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UNIT IV Key Communication Skills:

Effective communication skills is not rocket science, yet it is rarely done well. Focusing on a few key skills can make a real difference. The benefits to using these skills is that employees will understand more clearly what you are requesting of them. You will gain additional needed information from others and you can demonstrate that you understand what others are expressing to you. 1. 2. Be Specific - Describe Specific Behaviour Question - Use effective questioning techniques Open-Ended Questions - Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered by a "yes" or "no". They generally begin with who, what, where, why, when, how, etc. Open-ended questions give others the most freedom to answer and encourages the other person to provide the most information. Closed-Ended Questions - Closed-ended questions control or limit responses to generate or verify more specific information. They can usually be answered by "yes" or "no", or may ask for a choice between stated alternatives. They are helpful in a conversation when you want to gain closure or guide the conversation in a specific direction. 3. Listen - Use Listening Skills: There is more to being a good listener than just not talking. The fundamental principles for being an effective listener are: Be receptive to what the other person is saying without becoming defensive. Accept the other's viewpoint as his/her own. Don't judge or evaluate it. Keep focused on what the individual is saying without changing the subject. One effective listening skill is paraphrasing. It involves summarizing in your own words what the other person has said. When paraphrasing, do not show approval or disapproval. Merely restate what you heard the other say. 4. Appreciate and Affirm: Showing appreciation doesn't need to cost a company a lot of money. A lot of times a simple "thank you" can make all the difference. For special occasions try a written note or public recognition of the employee.

Making Effective Oral and Written Presentation:


Effective Oral Presentation: Ten steps to preparing an effective oral presentation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Determine the purpose of your presentation and identify your own objectives. Know your audience and what it knows. Define your topic. Arrange your material in a way that makes sense for your objectives. Compose your presentation. Create visual aids. Practice your presentation (dont forget to time it!) Make necessary adjustments. Analyze the room where youll be giving your presentation (set-up, sight lines, equipment, etc.). 10. Practice again.

Effective Written Communication: As business becomes more complex, people have more distractions and less time to thoroughly read documents. Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively in writing, especially email and on the web, becomes more critical than ever. Write with a clear purpose in mind, and state that purpose at the very beginning of your written communication. Readers should know at a glance what your email, report, or letter is about, why you are sending it, and what action you want them to take. Here are ten tips to help you write more effectively: 1. Keep it simple: You may think complex sentences make you sound impressive, but they can prevent your ideas from getting across. Use during instead of during the course of. Dont say, Is it possible to meet with you and your husband at your earliest possible convenience in order to discuss the matter of listing your home for sale with me and my company? Instead, say When may I talk with you and your husband about listing your home? 2. Avoid jargon and overuse of big words: Sometimes you need a complex word or phrase to express your ideas clearly. But if a shorter word can do the job, use it instead. Use speed up instead of expedite. Use plan instead of strategize. Use assume instead of postulate. Use use instead of utilization. Use try instead of endeavor. Use sent instead of transmitted. 3. Use concrete, specific words rather than vague, general ones: For example, say, I have sold three houses in your neighborhood in the last year, instead of Ive worked with several people in your neighborhood. 4. Write as you talk: Ask yourself, how would I say it if the reader were sitting across the desk from me? Use contractions where appropriate; use the words you, me, us, and I to make your writing more people-oriented. TIP: Keep a file of the bestwritten letters, memos and reports that you have received and model your writing after them. 5. Use active verbs to bring writing to life and make it sound conversational: In talking we almost always use active verbs: Jackson hit a line drive to center field. But in business, we too often say: A line drive to center field was hit by Jackson. 6. Vary sentence length, but avoid overly long sentences: Try for an average sentence length of 17 words. Introduce no more than one or two ideas per sentence. 7. Use short paragraphs to break up business letters and increase readability: The average paragraph in a business letter is two sentences long. Long paragraphs often contain more than one idea and can be split so that each idea has its own paragraph. 8. Be careful of gender usage: Although its grammatically correct to use the male pronoun, his, when referring to both sexes, this may offend some people. Make sentences plural to eliminate this problem. Associates should turn in their call reports weekly. 9. Always edit and proofread your communications before sending them: Remember Spell Check doesnt catch everything. And dont forget to check all property name spellings; the computerized spell checker will miss them. Misspellings and incorrect grammar reflect poorly on you and your company. 10. Tips for writing with a Positive Tone: Establishing the right tone in written communications can make the difference between a positive response and a hostile one. To help create a positive tone: Avoid I. Instead use you as the subject of sentences to get the reader involved. Use the readers name, if the correspondence is

