Good communication skills are a very important part of any organization. They can boost teamwork and lead to better project collaboration and apply to practically every industry. Workplace communication is important for streamlining internal communication. Maintaining effective communication ensures that management and the team below them are on the same page and can perform their tasks effectively. That means that employees are confident with the work at hand and managers are assured that team members are correctly undertaking that work.
- Communication Skills
- Types of Communication Skills
- Using DISC
- Using DISC Paper Profiles
- Role of Assertiveness
- Assertiveness Techniques and Benefits
- Role of Active Listening
- Active Listening for Leaders
- Role of Interpersonal Skills
- Why Develop Interpersonal Skills
- Interpersonal Skills Training
- Developing Interpersonal Skills
- For Managers
- For Leaders
- Tips for Leaders
- More Tips for Managers
- For Employees
- Communication Skills Training
- Training Material
- Effective Training
- Training Benefits
- Psychometric Tests
Even an infant can communicate. However, business communication isn’t that straight forward and easy. Cultural affinity, intention of the receiver, language barrier and difference in perception – all of them add complexity to this very basic human phenomenon – communication.
Nowadays, more than ever before, organizations mandate sophisticated “executive” communication skills for professionals right from the initial days of their career. Right from day one, professionals are exposed to cross culture situations – communicating across borders through email, telephone and chat services. While running a customer service desk, opportunities for providing excellent service may be lost due to communication faux pas. Professionals can no longer undermine the importance of direct, precise and to-the-point messages.
Our experience with multiple corporates indicates that communication skill is the number one development area for professionals in the early years of their corporate life. They need to learn the art of collaborative communication, wherein they can deliver simple and clear messages tactfully.
This is what would make the BIG DIFFERENCE!
Business communications are seldom taken seriously these days. It is natural to think that since we are well-versed in the language of global communication we are good when it comes to business communications. Business communication happens in almost all sectors of professional and business milieu such as interactions with clients, peers, managers, vendors, sales, etc. in the form of face-to-face meeting, emails, telephone calls, web conference, presentations, business writing, etc. Business communications cannot be same as our day to day communications since it entails professionalism.
Professionalism does not necessarily indicate eloquent language. However, professionalism involves use of good language, communicating clearly without ambiguity, listening effectively and not selectively, giving time and space for communication, removing barriers of communication, effective questioning, being in context of communication and avoiding interruptions.
The coaching program for business communication is designed to enable individuals and corporate in enhancing their business communications with respect to of business writing, assertiveness, maintaining professionalism and many other powerful aspects of business communication.
Business Communication prepares professionals to reset their priorities, spot areas of improvements and commit themselves to the communication revolution. It provides professionals a never- before learning opportunity to evaluate self and overcome shortcomings in the art of communication. The training sharpens written and verbal communication skills. It focuses on dramatic listening to engage multiple senses to touch the listener’s emotions.
- Eliminate Barriers to Communication
- Enhance both internal and external customer service performance
- Empower business relationships through enhanced interpersonal communication skills
- Increase workplace productivity and retention
- Communication basics
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Listening skills
- Asking powerful questions
- Team Meetings
- Writing business emails
- Conference calls
- Giving and receiving feedback
The program includes two essential parts, which are used as assessments to understand the individual differences and assist in working on the improvement areas.
Personal Listening Profile assesses people on their natural approach to listening as well as that of others thus, helping them improve their effectiveness by refining their own listening approach according to that of people around leading to successful communication.
Business English Test is a scientifically designed and validated test. It provides norm-based reporting of an employee’s level of proficiency in the English language in three key areas: Grammar, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. Business English assessment test that helps in understanding the improvement area for each individual and focuses towards developing it.
This program is available in a one-day and a two-day format.
The word communication is derived from the Latin word “communicare” which means “to share”. Communication is a process that includes the transference and understanding of meaning. In organizational terms, communication is the sending and receiving of messages among interrelated individuals to achieve common goals within an organizational setting. It is a procedure which includes exchanging ideas, views, facts and emotions between two or more than two people. Simply, communication is the act of conveying meanings from one individual or group to another using mutually understood networks.
Communication is a skill that plays a very important role at the workplace since the ability to communicate effectively is central to healthy organizational relations and ultimately organizational success. Thus, training in one such skill is a key aspect of any business or organization. In this article we will discuss in detail about communication skills training.
Communication Skills in Organizations
Communication plays a very important role in organizations. Business communication refers to information shared between people within and outside an organization, performed for the commercial benefit of the organization. It can also be defined as sending and receiving information within a business by its people. Communication skills involve the ability to be able to make formal as well as informal, and verbal and non-verbal communication effectively. Communication skills are an essential tool in achieving productivity and building effective teams in organizations and hence communication skills are important to the success of any organization. They help companies to be productive and function effectively. Employees who possess these skills can sustain healthy work relations and are able to produce good performance. Since communication takes place in three directions: upward, downward and lateral, communication skill is the ability to carry out communication in all these directions effectively.
Why Teach Communication Skills?
Being an efficient communicator requires real skills. Communication skills have to be developed and improved continuously to be effective in business and hence communication skills training is very important for successful collaboration in the workplace.
- The main purpose of communication skills training is to teach employees the basics of effective workplace communication. At the end of the training, the trainees are able to understand the importance and benefits of workplace communication and enhance their communication skills, and thus maintain healthy work relations and foster performance.
- Efficient communication is the basis of efficient teamwork. Communication skills training teaches the trainees to be interactive, which involves both speaking and listening and being empathetic to the emotions and opinions of others.
- Communication skills training teaches employees how to control their emotions and consider the needs of others. These programs are designed to help the employees learn the secrets of growth during change and ensuring a successful future for their organization.
- Communication skills training programs give employees practical skills to make communication with others more effective. The activities involved increase awareness as to the importance of effective communication, and the trainees learn how positive communication impacts relationships in an organization.
- Communication skills training helps participants understand different people and different styles and learn how to communicate properly and appropriately with each behavioral pattern. Once the trainees learn to deal with different behavioral styles, it makes it easier for them to establish trust and rapport resulting in more honest relationships.
Communication Skills for New Managers
Communication skills may not be the instantly arrived skill when one thinks of the top priority skills expected from a new manager. But most of the new managers in the top percentile tend to have mastered this crucial interpersonal skill. How does communication help new managers get an edge? Clear communication skills enable the new managers to probe the right questions, accurate listening ability, manage crucial conversations effectively which lead them to get into the crux.
Many of the workplace conflicts, misunderstandings or task mishaps could be a result of miscommunication and that could have been handled effectively with stronger communication skills. Moving up the ladder from an individual contributor to managing a team requires regular discussion with the team and being up to date with the happenings within the team. Apart from communicating with the team, a new manager needs to represent the team in front of various forums like their managers, other teams etc. Thus, communication skills for new managers tend to be very crucial.
Being effective in communication creates a better bond within the team thus enhancing productivity. Great ideas can only be converted into practice when the new manager can communicate their ideas to the team clearly and align them to the same idea.
Essential communication skills for new managers
- Create a Common Culture: While entering a workplace each employee comes with their own bags of context, perspective, experience, culture, values, etc. A new manager needs to create a common vision for their team and align it with the big picture. This involves explaining the rationale behind the goal, setting the rituals for the team, creating paths to reach the goal, etc.
- Repetition: Effective communication imbibes repeating a message over a period of time to ensure the effective completion of a task. Communication isn’t a one-off task. Communicating over multiple points aids in building trust and credibility.
- Check for Understanding: Communication skills for new managers don’t end with sending out a message, but ensure the message is received and understood. So, weaving possibility for questions and conversations while communicating enables the managers to gauge the understanding.
- Effective Listening: New managers working on communication skills also need to have the aspect of listening. In order to improve communication, one needs to delve deep into understanding what is working and where improvement is required. For that, one needs to listen to others, gain their opinion and incorporate feedback.
- Call to Action: Communication should enable others to move towards action. One should ensure that their communication is aligned with the goal and it drives others to take action.
Benefits of Effective Management Communication
- Team Morale Improves: Regular individual conversation with team members or creating a culture if reaching out at any time creates a great bond within the team.
- Creating Rituals for Team: When the new manager practices effective communication by displaying practices like active listening, probing etc, the team also tends to practice the same. Thus, the manager sets a ritualistic culture to practice an effective communication that enhances productivity.
- Stating the Purpose Clearly: It is essential to state the purpose clearly as it helps the team to understand what is expected of them and drives the direction. So, a new manager needs to state the purpose clearly.
