Business Communication

Executive Leadership, Influencing, Persuasion and Management Communication Skills

Executive Leadership and Management Communication Skills
There are a number of different qualities and character traits that an executive or senior manager must possess if they want to be successful in a leadership position. It’s one thing to be smart enough for the job, but quite another to get people to follow you and not question your decisions. One of the most important traits that a leader must have is the ability to effectively communicate what he or she would like to see done. If they are unable to do so, the people who are following their manager will become confused, and ultimately unable to do the job as needed. You can clearly see how this might be a problem.

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Another great quality that leaders possess is the ability to persuade people to do things in a way that does not seem domineering or overtly authoritarian. Being an assertive leader is very different from being dictatorial. Yes, it is the job of the manager to maintain control of his employees and get them to do as they are asked, but there tends to be a whole lot less resistance from the staff if the message is conveyed in a way that makes the employees want to do what they are being asked. When people get on board with an idea and clearly understand the concepts, their enthusiasm and productivity goes through the roof, which leads to a successful project completion.

At the end of the day, the success of a leader all comes back to his or her ability to deliver ideas in a way that everyone can understand, accept and support. This is something that is easier said than done, as there are plenty of people who are qualified for these types of positions but who struggle to get the job done because of the inability to effectively communicate. There are some who will be bypassed for career advancement, or who pass on a leadership role because of their inability to get their ideas out there effectively.

There are a number of reasons why people struggle to communicate and persuade, with nervousness being very high on the list. Not everyone is a born leader, and some will feel apprehensive when asked to talk about a new project or give their take on the direction a project should follow. For others, it is a poor grasp of the language that holds them back. This is especially true for business leaders working with global corporations. Being asked to speak in a tongue that is not native to them can be very stressful indeed.

The good news is that these are all skills that executives can be learned via the proper coaching. You can learn how to communicate in English, which is the language most commonly used in global business, with training delivered by an experienced coach who has a vast level of knowledge and experience in this area of management communication. Once you get a proper grasp of how to communicate in business, your confidence will reach levels that make others sit up and take notice. If you want to attain a leadership role, but feel held back by your lack of skills in this area, you really need to take a look at an executive communications course.

Effective Business Communication Skills HK

Business Communication Skills are very important for any businessman, as communication helps create, build and sustain relationships. It’s an essentialt skill everyone should have, though not many people are really good in communicating. Let’s take a look at a few communication etiquettes.

hk-advanced-english-conversation-course
Active Listening:
Active listening is an important trait for both the speaker and the listener. The speaker needs to remain attentive and note the reactions of the listeners, to judge if they are able to comprehend, if they are bored, etc. This way, the message can be modified or paraphrased accordingly. On the other hand, the listener needs to stay attentive to understand what’s been spoken. Thus, active listening is one very important skill for every businessman.
Speaking: Conveying a message appropriately is very important. A message should also carry the emotions of the message conveyed. A serious message should carry the seriousness, so the listeners can understand the emotions and the intensity of the message as well.

Ask Questions:
Asking open ended questions is very important in business. This will open up new opportunities, create new clientele, increase conversation duration and what not. Besides, it will also help convey a message better and clearer.

Professionalism:
Professionalism should be underscored for any business related communication. No matter who is involved or the purpose, all business related communications should be done in a professional manner. Whether it is answering a call, sending a mail to a client or customer, or handling a business meeting, it should be done in a professional fashion. There can be a bit of humor or modernity to suit the current trend, though professionalism should never be compromised.

Feedback:
Being open for feedback and asking for feedback from clientele or customers is a very important trait for every businessman. The feedback should be taken in a positive manner and worked upon where needed. This helps build, nourish and sustain relationships with all cadres.

Confidence:
Confidence is the key for any business communication. One should exude confidence, to win the hearts of people. High confidence levels not only lures customers, but also new clientele and even employees! So whatever said and done, it should be done with confidence.

Respond:
In the current fast-paced world, everything is fast paced. People are easily forgotten and following up is hardly done by businessmen. Following up and responding to enquiries or any communication attempt is very important. It also reflects on the professional ethics of the business professional and the brand represented. So never miss replying to every message received and where there’s a delay in doing so, apologizing is impertinent!
In short, business communication skills are not out of the world. On the other hand, they are simple and realistic efforts that will also help one in their personal or professional life. When these simple etiquettes are followed through, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Overcoming Communication Barriers in Organisations

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By Martin Hahn
Although all communication is subject to misunderstandings, business communication is particularly difficult. The material is often complex and controversial. Moreover, both the sender and the receiver may face distractions that divert their attention. Further, the opportunities for feedback are often limited, making it difficult to correct misunderstandings. The following communication barriers in organizations and ways to overcome them will be the main topic of this article.

1. Information Overload

. Too much information is as bad as too little because it reduces the audiences ability to concentrate effectively on the most important messages. People facing information overload sometimes try to cope by ignoring some of the messages, by delaying responses to messages they deem unimportant, by answering only parts of some messages, by responding inaccurately to certain messages, by taking less time with each message, or by reacting only superficially to all messages.
To overcome information overload, realize that some information is not necessary, and make necessary information easily available. Give information meaning rather than just passing it on, and set priorities for dealing with the information flow. Some information isn't necessary.
communication-in-organisations.

