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Effective

Communications
At Work
By
Subroto Ghosh
OVERVIEW OF SESSION

 TYPESOF
COMMUNICATIONS

 TIPSON HOW TO BE
EFFECTIVE WHEN
COMMUNICATING

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“Communication is not a mysterious
process.

It takes place when the ideas from your
mind are transferred to another’s and
arrive intact, complete, and coherent”

“Make Presentations with Confidence,”
Barron’s

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FACTOID

The average employee receives about
190 communications a day by paper,
voicemail, email, phone, etc.

from a Pitney-Bowes survey
TYPES OF COMMUNICATION

WRITTEN
FACE-TO-FACE

ELECTRONIC
MEETINGS (EMAIL)

TELEPHONE
(VOICEMAIL)

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FACE-TO-FACE

Most people prefer to
get information face-
to-face, especially
from their immediate
supervisor

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The Benefits (face-to-face)
Opens two-way communication
Allows for immediate response to
questions, misinterpretations, feedback,
etc.
Takes advantage of voice and body
language

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The Challenges (face-to-face)
Use in-person communication when you have
to share information that will affect the
audience
Use for performance evaluations and
feedback
Use when the information being
communicated needs immediate attention
Be prepared to answer questions directly and
immediately

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The Do’s and Don’ts (face-to-face)
DO -- give people your undivided attention
-- listen, really listen, give full attention
DO -- give people honest, direct and
comprehensive information
DO -- treat people’s ideas and concerns as
critical and serious - EMPOWER THEM

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Face-to-Face cont…..

DON’T -- tell people “what”, tell them
“why, how, and the larger picture”
DON’T -- make the conversation one-
way. Invite responses -- discuss and
debate
DON’T -- answer the phone or take a
call when someone is in your office

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Face-to-Face cont...

DON’T -- wait too long to ask for (or to give)
feedback, gather information immediately

DON’T -- hold back bad news. Treat people
as intelligent adults, they want to hear the
truth

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Communication is not over
when you finish delivering
your message

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Types of Meetings
 Executive Briefing
 Informational
 Meeting with a Sponsor
(e.g. Site Visit)
 Staff Meeting
Let’s Meet
 Team-building
 Informal
 Others...

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Why Meet?

The primary reason for meetings are to
share or brainstorm information or to
develop action steps toward
accomplishing a goal

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Making Meetings Work
1. Make an agenda and stick to it. Send it
out before the meeting, if possible
2. Be clear about the reasons for and goals
of the meeting
3. Have a facilitator -- either a professional
or ask someone at the meeting to step
into this role

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Making Meetings Work cont.…

4. Watch the time -- do not overrun -- keep
the agenda flowing
5. Add humor, allow for laughter, have fun -- it
makes for a much more productive
meeting
6. Allow for conflict but deal with it
immediately

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Making Meetings Work cont….
7. Maintain control of the meeting at all
times. Don’t get off track
8. Eliminate attendees’ behaviors that are
disruptive
9. Allow for questions, be prepared to answer
them
10. Wrap the meeting up with what was
accomplished and action items

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Meeting “Killers” -- why they fail
 Poor Preparation
 Ignored agenda
 Poor time management
 Lack of participation
 Strong personalities
 Lack of leadership
 Lack of humor and fun
 No/poor closing

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The only thing worse than a bad meeting
is a great presentation that could have
been sent as a memo

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WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
MEMOS
REPORTS
BULLETINS
LETTERS
NEWSLETTERS
HANDWRITTEN
NOTES

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The Benefits (written)
Creates a permanent record
Allows you to store information for future
reference
Easily distributed
All recipients receive the same information
Necessary for legal and binding
documentation

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The Challenges (written)

May seem extremely formal -- use
handwritten notes when it is to be
personalized
Must be well written, straightforward and
concise
Written communications are usually not read
right away

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DO’s and DON’Ts (written)
DO -- realize it is not read as soon as it is
received
DO -- make sure that there is enough time to
prepare and send, and for the recipient to
receive and digest
DO -- assess writing skills, if poor -- get help

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Do’s and Don’ts… (written) cont...
DO -- outline key points before producing a
draft
DO -- always draft a written piece and then
reduce all unnecessary language -- be brief
DO -- proof-read very carefully before any
document is distributed

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Do’s and Don’ts (written) cont...
DON’T -- use this form of communication if
writing is full of errors -- this reflects poorly on
the writer

DON’T -- use if communication is time
sensitive. If immediate feedback is
necessary -- use email

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Is it clear? Have you hit your target?