- Higher levels of Productivity: If the actions are purposeful then it leads to greater productivity. Thus, having structured communication enables a culture of streamlined processes and accuracy. This is a crucial aspect of communication skills for new managers
- Problem Resolution: With a proper communication channel in the team and openness from the manager the team can resolve problems at a faster phase. Thus, it is important to focus on communication skills for new managers
Storytelling in the world of business
To build a powerful and lasting brand, storytelling is a great tool and skill to do that. As humans, we have been telling listening and telling stories. It is an essential part of our day-to-day communication. It connects people, shares the vision, helps people to understand different perspectives.
If storytelling is done correctly for a business, it can turn a brand into legacy, can help to create a robust marketing strategy, will help in generating profits, and can win loyalty and affection of customers/people/audience etc. Storytelling conveys the vision and purpose, and businesses with purpose are the ones which ultimately stand out and capture the client’s hearts and wallets. There are many businesses which lack a clearly communicated story that positions their brand, values, and vision. This can be the reason for a poor customer base for the company.
Benefits of business storytelling:
- It helps in creating a strong marketing strategy.
The marketing campaign should revolve around the story, vision, ideas, dreams that the company has should be communicated to the audience. If it is not communicated, then the audience might get confused or ambiguous about the company. Businesses should invest in storytelling because it creates a blueprint to organise content which otherwise can seem scattered. When the marketing strategy of any business is created based on a story, each part of the content should have an intention, value proposition which should support the business’ overarching vision.A marketing strategy which is based on a story also helps in simplifying the complexities of a vision and conveys the purpose and idea of the business to the outside world in an unambiguous manner.
- Inspiring and heartfelt storytelling leads to profit and is also human in nature.
If we look around, we will see that the most successful companies in the world are not just businesses but they also have profound stories behind them which instil a bigger picture and purpose to their work. If a business decides to share a vision and not only products or service, there are higher chances that the audience will subscribe to the business.People would like to invest in human than in a company. Most of the financially successful companies are known for delivering financial returns and building people and society. It is both an ethical and strategic move for a company to humanize itself through sharing stories and inspire people.
- Storytelling is a competitive advantage.
In today’s world, consumers are oversaturated with information, products, and services. But in the end, decision-making is more emotional than it is logical. Telling a good story can make or break and can differentiate one business from another. A business with an inspiring and remarkable story can win its audience and create profit. This ultimately helps in building its own brand.
- Stories emotionally connect the audience to the business.
A good and inspiring story makes the audience think and feel in a way numbers, data, and presentations can not. Good stories tap into emotions and connect the audience genuinely with the business.
DiSC Assessment and How It Helps Improve Internal and External Communication
The benefits of DISC assessment stem from its objective and quantitative approach. DISC provides advantages that cut across a broad range of corporate functions. DISC profiles equip your business with more powerful and practical tools to understand human behavior, which allows workers to improve productivity, efficiency, and quality of life. DISC measures personality and behavioral propensities.
The whole range of DISC programs help in self-understanding of inbuilt strengths, forces, and motivators as well as the concurrent traits of other people. Well-versed with the psychology of human dispositions, you can adapt your behaviors in various ways, and under different situations. DISC assessment leads to greater achievement, improved harmony, better communication, as well as a way to come to grips with the surroundings and other individuals.
Recruitment and Job Selection
The use of DISC assessment in recruitment has its origin in the early days of the program and still reigns supreme in this area. Given its simplicity and cost-efficiency, DISC offers more efficiency in recruitment and makes it tractable and economical to incorporate personality profiles across the board. Features such as job comparison help emphasize those applicants who accurately correspond to the requirements of a position based on quirky selves. For shortlisted candidates, an in-depth awareness of their behavioral style can help ease implementation into the entity, and with matching their new duties to their strengths.
Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal
DISC assessment bestows your organization with a tool for that complements existing performance appraisal programs and isolates issues for redress. Frequent assessment keeps you updated about workers’ output in their duties, disclosing strategies for motivation and pushing their limits. At the managerial level, DISC assessment can overcome challenges. A comprehensive understanding of an individual’s aspirations and likings gives you the means to familiarize yourself with people and solve a complicated issue. A DISC assessment on relationships provides guidelines on fruitful conflict resolution.
Lucrative Working Inter-relationships
The grandeur of DISC assessment lies in its ability to Disclose how two different characters will interact with each other. DISC tools highlight the positive characteristics of professional relationship, possible areas of conflict, and may suggest how to find common ground for stronger bonds. The same philosophy applied in DISC relationship assessments doubles as a tool to improve communication approaches adapted to an individual’s persona. Making yourself acquainted with others’ behavioral patterns gives you an informed means to create constructive relations in all settings, from sales to career development to management.
Teamwork and Leadership
Relationships and communication propel a team to success; DISC plays a vital role here too. DISC tools give access to interpret and archive all the personal dynamics at play within an organization, teamwork improves. The same principles apply in developing effective leadership within a group. DISC can assess leadership qualities and Discover the kind of leaders needed by a team or network.
In any organization, a deeper understanding of the demands and preferences of everyone allows them to tailor their approach to relationships with team members in a way that helps in achieving objectives. Accordingly, DISC assessment leads to significant improvement in correspondence, coordination, interdependence, productivity and workflows’ efficiency.
DiSC PAPER PROFILES – Improve Communication and Prevent Deadlocks
The cornerstone of personal and career success lies in self-understanding, resonating with others and appreciating the impact of your behavior on persons around you. The original 28-FORCED CHOICE questionnaire paper contains the test, scoring methods, and interpretation of reports. The DISC paper profiles apply four behavioral responses, viz. Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.
Establish the Standards for Examining Self and Others
DISC utilizes a hands-off language for understanding behavioral aspects across four core dimensions:
DOMINANCE – Direct and Influential-accepts challenges, interaction and getting results
INFLUENCE – Active and Optimistic-likes people, taking charge and rejuvenating teams
STEADINESS – Cooperative and Collaborative-prefers steady, certain styles
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS – Judicious and Perfectionist-likes precision and valid ways
DISC paper profiles offer a self-scoring behavioral understanding instrument with a road map for interpersonal communication and teamwork. DISC Paper profiles help to shape and improve productive communication, connections, and relationships for organizations or companies. Much water has passed under the bridge since DISC Classic Profiles hit the market 30 years ago making it a dominant pedagogical tool in the industry.
Fashioned to synergize existing training software, DISC Classic significantly enhances communication, offsets frustration and disagreement, and creates efficient corporate managers.
DiSC Paper Profiles: Behavioral Dimensions
The DISC paper profiles deliver a behavioral personality appraisal or assessment based on the model hypothesized by William Moulton Marston. DISC Classic Profiles scrutinize the behavior of people and how their dispositions and character depending on the surroundings or prevailing circumstances. The four quadrant dimensions of behavior profile assessment improve understanding of individuals through awareness of style and behavioral tendencies.
The DISC paper profile offers a learning medium developed to help people DISC over to what extent they tap into each other’s behavior styles on their temperament and the different scenarios. DISC offers reports designed to enable stakeholders to put up productive teams and keep management and leadership on a tight rein. It also carves out powerful sales drivers with quick rapport support and insights feeding into selling and purchasing styles.
The DISC paper profiles give tailored feedbacks that enable you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your behavioral propensity. The report adopts an informal and conversational tone that instructs users on the DISC model. It sheds light on how others’ behaviors differ, but yet their preferences remain valid.
Benefits of DiSC Paper Profiles
You can get DISC paper profiles online or print outs as a tool for self-governing or determined learning.
Straightforward: DISC paper profiles have a simple report tractable within 12 minutes. The program’s easy scoring; clear graphing and understandable responses allow broad interpretation.
Efficiency and Optimal Productivity: With the information collated by the DISC Paper Profiles, your staff or team members can bring to light weaknesses and build on behavioral strengths. They improve their understanding of a variety of work styles, communication and diminish conflict. The report helps organizations foster teamwork, and creates strategic managerial and training techniques.
Forceful Learning Tool: The DISC paper profiles put forward a successful learning tool characterized by practical workplace uses. Designed to supplement existing training materials, DISC paper profiles help employees hone their people capability and eliminate the biggest hurdles to an individual or organizational success.
DiSC Paper Profiles Multilingual Versions
Leading DISC paper profiles providers provide access to multi-language versions. A few developers of DISC products have intellectual property licensing to distribute in non-English languages like Spanish and online versions.
Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Communication (BASIC)
Cultural diversity is most sought-after thought post gender diversity in organizations today. In today’ article let’s discuss a very renowned topic which is called “intercultural communicative competence”. It refers to the ability to comprehend different cultures, including culture of oneself and use that understanding to communicate with individuals from different cultures successfully. A very prominent example for intercultural communication competence can be – understanding gestures and tone between communicators differ from one culture to another. A very simple way to develop this competence is by giving a written or online guide to a country and its culture, reading and discussing that guide with the person from that country and culture, researching different aspects of the culture in terms of art, literature, television etc.
There are few tools that help in improving the intercultural communication competence. One of those tools is BASIC of intercultural competence. BASIC is the acronym for Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Competence. It was created by Jolene Koester and Margaret Olebe as an instrument to examine individual’s communicational behaviors, so as to provide suggestions to improve their daily interactions with other individuals. This scale comes with multiple dimensions which are:
- Display of Respect: This dimension is defined as the ability to show respect and give positive regards to other individuals. The idea of respect is crucial in society. In our social experience it is seen that people who show respect to another person, their interactions are usually positive. When there is a lack of respect from either side, the communication breaks down. There are multiple instances where we see a person showing respect during a conversation however from the other side it is not the same due to multiple discriminating factors like race, age, etc.
- Orientation to Knowledge: This dimension is defined as the term individuals use to explain themselves and the globe. The key to effective communication is to be on same page whenever someone says something. One must remember that, while communicating interculturally, everyone does not speak the same way as we do. Hence it is suggested to be straight-forward and say exactly what needs to communicated to avoid confusion
- Empathy: This dimension is defined as ability to behave as one understands the world as others do. It is an important factor in effectively communicating as it keeps our lines of communications open to others. If someone does not understand where the other is coming from. Communication is likely to be fluid
- Managing Interactions: This dimension is defined as a skill in managing conversations. One must be able to speak in manor which is engaging and knows when to end conversation based on verbal and nonverbal cues
- Task Role Behavior: This dimension is defined as behaviors that include the initiation of ideas related to problem-solving activities of a group. The importance of having task role behavior is that, as a community, we are forced to interact with each other in a group setting in such a way that cross-pollination of ideas happens for everyone in the group without alienating anyone from that group. It is important to understand the group dynamics and practice active listening to determine what works best for the group in terms of communication and collaboration
- Relation Role Behavior: This dimension is defined as behaviors related with interpersonal harmony and mediation. It means the ability support your group members, resolve conflict and ability to compromise
- Tolerance for Ambiguity: This dimension is defined as the ability to react to new and ambiguous situations. To be able to handle different situations with tolerance and patience with a sign of strengths. It is always suggested to react in a calm manner, ready to adapt to challenges rather than becoming hostile or being sarcastic
- Interaction Posture: This dimension is defined as ability to respond to others in descriptive, non-evaluative and non-judgmental ways. Responding a way that is non-judgmental helps building that instant connect between communicators and improves the effectiveness of the communication. People become more comfortable interacting with someone who don’t demonize them for having different beliefs, values, attitudes etc when compared to others
Therefore, to have an open and effective communication interculturally it is important to beware of these dimensions given in the scale of BASIC.
ASSERTIVENESS IN COMMUNICATION
Assertiveness is the quality of behaving confidently and being able to say whatever one wants or believes, in a direct manner. It means standing up for your own beliefs, expressing your feelings and views in an open, honest and direct manner. Assertiveness also relates to respecting the thoughts and feelings of other people, while giving importance to one’s own. Assertiveness is an effective and diplomatic communication style which offers many benefits. It is a skill regularly mentioned and taught in social and communication skills training. Being assertive is a core communication skill which involves respect for the boundaries of oneself and others. Thus, in this article we are going to discuss about assertiveness in communication.
The Concept of Assertiveness in Communication
Assertiveness is a very useful communication tool. It is not always appropriate to be assertive in all situations as its sudden use may be perceived as an act of aggression by others. Assertive communication is the ability to express positive and negative feelings in an open honest and direct way. It recognizes our opinions while still respecting the views of others. An assertive person takes responsibility for his actions without blaming or judging other people. It helps in finding mutually satisfying solutions wherever conflict exists. Assertive communication is the balance between aggressive and passive styles of communication. We should all aim for assertive communication, as it is the best of both worlds – you meet your personal needs and the needs of the other person as well.
All of us use assertive behavior at times. When we feel vulnerable or unsure of ourselves, we may opt for manipulative or aggressive behavior. Yet being trained in assertive communication increases the proper use of this sort of behavior. It helps us to switch old behavior patterns for a more positive approach to life. Changing response to others can be exciting and stimulating. We should learn to be assertive in our communication and should say exactly what we want, in a respectful manner, within hurting anyone.
Characteristics of Assertiveness in Communication
Assertiveness in communication possesses a number of features and characteristics. Listed below are some characteristics of assertiveness in communication are –
- Eye contact – Proper eye contact shows interest and sincerity. Assertiveness requires making regular eye contact while maintaining a positive facial expression.
- Body posture – Correct body language will improve the significance of the message. Act confident even if you are not feeling it. Keep your posture open and relaxed.
- Gestures – Suitable gestures help in adding emphasis. Be sure that your facial expressions agree with the message.
- Voice – Assertive behavior means not showing hesitation through your voice, keeping it friendly and relaxed. A well – balanced tone is more convincing and acceptable, and is not aggressive. Work on remaining calm and keep your voice even and firm.
- Content – When, where and how https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/ choose to comment is sometimes more important than what you say. Assertive communication is direct and respectful. Being assertive gives you the chance of delivering your message successfully. If you communicate in an aggressive manner, your message may get lost.
Assertiveness in communication is a very beneficial tool. There is no guarantee of success, even when assertive communication styles are used appropriately. Nothing can stop the individual with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal. Assertive communication is the ability to effectively communicate, without bothering much what others might think. It is thus managing the talk in a way that it does not hurt others and at the same time also maintaining your individuality. If you are not an assertive person, you can rehearse inculcating this behavior, and which is always possible with time, circumstances and some behavioral changes. Learning assertiveness so that it comes naturally can take years of practice, but it makes a person confident.
Techniques for Assertiveness in Communication
Based on their life experiences, people develop different styles of communication. They tend to stick to the same communication style over time. But if a person wants to change this style, he can learn to communicate in more effective ways. Listed below are some ways to become more assertive –
- Behavior Practice – This is rehearsing how to look and sound. It is a very useful technique as it helps dump any emotion associated with an experience and allows you to identify the behavior you wish to confront. Understand your communication style before you begin to make changes. Learn to be assertive in more and more situations.
- Repeated Assertion – This assertiveness technique allows you to feel comfortable by ignoring irrelevant logic while sticking to your point. To use this technique in an effective way, say what you want to in a calm manner and stay focused on the issue. Eventually, you will find that there is no need to rehearse this technique.
- Fogging – The fogging technique allows a person to receive criticism comfortably, without getting anxious and rewarding cunning criticism. To do this, one has to agree that there may be some truth to what they say but remain the judge of your choice of action.
- Negative Assertion – This is a technique that lets a person look more comfortably at his negative behavior without feeling anxious. You should accept your errors or faults, but not apologize. Instead, one should agree with hostile criticism of one’s negative qualities.
- Workable Compromise – Consider a workable compromise with the other person, when you feel that your self-respect is not in question. However, if the end result involves a matter of your self-worth and self-respect, then there should not be any compromise.
- Practice Saying “no”- Do not hesitate to say “no”, if you are having a hard time turning down requests. You have to let go of the need to please everyone and do things according to what they expect. Assertive communication is rejecting things you decide are not good for you, but also explaining firmly why you rejected them.
Advantages of Assertiveness in communication
Being assertive while communicating has several advantages. Some of these advantages are as follows –
- Improves Communication – Assertiveness leads to the development of mutual understanding with each other. If you communicate in an assertive way, you can accomplish your goal through interaction and also leave the other person satisfied.
- Assertiveness Boosts Self–esteem – Self–esteem is how we value ourselves. It affects every part of our lives. Assertiveness is very important for healthy self–esteem and overall, wellbeing. Having low self–esteem makes it hard to be assertive. One is afraid of speaking up for himself and he may make him feel sad, depressed or angry. Low self-esteem leads to negative feelings while positive behavior can contribute to higher levels of self-esteem. A person can learn to be assertive through practice and persistence.
- Less Stress – Aggressive communication is stressful as one of the people involved might end up feeling humiliated. With assertive communication you acknowledge the other person’s feelings, while sharing yours and trying to find the best solution for the situation. Being assertive in communication makes a person less stressful.
