Monthly Archives: July 2016

Good Communication Tips for Managers

Communication in the workplace and its importance has been discussed a lot lately, and rightly so, as the advantages are for everyone to see. Communication and its effective use can work wonders in an organization and for this reason, it’s very important that the managers first implement effective communication themselves so others can follow. Managers communicate with varied people in a workplace, and mostly act as a connection between the employees and the employer. In any organization, managers are responsible to get most of the work done and this makes it important for them to communicate properly in order to get work done in time and efficiently. Mentioned below are a few good communication tips for managers that will help them in increasing the quality of their communication and will also help the employees to reciprocate properly.

Useful Communication Tips for Managers

Correct Confidence
All managers should be confident when they communicate with their employees so that they come across as people who know what they do, and do things right. Confidence will also help in being sure of yourself and your decisions. Managers who are confident don’t mumble or stammer when they talk, and have their answers ready at all times. When you’re asked a question, you should be confident while giving the answer so that the other person is assured that what you’re saying is right.

Meaningful Authority
Being a manager, it’s important that you talk in an authoritative manner so that you sound more commanding and the employees respect you. While communicating with your employees, you have to understand that your authority shouldn’t be misunderstood. A person with authority can be gauged immediately, from the way he/she talks and holds himself/herself. For example, when you speak, start your sentences with I want this to be or Get that thing done.

Knowledge of Skills
To be efficient in your communication with employees, it’s important that you have complete knowledge of all the methods and styles of communication. A manager should always be more informed about everything, as this will also do justice to his position. You should know how to communicate verbally, and also in written. You should know the etiquette of formal and informal communication. If you don’t, you need to learn them as soon as possible.

Good Body Language
A manager’s body language speaks a lot about him and thus, it’s important you maintain a perfect one. Body language is capable of communication, a lot without your knowledge at times. This makes it important that when you’re in office you dress in proper formal attire and your body language too, is never casual. A casual body language will be perceived in a totally different light by your subordinates or colleague which would eventually affect the communication between both.

Importance of Communication Skills
The list of good communication tips for managers will not be complete without the mention of this tip. As a manager, you need to understand the importance of communication skills from everyone’s perspective and not only yours. Once you understand this, you will be able to communicate even more properly than before. This will also help you to make optimum usage of your communication skills. If you don’t know the importance of these skills and use them only because you need to, it’s going to affect badly on your position and authority.

Now that you know these good communication tips for managers, start implementing them in your communication with employees. After you do that, you will certainly understand the advantages of effective communication skills and how they can help any organization, big or small. Communication is highly underestimated in the professional world today but this picture is soon changing. Make sure you’re ready for it, when it does.

Workplace Communication Tips

images-2Studies reveal that most of the employees who give an exit interview after resigning, state that the reason behind their leaving the current company is a ‘bad boss’! Now if you ask yourself the question as to who exactly is a bad boss, your answer will definitely include, ‘a person who has no sense of communicating in a nice manner’ or ‘a person whose body language and vibes are demoralizing’. Of course, there would be a billion other reasons as to why you dislike your boss, but one of the main reasons would be poor workplace communication. Although leaving the company is too big a step, even for people who are working in an organization, poor communication in the workplace can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and delays which can prove to be a barrier in the overall growth and achievement of the company. Which is why it is very important for the management to emphasize on the importance of effective communication within the management and the employees.

Tips for Good Communication in the Workplace

Believe it or not, a healthy workplace environment in an organization is possible only when it has incorporated some effective tips of healthy and clear communication in the workplace. This is only possible if the management takes some necessary steps towards developing a cordial and friendly atmosphere in the organization through proper techniques of effective corporate communication. Some useful tips are mentioned below.

Approachable Body Language
The reason why most of the subordinates find it difficult to approach their employers or bosses is because they get a negative or unapproachable body language from them. Communication is a two way process, so if you don’t give friendly vibes through your body language, there will always be this sense of hesitation and gap when it comes to clearing doubts and concerns through communication. Therefore, it is very important to have a body language that makes the employees feel comfortable.