In written communication
most confusion &
frustration are caused
by failing to be specific
…..

Make it clear, brief and
concise…..

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THE PROBLEM
WITH COMMUNICATION
IS “the illusion that it has been
accomplished”

George Bernard Shaw

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EMAIL
Email is now the
dominant method of
communicating in
business. It is
quick, inexpensive,
flexible and
convenient

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But it could be a time-bomb

USE WITH CARE….

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The Benefits (email)
Can be sent and received any time
Very time effective, can be sent and received
within seconds
Cost effective -- no paper, no stamps, no
costs -- yet(?)
Allows for direct access to others
Messages can be saved and stored

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The Benefits (email) cont...
Convenient for communicating with people
in different places and different time zones
Easier to communicate with people who
understand written English but don’t speak
it well
Excellent mechanism for follow-up or action
items after a meeting

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The Challenges (email)
Not everyone has an email account or
access to email at all times
Email etiquette -- no standards --
people make up own styles, can be
very confusing
Email is not confidential -- emails can
be obtained from central network even
if deleted from personal computers

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The Challenges (email)
cont...
Email is too often used to distribute
inappropriate material, such as racial and
gender jokes

Email is too often used to avoid
confrontation and can be easily
misinterpreted

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The Challenges (email) cont...

Email is often sent out without re-reading,
proof-reading and other standards applied to
written communications. We press the send
button too soon…

Emails can be forwarded and sent to others
without the author’s approval or knowledge

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The Challenges (email) cont...

Emails are often casual and informal -- this
can create a potential hazard

Senders often assume that email is read
immediately which can create problems

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Do’s and Don’ts (email)
DO -- always begin your email with a
salutation and the person’s name -- a date
is a good idea as well
DO -- always close the email with a closing
sentence and your name
DO -- in the subject line write a brief and
clear reference to your topic

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Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
DO -- consider the order of the recipients --
be sensitive to organizational hierarchy
 DO -- limit the number of attachments
DO -- consider the purpose of the email --
why is it being written in the first place?
DO -- consider alternatives -- phone, voice
mail, note, etc. can be more appropriate

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Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
DON’T -- Send the entire email when
replying. Only send the part that is
essential
DON’T -- Be too blunt -- email is the
coldest form of communications. Watch
the tone. Be friendly but polite
DON’T -- Write an email longer than
two screens -- it probably won’t be read

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Do’s and Don’ts (email) cont...
DON’T -- use “CAPS” for emphasis in the
body of the email. It looks and “sounds”
angry
DON’T -- use an automatic signature with
every email. Use only in your initial email,
not when replying to a message

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The biggest difference in the
quality of your email messages
is made by you

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Telephone and Voicemail

Most employees
have access to a
phone (and
voicemail)
Using a telephone
can be spontaneous
and often friendly

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Benefits (telephone/voicemail)
Immediate access to audience
Communication is direct and timely
Takes advantage of tone of voice and
language
Allows for immediate response to
questions, feedback, etc.

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Challenges (telephone/voicemail)
Too spontaneous, might not be ready
to have a conversation
Not prepared when a call is received
but take it anyway
Can’t reach party in time to relay
information
Not everyone has voicemail

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Tips for telephone & voicemail

Let your voicemail speak for you (don’t have
someone else record your message)
Record a daily greeting - let callers know
when you are available
When leaving a voicemail message tell the
person what you want and how they should
reply to you

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Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...
Leave your name and phone number at
the beginning of the voicemail message
not at the end
Before placing a call write down key
points you want to cover
Give undivided attention when
speaking on the phone

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Tips (telephone/voicemail) cont...
Try to return calls immediately, if
someone is calling -- it must be
important to them
Avoid calling when angry, be friendly
and helpful

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FACTOID
55% of what people perceive of others
comes from body language and facial
expressions
38% comes from tone of voice
7% is based on the actual words people
use

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Final Thoughts

A person’s competence and a person’s
effectiveness are based on their ability to
communicate effectively

Competence isn’t the problem --
How you Communicate is

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Resources
 Seymoure & Shervington,  “Writing Professional E-Mail
“Essential Managers, Messages”, compositioncafe.
Maximizing Performance”, http://www.compositioncafe.com
DK Publishing, Inc.  Vivian Buchan, “Make
 Boylan, “What’s Your Presentations with Confidence,”
Point?”, Adams Media Barron’s
Corporation  Maureen Bauer, “Learning Tips
for Effective Communication at
 Ivy Sea Online,
Work”, Click10.com
“Interpersonal
Communication Quick Tips”
http://www.Ivysea.com

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