- Assertiveness Enables us to Make Decisions – An assertive person stands up for his views and doesn’t bother much with what others have to say. He is usually a confident person who has his own beliefs and values. People can never take advantage of him as he has persistent behavior.
- Creates Honest Relationships – Being assertive in relationships can be a little difficult but it is not impossible. By expressing your own beliefs and opinions, you can become more assertive in all types of relationships. Assertiveness helps in developing trust and equality in relationships.
active listening in the workplace
Active listening in the workplace is a type of listening that is usually employed in a professional environment. Listening skills are essential for career success, organizational performance and employee satisfaction. Workplace listening comprises of understanding the listening process i.e. evaluation, interpretation, action and perception and its obstacles that restrict the flow of that process. Like other skills, there are specific methods for improving workplace listening effectiveness. Moreover, it is important to become aware of the role of active listening in the workplace. In a business organization, listening is crucial to effective working relationships among employees and between management and staff. Listening skills also influence an organization’s interaction with customers and other businesses.
Importance Of Listening
Active listening can be a difficult skill to acquire when you have several projects to complete, meetings to attend, and more! Though a tough skill, we can acquire it. Paying attention to people and listening fully can prevent conflicts. And if a conflict does come up, we can at once address and resolve it with the facts we have obtained by listening.
Active listening in the workplace allows us to show that we are paying attention to the views, behaviours and feelings of the other person which means seeing the world through their eyes. This is essential in maintaining productive relationships, and sometimes the only way to establish communication. Active listening is a skill learned over time through mindfulness, self- awareness and attention to detail. Employing active listening in the workplace helps improve working relationships, understand tasks and grow both personally and professionally. It improves the rate of workplace performance. Workers feel more focused, energized and less prone to distraction when they are involved in active listening.
Benefits of Active Listening
Active listening in the workplace is nothing but simply having the intention and patience to listen to a speaker without being tempted to interrupt every time in between or at the end of the speech.
- Building Trust – Effective listening builds trust among employees, colleagues, employers and with stakeholders as well. The two main things to build trust in the heart of others are body language and active listening. These boost confidence and creates a sense of trust in the speaker’s mind.
- Better Relationships – Good relationships come from active listening in conversations. Sometimes we waste too much energy as we impatiently wait for our chance to speak, guessing out what shall be our next correct reply. This habit of forecasting kills a relationship. Relationships need effective listening and patience. When you listen to someone patiently, the person is likely to open his heart. In today’s workplace, trustworthy relationships are invaluable.
- Enhanced Productivity – Active listening in the workplace enhances productivity. Proper listening means being patient while others are saying something, concentrating on their body language and speech and re-confirming every word they speak, are important for clarity in conversation at the workplace. For employers and employees alike, it is important to read in between the lines. Thus, how someone speaks is more important than what he/she speaks. As you learn the traits of effective listening you can carry out work more clearly. Active listening helps to retain information and understand the nature of the request, situation or task, which may allow you to complete the tasks accurately the first time.
- Reducing Conflicts and Stress at Workplace – Active listening lessens the stress. You are not irritated with imaginary emotions because now you know that you are not assuming anything. By listening intently, you have a better understanding of what the other person is saying. It leads to less confusion and conflicts.
- Better Understanding – Listening effectively gives a better understanding of what others are trying to say, it gives a lot clearer picture of the whole scenario, cool down and create fruitful solutions. As a result, you carry less stress. When you convey what the speaker has just said, you confirm that you understood the message, eliminating the possibility of misunderstandings.
Is Active Listening Enough for Leaders?
Did you know, leaders spend approximately 70%-80% of their day engaging themselves in some form of communication, and only about 55% of their time is devoted to listening? But the real question here is, do they actively listen?
‘Active listening’ is the term first coined by psychologists, Carl Rogers and Richard Farson in 1957 in a paper of the same title, where they demonstrated through clinical and research based evidences that active listening is one of most effective agents for changing an individual’s personality and in developing groups. It also indicates direct correlation of active listening with change in people’s attitudes toward themselves and others, and how it shapes their values and belief systems.
While leaders must engage in active listening most of the time, they also need to adapt their listening across situations and people based on the need. Below are 5 approaches of listening (Source: Beyond DiSC Personal Listening Profile by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) that leaders must practice adapting their listening style.
- Appreciative Listening: This type of listening focuses on relaxing and enjoying the listening experience. This approach best suits leaders when they are in social events like in conferences, networking events, etc.
- Empathic Listening: This type of listening focuses on supporting and understanding emotions of the speaker. This approach best suits leader when they are talking to peers, team members or friends venting out their feelings.
- Discerning Listening: This type of listening focuses on gathering complete and accurate information. This approach best suits leader when they are in a meeting discussing business critical information to make important decisions.
- Comprehensive Listening: This type of listening focuses on organizing information and understanding the meaning of the message received. This approach best suits leader when they are ideating or brainstorming with their teams and also help their teams to organize their thoughts or information.
- Evaluative Listening: This type of listening focuses on critiquing information and making decisions. This approach best suits leader when someone pitches them new ideas, processes, etc. and the leader is required to evaluate the authenticity of that information based on facts rather than accepting anything at face value.
There is not one listening style that is more critical than others. Active listening, in itself, is not sufficient. Leaders must use discretion and adapt based on situations to communicate effectively.
We all use interpersonal skills every day. These skills are characteristics that are used to understand what motivates employees and how they use their knowledge to achieve good results. As one develops in the world of business, interpersonal skills become increasingly important. They are your ability to build and maintain strong working relationships with colleagues, bosses, and direct reports. They are your abilities to effectively communicate, socialize, connect, and cooperate with people in life, be it an individual or a group. Some people have great interpersonal skills by birth, while others must learn and practice them. Taking the time and effort to become competent in this skill set can benefit your relationships to a great extent and may further improve your professional success.
Employees who lack powerful interpersonal skills can halt their professional growth, decrease teamwork, and negatively affect the organizational culture. They –
- Don’t relate easily to a variety of people.
- May not build relationships easily, may lack sociability or good listening skills.
- Don’t take the time to build connections.
- May be too rude and direct at times.
- May be extremely work oriented.
- May be eager to follow the schedule.
- Are arrogant or critical toward others.
- May not understand others well.
- May stiffen or panic in the state of conflict, criticism or attack.
- May lack confidence around people.
- Gets frustrated and angry easily.
- Are too quick to quit.
People with powerful interpersonal skills are effective communicators and often considered to be good with people. They –
- Are well connected to all kinds of people in the organization.
- Build appropriate associations.
- Use perception.
- Are cool and composed.
- Are good listeners.
- Are honest and sincere.
- Have a strong orientation toward teamwork.
- Are supportive and trustworthy.
- Are willing to share responsibility.
Those who overuse their skills –
- May be able to manage with smooth interpersonal skills.
- May spend too much time creating networks and pleasing people.
- May not be taken as important by some.
- May not be a dependable and responsible leader when necessary.
- May have trouble facing serious conflicts.
The way to getting along with all kinds of people is to restrain or undo your personal reactions and focus on others first. Interpersonal skills require working from the outside in. Having a range of interpersonal skills and approaches and knowing when to use what with whom. The result is an easy transaction where you get what you need without damaging other parties so that they would want to work with you again.
Importance of Interpersonal Skills as a Leadership Competency Skill
Being good at your job or getting the job done fast isn’t all the key competency skills that will make the cut. In today’s fast and competitive world of business, the ability to create a stance at your workplace and being able to work well with others is crucial. Being an interpersonal ‘pro’, doesn’t just reflect on your communication skills but it has more to do with the science behind communication. Interpersonal skill is one of the most important leadership competency skills to have. Here are a few reasons your interpersonal skills are important in your career:
In this day and age, organizations have recognized the need and importance of diversity in a workplace. Today, most organizations are composed of people from different backgrounds, genders, cultures, races, etc. Other than the surface differences, there are much more greatly segmented differences between people. People may have different temperaments, levels of sensitivity, intelligence, etc. People are different at large and co-existing under one roof and working towards the goal of a single organization leaves room for conflicts. The key competency skills of being interpersonal savvy will allow you to manage this. As a leader, the ability to work against those differences and to achieve the goal without hurting anybody or damaging relationships is the sheer measure of your leadership competency skills.
Style vs. Cringe Worthy
If you have scored high at the leadership competency skill requirements that your company has set, it comes with a sense of achievement, which in turn comes with a level of attitude. You ought to have it; after all, you are the best! However, if your attitude makes others uncomfortable as opposed to it being awe-worthy, it quickly turns against leadership competency skills to have. Being interpersonal savvy is a key competency skill to have that will help you recognize if people are uncomfortable with your words or actions.