addressed to one person: Replace negative words with positive ones. Instead of saying Dont hesitate to call me, try Feel free to call me. Words with negative connotations include: delay, doubt, difficult, fail, and problem. Words with positive connotations include: glad, improvement, service, happy, contribution. Present ideas as possibilities, not as difficulties to be overcome.

Planning and conducting interviews:


Before meeting for an interview, both the interviewer and the interviewee have to make planning and preparation. Many job interviews are failures because either the applicants or the interviewer lack the skills of planning for them. The interviewer must have clear and detailed information about the post for which the candidates are to be interviewed. He should be in a position to tell the candidate the working conditions, details of job operations and other responsibilities. He has to make proper seating arrangement for the candidates in such a way that they may feel relaxed in the waiting room before facing the interviewer. He should know what type of candidate is required for the job. He must have the bio-data of all the candidates who might attend the interview.

Similarly, the applicants too must prepare themselves for the interview situation. He has to know his own abilities in carrying out the responsibilities of the post for which he applies. He has to ask himself whether he really desires to do that work and if it is suitable for his talents. Secondly, he has to know the organization in which he seeks the job. He has also to prepare himself for the probable questions, which would be asked in the interview. Some specific instructions for the preparation of the interviewer and the interviewees are given below: 1. The interview call letter must be sent well in advance to the candidate. It gives sufficient time to the interviewees for adequate preparation. 2. If several applicants are to be interviewed on the same day, the time schedule must be prepared and the candidates should be informed about it well in advance so that all of them do not come at the same time and nobody will have to wait for a long time to be interviewed. 3. Considering the requirements of the post, the interviewer must know what kind of qualifications, training and experience of the candidates is essential. 4. In order to gather facts, opinions and attitudes of the candidates, the interviewer must prepare a set of questions to be asked in the interview. 5. The interviewer must decide the best order in which he may ask the questions or take up the main topics for discussion. 6. The interviewer can gather information about the candidates references and associates by way of correspondence, telephone conversation or face-to-face meetings. 7. The interviewer must know the duties and responsibilities of the post. 8. The interviewer has to make proper seating arrangements for the can. If possible, the provision should be made for the newspapers, magazines, tea and light refreshments, so that the candidates who sit in the waiting room till the interview, may feel relaxed and comfortable. 9. All the members of the in committee should be given a copy of the candidates bio-data.