2. Message Complexity.

When formulating business messages, you communicate both as an individual and as representative of an organization. Thus you must adjust your own ideas and style so that they are acceptable to your employer. In fact, you may be asked occasionally to write or say something that you disagree with personally. Suppose you work as a recruiter for your firm. You've interviewed a job candidate you believe would make an excellent employee, but others in the firm have rejected this applicant. Now you have to write a letter turning down the candidate: You must communicate your firms message, regardless of your personal feelings, a task some communicators find difficult.
To overcome the barriers of complex messages, keep them clear and easy to understand. Use strong organization, guide readers by telling them what to expect, use concrete and specific language, and stick to the point. Be sure to ask for feedback so that you can clarify and improve your message.

3. Message Competition

. Communicators are often faced with messages that compete for attention. If you're talking on the phone while scanning a report, both messages are apt to get short shrift. Even your own messages may have to compete with a variety of interruptions: The phone rings every five minutes, people intrude, meetings are called, and crises arise. In short, your messages rarely have the benefit on the receivers undivided attention.
To overcome competition barriers, avoid making demands on a receiver who doesn't have the time to pay careful attention to your message. Make written messages visually appealing and easy to understand, and try to deliver them when your receiver has time to read them. Oral messages are most effective when you can speak directly to your receiver (rather than to intermediaries or answering machines). Also, be sure to set aside enough time for important messages that you receive. Business messages rarely have the benefit of the audiences full and undivided attention.

4. Differing Status.

Employees of low status may be overly cautious when sending messages to managers and may talk only about subjects they think the manager is interested in. Similarly, higher-status people may distort messages by refusing to discuss anything that would tend to undermine their authority in the organization. Moreover, belonging to a particular department or being responsible for a particular task can narrow your point of view so that it differs from the attitudes, values, and expectations of people who belong to other departments or who are responsible for other tasks.
To overcome status barriers, keep managers and colleagues well informed. Encourage lower-status employees to keep you informed by being fair-minded and respectful of their opinions. When you have information that you're afraid you boss might not like, be brave and convey it anyway. Status barriers can be overcome by a willingness to give and receive bad news.

5. Lack of Trust,

Building trust is a difficult problem. Other organization members don't know whether you'll respond in a supportive or responsible way, so trusting can be risky. Without trust, however, free and open communication is effectively blocked, threatening the organization's stability. Just being clear in your communication is not enough.
To overcome trust barriers, be visible and accessible. Don't insulate yourself behind assistants or secretaries. Share key information with colleagues and employees, communicate honestly, and include employees in decision making. For communication to be successful, organizations must create an atmosphere of fairness and trust.

6. Inadequate Communication Structures.

Organizational communication is effected by formal restrictions on who may communicate with whom and who is authorized to make decisions. Designing too few formal channels blocks effective communication. Strongly centralized organizations, especially those with a high degree of formalization, reduce communication capacity, and they decrease the tendency to communicate horizontally thus limiting the ability to coordinate activities and decisions. Tall organizations tend to provide too many vertical communication links, so messages become distorted as they move through the organization's levels.
To overcome structural barriers, offer opportunities for communicating upward, downward, and horizontally (using such techniques as employee surveys, open-door policies, newsletters, memo, and task groups). Try to reduce hierarchical levels, increase coordination between departments, and encourage two-way communication.

7. Incorrect Choice of Medium.

If you choose an inappropriate communication medium, your message can be distorted so that the intended meaning is blocked. You can select the most appropriate medium by matching your choice with the nature of the message and of the group or the individual who will receive it. Face-to-face communication is the richest medium because it is personal, it provides immediate feedback, it transmits information from both verbal and nonverbal cues, and it conveys the emotion behind the message. Telephones and other interactive electronic media aren't as rich; although they allow immediate feedback, they don't provide visual nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, eye contact and body movements. Written media can be personalized through addressed memos, letters, and reports, but they lack the immediate feedback and the visual and vocal nonverbal cues that contribute to the meaning of the message. The leanest media are generally impersonal written messages such as bulletins, fliers, and standard reports. Not only do they lack the ability to transmit nonverbal cues and to give feedback, they also eliminate any personal focus.
To overcome media barriers, choose the richest media for no routine, complex message. Use rich media to extend and to humanize your presence throughout the organization, to communicate caring and personal interest to employees, and to gain employee commitment to organizational goals. Use leaner media to communicate simple, routine messages. You can send information such as statistics, facts, figures and conclusions through a note, memo or written report

8. Closed communication climate.

Communication climate is influenced by management style, and a directive, authoritarian style blocks the free and open exchange of information that characterizes good communication.
To overcome climate barriers, spend more time listening than issuing orders.

9. Unethical Communication.

An organization cannot create illegal or unethical messages and still be credible or successful in the long run. Relationships within and outside the organization depend or trust and fairness.
To overcome ethics barriers, make sure your messages include all the information that ought to be there. Make sure that information is adequate and relevant to the situation. And make sure your message is completely truthful, not deceptive in any way.

10. Inefficient Communication.

Producing worthless messages wastes time and resources, and it contributes to the information overload already mentioned.
Reduce the number of messages by thinking twice before sending one. Then speed up the process, first, by preparing messages correctly the first time around and, second, by standardizing format and material when appropriate. Be clear about the writing assignments you accept as well as the ones you assign.

