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When I have talked in anger, And my cheeks were flaming red, I have always uttered something, Which I wish I had not said.
What we aim to learn
• To understand and appreciate the process of communication as an important constituent of the professional effectiveness • To understand oneself and improve interpersonal skills • Exposure to communication concepts • Diagnose and circumvent barriers to communication • To gain confidence and honing presentation skills
What is Communication
• Communication is an exchange of information from the sender to the receiver with the message being understood as intended by the sender
Idea Encode Sender
Speaks Writes Acts Draws
Symbols Decode The receiver
Listens Reads Observes
Words Actions Pictures Numbers
Three ways to think about communication
• Communication as ACTION: the transmission of information from one person to another through the use of symbols and their accompanying meaning. • Communication as INTERACTION: the exchange of information between two (or more) individuals through the symbols and their accompanying meaning. • Communication as MEANING CONSTRUCTION: the process by which two or more individuals arrive at ostensibly shared (or common) meanings or understandings for symbolic actions.
Some communication propositions
A. Communication occurs through the use of symbols and their accompanying meaning. B. All objects, events, persons, and actions can function as symbols for communication. C. Symbols do not possess inherent and universal meanings. D. Symbols possess objective (physical) properties; but meaning is inherently subjective and can only be inferred from the interpretation of symbols. E. The presumption of intentionality (i.e., conscious and deliberate symbolic action) is a prerequisite for communication.
Importance Of Communication
• Organizational / Functional: greater information access and awareness • Improves coordination: reduces logical gaps • Encourages cooperation: helps bring everyone in the mainstream • Gives a direction: to tasks and activities • Morale and empowerment
….. Importance Of Communication
• Decision making aid • Speeds up the organizational processes • Better focus on customer requirements • Generates a greater sense of organizational commitment and involvement • A problem solving tool: by clarity, preciseness and feedback
Barriers to Communication
• A barrier reduces or changes the quality of the message being transmitted • Types : 1. Physical Psychological
Poor health Concentration Sound / noise Unsuitable temperature discipline Distractions
Lack of Attitude and bias Lack of self Low emotional state
How to overcome the barriers
For the sender • Be clear about the message to be sent • Be precise and to the point • Do not be verbose • Use a language understandable to the receiver • Write the message if required • Request a feedback to ensure receipt of message For the receiver
• Be attentive • Concentrate on the message • Ask for clarifications wherever required • Listen objectively • ‘Listen’ for body language • Make notes if required
Flow of communication
At the workplace
From employee to superior
From superiors to the employee
From one employee to another
Communication types Verbal • Oral - the spoken language Non verbal • Written • Body language • Expressions - facial, gestures, signs
Medium of Communication
• Memos • E-mails • Notices • Company circulars • In-house magazines • Oral instructions
Gateways to Communication
• A barrier removed is a gateway created. • We need to eradicate the ‘neps’ from the ‘fabric’ of our communication by practicing certain things. 1. Creating within one self the need and willingness to understand 2. Making the message appropriate to the receivers frame of reference ( speak the “language” of the listener)
….. Gateways to Communication
3. Ability to describe others behavior without evaluating or interpreting. 4. Ask for feedback from the receiver 5. Reinforce communication by using more than one channel to convey the message (Verbal, written, nonverbal)
1. Plan your communication • maintain clarity of purpose “why”, • maintain clarity of idea, “what”.
2. Choose the medium • language • style • semantics
…. Effective Communication
3. Remove barriers ……. build gateways DO’s DON’Ts - seek first to understand - remove all prejudices and then to be understood - overcome any distractions - empathize with other people - reduce length of - values, beliefs, needs & sentiments communication channel - use a common language - clarify ideas before communicating
….. Effective Communication
4. Active Listening • Listen with an open mind • Make an effort to understand • Empathize ……..reflect understanding • Be aware of what is said and what is not said • Don’t jump to conclusions……draw conclusions 5. Feedback • Check for accurate receipt of message • Check action/outcome in relation with the intent of the message. • Improve/alter message, if required.
Listening : A lost art
Why do we not listen?
• actions speak louder than words • Seeing is easier than listening • Visual medium is powerful We hear but don’t listen look but don’t see
ListeningInterpretation • What the receiver receives may be different from what the sender sends. • What receiver receives depends on
– – – – His behavior Past experiences His values, motivation, need or his attitude His world
What it takes to be a good listener
• Ability to concentrate • genuine desire to understand the other persons point of view • Sensitivity to needs, emotions and body language • Humility: “You might have a point of view and I respect you” • A belief that other people are important and worth listening to.