Leaders with strong leadership competency skills know all too well that listening, however, minor it may seem is a key competency skill to have. Listening without interrupting, passing humorous comments, not making immediate judgments or responding with ambiguous responses are the most effective way to create a conversation leading up to a good relationship. Listening not only helps you learn more but also gather more information to make better judgments. Good decisions are the results of good judgments.
Interpersonally skilled people learn more by giving more. They share information and get more information. The exchange of information creates a cocoon of trust between them and this in turn gets you what you need in the most painless way. Apart from exchange of information, sharing information without expecting anything in return with the only purpose of helping the other person or group of people is a leadership competency ‘norm’. People will recognize you as a true leader and will respond to your cause in the time of need.
Confident people are people who walk into a room and own it. People are in constant awe of them but not intimidated. If you are a confident person, you will often take the lead in creating relationships and you know all the ins, outs and ‘hows’ of creating relationships. They smile, they sweet talk but when required they command and people listen. Confidence is not only a key competency skill to have but also a leadership competency skill.
In an organization, the diversity of people will often create tensions and conflicts, even with the boss! But as a leader, the key competency skills you possess must not change based on the extent to which you like them. Interpersonally savvy people know the importance of being savvy with both, the people they like and they don’t. Infact, creating a good working relationship with people you don’t like is more important than the people you do because good behavior and interpersonal skills will come more naturally to you with people you like as opposed to the people you don’t like.
Training Material on Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are the skills which help in building an effective relationship with others. It will tell how good one is at interacting with others and creating constructive relationships. Interpersonal skills include a lot of aspects like active listening, maintaining a good body posture, creating a positive environment by appreciating and using gentler words, maintaining adequate distance with others, etc. The main objective of training on interpersonal skills is to enhance the ability to build good relationships with peers, colleagues, etc. As people are not born with good or excellent interpersonal skills, it is important to learn this skill. Interpersonal skills are very beneficial because being social animals we have to continuously interact with other people. In order to make those interactions fruitful, one should have good interpersonal skills.
The good thing is that it is a skill that can be developed and nurtured over time. Nowadays, interpersonal skills are pre-requisite from employers also. People with good interpersonal communication skills have a higher chance of landing a job than a person with poor interpersonal skill. Employers believe that people with good soft skills can adapt easily to the organization.
Companies are investing a lot in soft skill training for their employees. One of those soft skills is interpersonal skills. Training can include online simulations where trainees will be provided with real-world situations and they have to interact with characters which will be displayed online. Their interaction should bring some desired outcome in a stipulated time. If the trainee is closer to the desired outcome, this will show that he/she is learning techniques which are important to enhance interpersonal skills.
Another method of training can be role plays. Trainees can take up different roles pertaining to a particular situation. They have to understand the character, the situation, and then continue the situation. For example, two individuals can get in a role play where there is a disagreement between the employees, and they have to come to a consensus. The way they continue the conversation and resolve the conflict will determine their interpersonal skills.
After the training, debrief can explain correct techniques to handle the conflict and trainees can learn from them.
Collaboration is another good technique for improving interpersonal skills. Assigning trainees, a group project will help them to talk to each other, work on their strengths, and complete the project. Interpersonal skills are required to effectively collaborate and work together. If people don’t showcase good interpersonal skills in a group, they might end up in conflict. This can be a hindrance in completing the project. Debrief on collaboration, will help trainees to understand that it is important to be empathetic to others. This will improve their interpersonal skills as empathy is a crucial part of it.
Giving mysteries to a group of trainees and telling them to solve will help them to use their interpersonal skills to communicate clearly and understand the problem. The objective is not to solve the mystery quickly and correctly, but to work together and understand each other and then solve it. When a group of people work together, it is important that they converse properly and confidently which are crucial for interpersonal skill.
Developing Interpersonal Skills
Follow the tips below to improve your interpersonal skills in the workplace –
- Flexible Interpersonal Skills – We are all different in some way or the other. Physical characteristics are easy to read while others are not that easy to understand. We need to have the ability to see differences in people and use them for everyone’s benefit. Usually, people respond positively to ease of transaction. If you make it easy by accepting their way of doing things, not conflicting their style, and neither standing up for your own nor letting style hinder performance, things will generally run in a smooth way.
- The First Few Minutes – Managing the first few minutes is very important. First impressions are formed, and the tone is set. Work on being clear and friendly and take in information at the onset of a transaction. This means putting others at ease so they can easily disclose. It means initiating communication, listening, sharing, understanding and putting others at ease. Approachable people get more knowledge, know things earlier, and can get others to do more things.
- Practice Active Listening – Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact with the speaker, nodding your head, and repeating what they say in your own words. The speaker will feel valued and you can recall the conversation more easily afterwards. People with powerful interpersonal skills are very good listeners. They listen to understand. They listen without obstructing. They ask clear questions and don’t judge instantly. Judgment might come later. They might take down notes and give listeners more information.
- Manage your Non-Verbal Communications – People having powerful interpersonal skills, understand the essential role of non-verbal communications, of appearing and sounding open and relaxed, always calm and composed. They maintain eye contact and nod while the other person is talking. They speak in a pleasant tone. They don’t speak too forcefully, nor go into too much detail. Avoid showing disinterest with actions like looking at the time, playing with paperwork or giving an impatient look.
- Lacking Self-Confidence – If you are too accessible, hold back and let others take the initiative. Talk to strangers if you are afraid of other people’s reaction or not sure of your social skills. Meet new people at every social gathering; find out what you have in common with them. See if any of the bad and scary things you think might happen to you if you contact people, actually happen. The only way people will know you are nervous is if you make it visible through your actions. Practice those behaviors which other people do who are bold and confident.
- Cultivate a Positive Outlook – Be positive by reminding yourself every day of the good things about your life and work. If you’re upset about a personal matter, leave it aside until after work, as it is not the place to be overly emotional. If you’re stressed about a work issue, look for the positive things in the situation and try to work on that. Take a breadth and control your emotions. Express yourself in a calm and patient manner.
Without powerful interpersonal skills everyday business would be very tough, as almost all aspects of work involve communication. The importance of interpersonal skills at work cannot be underestimated. We can work together to make workplaces a conducive place to prosper and grow. Most of the things we do in life require collaboration with other people. To be successful in your career or have meaningful relationships, it’s essential to be good at getting along with others. While powerful interpersonal skills are usually seen as something that comes naturally, that you either possess by birth or you don’t have them at all. But the truth is that they can be learned.
Communication Training for New Supervisors and Managers
It is necessary that communication training for new supervisors includes modules on all fives aspects of communication – speaking, listening, writing, reading and even nonverbal communication. Writing and speaking are “sender related” while listening and reading are “receiver related” skills and both are equally important in the role of a manager.
Managers, in the context of communication, need to:
- Inform people of facts, methods, rules, processes, instructions and requirements
- Persuade people to get their buy in, frames experiences and create or change to the desired perceptions
- Motivate people to act as desired by them.
All three objectives of business communication require proper training in communication skills especially for supervisors and business managers.
Information typically flows vertically in a top to bottom or bottom to top direction. While goals or instructions may flow from top to bottom, information, measurements and reports typically move bottom to top. Similarly, horizontal communication is more about keeping others informed, getting a buy-in and seeking advice.
For communication to be effective, one must ascertain the goals and objectives of the either side. Planned communication flows through network. Networks of communication need to be established based on the business need. For example, a specific communication network for maintaining accounts of an organization may have bottom-up flow of bills and expenses and the information for it on structured templates. It may then move to a centralized system of consolidation of such information and then through a bottom up or sideways flow to the statutory authorities as a filing of tax. Communication training for new supervisors and first-time managers must include methods and live case studies on how to determine the right network. This involves asking:
- Who all should be invited to the network?
- What is the direction of communication for every touch point – horizonal or vertical?
- Are there different levels of network – for example primary and secondary touch points, compulsory or optional participants etc.
- How does one regulate the flow of information?
- What are the characteristics and type of communication between each node – for example is it formal or informal, written or spoken, In-Person or real etc.
- Is the communication centralized or decentralized – this refers to the way power is distributed and how decisions are taken – it provides clarity between the chosen method of decision making – between authority or parity!