11. Physical distractions.

Communication barriers are often physical: bad connections, poor acoustics, illegible copy. Although noise or this sort seems trivial, it can completely block an otherwise effective message. Your receiver might also be distracted by an uncomfortable chair, poor lighting, or some other irritating condition. In some cases, the barrier may be related to the receiver's health. Hearing or visual impairment or even a headache can interfere with reception of a message. These annoyances don't generally block communication entirely, but they may reduce the receiver's concentration.
To overcome physical distractions, try to prepare well written documents which are clear, concise, and comprehensive. When

preparing oral presentations

try to find a setting which permits audience to see and hear the speaker clearly.
Martin Hahn PhD has received his education and degrees in Europe in organizational/industrial sociology. He grew up in South-East Asia and moved to Europe to get his tertiary education and gain experience in the fields of scientific research, radio journalism, and management consulting. For more info visit
http://www.martinimhahn.com
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Clear Communication Brings Enhanced Career Performance - HK Presentation Skills Training Courses in Hong Kong

Clear Communication Brings Enhanced Career Performance

- HK Presentation Skills Training Courses in Hong Kong

By
Ken Schmitt
hk-clear-communication-course
The term "label" carries with it a slew of images - both positive and negative. For those wounded veterans who proudly display the words "War Vet" on their license plate, the label brings respect and admiration. For those suffering from intense peanut allergies, a warning label on products produced without any peanut oil, can be life saving. The term "ADHD" (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or "IEP" (independent education plan) on a student's school file allows the teacher to work more effectively with the student. In each case the goal remains the same: to provide information that allows others to better understand the person or item with which they are interacting in hopes of providing a more positive experience.
So what does this have to do with career management, recruiting or job search? Consider this email we've all received at some point in our professional lives: "I'm not interested in your services at this time." Or how about this one: "Got your message. Give me a call." Or one of my favorites: "I don't understand what you're asking."
While there are a number of ways to interpret these messages - rude, succinct, dismissive, respectful, blunt or inquisitive - wouldn't our jobs be easier if we had some insights about the person sending the message to help us interpret her words more accurately? Or put another way, wouldn't life be easier if we all had "labels" identifying our style of communication?
"Hello, my name is Ken - don't bore me with details"
Let's use TurningPoint as an example. Keep in mind we are a small, boutique firm with a virtual model and a combined 40+ years of experience in recruiting, HR and career coaching, so we are not new to communicating. However, even in our small firm, we each have our unique style of communicating. I am very honest with my team, letting them know that I speak and move very quickly, I tend to work on multiple things at a time - hence the typing in the background while I am talking to them on the phone - I have high expectations and I am a perfectionist when it comes to written communication. While details are important to me, my mind operates - and therefore I communicate - with a focus on ideas, vision, long term strategy, connectedness and the need to create solutions.
My team is comprised of a former teacher, a certified coach with a sociology degree and an HR/recruiter who grew up overseas and earned a degree in anthropology. Do you think we all communicate in the same manner - think again! Do you think it took some time to get accustomed to each other's styles - you'd better believe it!
While I'm not advocating that everyone walk around with an actual label on their shirt that reads "Hello, my name is Ken. I'm a visionary guy so don't bore me with details", it's imperative that we spend time in the workplace talking openly about our approach, our goals and our perspective. Absent this commitment to understanding each other's communication style, issues are bound to arise ranging from an inadvertent insult to an inaccurate financial arrangement.
About five years ago, I sat on a local board and the interaction between the various personalities was quite invigorating. I felt it was my responsibility as a board member and President to take advantage of our large cash reserve - which had been in place for many years - to provide some new services to our members. Being an "idea guy", I was not worried about decreasing our cash reserves by 15%-20% because these new programs were going to benefit the membership. Our Treasurer, however, had a different perspective and as an accomplished financial professional and fellow board member, was focused on the dollars. On one occasion, I sent an email outlining my expectations and plans to deploy this capital. Although I had no intention of insulting anyone, my seemingly benign message was met with the following: "Ken, I really don't understand what you want from me. If you want me to resign from the board, just say so!"
"Where did that come from?" I asked myself and several colleagues. I realized later - and this was a great learning experience for me - that my failure wasn't in the message. Rather, I had failed earlier on by not talking to the Treasurer 1-on-1 about my thoughts and the reasons behind my so-called "spending spree". I never took the time to recognize that this individual was a numbers person and as such, the primary goal was to preserve cash! Perhaps the Treasurer's label would read something like "Hello, I'm a CPA, CMA, Controller and Treasurer. My commitment is to producing accurate numbers & managing cash. New ideas are fine, so long as they're paid for."
It's easy to forget that each one of us brings different life experiences, biases, education and perspectives to every encounter. While you cannot be held responsible for interpreting the communication style of every person you come into contact with, it's up to
you to open the dialogue, providing those around you with a glimpse into your style.
"Hi, my name is Ken Schmitt and I'm a native of San Diego. I've been working since I was 14 years old, my dad was a Jack in the Box franchisee and my mom is an accountant turned real estate agent. From the age of 13 I knew I wanted to run my own business some day and as soon as I got into recruiting and started networking in 1998, I knew I had found my home."
These 75+ words, though short and to the point, provide a great deal of insight into who I am, what my priorities are, where I spend my time and most likely, how I communicate with those around me.
The more others learn about you, your preferences, your personality type and your style of interaction - both listening and speaking - the greater the chances that your interaction will be productive at work and home. Don't hesitate to share your "label" with your friends, colleagues, superiors, staff and family, and encourage them to do the same. I guarantee you will be impressed by the results.
What's your label and how will you use it to enhance your career?
Ken C. Schmitt is an Executive Recruiter, Career Coach, Expert Resume-Writer and Master networker. He has been coaching and placing mid-senior level professionals for 13 years. Having presented to nearly 1000 professionals and written more than 50 career-related articles, Ken is well positioned to provide valuable information about recruiting and career management. For more career management advice visit
http://www.turningpointsearch.net/
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Communication Can Enhance Your Career - HK Training Courses & Workshops Hong Kong


