Job Newsletter #2

By Adam Groves

Effective Communication Skills

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General

Having good general communication skills is key for any workplace you are in or applying for. How you communicate your voice in a workplace is key. You don't want to be rude and loud when talking to your work colleagues as an example. You need to know who you are talking to when you present yourself. If you are talking to your friends you will talk and text with them more in-formally whereas in a workplace you will have to present yourself more professional and talk more formally when appropriate. Inside the workplace you are representing the company and have an expectation you need to meet set by them so you have to present yourself and use the correct tone of voice whilst working with colleagues or talking to clients if necessary. Outside of work you can have a different attitude and be more relaxed but you still don't want to cause conflict with others because this could have an effect on your work and social lives.

Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills are used when you are face-to-face with one or more people. In order to have effective interpersonal skills when in a meeting it is important to listen. Taking in the information you are being told is vital. If you are active listening you can understand and work on what you are hearing a lot easier, which makes your life a whole lot easier when you are asked to complete a task for example from that meeting. It makes the job role easier and it makes you more of an efficient worker. You have to also present yourself well when you are at the meeting or at a job interview. You don't want to be slouching and look scruffy, that would make a bad impression and either make the client from the meeting go someplace else or in the interview example you would most likely not get the job you applied for. You have to have good facial expressions and body language at all times to make a good impression to give yourself more of a chance at landing a placement at the place you interviewed for or land a really good deal with a client at that meeting.

Written

Written communication is important when you are trying to communicate clearly to sometimes a numerous amount of people who some may come from different backgrounds and find it hard to understand. You may be asked to write an article in the newspaper about the headlines for that day; this would be read by a large audience which of some could find it difficult to understand. Another example is when writing a book it needs to be clear enough so the people reading the book can picture and understand what is going on. To have good written communication skills you need to have no grammatical mistakes in your news article or book so they both read fluently for the reader. You also don't want any spelling mistakes in there either. This makes it both hard to read and in this case it could have an effect of you being able to continue a career in those types of jobs. The main things to look out for though are grammar, spelling and punctuation. Planning is also always a good idea before you start. You may be asked for a rough draft before your news article or book can go live by your employer and this might be through a paper copy. So your handwriting needs to be adequate and easy to read for them.

Barriers to Effective Communication

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General

The language barrier is one of the most common barriers to effective communication. There are many people around the world who speak all different types of languages. An example of where this can be put into place is when you are at a work place and you get a phone call but the person on the other end is of a different ethnicity than you and they don't speak as much English. You have to be clear with your voice so that they can understand you the best you can provide them with. Sometimes broken English can help when talking to people like this. A way you could reduce this is by asking them to speak slowly so you can get an idea of what they are saying and then you can judge from that how you have to speak to the person you are dealing with over the phone. You also need to be more alert and aware of what you are saying because the person is finding it difficult to understand you. The worst thing you could do is accidently offend them, which is never good in any situation. Another way you could attempt to resolve the language issue is by asking your colleagues (if you have any at your work place) to help you out and see if they can understand them easier or if your colleagues can speak their language that would be ideal.

Interpersonal

If someone you are the boss of a department talking to face-to-face to a colleague and you have to visit them at their home to check up on the work they are doing because they have been paralysed. This is a communication barrier because depending on how serious it is would effect their body language and how they present themselves to you. You would need to acknowledge this and act accordingly. If you see that the person you are dealing with is showing no emotions when you are praising them for how good their work is you have to stop and think why might this be? Even if it wasn't someone who is paralysed this still works. You will never know everything about a persons life so you can't be quick to judge when you get no emotions or the wrong signs. There are now many ways to overcome this barrier now with newer technologies. A simple well-written e-mail could be all it takes to get the response you want from them. There are many other different types of communication than face-to-face. You could even result to a phone call as well if need be. The best way to be professional in these scenarios is to think of alternitives if you know the person isn't going to be as friendly or is unable to present themselves appropriately. It also makes it more comftable for them.

Written

A barrier of effective written communication is when someone doesn't have very clear handwriting. In this scenario it would be difficult for the reader to be able to understand every word that this person has written. There could be many reasons why he/she can't write neatly but there are many ways to work around this. One of the ways is that you could ask them to type what they have written up and send it through an e-mail, this way you will understand what is being said. Another way this could be done is through different types of software which is out now. The software allows you to scan in the written letter and it attempts to set it out as it would be if the letter was typed up. You could also, if you are in the position to, ask them to take a writing course so they can improve on their skill pallet. The person you are dealing with may also have some sort of disability which doesn't allow them to write very neatly for you to read. You should take this into account before they write you a letter or you ask for them to produce one. A way around this is that you can recommend that the produce the letter in e-mail format so that it makes it easier for you and whoever else to read.