Lately, social media has become one of the effective facilitators of communication. It is fast replacing emails and phone calls. Being instant and crisp, it makes communication spontaneous and relevant. However, the flipside of the social media driven communication is that it is often unstructured, mostly informal and there is an inherent risk to confidentiality. Communication training for supervisors and managers must sensitise them to the risks associated with communication via the social media and at the same time enable them to engage with their teams and other stakeholders better through the social media.
To sum, Communication Training for New Supervisors and Managers, must consider the network of communication existing within the organization and then plan the various aspects of communications that must be included in the training.
COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY AS MANAGERS
Effective communication can be defined as the process of trading ideas, opinions, knowledge and intelligence, such that the purpose or goal is fulfilled in the best attainable manner. In simple terms, communication is nothing but the demonstration of views by the sender in a way best understood by the receiver. In other words, the communication is said to be effective when all the persons involved (sender and receiver) in the communication, assign much the same meanings to the message, listen attentively to what all that has been said and make the sender feel listened to and understood. In the organizational context, communication is effective when the information shared among the employees contributes towards the organization’s performance and success. Effective communication includes not just the we use words but also involves several other skills such as the ability to understand one’s own emotions as well as of the other person with whom you are communicating, non-verbal communication, the ability to speak assertively, active listening, etc. Thus, in this article we are going to discuss about the requirements for communicating effectively as a manager.
Why is Effective Communication Important?
To lead others, one must exhibit effective communication skills. Managers who communicate effectively are also more likely to become good problem solvers, which is an important skill to function well in the global workplace where diversity is increasing and conflict is common. Managers who show the ability for verbal and written communication are more likely to get promotion, as well. Effective communication between managers and employees is necessary for a well-functioning workplace.
The subject of effective organizational communication includes both formal and informal communication at all levels of the organization, including communication with employees, to employees and from employees to the upper management. A manager may have all the greatest tactics in the world for how to push the business further, but he cannot actually turn them into action if he has absolutely no connection with the staff members. Thus, for a manager to be effective himself, he needs to be able to motivate them to do more and be more, encourage them, inspire them and listen to their views and concerns. This is the core of communication in management. If a manager cannot communicate with his team, then leadership skills are as good as truant.
Effective communication can contribute to organizational success in many ways. Effective communication –
- Builds employee enthusiasm, engagement and satisfaction.
- Helps employees understand the terms and constraints of their employment and drives their dedication and loyalty.
- Gives employees a voice to express their opinions—an increasingly significant part of improving employees’ satisfaction with their employer.
- Helps to lessen the chances for misinterpretations and potentially reduces unfairness, injustice and lawsuits.
- Improves processes and procedures and ultimately creates greater planning and regulation, and reduces costs.
Communication is crucial to any good relationship, personal or professional. Whether it’s about your managers or the people you manage, when you communicate with your team effectively, you want to be heard and understood by them and vice versa. In order for any business to grow and for your employees to feel happy, motivated and secure at work, a manager needs to learn how to communicate like a professional.
Tips for Leaders
The Requirements for Communicating Effectively as a Manager
- Understanding the Need for Better Employee Relations – The best and most effective managers understand the need for building associations and communicating throughout all levels of the organization. Effective communications skills are a must for crossing hurdles, which promote the unified atmosphere that an organization needs to thrive. A typical employee’s engagement and interest in work varies daily according to the situation and context. Sharp managers accept this reality but can customize their own communication style to encourage an employee to achieve the desired result.
- Gains in Productivity – Whether they realize it or not, managers are the heart of a company’s productivity efforts. One of the requirements for communicating effectively as a manager is that one must clearly communicate strategies and plans so that an employee team knows exactly what to do, and how the company expects them to be carried out. At the same time, each team member should understand his specific role, and why his particular task is important. If the manager can’t make that happen, employees become self-approving and less interested in their work. Thus, a requirement for managers is to understand their key role in productivity of the employees and the organization.
- Understanding the Impact of Globalization – Cross-cultural and lingual work teams are increasingly common themes in today’s globalized workplace. Another requirement for managers to communicate effectively is that they must devise new communication techniques to interact with the modern multicultural, multinational workforce. Employees also may identify and feel connected to several different national groups, which managers must be sensitive to when trying to communicate a company’s goals and objectives.
- Problem Solving Skills – Effective communication skills and problem-solving skills go together. Employees who struggle on the job naturally look up to managers for directions to solve their problems. A manager who lacks tactfulness, however, is unlikely to gain the faith he needs to address co-worker conflicts, declining performance or other issues. Failure to address these situations, in turn, threatens the organization’s productivity and ability to carry out its goal.
- Have an Understanding of the Audience – The biggest mistake any manager can make in communication is to presume that one size fits all. If one is to become a good leader, then you need to have the understanding that the audience will differ from time to time and you should always alter your message to fit the particular audience you are communicating with at a given moment. Thus, always question yourself about the kind of audience you are communicating with and use that to impart the communication style you employ. This will help one communicate effectively as a manager.
- Work on Your Listening Skills – Of all the varied factors of business communication, ‘active listening’ is one of the most important. When we talk, you are simply repeating things we already know. However, when we listen, we give ourselves the opportunity to actually learn something new from others. As a manager, your staff members will be happy to know that their needs and concerns are taken seriously and that the management is listening to them. A manager should answer any queries they have and give them opportunities to contribute their ideas to the running of different agendas within the organization.
- Make Yourself Available – All know about the importance of an open-door policy in business. In the past, when employees worked in cubicles and managers remained behind closed doors, the idea of the open-door policy was to literally keep your door open so your employees could come to you at any time to tell you about their needs or concerns. However, in the modern era where office spaces are open and working together is becoming more common, the idea might seem a little old-fashioned. However, it is still important for managers to be accessible.
More Tips for Managers
While promoting individual contributors to a supervisory role, it is important to ensure that they a have good persuasive skills, a high sense of responsibility, an unfailing value system and could motivate and manage people. A manager can accomplish business goals by planning, monitoring and continuously communicating with the team and stakeholders. Among all these skills and processes, communication skills are of great important as they have an overarching effect on all other skills. Communication skills can assist a manager to motivate team members by giving in their best every day.
Since manager supervise others – influencing the performance of their team members on a day-to-day basis, interpersonal communication is of utmost importance. They interact with others through a multitude of mediums including presentations, speeches, facilitation of workshops, one to one reviews, virtual calls and video sessions, and written communication such as emails.
Communication training for new supervisors and managers should address the following tenets:
- Diversity of communication preferences and Inclusion – Because workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse, the supervisor must be able to take everyone along. They need to personalize their communication based on the cultural, thinking and behavioural diversity of their team members. They need to be sensitive to the needs of others and deploy tactfulness in getting a buy in for various decisions.
- Power, Authority & Organization Structure – Because communication is influenced by authority, and organizations have complex working culture, managers must be able to play between centralized & decentralized decision-making structures, top down & bottom-up methods of information flow and even small & large groups.
- Essence of Time – Because managers are usually pressed for time, they need to vacillate between the need for slowing down to build consensus and speeding up to take quick action. Each of these situations requires a different communication style and a lot of flexibility. By training to address varying communication needs, managers can respond with appropriate communication style in different situations.
- Reputational Sensitivity – As managers represent the management, their communication style contributes to the reputation and culture of the organization. Communication skills training for new supervisor and managers must build sensitivity to this aspect. It needs to enable the managers to assess the impact of their communication to the reputation, legal compliance and cultural aspects and make appropriate changes to the same. Supervisors have an immense opportunity to build goodwill among the stakeholders – including senior management, employees, vendors and partners through effective communication.
- Business Ecosystem – Communication skills training for new supervisors and first-time managers must also sensitize the trainees on the complexities of communication between supervisors-employees, vendors-buyers, senior management – managers and government – business representatives. For example, by understanding how formal and structured communication is necessary when communicating with legal authorities, managers can learn to influence them better. A poorly managed communication with statutory authorities could be ridden with business risk and could engender ill-will.
Active Listening skills for employees
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. -Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen
Listening is the key to effective communication and ability to precisely receive and interpret communication messages. It has been seen that messages are easily misunderstood without the ability to listen effectively. Listening skills is so important that organizations have started focusing on providing listening skills training to their employees. It won’t be a surprise if you say good listening skills can lead to better productivity, reduced mistakes, innovation within the organization due to exchange of information and greater customer satisfaction.
Active Listening is an organized way of listening and responding in a way that speaker knows you’re truly interested in their thoughts and ideas. Active listening focuses on being non-judgemental and with an emphasis to listen the speaker instead of solving the issues in a go. Active listeners don’t jump to any solution or conclusion while speaker is still speaking and having their part of conversation. Active Listening takes a lot of concentration and determination. It doesn’t happen in a go; it requires a lot of practicing. We can gradually develop the ability to effectively communicate with others.