Communication Can Enhance Your Career

- HK Training Courses & Workshops Hong Kong
By
Bill Ryan
caree-communication-trainer-hk
Every line of work can benefit from a workforce that knows how to communicate clearly and effectively. A free and comprehensible flow of information among colleagues, across departments, and between customers and companies leads to optimal productivity and profitability. Conversely poor communication diminishes competitiveness and quality of service.
Normally we think that mastering a specific skill set is the surest way to advance one's career. Obviously the better you can advise clients on financial plans the better a financial planner you can be and the greater your command of building cabinets the more proficient a cabinet maker you will be. But a competence that is of equal importance in boosting your career across all industries is the mastering of communication.
Speaking, listening, writing, reading, and viewing are the typical communication methods that come to mind when defining what communication is. However if we investigate these activities more carefully to see how they can affect workplace functioning we can be more mindful of how to enhance our careers by increasing the quality of work done for our employers.
I was recently read a blog, in which the writer does an excellent job of identifying 21 communication mistakes to be avoided at work. Whereas all of this long list of weaknesses could be noted as important there were some themes in particular that stood out to me as warranting further elaboration. For example:
Taking the time to self-examine the role our individual egos play in how we communicate is well worth the effort. Look at how often we get consumed by trying to save face at work. No one wants to be seen as incompetent, which is natural, but this can lead to poor communication habits. For example, think of all the times we didn't ask for clarification or help on a project or task, because we didn't want to look stupid or weak. "I'll figure it out on my own", we may tell ourselves only to find out that we went too far off on a tangent instead of getting to the heart of the problem to be solved. Rather requesting clarity or assistance can be approached from a position of competence and as part of commanding style.
In writing resumes for clients I sometimes come across performance reviews that they share with me. Here is a communication error I see managers complain about a lot-overuse of email. It may seem that we can increase the quantity of communication with email, but that doesn't always translate into quality. Getting on the phone or meeting face to face may take more time, but in many situations it means better listening is occurring, leading to more cogent points can being made by both parties.
Determining who is in the loop and keeping them abreast of developments in a timely manner is a sound practice. Participants on a project work best with open collaboration. It's fine for there to be a moderator, but using the "Reply To All" feature in all forms of communication is often the best policy. Good communication promotes strong teams. Given the workforce evolution toward greater teamwork, applying coproduction communication techniques is a win / win for employees and employers alike.
Perhaps the most harmful communication mistake is going negative. So many workplaces are drama factories in which grown adults communicate with the level of sensitivity and self-awareness found in a junior high school cafeteria. Put a bunch of insecure and immature egos together in the same building and watch out. Management can have a big task ahead trying to herd cats. Martin Luther King, Jr. probably addressed this issue best when he advised that before we say something about someone else we should test the comment by applying three conditions: Is it true? Is it fair? Is it kind? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then best to keep it to yourself.
Getting ahead with your career can often be little more than becoming a strong communicator. Do that and you'll be noticed.

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The Importance of Communication Skills in Life and Career - Hong Kong English Presentation and Negotiation Skills Training Courses in HK

Hong Kong English Presentation and Negotiation Skills Training Courses in HK


The Importance of Communication Skills in Life and Career
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By
Megha Natarajan

