a large group of people, use a blind carbon copy feature (Bcc)
- Do not overuse the ‘urgent-message’
Precautions with using
Email can also be dangerous. When you send an email, particularly
something of sensitive nature, double-check the
“to” line to make sure you are sending it to the
right person and that you didn’t click “respond to
everyone” by mistake if you are replying to one person on a
Make sure you never respond to anyone
customer or your boss - when you feel emotional. In most cases this
results in a negative outcome. Take some time to cool off and get back
in the right frame of mind. If you need to “unload”
the weigh off your chest, try the following:
- Open a new email. Don’t put any recipient name in
the “to” line
- Start writing whatever you want to write. Think of it as a
- Do not send it. Save it in the Drafts folder.
- Try to relax, mediate, or work on something else. See if
your emotional level is back to normal (wait till next day if
- Open the draft and re-read it again. If you still feel that
the response in the form you drafted it is justified, go ahead and
send. If, on the other hand, you start to feel somewhat ashamed for
reacting that way, you have just prevented possibly ruining an
important relationship and likely saved yourself the embarrassment of
having to apologize for your behavior.
Studies have shown that over 50 percent of
people using email
say their messages have been misunderstood. For instance, your boss
sent you an email when he was rushed. As a result the message was
short. You may translate it as if he was displeased with you. In other
instances, jokes that sound funny when said in person may appear insult
in writing. If you have a doubt about how the email will be
interpreted, play safe and don’t send it.
At the center of a principle-centered
cooperation and synergy. It helps catalyze and unleash the greatest
powers within people. High trust situations that are part of good team
cooperation helps eliminate defensiveness and protectiveness.