There are some key techniques you can use to develop your active listening skills:
- You need to give your undivided attention to the speaker and acknowledge their ideas
- Be engaged in the conversation by making proper use of body language and gestures
- Provide feedback whenever necessary. This may require you to understand and interpret whatever has communicated by the speaker. You need to ask questions to have healthy discussion
- Be open and honest in your responses. Respond appropriately with clear thoughts and ideas
- Face the speaker and maintain eye contact as non-verbal communication also plays an important role
- Keep your mind open, listen the speaker without judging his ideas
- If you have a separate thought process don’t become frustrated. Seek to develop a picture from other person’s logic.
People view the best listeners to be those who asks questions and suggestions in order to get new insights. In all these conversations, giving healthy feedback is very important which should flow from both the parties without becoming defensive. While many of us have a thought process that good listener absorbs whatever the speaker is saying but findings show that a good listener bounce back with more ideas. They absorb your ideas while energizing your own thought process and clarifies the ideas.
Effective listening has become a rare gift of time. To be an active listener, you need to go beyond the words and form a clear picture of the thoughts and ideas conveyed. In order to be an active listener, you need to increase your motivation to listen. This motivation can be for any reason- desire to build a relationship, solve problems, reducing time wastage within the organization, resolve conflicts, improve productivity or to exchange viewpoints.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS TRAINING
Communications training or communication skills training refers to various types of training to develop necessary skills for effective communication. Training in communication skills is important to all organizations. Trainers of communication skills develop communication skills employees already have, rather than focusing on what is absent, while trainees try to alter their communication style to be more efficient and productive. Communication skills training focuses on the following key skills that every effective communicator must possess:
- Active Listening – Active listening is one of the most important skills to carry out effective communication. Being observant and a good listener is very important in verbal communication. An individual should be able to show interest in what is being said and try not to interrupt.
- Being Empathetic and Rapport Building – People who communicate with a cordial tone always have the advantage since we are unknowingly attracted to people who are friendly and make us feel good. Also, understanding the perspectives and emotions of other people is also important to good communication.
- Being Precise and Unambiguous – People who talk too much and always want to control the conversation, are not much liked and few people want to be around them. Being precise about what one wishes to communicate is important as it helps in easy understanding and prevents misinterpretations.
- Being Confident – If you appreciate your true abilities, confidence comes from within. Speaking with confidence includes the right words to speak, the tone of your voice, your gestures and also your eye contact. It is important to be confident in one’s beliefs and opinions and express them in an assertive manner.
Purpose of Communication Skills Training
Communication skills are important in every aspect of the work environment and training in communication skills is essential as communication skills have to be developed and improved continuously to be effective in business. The purpose of communication skills training are –
- Healthy Industrial Relations – Effective communication skills help foster mutual understanding and maintain peace and harmony at work. Training is provided in communication skills that results in satisfied employees at workplace.
- Effective Performance – Communication skills training also aims to enhance performance at work. Good communication enhances self confidence and ultimately performance.
- Facilitates Leadership – Leaders who possess good communication skills are able to interact well with followers, guide and inspire others and are able to carry out other leadership functions effectively.
- Decision Making – Decision making is one of the most important aspects of any business or organization. Training in communication skills plays an important role as it helps leaders as well as followers express their opinions and take decisions collectively, in a participative manner.
- Cooperation and Collaboration – Cooperation and collaboration are important aspects in organizations. Training in communication skills helps employees to communicate assertively in a team situation and to get the work done.
Communication is a key aspect of any successful business and organization. Training in communication skills is important as communication forms the core of healthy work relations and good performance. It is important to possess good communication skills for both leaders as well as employees to progress and achieve common goals, and thus training programs in effective communication skills serve the purpose. Communication skills training thus plays an important role in a number of aspects in work settings.
Training material on effective communication
Effective communication is the process of exchanging information, knowledge, thoughts and ideas such that the message is conveyed to the receiver with full meaning and the person communicating feels heard and understood. The purpose of passing on the information to the receiver must be fulfilled in the best possible way. Effective communication is something that people take for granted since they believe it to be an innate ability but often miscommunications lead to strained relationships in the workplace. Hence investing in good training programs on effective communication is essential for organizations
Training materials on effective communication must include a set of skills that are a prerequisite for good communication. These skills are:
- Observation skills
The sender and receiver must both be observative to receive all the information that is being sent to them.
- Listening and comprehension skills
Both parties in an effective communication must be able to be patient to listen to the information and then take the time to understand it within the given context.
- Non-verbal communication
Studies show that most of the communication happens non-verbally, so for effective communication an individual must be well versed in this skill which includes posture, facial expressions, gestures and even eye contact.
Being respectful during communication and towards the receiver’s beliefs, values and ideas will allow the communication to be effective and will help avoid unnecessary conflict.
- Emotional intelligence
In effective communication it is important to understand the emotions within the context of the information that is provided. One must also be able to remain calm and influence others; this helps in situations of conflict.
One must be equipped to believe that they can achieve the objective, that is effectively communicating information.
Self-confidence is one of the most important skills without which parts of the information are not communicated or just communicated ambiguously.
- Selecting the right medium
Choosing the right medium of communication is important because different scenarios require different mediums and people may even have preferences. For example, if an individual you want to communicate with always prefers a face-to-face conversation, having a telephonic meeting will have less impact and even affect the quality of information that is received.
- Rapport building
Rapport building is essential to effective communication. This is done through solely non-verbal communication in short conversation and both non-verbal and verbal communication in longer conversations. In a professional setting, both verbal and non-verbal cues can be used to build rapport, especially when there is a continuous working relationship between the two or members.
- Asking questions
Every individual’s communication style may be slightly different hence, there will always come instances during communication where one person means one thing, but the receiver perceives it as something different. So, professionals must always make a habit of asking questions to ensure all members are on the same page.
Training materials on effective communications must address all the skills that are mentioned above in order to ensure that when the training is conducted, the professionals are able to apply these skills in the workplace to exchange information effectively, without miscommunications.
Team Facilitator | Communication and Decision-Making Grouping Techniques
The team facilitator system for training and assessment develops sessions for optimum effectiveness. The trainer toolkit has a detailed, research-validated and customizable training program. It develops successful team members and prevents duplication of activities. They only engage in the appropriate activity, work jointly on a common objective and illustrate individual roles. The team facilitator toolkit helps organizations that rely on teamwork to innovate, solve problems, match the pace of change, clearly understand and synergize personal techniques to and group dynamics and procedure for high-performance teams.
Understanding team styles helps you discover the proper duties for the right people
The team facilitator identifies key roles in transformative group output:
- Originator: Creates original concepts, goes the extra mile and thinks out of the box. Hands off roles to the advancer.
- Advancer: Appreciates new opportunities, evolves ways to foster ideas, and jumps into adopting them. Hands off roles to the refiner.
- Refiner: Questions and analyzes notions to spot problems and may delegate plans back to the advancer or originator before passing tasks to the executor.
- Executor: Establishes the framework for implementation, works with details and pushes the process to finalization
- Facilitator: Works all through to ensure tasks are assigned to the appropriate staff at the right time
The team facilitator for the paper Team Dimensions Profile helps members understand their duties on a grouping, introduces a procedure that brings new teams onboard quickly and places stuck teams on an even keel. The profile employs the Z-Process as a roadmap in assigning roles, undertaking tasks, and delegating tasks to other team players.
The Toolkit Includes:
- Administrative and interpretative guidelines
- A full-scripted seminar
- Presentation materials
- Two profiles
- Team Game
- Determining Team Roles
- Conflict management
The two facilitator manuals
Volume 1: Facilitator’s Manual-Teaches how to implement and interpret the Team Dimensions styles for perfect results. Covers research and technical background.
Volume 2: Scripted Seminar-A comprehensive Team Dimensions profile facilitator’s report with applications, individual and group functions for impactful training
However, the online version of the Team Dimension Profile only works with the Team Dimensions Group Report but not the team facilitator kit.
Benefits of Team Facilitator
It reinforces the strengths and limitations apparent in your profile and shows where you shine through in a team environment. It gives insights into work attitudes, how you can inject the best input into your team, go for projects that inspire you and capitalize on unique talent. Additionally, it teaches a team member to appreciate the roles played by others, the value they bring to the table, and how to work fruitfully together.