Communication skills

are the 'be all and end all' of any successful relationship or career path. It doesn't matter if you are extremely knowledgeable about a particular topic. Unless you have the ability to relate it to others so that they understand exactly what you are trying to communicate, you will not find that knowledge useful.
Career:
One needs exceptional communication skills to prosper in each and every aspect of one's life. Imagine you're a software developer and wish to become the Project Manager, you need communication skills. The higher in the echelon of corporate ladder you wish to climb, the better you need to have the ability to grasp what the client wants and how you can convey your opinions to them. The higher you go, the more visible you become in the success hierarchy, hence the better spoken you need to become.
Irrespective of whether you work on a part time or full time, blue collar or white collar job, communication skills are the key to be an achiever.
Relationships:
In relationships, communication is the key. No alliance, be it friendship, family love, or life mate love can withstand lack of proper communication. It is the quintessential part of our existence.
If you love someone, you say it to them. You need to be able to express yourself the way you want others to understand you. It's exceedingly imperative, hence, to work on building your communication skills.
It is not difficult to be a good communicator. You just need to be clear about what you want the others to understand. Don't let your thoughts cloud each other or overlap each other. Be clear in your concepts.
Remember these points before saying something important:
1) Are you clear as to what you wish to make the other person understand?
2) Get the thoughts cleared in your mind.
3) Talk simply and enunciate.
4) Observe the other person's reaction. Do they comprehend what you're saying?
5) Do you feel they're in agreement with your views on the matter? If not, you might have to change the way you put across that point.
6) Always remember this: you need to talk so that the other person feels it's a beneficial thing for them, or that you're agreeing with them.
7) If you're disagreeing with someone, start off with "I completely agree, but..." or "I understand what you're trying to say, but there's another thing I'd like to add...". You don't need to necessarily agree with them, but saying things like these will make them feel you're not opposing their viewpoint.
8) Be sure of your viewpoint, but try to understand the other person's perspective too.
9) Try to say the other person's name once in a while during the conversation -"You have a good point there, Mr. Arnold." People like hearing their name, it makes them feel included, so it puts you in their good books and they try to see your point of view too.
Being a good communicator is a mandatory requirement in today's scenario. Be it life or love, you need to be able to express your feelings or opinions lucidly. Remember the tips given above, and communicating your thoughts will become a cinch.
'Communication is not only the essence of being human, but also a vital property of life.' - John A. Piece
Megha Natarajan
http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/832976/megha_natarajan.html
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4 Effective Written Communication Tips to Improve Your Business Skills - Training Courses in Hong Kong HK

4 Effective Written Communication Tips to Improve Your Business Skills



By
Ankitaa G. Dalmia


hk-effective-business-writing-class
Strong written communication skills are necessary to succeed in your line of work. So the question is - how to make written communication effective? You have to be precise and your message should be concise.
Here are
4 effective written communication tips to help you convey your message successfully, whether it's in a memo, an email or a business letter.

Tip 1 - Choose the stationary correctly.

To be taken seriously, written communication in business is best conveyed using your business stationery. This means your business letter should be printed/written on the company's letterhead. The same goes for memos and other forms of communication.
When using emailing, add your company's logo to the message. Use your discretion to include other company information like office address, contact numbers, email address, etc. to your message.

Tip 2 - Use simple language.

Avoid complex words. Use simple words and short sentences to make your communication brief and to the point.
Use technical jargon only when necessary - like when you are discussing a system failure and asking the email's recipient for technical support.
Uppercase letters on your message conveys you are SHOUTING at the recipient. So, just avoid CAPS LOCK.

Tip 3 - Well-structured message.

A well-structured message has an introduction, a body and then a conclusion, preferably one paragraph each.
You talk about the purpose of the communication in the introduction section.
You give the details in the body section, which is why it might be longer than one paragraph. But try to limit the entire communication to a single page.
And you wrap up with a summary and call-to-action in the conclusion. A call-to-action means you are asking the recipient to give you a call or email you a reply to your communication.

Tip 4 - Proofread.

Your written communication skills can improve significantly if you just remember to proofread before sending out your communication. Read carefully and use the spell check tool in your email or word processor to correct any mistakes.
Spelling and/or grammar mistakes make a bad impression on your professional image, especially when it's written communication in business. If you are this careless to make mistakes in such simple matters, how can anyone trust you to be careful in the other aspects of your work?
With these tips, you can learn how to make written communication effective.
This concludes my series on E

ffective Communication Skills for Professionals,

which included Business Presentation Tips, 4 Tips to Improve Body Language and finally this post, 4 Effective Written Communication Tips. Visit my website http://www.anksimage.com to read these posts on my blog.
Contact me now for a free consultation to improve your communication skills and be more successful at your workplace.
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Effective Communication Skills For Today's Managers - Life Lessons - Training Courses in Hong Kong HK

Effective Communication Skills

For Today's Managers - Life Lessons
By
Charles Ainsworth

hk-effective-communication-course-manager
Effectively communicating to your employees will result in a more efficient operation and will help achieve the bottom-line objectives of any company, business, or basic interaction. As a manager, your communication skill is critical in directing the actions of your employees. This basic managerial skill course in communication will enable you to become a better manager for yourself, and for your organization. You will learn how to communicate effectively, which will help you to maximize "work through others" to get the job done.
There are many components to communication. Consider verbal communication skills, listening skills, written memorandums/email, telephone skills and non-verbal communication. Also, reflect upon all the people we communicate to: subordinates, peers, supervisors, customers, and groups of people. In addition, ponder some of the reasons, why we communicate: to get and give information, to discipline subordinates, to make assignments, and so on. 
We will not be able to explore every facet and component of communication. Rather, we will focus on the general principles of effective communication that apply to most situations and we will point out important things to remember for some specific situations.  We will use only as much "theory" as needed to gain basic understanding of communication problems. Primarily, we will discuss what you can do to become an effective communicator.
Our Objectives
Upon completion, you will be capable of:
1) Recognizing communication problems and barriers. 2) Implementing techniques to resolve communication problems and barriers. 3) Demonstrating the basic general rules of effective communication. 4) Using special techniques in specific communication situations.
This is designed to do more than just give you information on communicating. Rather, it is set up to teach you skills which you can apply in your day to day routine.

What is Communication?


