General communication skills
General communication skills
Cultural difference- work places today have been becoming rapidly vast as business expands to different location and span numerous cultures. The thing that can be difficult with, understands how to communicate effectively with individual who speak another language or rely on different means to reach a common goal. Any cultural difference between you and your audience will need to be addressed. You will have to make sure you choose the right gestures or words from the one you would usually use otherwise some cultures might find it offensive if you use some words or signs that are acceptable in one language.
Adapting- Modulation of voice tone makes speech interesting and adds a lot of signals. A change in frequency in speaking tone provides the listener with a signal that something is happening. Modulation can thus be used to enhance emphasis in words, with rising and lowering tones adding subtle meaning E.g. TV presenter introducing a program or reading the news. You will Notice how their voice goes up and down they do this deliberately they know very well what they are doing and you will also notice how they move their head and their in time with the modulation. You can even be selective of your choice of terminology, to make sure that everyone in your audience understands your message
Format- the way you communicate or present you message can be used as a format e.g. using rhythms or music or deliver it electronically.
Accuracy- when you have adapted to the content and style of your communication to meet the need and the expectation of you audience. After you have done that you must focus on the message that you are trying to convey, so that you win the hearts and mind of the audience. You can stretch the truth a little or to make emotive statement so that you can make some political or social issues for some audience. However it is best to tell the truth and to include fact when you deliver the message or some people you might be lying and prove your claim. You must always provide accurate information and backed up with evidence.
Methods- verbal exchanges work for most people but some might rely on messages; other who is deaf may rely on lip reading or hand sign for communication.
Techniques and cues- for you to express in verbal communication you must be able to change your tone
- If you were to raise your tone it will imply that your angry and impatient
- If you were to lower you tone it will imply that you are showing fear and insecurity
In Face-to-face discussion you may use your body language to accompany with your tone of voice
Someone who is on a telephone conversation will show their emotion through hearing if the person pauses for a moment it will identify any emotion conveyed through intonation.
Positive language- the word ‘yes’ suggest that it is a positive response to a question and you facial expression such as a smile can also conduct a positive reaction. If you are nodding your head or leaning towards the speaker it shows that you are interested and wiling to listen to what is being said.
Negative language- if you cut while another person is speaking depending on how you do it, it shows that you convey enthusiasm or it might be seen as antagonistic. If you finish other people sentences it can be seen as rude and irritating. If speakers say something funny during his presentation and one of the audiences did not react it shows that he/she is bored and have no intention of listening. Body language will also indicate a negative attitude and can act as a barrier to communication
Barriers- one of the basic advantages of good communication is that it helps to get rid of problems that arise out of communication barriers. Instant solving of problems, doubts and crisis management issues can be handled with the help of communication. Some people have psychological barriers regarding the behaviour of colleagues where assumptions are made and working is affected.
Background noise- should not be underestimated because you need your audience to focus on you and what you are saying in the presentation. Even if it is a slight continuous noise such as air condition, humming and a ticking clock.
Distractions- can very disrupting such as someone walking into a meeting late or leaving unexpectedly or mobile phone going off this can interrupt the audience and the flow of thought of an audience. As soon as this happened you as a speaker feel like you must repeat what you said before.
Lack of concentration- it is important that your audience are concentrating despite the level of distraction that may be going on. The length of the conversation or communication is important because you don’t want the recipient to take on board so much information e.g. a short verbal rebuke might prove useful but the recipient is likely to lose their concentration if turn into a lecture on behaviour therefore the audience will just not listen to what you have to say.
Communication in Writing
Guidelines- if you are working in an organisation there are thing that are expected from you guidelines and procedures here are some guidelines below
- The organisation will give an allocated space so that you can work and you be given a notice of times you should attend the office or to be available for other staff members can contact you for emergencies. You will provide with communication equipment such as computer, stationary and a shared fax facility.
- Some organisation have restriction when it comes computer equipment e.g. there could be rules set out which relates to emails, fax, because of the confidentiality.
- Some organisation may ask you to do a template which are required for the use of your written communication, with style sheets that will determine the look of your document or any other one because some organisation don’t want to copy exactly the same as another organisation that why organisation guidelines are created to ensure that a consistent and secure style of communication are different.
Smileys or emotions- they are also known as emotions and can be expressed your mind and feelings. They are normally used in text messaging and on internet forums and social network like msn, Facebook etc. they are not suitable for serious communication and it won’t be accepted during your work hours.
Key messages- are the core of your writing whatever form of communication you use whether it is report, letter, fax or email there will be key messages conveyed. When using key messages it open a door to direct communication with your audience, because they build what your audience already knows and where you are trying to take them, key messages keep your writing in track with what you are trying to accomplish, they assert your viewpoints. Key messages are opinions that you can back up with proof and case examples, which demonstrate with your writing.
Grammar and spelling- whether it a report, letter, fax or email you must always check your grammar and spelling before sending it. The thing you type can be explanation or and apology some people write further information such as directions or an itinerary, or it may request an action.
Whatever content you write in your written communication it is essential that you go over what you have written and check for grammar and spelling so that you look professional if you don’t check and there are few spelling mistakes it would confuse the reader and it make you look unprofessional.
Structure- when you write a message and it runs more than two lines, you have to make that It is structured in way the reader can understand it therefore making you look professional.
· A logical framework used to present by using headings and perhaps bullet points would help the reader to take in the information without them getting confused or struggle to read it
· An illogical framework will mean that the reader has to work out harder to interpret your meaning in you presentation and could result in misunderstanding. You can also write in a template for letters and emails, with standard words that you are expected to adapt for specific communication with colleagues.
Identifying relevance- when going over or reading your report, letter, fax or email the recipient will try to identify the relevant information with in your text. If it was structured in way the reader can easily find the relevant information it would be easier and if it were to be hidden within the text with a mass of other details the reader may miss out important information and facts.
If you were to underline or embolden important relevant information such as a date of a meeting it will ensure that the facts aren’t missed out by the reader. However if you were to pruning the message so that it will only contain relevant information it would be even more helpful to the reader.
Proofreading- when you have written communication such as a report, text message, email or letter before sending you must make sure it is reviewed and that your work is accurate.
When you first create a written communication the document will be call a draft and each time you redraft you document you must always proofread the text to check that you don’t have any errors. When going over your work it might be difficult to find errors in your own work because the thing that you have written make your eye and brain think alike. In order to proofread you can have someone else look at your documents and proofread the work. Allow time to pass before you proofread it yourself or read your work slowly than you would normally would, out loud, focusing on one word at a time.
Alternative viewpoints- if you were to write some documents to present alternative viewpoint e.g. a report or a letter, you have to make sure the structure of the document must make it clear where each viewpoint start and ends. The structure of a document may include an introduction explaining the purpose of the document and a summary to show the main points covered.
In a report there may consider two different course of action a table to show the pros and cons of each situation and a graph to show alternative results.
Note taking- when trying to generate your own written communication in your workplace you won’t be alone. When reviewing a communication you might find it helpful to take notes and it is very helpful when it come to long communications that will contain a lot of information here are some points below
· Handwriting are key points on a new sheet of paper
· Annotating a hard copy of the message, writing in the margin, underlining key phrases or using a highlighter pen for important facts, dates and time
· Using reviewing tools to annotate electronic documents with you comments. Electronic annotations are the most useful methods it allows you to email back the documents to the originator.
Capitalisation- capital letters is essential and you must put them at the start of your sentence and use nouns adjectives etc to make your documents look professional.