How to be a good listener
• • • • • • • Know your power as a listener Ask questions Reflect feelings Let your body give reassuring messages Know your prejudices Avoid making snap judgements Avoid anger
The Art of Listening
Listening : an important human skill • indispensable for superiors • gets you respect, love and fame • shows that you care for and respect others • not listening could be psychologically upsetting for the other person • you can’t fake listening • the higher you go, the more you have to listen • it is a rare skill
The Art of Listening
Listening needs an • ability to concentrate • a genuine desire to understand the other persons point of view • sensitivity to needs, emotions and body language • humility - “I am not right alone, you might have a point and I respect you” • a belief that other people are important and worth listening to
The Art of Listening
Poor Listeners • The fidget : “Why are you telling me ?” • The aggressive listener : tries too hard and as a result scares people. • The pseudo - intellectual : hears only ideas and not the emotions behind them • The passive listener : :I agree with whatever you say” • The inaccurate listener :”I can’t concentrate”
The Art of Listening
How to be a good listener, Know your power as a listener • Ask questions • Reflect feelings • Let your body give reassuring messages. Nodding, arms apart, legs not crossed, erect forward posture. All these give non-verbal messages that you are listening. • Know your prejudices. You must discount from all those matters towards which you are biased or passionate. • Avoid making snap judgments • Avoid anger. It always gets the better of you.
Importance Of Feedback
• Feedback is necessary to check the effectiveness of the communication. • Feedback helps reflect upon how well the message has been encoded, transmitted and understood. • Feedback helps make mid-course correction if found required. - in terms of action : changing strategy - in terms of communication : changing message
How to take Feedback
ask for it you are the sender or offer it if you are the receiver observe evaluate the results achieved as against the objectives set be objective while giving or receiving it focus on the task and performance aspects not the individual’s personality
1. Flow : vertical/horizontal/cross 2. Content : top-down are in the form of orders or directives bottom-up are in the form of feedback or complaints 3. Through a proper channel : Who is the end audience? Who should know first ? What should the network be ? 4. “Information is power”. One who has the authority to communicate is considered powerful.
How to write memos that work
• Begin with planning. - what are the facts ? - what do they mean ? - what do I do now ? Write short and to the point sentences • Write in the second person • Use memos to summarize group decisions, to list individual assignments and deadlines • Adopt a conversational style • Use the B - E - T method to help strengthen your memos content i.e. - B = Bottom line - E = Evidence -T = tasks Always keep your memos brief and precise
If intimation is power, and if we have information, then we must respect and handle our communication with restraint. Key Points: • maintain confidentiality confidential information is trust reposed Confidential information is trust betrayed • certain information is `need to know’ - the job demands it, certain information is `desire to know’ - it may help in my job, and certain information is `desirable to know’, it may increase my power, fame and status. • Gossiping or bitching - is like `stabbing in the back’
…. Communication Ethics
• Ownership of information - Permission of the owner is a must before using it. • Knowledge of information vs. use of information - having information does not mean you can use it. • Communication must flow through a proper channel cutting across a channels causes heartburns, hurt and misunderstandings • Timing and place - be careful and sensitive to it.
Written communication as compared to oral communication is at a disadvantage because of the absence of non-verbal gestures, voice variation and physical expressions. This as a result increases the importance of clarity and accuracy of the content of our written message. To have effective written communication, certain steps and guidelines may help.
The steps Plan
Keep it short and simple
(Brevity and precision)
(Commit it on paper)
Edit your writing
(Check for corrections)
tep 1. Plan ke nearly any activity, written communication too requires plan and a structure. Certain thins must be clearly ascertained, like, ender : From whom is the communication starting ? eceiver : Who is the end receiver/audience of the written ommunication? urpose : Why are we making the communication ? What is the expected outcome I.e What do expect the receiver to do ?
hese questions when answered and related will help us understand nd design the path, requirements and the construction of the messag
Step 2. Keep it Short & Simple (K.I.S.S.) The Structure of the content of the message must be, • Brief: Brevity and simplicity avoids any confusion in understanding the message. • Specific : Only the issue or matter in question must be addressed. Other unrelated matters must not be included as it might decrease the significance of the main topic. • Sequence:The flow of or written communication must follow a logical and stepwise format.
Step 2. Keep it Short & Simple (K.I.S.S.) The Structure of the content of the message must be, • Short Sentences : They facilitate easy and correct understanding of the message. • Simple usable words : Everyday used words maintain the harmony and expression of our communication. • Facts and Figures ; They help to give our communication objectivity. Relying on unclear, subjective assumptions and expectations blurs the message.