Call a Face-to-Face Meeting for Important Matters
Another classic example of poor workplace communication resulting into poor outcomes and results is conveying important messages through e-mails or in other ways. What if there are concerns and doubts regarding the same? What if someone missed on getting the message? Another point to keep in mind is that if you need to praise someone for their contribution, sending an email centrally or putting it on a notice board is a great idea as it encourages the employees. On the other hand if it is a sensitive matter that needs to be addressed, especially to a single employee, then calling a face to face meeting is a better option. This gives the employee an idea that you respect his/her privacy.

Give Ear to Employee Concerns and Feedback
Communication is a process wherein just receiving information isn’t enough, one must also be opened to receiving a valid reply or feedback assuring that the message is received in the same sense as it was intended. Therefore, if the management has the right to send across information, even the management should be open to receive the feedback, doubts and related concerns of the employees. This means it is also important to be a good listener rather than just putting across one’s orders.

Build a Personal Rapport with Your Employees
You all would agree to the fact that we tend to give our 100% and tend to feel more comfortable in an organization wherein there is a personal comfort and a sense of belonging! In order to develop that sense of belonging, it is important to build a personal rapport with the employees which can be done through talking about personal goals and objectives, or may be arranging informal events so that the management and the employees can spend some time on a personal level.

Involve them in Important Meetings and Organizational Events
Make the employees feel that you consider them to be an important part of the management so that they in turn can feel emotionally connected with the organization. This can be done by involving them in some of the important meetings and discussions and take their opinions and advises into consideration. You can also give due recognition to employees that have come across some revolutionary idea that has proved to be important in the organization.

Be a Guide, Help, Motivator and a Friend
Many a time a simple line of motivation by your boss becomes an instant boost, while a demoralizing word can completely shatter all your enthusiasm. Therefore, in order to establish a healthy and effective two way communication, it is important to be open in your body language and words and send across a message that you are there to help the employees, to motivate them and to be there as a friend and a support. You need to build a trust so that the employees can rely on a trustworthy employer when it comes to their overall growth.

It is only through these tips that one can eliminate unnecessary hurdles and barriers towards the smooth functioning and growth of the organization. So make sure that you start communicating effectively right from the beginning to achieve success in building relationships and a successful workplace environment.

Effective Written Communication

We send and receive innumerable emails and letters. Gone are the days when we would take time to sit down and write a letter. Besides phones; emails, text messages, social media, etc., are some of the quick ways of communication that have replaced the letters. Still, there are instances when you need to draft a letter or an official email. In today’s modern world, where people don’t have time, we use shortcuts. However, we cannot take these shortcuts all the time, at least when writing official letters. It could cost us our jobs. Hence, the nervousness while drafting a letter.

Letter writing is one of the various forms of communication that you use. For whatever reasons letters or emails are written, the purpose is to either provide some information, to document a fact, or to request something. If the reader does not understand the reason of your letter, there will be no effective communication. The purpose of communication will be lost. Many times you write a letter to a person, like a prospective customer, whom you want to close a deal with and have not yet met. It is very important that you write it well so as to make a positive first impression. There are certain points that you need to remember and mentioned below is a guide which will definitely help you in writing.

Audience
The audience is the person(s) to whom the letter is written. It could be your manager, friend, client, or a prospective client. Depending on who will read the letter, you will need to decide its tone. With your manager and your clients, prospective or existing, you will use a formal tone. If you are writing to your friend or family, naturally you will use a relaxed and friendly tone. The format will be formal for official letters and casual for unofficial ones. It is very important that you use the correct language for official letters. You should also use the appropriate greetings and sign-offs.

Clarity
Remember that it is only you who knows the reason for writing the letter. The audience may not know why you have written it, until they read it. Hence, it is essential that you be very clear about the topic. One of the essential good communication skills is clarity. Write it in a simple language and in simple words. Just because you know big words and jargons, don’t use them as they might confuse the reader. Keep it simple and easy to understand. Avoid alliteration and using vague words and loose sentences. Also, do not include quotations in a formal letter.

Logic
It makes sense to write a letter that makes sense. But you will be surprised to know that when we start writing, we often go off the track and the reader gets confused. Logic is one of those skills, that you cannot compromise on. It is of vital importance that there be a logical flow in a letter. Whatever the subject, maintain a logical flow of ideas in the corresponding paragraphs. You will find that writing logically also helps you to think logically and you may remember points that you missed out on earlier.

