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  • feedwordpress 17:49:25 on 2017/10/26 Permalink
    Tags: business communication, , , , , on line communication,   

    Quick Tip #71: How to Shine on at on line meetings 



    Online meetings are commonplace, but most of us have no on-screen experience. These quick tips from a former television personality will help you shine on line.

  • feedwordpress 15:19:22 on 2017/03/02 Permalink
    Tags: business communication, , , , virtual communication   

    Quick Tip#67: Communicating in a Virtual World 

    Communicating virtually is far different than speaking to people in person. So how can we make the most of this in meetings, virtual rooms and other settings where we want to make a great impression?


  • feedwordpress 00:13:23 on 2017/02/02 Permalink
    Tags: attention, , business communication, command attention, , , , leadership presence, , ,   

    Quick Tip #66: How to Command a Room 



    We’ve all met these people. They walk into a room and own it. So, how do you do that? Watch this video for quick tips to improve your leadership presence.

  • feedwordpress 19:11:12 on 2017/01/18 Permalink
    Tags: , business communication, , , , people skills, , soft skills   

    Sharpening your soft skills 

    The letter from the local tax collector’s office said we were being penalized for failing to pay school taxes last year. It threatened if we didn’t send money by a certain date, there would be additional consequences.

    I looked at the letterhead and didn’t recognize the name of the tax collector, which seemed odd as I’ve known her for years. The tone of the letter was also terse; not at all like Patti, who was sweet and understanding. A long-time popular public servant who had been re-elected multiple times, she was a fixture in the township building who always greeted you with a bright smile. A letter from her would have a much softer tone and say something like “perhaps you’ve overlooked the due date of your last school tax payment”. This made no sense to me. So, I called the office.

    Imagine my surprise to learn that Patti had suddenly died.  The letter we received was from the newly appointed temporary tax collector. After my initial sadness over Patti’s loss, anger set in. Instead of a threatening letter, why didn’t this individual introduce himself and share that his predecessor had died? Why didn’t he say something nice about her and offer to help people during this surprising and upsetting transition?

    We did miss our tax payment, but not purposely, which Patti would have understood. Even if she couldn’t forgive the penalty, she would not have made us feel like slackers trying to get away with something.

    There are hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are job specific. These are technical skills and expertise required to do your job. Soft skills are people skills. It’s about relating to others. Think of it this way.  Let’s say you have a choice between working with two different accountants. One is slightly more qualified than the other, but can be short tempered, rude and not easily accessible. The other is warm, friendly, always picks up the phone and seems to care about you. Who would you choose? Most of us would choose the latter. A person’s expertise might bring someone in the door, but their ability to communicate and relate is what will keep them there.

    It’s those soft skills that help us problem solve, collaborate and build constructive relationships with others. When organizations encourage development of these skills, they create positive environments where people feel valued. That goes a long way toward strengthening relationships with customers, colleagues and other stakeholders. In fact, a national survey conducted by the Harris Poll found that 16 percent of hiring managers believe soft skills are even more important than hard skills.

    So, which soft skills should we develop and why? Let’s focus on four:

    • Empathy
    • Communication
    • Self-Awareness
    • Non-Verbal

    Empathy, especially during difficult times, conveys caring and understanding. During very public situations when a company has done something wrong, it’s most important skill a spokesperson can develop if it’s genuine. While facts are important, it’s how those facts are communicated that form perceptions.

    Your ability to communicate clearly, concisely and openly speaks to trust and credibility. There may be times when you can’t share information. Instead of shutting people out, listen to their concerns and let them know you will share information as soon as you are able.

    Becoming more self-aware of your short-comings will help you change and improve behaviors. People who are self-aware are perceived as open and willing to learn new skills.

    Lastly, never underestimate the importance of eye contact and body language. Making direct eye contact suggests you consider someone important. Open gestures, facing the person who is talking to you and a smile when appropriate positions you as approachable.

    There is also the issue of tone whether intended or unintended. Recently, I inquired as to when we would receive a deposit for an upcoming program. The contract office shot back an email that said: “As I stated in our original email, the deposit will be sent out on x date.”

    I wondered why the nasty tone.  Were they mad at me? Were they annoyed that I didn’t see or remember the date? Were they trying to let me know who is in charge? Or, maybe the sender didn’t realize how they sounded. Maybe they meant nothing at all.

    Maybe, the tax collector didn’t realize how harsh he sounded, especially so close to his colleague’s death. Tone can be very misunderstood when someone can’t see you or hear you. Tone conveys attitude.

    Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Attitude is a soft skill. Whether writing a letter, sending an email or speaking in person, an upbeat positive attitude is contagious and can patch up misunderstandings.

    If you just take an extra second and proceed with caution, you might prevent misunderstandings that can sabotage relationships and convey a negative impression you never intended.

  • feedwordpress 09:53:40 on 2017/01/09 Permalink
    Tags: , better communication at work, business communication, , leverage communication, mode of communication,   

    How to Be a Better Communicator At Work Part 1 

    Be a better communicator at work. Leverage communication skills for business success.

    I thought I would start 2017 by focusing on one of the most vital business skills – communication. We can never know enough about effective ways to communicate. Remember that if you aren’t thinking about the who, what, when, where, and what tool to use, you will not have as great an impact. Your goal should be to create win-win situations by altering your communications based on variables such as generational differences.

    Establishing rapport is critical to attaining successful business and personal relationships. While everyone must competently use today’s information technology tools, too many of us are ignoring the proven importance and effectiveness of interpersonal communication skills. We must understand the impact of the various mediums available to us. As important as knowing which tools to use, is knowing how various generations like to be communicated to and how to tactfully voice your opinions.

    This is going to be a three-part series. I am using information and strategies that I teach in my live World Class Assistant™ Certification course. These are strategies everyone can benefit from!

    This week let’s focus on choosing the right medium for greater impact. In other words should you email, text or pick up the telephone? The majority of society communicates through email, texts and IM. But that doesn’t mean they are being impactful, getting more of what they want and being productive. In fact emails that go back and forth can bog down your day and waste a lot of time. Emails can seem cold or the writer might “sound” abrupt when in fact they are just a short and to-the-point communicator (something else I teach in my World Class Assistant™ live course).

    So, how can you have maximum impact, be more persuasive and get more of what you need while building powerful relationships?


    Be a better communicator at work, start with the end in mind by asking yourself these questions:

    • What is my purpose for communicating with this person?
    • What information am I sending?
    • What do I need from the other person?
    • What do I hope will happen as a result of communicating with this person?

    Once you determine your goal in communicating, try to answer the following questions.

    Are you . . .

    • Trying to build rapport or gain trust?
    • Introducing yourself?
    • Relaying a message?
    • Expressing an idea or thought?
    • Informing co-workers of important news?
    • Providing data?
    • Disclosing confidential information?
    • Enlightening others to a new idea?


    Then think about your relationship to the recipient.

    • How long have you known him/her?
    • Staff member?
    • Co-worker?
    • Vendor?
    • High-level executive?
    • Mentor?
    • Business associate?
    • Civic figure?

    After you have considered the above, then . . .

    Select the Media

    • E-mail
    • Face-to-face
    • Telephone
    • Instant messaging
    • Text
    • Other

    Give this a try at least for two weeks and I’m sure you will notice a difference. Report your results back here, we’d love to hear from you. Best of luck!

    Joan Burge

    The post How to Be a Better Communicator At Work Part 1 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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