You can book up by following the link here. The next course on 26th July 2012 where we will be looking at Communicating in the Workplace.
When did you last have a lesson in communication? This question is one I often ask at the beginning of a Peaceworks Communication Skills course, and mostly – (not always) – the answer is “I’ve never had one”.
Thinking back to our own days at school, and for some that may be longer than others, recalling a time when we were given any information about communicating may come when you think about drama lessons. For many, even that didn’t happen.
Albert Mehrabian’s study into the effect of tonality, speed, volume, body language etc and the way you say something opened eyes to the importance of facial expression and person-to-person communication.
In other words, it’s not so much the words we use, but the way we use them and interpret them with our body language, expression, tone, etc. Doesn’t say much for our preferred style of communicating through email, does it?
So,….. let’s think about that for a minute.
If we prefer to communicate with people via email, how much of our intended message would be lost without the ability of the person you are talking to actually being able to see you? Mehrabian suggested it was a staggering 93%, but it’s important to stress that he didn’t undertake the study using unspoken (written) communication. Bearing this in mind, think for a minute about the number of times you’ve misinterpreted an email, or indeed had someone misinterpret your email?
Communication skills are so important, as this press release from the CBI states. Students and universities may be surprised just how much employers value the softer skills, such as communication and the ability to work in a team. It doesn’t just mean the ability to read and write.
Communicating is all about the whole experience,
such as body language, eye contact, tone, volume, pitch and how you frame what you are saying. It’s not so much what you say (though that’s important) but it really is the way you say it.
The ability to get on with people is as important in the workplace as your qualifications and your experience.
Deloitte published a survey in 2010 about the importance of trust and communication in the workplace, which talks about the benefits of open communication and it’s relationship to trust amongst employees. The links between a positive working environment and good quality communication are well documented.
But what about ordinary, every day communication?
If you want to get better at communicating, you can do so much to help. Come along to one of our training courses to find out more. Also, there are literally millions of articles published online about communicating and getting better at it. With so much attention given to the subject in business and at home, it’s quite interesting to think about why we don’t do more work on this important part of our lives when it’s most important – such as at school? Food for thought perhaps……
Get in touch today, and book your next communications learning experience
01243 820604 or email email@example.com
Active listening is a technique used in communication. It works by repeating back what you have heard the other person say through using paraphrasing. This means restating everything you’ve heard the other person say so that they can see you’ve been listening to what they’ve been telling you.
What’s the advantage? The advantages of using this technique are many. It tends to affirm your sincerity when you have gone to some lengths to reassure the person you are communicating with that youreally are listening. having that reassurance that you’re being listened to validates the other person as an important participant in the conversation. It also means that nothing gets taken for granted whilst the person is speaking.
Yeah, yeah… There’s nothing more off-putting than knowing that the person you’re speaking to is just waiting for you to finish what you’re saying so that they can tell you all about them. Active listening is a way of making sure that the other person knows they’ve been heard, and can hear you tell them they’ve been heard.
Here’s how to do it. There are some key elements of active listening that help to ensure you hear the other person, and they know you are both hearing and understanding what they are saying. These are:
1. Pay close attention, putting other concerns aside for the duration of the conversation.
2. Give the speaker your undivided attention.
3. Acknowledge what they are saying.
4. Recognise nonverbal clues to their message.
5. Look directly at the speaker.
6. Mentally prepare your response rather than saying it out loud!
7. Avoid distractions from environmental factors.
8. “Listen” to and visually “read” the speaker’s body language.
9. Demonstrate you are listening by restating what the person has said, but leave this until a suitable break in the flow of words.
10. Nod occasionally to show your interest.
11. Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention.
12. Smile and use other facial expressions.
13. Make sure your posture is open and inviting; hands open and in your lap, arms uncrossed, legs uncrossed, lean forward a little but not so much that the other person finds it intimidating.
14. Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like ‘yes’, and ‘ok.’
15. Provide feedback. What we hear can be distorted by our personal assumptions, judgments, and beliefs. To understand what is being said, you need to reflect the message back and ask questions to make sure you’ve understood things correctly.
16. Paraphrase. “What I’m hearing is…” and “So what you mean is…” and “If I understand you correctly…”
17. Ask questions to clarify particular points. “What do you mean when you say…?” “Is this what you mean?”
18. Summarise the speaker’s comments regularly but not often.
19. Suspend judgment. Interrupting frustrates the speaker, shows a lack of respect, and limits full understanding of the message.
20. Allow the speaker to finish and ensure you don’t echo their last word or phrase.
21. Don’t interrupt with counterarguments
22. Respond Appropriately. Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective.
23. Be sincere, open, and honest in your response.
24. Assert your opinions respectfully.
25.Treat the other person as he or she would want to be treated.
If you would like to learn more about communication skills, see the Communication skills page on our website or enrol on the training course
Coaching for Enhanced Performance
New to Management? Want to enhance your performance and that of your team?
Performance coaching is intended to enhance the performance of managers and members of their teams. It’s all about focusing on making the most of strengths, giving you and your team the best possible results.
Peaceworks are well-known for our flexible, bespoke approach. Everything we do is focused on achieving the best results for the individual, whether they are in management or working as part of a team. You may feel you would benefit from some focused work that looks at your performance and how you can enhance or transform it. Alternatively, you may feel that someone in your team can reach higher levels of performance if they had some support to work on the things they are really good at.
High performance is essential in the current economic climate. It’s what sets you apart from everyone else, enhances your reputation, brings you more business and gives you the edge over competitors. Make sure you take the special advantage that Peaceworks can give you with performance coaching.
1. One to one sessions to work on your strengths. This can be either face to face or Skype sessions
2. Two free telephone coaching sessions
3. A personal development plan to ensure your performance develops over time to become the best you can be.
Contact us on 01243 820604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org