U01: Assignment One
Morgan Porter - Group A - L3 Software Engineering Y1
Task One [P1]
Specific attributes are skills which are directly related to a certain job or position. For example, a job-related (specific) attribute for someone applying for a programming job could be that they have good technical knowledge. Some more examples of specific skills could be that you have good health and safety awareness, or that you have a good working attitude.
General, or personal attributes are everyday skills which you may possess but are not directly related to a certain job. Some examples of these general attributes could be: planning skills; organisational skills; time management skills; teamwork skills; both verbal and written communication skills; numeracy skills; and creativeness.
Attitudes aren’t necessarily skills or attributes you possess, however they are more about how you feel and act in regards to a business environment.
There is a wide range of different attitudes you could have, however the main ones employers may be looking for are: determination; independence; integrity; tolerance; whether you are dependable; whether you are good at problem solving; whether you are a natural leader; confidence; as well as possibly being self-motivated.
Task Two [P2]
General Communication Skills
General communication skills always apply regardless of the form of communication. When using general communication skills you need to take into account:
Any cultural differences. Cultural differences need to be thought about because something acceptable in one culture may be misunderstood or offensive in another;
Adapting to suit an audience. The age of your audience can impact on the way you communicate. For example, someone presenting to a group of primary school children would tend to use simple and easy-to-understand vocabulary. Whereas someone presenting to a business may use professional vocabulary;
Engaging the audience. When presenting yourself it is always important that you keep the audience interested in what you have to say. A very simple and effective way of ensuring this is through the use of technology. For example, you could have your audience complete recap questions or polls on their phones. For example. A priest has recently become popular for using Twitter to engage and interact with his audience while delivering his sermons.
Interpersonal communication skills are skills that come into play when you are talking to someone face to face or when your message is being communicated so that the audience can see or hear you - even if they cannot see you.
Usually interpersonal skills are communicated through verbal exchanges. This usually works for most people, however there are some people who may be dead for example, and rely on lip reading in order to understand what you are saying. Lip reading is when someone watches and examines the way your lips move in order to understand what words a person is saying. Verbal exchanges can be made with deaf people through the use of signing (sign language). Signing is the use of hand gestures in order to communicate words, letters and phrases. Intonation is the use of pauses in order to help convey a message. When signing the use of intonation can also be effective.
Interpersonal skills can also be communicated through the use of body language. For example, facial expressions such as a smile can give yourself a positive body language. Positive body language could also include nodding your head in order to acknowledge what someone is saying to you. Negative body language could include butting in when someone is talking. Also having no reaction to what someone is saying (remaining impassive) could also be conveyed as negative body language.
Written Communication Skills
Written communication skills apply only when you commit a communication to paper, for example in a letter or e-mail. It is important that you target the audience you’re aiming at.
Guidelines. As an employee, you are usually expected or bound by contract to follow guidelines and procedures. For example, there may be a guideline which restricts how you may use a computer. Or when communicating you could need to use a template header or footer. These guidelines are in place to ensure a consistent and secure style of communication;
Smileys or emoticons. Smileys and emoticons can be used to express someone's frame of mind at a particular time. Often used on internet forums and in text messaging, they are considered unsuitable for serious communications;
Grammar and spelling. Whatever you are communicating, it is important that you use the correct spelling and grammar. Mistakes in this may convey an unprofessional image to the reader.
Task 3 [P3 & M1]
Barriers to effective communication
In order to communicate effectively, you need to reduce the effect of certain communication barriers as much as possible.
Background noise; you should not underestimate background noise. Even the slightest of continuous noise, for example the humming of a projector, can easily distract an audience.
Distractions; you should try to minimize distractions such as someone walking into a meeting late or a mobile phone ringing. These distractions can interrupt the flow of though throughout the audience, meaning that they could potentially stop listening to you for that moment.
Physical barriers and Location; Some of the physical barriers which could prevent effective communication could be a large hall for example. A large hall may create a loud echo which could easily distract and/or distort your voice preventing effective communication. Your location is also important in this matter, for example if you are too far away from your audience your voice could also become distorted or even too quiet for them to hear.
Lack of concentration; lacking concentration with your audience can also hinder effective communication. This is why it is important to maintain concentration levels with the audience, despite any distractions which may occur. The length of a conversation or communication with someone could also cause a lack of concentration, this is because a person can only take in so much information at one time.
Mechanisms to reduce barriers
You can reduce the amount of background noise by analyzing the background noise before you try and communicate with someone. If it is too late and you are in the middle of communication, you can try and move somewhere where there isn't as much background noise.
You can reduce the amount of distractions by engaging with your audience. Engaging with your audience helps them to keep their attention focused on you. You can also communicate in an area with little distractions around in order to help reduce this.
You can reduce physical barriers by communicating with your audience directly or face-to-face. You can also communicate in an area with little or no physical barriers.
You can reduce the effect of location being an issue by communicating directly or face-to-face with your audience once again. You can also 'scout' out your location and effectively choose a location where you can communicate effectively.
You can reduce the effect of a lack of concentration by once again engaging with your audience. By involving them they are more attentive to what you say and do. This reduces the likelihood that they will be easily distracted.