Concise
One of the best written communication tip is that less is more. Writing a letter to the point is not very difficult. It is easily achieved by sticking to the main subject and avoiding fillers. There is also no need to write long sentences. If a short letter can convey your ideas, avoid complicating it by beating around the bush. Cover all the facts related to your subject in as small and simple sentences as possible. One of the business communication skills is to never combine two ideas in a single sentence.

Concrete and Correct
The information that you intend to pass on or the subject matter meant to be conveyed to the reader, needs to be concrete and correct. You can’t put across wrong or incorrect information. If you write a letter based on assumptions, it leads to miscommunication. Use specific words and don’t exaggerate. Also be careful and double-check any statistical data that you might want to add. Credibility of the information is necessary.

Complete
Complete the sentences in the letter. One of the effective communication skills in business is not to keep the reader guessing about what you want to say. He needs to understand the subject of the letter. Avoid using vague sentences. Follow the subject – verb – object rule. Do not use rhetorical questions in your letter. Use effective sentences and punctuate them wherever necessary.

Considerate and Courteous
Give respect to the reader by applying a human touch to the letter. The tone of the letter should also match the occasion, e.g., if you are congratulating the reader, sound cheerful and vice versa while writing a condolence letter. Never write a letter when you are in angry mood; you may not realize this but your anger can be reflected in the letter through its tone. Use appropriate greetings and sign offs.

Concentrate
For communicating effectively, concentrate on what you are writing. Don’t drift off the subject. Read all the previous correspondence before writing the email or letter. Anticipate obvious questions and answer them.

Proofread
Never send the letter before proofreading it. Check for spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and grammatical errors. Re-read it from the reader’s perspective. Correct the tone if required. Read it aloud so that the mistakes can be spotted easily. Read one sentence at a time. One of the secrets is to read the letter or a document from the last sentence, gradually going upwards. This helps to concentrate on the errors and not on the content. You can even ask someone else to read it for you.

Another written communication instruction is to practice it more. Use templates if needed to begin with. Graduate to own techniques as time passes. Understanding the content first and then forming the method to be used is a good strategy to follow. Consider the above tips and you can write good and effective letters.

Tips for Communication in Relationships

Passive: Using passive communication, you tend to give priority to the welfare of others over yours. This results in, you giving the impression to others that you have a very low self image and inferiority complex to yourself. Your verbal communication borders on the softness and your tentative voice gives it an apologetic note. Your body language or non-verbal communication is full of excessive head nodding, stooped posture, avoiding eye contact, and looking down or away as if you are searching, unsuccessfully, for the clues, to advance the conversation in thin air. In business leadership or business communication this style is hardly of any use.

Is this form of communication harmful? Yes, it is. Using passive communication, you do everything in a conversation, but expressing yourself which is the heart of the conversation. It erodes your self-esteem, confidence, and makes you angry at yourself. It earns you pity and disrespect from the others who are part of the relationship.

Aggressive: The antithesis of the passive style expresses, “I am Ok, you are not Ok”. The practitioner of an aggressive communication style is very much aware of what is good for him. However, he or she is not very particular about who gets hurt, while they are achieving it. Verbal communication is loud and is a means of letting others know how superior these people are. Non-verbal communication or body language is aggressive. The clenched tight fist, rigid body posture, and the staring eyes are enough to intimidate the other individual. Adopting this style of communication is a sure shot way of earning anger and disrespect from others.

Assertive: The best among all the types and is very conducive to healthy relationships. You can employ an assertive style from the various other communication styles, to nourish and cement them. Your attitude speaks of the “You are Ok, I am Ok”, approach. You value the rights of the individual you are in a relationship with, but not at the cost of your rights. Your communication bestows importance and equal status to others and signifies emptiness of trampling each other in whatever race you are. “Both of us can win”, is your message to the others, “by fulfilling our part of the bargain”. Communication in the workplace based on this style can lead to effective communication in the workplace which results in productivity.