The team facilitator introduces members to the Z-process-the sequential layout followed in most team-based tasks. It covers common issues affecting teams such as communication, discussion, time management, team-building, and how to oil the wheels of the group.
The Bottom Line
The team facilitator helps your organization capitalize on personal strengths and approaches for improved productivity. It clarifies team member’s tasks, emphasizes the roles of each team member, diminishes project duration and maximizes production.
Effective Business Communications Training for the Most Productive Workplace
Strategic business communications training enlightens learners on the communication process, identifies potential areas of conflict, evolves productive approaches, and creates ways to develop practical skills. Business training and assessment tools instill self-awareness, understanding others, teamwork rapport and establishing fruitful relationships.
A didactic communication training toolkit helps establish client relationships, immediate rapport, business connection, active listening, interpreting nonverbal clues, matching and reflecting body language. The subject matter introduces learners to the fundamentals of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication, sharpening them to communicate more efficiently and with better awareness and acumen in either personal or business environments. A DiSC – powered business communications training program will help staff improve their knowledge of the purpose and value of conveying messages.
Uses of Business Communications Training Programs
Developers of business communications training and assessment tools equip employees with essential skills to participate in meetings, focus group discussions, presentations, conferences, and presentations. Participants learn how to work as a high-performance team, communicate effectively with customers or co-workers, develop emotional aptitude and working relationships with colleagues and equip self-awareness and hone people-skills.
An in-depth and thorough communication tool will show how the style used affects the result of the interaction. It improves concentration and active-listening, flexibility when dealing with customers, matches nonverbal cues, tone and economy of words to client’s style, and interpret body language signs or read speakers better. Communications programs help eliminate the roadblocks to productive conversations to sail through negotiations and deliberations. It extols co-workers using irreproachable communicative skills. In a fast-paced and digital workplace, advanced corporate communication toolkits give employees the nuts and bolts for evolving developments.
Course Objectives of Effective Business Communications Training Programs
A vast majority of business communications training programs help students:
- Discover essential components and principles of effective communication
- Exhibit understanding of the communication process
- Illustrate their communication strengths and improvement areas
- Demonstrate knack to prepare and communicate a brief oral presentation
- Discuss and use core listening skills
- Make a crystal clear and shaping work of written communication
- Pick out your “blind spots” in communication
- Evolve skills in framing questions that elicit the information you seek
- Learn what your body language signs tell others
- Develop acumen in active and empathetic listening
- Find out how to stick to your guns and flash your feelings across
- Develop the ability to overcome insuperable hurdles without falling prey to whims
Benefits of Effective Business Communications Training
- Spreading your influence and understanding the psychology of persuasive language
- How to convey business messages diplomatically, tactfully, and believably
- Develop strategic business conversational skills
- Building and sustaining relationships, trust and loyalty
- Eliminate behavioral patterns that restrain you
- Avoid investing time in unproductive activities
- Use a perfect mode of communication for the prevailing circumstance
- Understand an objective way of dissecting communication patterns
To the Organization
- Prevents dissipation of time and resources in unwarranted re-work
- Develop a credible business image that stands out and leads the pack
- Enhance efficiency and effectiveness
- Optimize productivity
- Know how to pattern on the excellence of co-workers
- Performance appraisal
- Developing employees
- Appreciating and unlocking human enthusiasm
- Benefits of Plain English, Advanced Business Writing Skills
Communication Skills Training Benefits
Communication is most used workplace skills. This is one of the reasons that this is overlooked a considered trivial by many executives. However, good communication skills are core skills that are required in a corporate environment and it is to expected and to be practiced by all the employees. Expressing oneself and communicating appropriately with colleagues is expected from everyone in an organization.
By enrolling in communication skills training, executives and employees can reap a lot of benefits. Some of the communication skills training benefits are discussed below:
- Increases Self-Awareness – Communication skills training benefits includes ensuring the employee is more aware of the areas of improvement apart from making them aware of the areas they are competent in. An employee will be capable of identifying and assessing whether they are good at business writing or if they need to hone their presentation skills more towards perfection. Most of such training programs have self-assessments for the participants which is carried out in the beginning of the training. It helps them become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses as a communicator. The feedback from the fellow participants during such training programs also give the employees insight into the areas of communication they are already god and the areas that require improvement.
- Improves Skills – One of the main communication skills training benefits include the improvement of one’s communication skills which is the most obvious one. By improving and focusing on one’s communication skills they are also increasing their value as a professional. Such training programs can enhance one’s technical skills, and assign the individual to be an important part of the institution particularly when it comes to addressing employees or overseeing a crisis communication campaign. You will also learn non-technical skills. This is one more of the communication skills training benefits. These non-technical skills entail teaching the employees on expressing oneself and the honing their ability to listen to others when taking part in such training programs. The improvement of listening skills not only pertains to hearing the messages of the people around you. It also involves remembering them and deriving the exact meaning. It involves explain one’s ideas better while turning the mental images to language.
- Learn How to Deal with Difficult Behavior – One more of the communication skills training benefit comes form identifying and recognizing that mangers ad executives deal with difficult people and behavior. The office does not share the same mindset and receptive behavior. While most professionals are able to handle criticisms well, some won’t tolerate it all. Thereby communication skills training includes difficult behavior management as a topic of interest and discussion in their programs. The focus is on the cause of such behavior and practical ways of managing such attitude. Related skills such as motivating and influencing are also taught.
- Improve Relationships – Communication skills training benefits include improving the relationships of an individual in the office environment. However, this is only possible f the individual can apply the principles learned form the training program. This agenda is carried out by examining how various people communicate. It will eventually become evident that everyone has their own styles and preferences. There will be misunderstanding among the employees if they re unable to recognize an individual’s communication style and personality. There needs to be exploration of creative solutions apart from focusing on improving one’s communication skills to reduce the misunderstandings.
It should be recognized that the four benefits are related to one another, i.e., increase in self-awareness leads to improvement of communication skills. While they are able to communicate better, a manager or staff member will be able to deal better with difficult behavior, and this is believed to eventually lead to better relationships. While communication skills training is an investment in itself, the benefits reaped form such training programs make a participant a more well-rounded and a valuable employee.
Psychometric test on communication skills
Communication skills are the abilities individuals use when giving and receiving different kinds of information. It involves listening, speaking, observing and empathizing and requires confidence, friendliness and clarity. It includes scenarios like effectively communicating to others, actively listening in conversations, giving and receiving critical feedback and public speaking. These encompass communication skills that are innate to an individual and that one can develop over their lifetime through their experiences and interactions with others. Psychometric tests are a standard and scientific method that is used to measure an individual’s capabilities and behavioral styles. Psychometric tools can be used to assess communication skills since they depend on inherent traits that people have like confidence, empathy and friendliness.
Psychometric tests on communication skills must measure the various aspects involved in communication in order to effectively gauge the skills and allow an individual to work on the specific areas required to improve their communication. These aspects are:
- Active Listening – Active listening means paying close attention to the person that is in conversation with you. People who are active listeners are well-respected by their co-workers because of the respect and attention they offer others.
- Friendliness – Characteristics such as honesty and kindness, which are innate, often foster trust and understanding. These characteristics are important at the workplace. When one works with others, their approach to interactions must be with a positive attitude, open-mindedness and understanding. Small gestures like asking one how they are doing or offering praise for work well done can help foster productive work relationships.
- Confidence – People are more likely to respond to or accept ideas that are presented with confidence at the workplace. Confidence is an innate characteristic that influences how an individual behaves daily at the workplace rather than a metric reserved just for the interview process. It includes the inclination to behaviors such as making eye contact while speaking, sitting up straight with open shoulders and thinking ahead to have polished thoughts.
- Giving and Receiving Feedback – The ability to take and give feedback is a critical requirement in the workplace. Strong communicators can accept feedback and provide constructive feedback to others. It helps answer questions, provide solutions and bring clarity to the work that is at hand.
- Empathy – Empathy means understanding and sharing emotions of others. It is important at the workplace since it is essential to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately to maintain healthy work relationships. It helps in both diffusing situations and fostering positive emotions to develop creative ideas.
- Respect – A key aspect of communication is knowing when to do so. In a team, allowing others to speak without interrupting them is part of communication skills. This is often something people overlook but also leads to misunderstandings and hinders productive discussions within the team.
Psychometric tests on communication skills measuring the above factors give candidates, employees and employers an idea of the proficiency of their communication and whether it is enough for one to be integrated into their existing organizational culture. Although the characteristics are innate, they can be improved by practicing communication habits, attending workshops on communication and continually seeking opportunities to communicate.