• Meaning of the facts Supporting data and clarification of the facts would help in the clarity of our communication. • Suit it to the audience One message may need different degrees of explanations. This depends on the context, frame of reference and understanding capability of the receiver in question. We must explain and elaborate our message depending on the receiver.
• Call for action Our written communication should look for expected action to be taken based on it. • Request feedback Our written communication must call for acknowledgment of receipt of information.Supporting the acknowledgment must be specific feedback on how the communication has been understood.
Step 3. Write It Once we have done the above, we could proceed to actually writing our communication on paper, bearing a few things in mind. • Double spacing to improve readability,as used on this page. • Use of paragraph to make the communication more logical and understandable. • Neat, uniform handwriting, in case it is not typed or printed.
Step 4. Edit your writing Effective editing is another step towards good writing. The key points to remember during editing are, • Edit your draft as brutally as if it was someone else’s copy. • Edit your draft from the readers point of view • Be specially critical of the first few paragraphs
Step 4. Edit your writing (cont.) • Look out for problems in any section you wrote when you were bored or tired. • Carefully study the content of your draft details, flow, forgotten points, unrelated issues etc. • Edit for brevity and clarity • Read aloud for style and tone • Edit again
• Interpreting body language is vital in any communication process • Observe the body movements and postures • Match the other person’s language
Some interesting interpretations of Rabbits Sniffing: May be annoyed or just talking to you Grunts: Usually angry, watch out or you could get bit! Shrill scream: Hurt or dying Circling your feet: Usually indicates sexual behavior. He/She's in love.
Two basic groups of body language
• OPEN/CLOSED and • FORWARD/BACK
LISTENING BORED LET ME SPEAK ENGAGED head tilted staring into space finger tapping leaning forward lots of eye slumped posture foot tapping open body contact doodling staring open arms nodding foot tapping AGGRESSIVE open hands high blink rate LET ME GO leaning forwards EAGER EVALUATING feet towards door finger pointing (sprint position) sucks glasses/ looking around fists clenched open legs pencil buttoning jacket DEFIANT feet under chair strokes chin REJECTION (standing) on toes hands on hips leaning forward looks up and right sitting/moving back legs crossed in arms folded frown READY TO 4 pos. legs crossed 11 pos LYING AGREE (ankle on knee) (thigh on knee) head touches face hand closes papers ATTENTIVE down frown over mouth pulls pen down (standing) DEFENSIVE ear eyes down hands flat on table arms behind back (standing) glances at you smile open feet feet pointing in shifts in seat hands clenched looks down and to left
What is a presentation
A method of communicating with an audience by explaining or discussing on particular subject(s) aided by different tools
Preparing for a presentation
• Collect and collate data regarding the subject and related areas • Speak to experts in that subject for their ideas • Incorporate related practical examples, role plays etc • Identify the target audience • Prepare the transparencies and arrange for the tools/aids • Check for errors and correct them • Practice
Making effective presentations
Points to be kept in mind Be clear about the subject and the purpose of the same Collect accurate data and information on the subject Collect data on related topics and areas Use language understood by the audience Frame your presentation around the target audience Involve the audience by asking questions or games Do not remain fixed at one position, move while speaking Use gestures and expressions to drive the point home Use presentation aids to generate interest and present dat Note critical points on a small note pad for ready reference Provide a list of reference books, articles etc and handouts Take a feedback at the end
Tools for effective presentations Transparencies Overhead projector Audio Visual facilities Handouts Computer aided presentation - Power Point, CD ROM Role plays, case studies, quizzes
An effective method of putting ideas across in a comprehensive manner - Proposals - Training of employees - Assignments to be submitted
Managerial requirements for communication
A. Managerial communication skills are used for: • Work facilitation • To inform, instruct and guide • Interpreting employee non verbal communication • Motivating subordinates • Breaking employee barriers and mindsets • Developing better interpersonal relations • As a ‘bridge’ between subordinates and superiors
B. What needs to be communicated Information/ Attitudes Data
C.Emotions The communication linkages
Some final guidelines
• Practice active listening, listen for facts and feelings, content and intent. • Identify barriers to good listening - and knock them down. • Guide conversations with "open" and "closed" questions. • Defuse difficult situations; encourage participation; • Build empathy and check understanding. • Read and use body language effectively. • Speak effectively and persuasively.
• Concepts, importance, barriers and ways to overcome them • Types, medium, gateways to communication • Effective Communication – how to achieve • Listening – importance, effective listening • Feedback – importance, how to receive • Organizational communication, memos • Communication Ethics • Written Communication – steps • Body Language - Types • Presentation Skills – how to deliver effective presentations