10. The interviewer should know the kinds of certificates, documents and other papers which the can have to produce at the time of interview. 11. The interviewer should take care that there would be no interruption, disturbances or intrusions in the interview hall in which the interview is in progress. 12. There must be proper seating arrangements in the interview hall. The interview can be conducted across the desk or while sitting on the adjoining sofa-set. 13. If the candidate is to be interviewed by the committees, each member of the interview committee should prepare questions in his specific areas. They should decide among themselves the type of question which each of them would ask the candidate. They should decide their turns of asking the questions. 14. The interviewer must not allow himself to talk more than the interviewee. 15. The interviewer should talk with the interviewee in such a way that it will create an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual understanding. It will put the applicant at ease and he will be able to express his thoughts and feelings freely and naturally. 16. The interviewer has to initiate the dialogue between himself and the interviewee. He should begin the meeting with report and sympathy for the applicant. 17. The interviewer has to make full enquiry about the interviewees knowledge, expertise, motives, interests and habits. 18. The interviewer has to give his full attention to the verbal and non -verbal expressions of the interviewee. He must remember that the facial expressions, gestures, postures, eye contact, tone of the voice and body movements of the interviewee is as important as his verbal expressions. 19. The interviewer can acquire a variety of information from the interviewee, but he must decide which information he really needs to get from the applicant during the interview, because in an attempt to secure a variety of details, the interviewer may not be able to spare sufficient time for the major issues. 20. The interviewer should encourage the interviewee by using brief verbal responses while the latter speaks. The brief verbal responses like good while the latter speaks. The brief verbal responses like good, then? Tell me more, etc, will keep the applicant talking. 21. The interviewer has to anticipate the interviewees resistance on certain issues. 22. The interviewer must keep his patience. He should never argue with the interviewee. 23. The interviews voice should be clearly audible to the interviewee. 24. The interviewer should use simple language, which will be easily understood by the applicant. 25. The interviewer should not allow himself to snap the speech of the interviewee. 26. The interviewer must be receptive to what the interviewee says. He should never express his disapproval. 27. The interviewer must learn to respect the feelings of the applicant. Guidelines for the interviewees conduct at the interview: The interviewee must remember the fact that his first impression is the most lasting. 1. His general appearance must be neat. 2. He should arrive in time. 3. He has to bring all the certificates, documents, essential papers and other material needed for the interview. 4. He should enter the interview room with a straightforward and confident attitude. 5. He should not be nervous and agitated. 6. He should keep himself calm, composed and confident. 7. His expression should be pleasant.

8. He should greet the interviewer with confidence and politeness. 9. He need not wear a stupid smile while entering. 10. He should take the indicated seat. 11. He should not take the seat until he is asked to sit down. 12. He should sit in a relaxed but alert manner. 13. He should not play with the pincushion or the paperweight on the table of the interviewer. 14. He should not bend or lean on the table. 15. He must pay careful attention to what the interviewer says. 16. He must not interrupt the interviewers. 17. His posture must be appropriate. 18. His body movements must not indicate his nervousness or evasiveness. He should not clasp and unclasp his hands. 19. He must tell the truths, because his non-verbal statement will conflict with his verbal statements and it may reveal the fact to the interviewer. 20. His answers must be relevant to the questions asked by the interviewer. 21. He should not boast of his capabilities and vast knowledge. 22. He has to present his strengths to the interviewer, but he must not pretend to be something he is not. 23. He has to retain his dignity while answering even to the annoying and repelling questions. 24. He must always remember that he has to present the best qualities of his character. 25. He need not agree with all the views of the interviewer. He may express his individual views also. 26. He must not annoy or offend the interviewer. 27. He must try to avoid distractions such as chewing gum, smoking, etc. 28. He must express his keen interest and enthusiasms for the job and the organization. 29. All of his attitudes must be positive. 30. He need not criticize himself. 31. He should never become emotional and impatient. He should never lose his temper. 32. He should frankly answer the questions about his previous job. 33. He should not criticize his former employer and colleagues. 34. He should not try to look funny or serious-minded. 35. He should ask relevant questions to the interviewer in order to get essential information about the job and the organization. 36. He must not emphasize the issue of what the organization will do for him, but, on the other hand, he should tell about his potentials service to the organization.

Conducting Successful Meetings


A rule of thumb of facilitation is that successful meetings are 80 percent preparation and 20 percent execution. Part of that preparation is focusing on what needs to happen to have a successful meeting. The checklist below provides 20 steps for planning and conducting effective meetings. Before the Meeting Plan the meeting carefully: who, what, when, where, why, how many? Prepare and send out an agenda in advance. Come early and set up the meeting room.

At the Beginning of the Meeting Start on time. Get participants to introduce themselves and state their expectations for the meeting. Review, revise, and order the agenda. Set clear time limits. Review action items from the previous meeting.

During the Meeting Ask questions. Listen. Clarify issues and identify underlying interests. Develop multiple options. Use objective criteria. Use the agenda to keep the meeting moving. Summarize agreements. Identify additional data needed to make decisions.

At the End of the Meeting Establish action items: who, what, when. Set the date and place of the next meeting and develop a preliminary agenda. Close the meeting crisply and positively.