Relationship Communication Tips

Studies show that boys use communication for the purpose of deciding the pecking order among them. On the other hand girls use communication to intimate and feel close to the people they choose to talk to. Communication is more of a stress buster activity when it comes to girls. Here are some communication tips to overcome barriers in relationships.
Express Yourself: An individual with the emotional thrust behind his personality gets bottled up, if he or she is not allowed express himself or herself. Talk freely, clearly, even at the cost of ridicule or derision.
Clarify Ideas: If your partner’s personality is logically driven, then it means that he or she needs you to clarify some of your ideas.
Differentiate Between Feelings and Behavior: It may be the case that your partner did or said something which hurt you immensely. Your partner’s behavior could be unintentional or it might be that your feeling hurt was more far fetched than what was intended. Try to fathom your feelings for their source. Talk openly about the feelings rather than discussing the behavior.
Assertive and Nagging: A nagging person doesn’t give solutions to a problem which could help a relationship. An assertive personality may solve a problem by sharing relationship advice as a solution with you.
Listening to others is a great skill when it comes to understanding others and makes the least thanked part of the communication. Improving interpersonal communication is the key to an easy and fruitful relationship.

Communication Skills Activities

Communication is one of the essential components of the foundation of one’s personality. We need it all the time and we use it everywhere, so it also becomes an important part of our social skills set. For kids and teenagers, some of the most effective ways to learn and master this skill is through the medium of games, activities, and interesting exercises. Through these activities, kids are able to improve their verbal as well as written communication, along with having fun and enjoyment. Interestingly, the games and activities that promote teamwork will automatically improve communication as well, so, it is advisable that the activities be performed in a group rather than by oneself as this promotes fast learning.

The following are certain communication skills activities that will benefit kids and teenagers, and anyone else who uses them, by helping them sharpen their communication skills.

Communication Skills for Children

Make chits of words that are common among the kids and place them in a fishbowl. Next, ask each student to come up and pick out a chit from the bowl and speak for 30 seconds on the word. The sentences should be small and simple in structure in order to avoid any grammatical errors. This exercise is quite similar to an extempore, which helps in developing confidence and face the audience, along with developing communication skills.

Identify the Object
These skills are more effective when performed in a group, so for this you need to have a group of at least five to seven players. Blindfold one of them and make him/her stand in the corner of the room. Keep an object that requires an elaborate description to understand and identify. Next, ask the rest of the students to start describing the features of the object one by one to the kid with the blindfold. He may also ask questions for further clues and identify the object in the set time.

This activity requires two students. Make them stand in a straight line, one behind the other at a distance. Give a blank drawing sheet to the one standing in the front and a sheet with an image drawn using geometrical shapes like a bird, an ice-cream cone, a house, etc. to the kid behind him. Next, ask the kid standing at the back to give instructions to the kid in the front without revealing the identity of the object so that he can draw the image just via the instructions provided.

Communication Skills for Teenagers

Role-Play
Role-play exercises help in developing confidence and refining communication skills, thus making an individual more extroverted. This is one of the best exercises for teens who need to have good command over their oral communication skills. The trainer needs to give a situation to a group of four to five people. The situations can be teleconferencing, dealing with a difficult client, etc. where the actors need to interact and apply verbal communication techniques to communicate effectively.

Written skills are also important in the communication process. To improve this aspect of communication, diary writing can be taken up. It is considered one of the most effective activities that help in improving written skills. Anyone can take up diary writing as there are no rules to write in, kids can just jot down what they feel about the day or any other aspect of their life. In fact, diary writing should be inculcated in their daily routine.

Communication Skills for Workplace

The game starts with the first person whispering a sentence into the ears of the person sitting on his right, who then whispers it into the ears of the person on his right and so on and so forth. The cycle continues till the last person in the circle has been told the sentence, who then has to say the sentence out loud. Once this is done, the original sentence is said out loud by the first person.
Usually, there are several discrepancies between what the original sentence was, and what the final sentence came to be. This activity demonstrates the deconstruction of information caused by ineffective communication.

Body language and eye contact are two very important aspects of effective communication. The activity requires two participants who sit back-to back and converse on a given topic. After the conversation ends, a feedback from the audience is collected to see how this conversation, devoid of any eye contact, was different from a normal conversation. The main aim behind this activity is to explain the importance of eye contact and body language for effective communication.

These activities aim to explain the importance of communication skills and all aspects of the same. Since they have been used in the form of activities, they can be used as simple, enjoyable games that anyone would love to play―and learn through the process.