Communication is simply the sending of a message to another person. The person sending the message first needs to formulate the message in his head. This involves determining the meaning that the sender intends to convey to the other person. To formulate the meaning of the message, the sender usually draws upon his background attitudes, perceptions, emotions, opinions, education, and experience. 
The message is then sent to the listener through both verbal talking and non-verbal gestures. The person receiving this message then interprets its meaning. To do this, the listener uses his background, attitudes, perceptions, emotions, opinions, education, and experience. 
Effective communication exists between two persons when the person receiving the message interprets it in the same way as the sender intended it. Sounds really simple doesn't it?  Well, it can be.

Who is Responsible for Communicating Effectively?


Managers share the responsibility in communicating effectively with the individual employees themselves. The manager is 100% responsible for communicating effectively with their employees.
This includes establishing an open and trusting climate for communication, as well as demonstrating good communication techniques to their employees. The employee is 100% responsible for taking advantage of the "climate for communication" to express what is important and relevant. For example,it is expected that a manager will ask "are there any questions?" after giving an employee an assignment, but it is also expected that an employee will say, "I have a question", if one should occur to the employee, without waiting for the manager to ask. 

Why Managers Need to be Effective Communicators?


o Communication is used so frequently that "we cannot afford to do it poorly". o Communication has a special power: to create interest, stimulate action, achieve agreement, foster enthusiasm. o Communication is the primary method that managers use to direct their employee's behavior. o Communication is the basis for almost all other managerial skills. It is involved in delegating duties to subordinates, motivating employees, demonstrating leadership  abilities, training new policies and programs, and counseling performance problems, etc.

Barriers to Effective Communication


o Supervisor inaccessible. o Supervisor buried in work. o Supervisor always in a hurry. o Supervisor maintains a pre-occupied expression; little eye-contact with employees. o Supervisor only informal with his peers or boss (never with subordinates). o Supervisor tells employees to "write it up" instead of promoting discussion. o Supervisor never asks, "How's it going?".

Where do Difficulties in Communication Arise?


The basic source of misunderstanding between two persons are communication failures that occur when the receiver understands the meaning of a message differently than it was intended. We do not always communicate what we intend.
Communication failures arise when there is a gap between what the sender meant and what the receiver thought the sender meant.

Communication failure can be caused by:


o Being so preoccupied that you do not listen to what other are saying. o Being so interested in what you have to say that you listen only to find an opening to work your way into the conversation. o Being so sure that you know what the other person is going to say that you distort what you hear to match your expectation. o Evaluating and judging the speakers, which makes the speaker guarded and defensive. o Not being able to "see past the words" and get the emotional message of the sender. o Not trusting the speaker and becoming suspicious of what is being said.

Setting the Stage for Effective Communication


Even before the first word is uttered, various factors are already at work that can affect the success or failure of our communications.  Let's examine these factors to see what role they play. 

Communicator's Appearance


Before we ever say a word, others have been receiving messages from us. We communicate to others just by the way we dress and groom. In the book Dressing for Success, the author notes that other people conclude about 17 different things about us just on the basis of how we appear.
Many businesses utilize a dress code to guide people to the appropriate type of attire. It use to be traditional within the business world for men to wear a coat and tie. This conveys to others that we are professionals. In addition, conservative colors are preferred to more outspoken colors. This communicates seriousness, stability, and a "down-to-business" attitude. Recent changes have occurred in this area, just always remember that people do make conclusions about you based on your appearance.  Understand the expectation as it relates to dress code and insure you are in tune with the company position. 

Communicator's Past Conversations


Communication experts tell us that the credibility of the communicator, as determined by past conversations, is a critical factor in effective communication. Credibility refers to the attitude the listener has toward the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the sender's statements. When a listener views the sender as dependable, knowledgeable, reliable, warm and friendly, emphatic, and non-selfish, the message that is sent will be more likely to be received. Unless we seem credible to the receiver. our message will be discounted and we will not be able to communicate effectively with him.

Communicator's Personality


The personality of the communicator plays a part in both the formulation of the message and in how the message is communicated. Each individuals beliefs, opinions, prejudices, feelings, biases, and personal experiences enter into the development of a message. Most of the time this happens quickly, automatically, and out of habit. In addition to influencing what we think and say, our personalities also play a role in how we say the message. You may know of an instance where two managers sound completely different in conveying the same exact message to a listener. For example a result oriented manager may talk in short, concise, action-oriented sentences, while another manager may end up in a long discourse including many details and side points.

The Communication Situation


The situation and circumstances surrounding our communication plays a part in determining its success or failure. Although many types of situations affect the messages we send, one particular type that can easily distort our messages is communication under stress. Stress, by its very nature, makes it difficult for us to "think clearly". In a stress situation, the meaning of the message can be distorted; subtle shades of meaning can be confused; pieces of information can be forgotten; minor points may seem more important than major points. In addition, the wording of the communication may suffer. Uncertainty, nervousness, and confusion can creep into the speaker's voice, resulting in a less assertive statement. 

Communicating Effectively - Verbal Communication


Verbal communication means talking. The goal in communicating verbally is to convey a message to another person so that the other person understands it exactly as the person talking intended it. A well communicated message is one which the other person can accurately repeat back in his own words. Verbal communication can be made more effective by:
o Talking about specific rather than general situations. o Using concrete language, e.g., "merchandise" rather than "stuff". o Using words familiar to employees; explaining unfamiliar words. o Including an example to illustrate the point. o Giving sufficient detail to convey the point. o Giving details slowly and in order. o Making it a practice to address the five "W" questions in the  topic (if applicable).
Who is involved? What is the situation; how did it begin? When will it occur? Where is it taking place? What you think, believe, feel? Why will it happen? Why is this important?

 Nonverbal Communication


Nonverbal communication refers to the gestures and body positions that accompany ones speaking. All people display certain gestures or lack of them when talking. It is important to be aware of your nonverbal communication, for it plays a big role in making your total communication effective. 
Effective communication occurs when a person's verbal message and nonverbal message both "say the same thing". Problems in communication occur when the speaker's words say one thing, but his gestures and body language says something else.

Types of Nonverbal Communication


All of the following "says something". In the specific context, they should correspond and reinforce the spoken message.
o Eye contact. o Position of our arms and legs. o The distance we stand from others when talking to them. o Where we sit at a table or in relation to others. o Smiling. o Nodding or other head movements.
The manager can use nonverbal behaviors in two ways. First, when speaking, he can monitor his own nonverbal behavior and try to make sure it corresponds and emphasizes what he is verbally saying.
For example:
o When taking charge of a situation, the manager should have good eye contact with his subordinates, stand in a straight posture, use a firm but not overbearing voice,and point to what he wants done. 
o Upon noticing customers, the employee should smile to indicate friendliness, make eye contact to acknowledge the customer's presence, tun his body in the direction of the customer to indicate his willingness to help if needed.
The other way a manager can use nonverbal behavior is in "listening to what others are really saying". If the manager notices the employee saying one thing verbally but another thing non verbally, then the manager should suspect that the verbal message being said may be somewhat "incomplete".
Active listening skills is what separates the good from the great. Learn to listen with your ears, eyes and perception paying attention to both the verbal and nonverbal communication.
For example:
An employee who says that he would feel comfortable doing a task but who exhibits folded arms, crossed legs, and tensed neck muscles might not be feeling as comfortable as he thinks. The manager who suspects this might need to keep his eye on this situation.

Written Communication


In written communication, the simpler, shorter, and more direct the better. This can be remembered by the equation:

Effectiveness = Conciseness = Completeness


Try the following tips for achieving concise and complete communication.
o Use simple words; your goal is not to impress your reader with your vocabulary, it is to get the point across. o Make sure the words exactly express the thought; different words can slant the entire message of your point. o Make the sentence structure clear; poor grammar, run on sentences, etc., can distort the point you want to make. o Use a different paragraph for each complete unit of thought. o Make sure all of the necessary information is included. o Anticipate questions and include the answers in your message. o Use only essential words and phrases. o Make sure your facts, dates, times, etc., are correct. o Consider the tone of the memorandum. Make sure it doesn't contain antagonism or    preaching. I highly suggest that if you are upset about something, it is OK to    write out your thoughts and ideas for making the situation better.  Then make sure you do not send it, until you read it the next day. You will find in most cases that what you want to say does not change, but how you say it will change dramatically once you are over the emotions you attached to it. o Make sure it is neat in appearance.
Remember all written memorandums have a dual purpose: you want the reader to receive your message and you want to do it the shortest, quickest way possible without leaving out necessary information.
All memorandums written in this way will be a good reflection upon you.
Phone Conversations
Talking on the phone lies between face-to-face communication and written communication in regard to information we can receive from the other person. Phone conversations do not give us access to the body language of the other person, hence, we miss the nonverbal cues accompanying the words. On the other hand, phone communication does allow us to take into account the tone of voice the other person is using, unlike written communication/email. 
Voice tone can be used in two ways. First, we can vary our voice tone to reinforce what we are saying verbally. Managers can convey competence, sincerity, and trust through the tone of their voice when talking to customers or employees.
Secondly, we can pay attention to other people's tone of voice, much like nonverbal behavior, to check on unspoken feelings and thoughts. To do this accurately, practice listening to both the words and the tone of the voice that carries the words.
When talking to someone you have spoken to before, pay attention to changes in their usual voice qualities. Some people speak slow, loud, or clear. When these people change their normal voice qualities, they are communicating something extra to us. It is up to us to look for cues to detect what these changes in customary
voice tones mean.  Remember, you can't talk to someone on the phone and someone in front of you both at the same time and do justice to either party.  

Communicating to a Group


Communicating to a group can be as simple as making an announcement r as complex as running a training program requiring much group participation. Much of what has been presented in this training applies to communicating to a group. Pre-communication factors, such as your appearance, credibility, and the specifics of the situation plays large part in establishing a successful presentation. Talking effectively and using nonverbal body language to correspond to the spoken words can all be used in group settings. A particularly skillful speaker can even "read" the nonverbal cues of the group as a whole and use this information to adjust his talk.
Listening

Why you Should Listen to Your Employees


o Employees might have helpful ideas. o Employees might know causes of problems in the workplace. o Employees might be able to warn me about potential problems I haven't yet recognized. o How employees feel about things can be a tip-of future problems.

Ways of Not Listening


o Signing routine papers. o Sorting papers. o Allowing long telephone interruptions. o Sneaking looks at the time. o Gazing out of the window, or at distractions passing by. o Maintaining pre-occupied facial expressions. o Calling orders to other employees in between sentences. o Fidgeting nervously, shaking foot, playing with gadgets, coffee cup, etc.

Inhibiting Communication from Your Employees


Avoid the following to prevent cutting off future communication from your employees:
o Blaming the employee who gave you bad news. o Getting angry. o "Falling apart". o Demanding the employee to justify work that is reported to be not going well.

How should you react to news:

React to bad news by remaining objective; keep your emotions under control; switch to a "problem-solving", "let's get this situation corrected" approach. Respond to good news with praise, acknowledgment and appreciation.

Active Listening

Active listening is comprised of three separate and important skills: attention skills, following skills, and responding skills. Attention skills are those actions you take to put the talker at ease, to non verbally show you are listening, and to best "pay attention to" what the other person is trying to say. Maintaining eye contact, eliminating distractions, and concentrating on both the verbal and nonverbal are examples of attention skills. 

Following Skills

These are the skills we use to encourage the conversation along; to get the point the person is making. Nodding our heads, saying "uh-huh", "I see", and "go on" are following skills. Asking appropriate questions to bring out the point is a following skill as is allowing silences without jumping in. All following skills serve two purposes: to indicate to the speaker that you are "with him" and to help him get the point across.

Responding Skills

This is where we determine if we received and interpreted the message as the speaker intended it. Say something like, "If I understand correctly, you are saying ... " and go on to paraphrase that we understand, using our own words. Check out the facts and ideas, the main point of what the speaker said. It is only after we are sure that we understood the message as intended, can we then evaluate, judge, take action, or supply an answer or comment.

Communicating on the Job - Who We Communicate To

Before the message is formulated and communicated, we become aware of who we will be sending it to. How and what we communicate can change depending upon who is the intended audience.

Upward Communication

If we will be communicating to our immediate supervisor, our message might be prepared, formulated, and presented in a specific manner. For example, if we need to seek assistance from our supervisor, asking an open-ended question will result in more information than a question that can be answered yes or no.

Peer Communication

If the communication is intended for a peer, the message might be less "formally" prepared and presented. For example, less background information might need to be given since the peer can "easily relate" to the situation to be described.

Downward Communication

The manager who is communicating to his subordinate may need to do so in a different way than to others. Clear, concise, directions might be the format for much of the messages the manager gives to his employees. In addition, the manager may follow-up many of his messages with, "Do you have any questions?".

Checking For Understanding

When communicating with employees, it is always a good idea to check for understanding. Simply take a second and ask " recap for me what I have asked you to do." By doing this, you can clear up any missed communication that may have taken place.  This step is helpful for both parties as it allows them to communicate back to you that they heard and understood your direction. This is a critical step in delegation of tasks.

Communicating With Customers

Communicating to a customer also affects how the message is formulated and delivered. Messages conveyed to customers need to be totally accurate and delivered in a professional and friendly manner.

Purpose of the Communication

When we talk to someone, we usually have a purpose. The purpose of the communication differs depending on the situation and who we are addressing. A manager may communicate for any of the following reasons:
o To motivate employees. o To teach, instruct, or explain a task. o To counsel an employee. o To seek information or assistance. o To correct an employee's behavior. o To be persuasive. o To socialize.
With each of these purposes, the communication changes in order to accomplish our goal.
One of my favorite leaders use to say, that you will have  become a

master of communication

when you are able to tell someone where to go and to have them looking forward to the trip! 
Chuck Ainsworth, aka The Origami Warrior is a visionary writer who enjoys learning new topics and putting them into easy to understand terms. He brings 30 plus years of Senior Management experience and provides the insights needed to help others reach peak performance by improving their basic Management and Leadership Skills. He is CEO of Ainsworth Associates, Inc. He currently writes about topics he loves that include: Origami, Origami Warrior Wisdom, Motivation, Training, Management Skills Development, Leadership, Life Lessons, Core Values, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Life After Death - How To Overcome Life Changing Events and more. A published author who loves family, pets, community. While he has spent much of his life traveling, he now enjoys a much simpler life, living in his home town on a small quiet private lake with his family. Follow his Origami Warrior Wisdom daily quotes follow me at
http://twitter.com/ChuckAinsworth to get my tweets and be sure to check out other Life Lessons at: http://origamiwarrior.com
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Business Communication Skills

Business Communication Skills


Business Communication Skills are very important for any businessman, as communication helps create, build and sustain relationships. Not just businessmen, just about every individual should be able to communicate effectively.

Career Communications


One’s career and even their ability to be in a relationship depend on their communication skills. It’s a very important skill everyone should have, though not many are really good in communication. Let’s take a look at a few communication etiquettes.

Be a Good Listener

: A good listener not only learns new things, but is also good in conveying their message clearly and concisely. Besides, only when you listen, will others listen to you! For this reason, listening forms the crux of communication skills. Also, when a person is talking with you, or probably addressing a group, NEVER interrupt. Even if you have a point to rise, wait till they finish and then, convey what you wanted to. Interrupting when someone is talking is considered rude and manner less.

Body Language:

While not many study or master body language, though it plays a very important role in relationships. Body language reflects one’s thoughts and thus, has a profound influence on people. Postures, toning technique, eye contact, facial expressions and even gestures have different meanings. Otherwise termed non-verbal communication, how can body language be given a miss?