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  • feedwordpress 16:59:52 on 2019/01/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , Communication Skills,   

    Communicating In Style, With Style 


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    The word communicate is derived from the Latin word, communis, meaning commonness. When we are communicating, we are trying to establish commonness with others. We are trying to share information, encourage or inspire others, build rapport or persuade someone to make a change or see our point of view. In order to accomplish this, you will want to consider if the receiver has a preferred communication style so you can tap into it.

     

    Some people are detailed thinkers and like to communicate lots of details. While they may think they are being effective with the receiver, the receiver might be thinking, “Information overload. Please stop.” Actually, that would be my reaction. I am a big-picture thinker. I think of the details but that comes after the big picture. And I prefer people to communicate with me in a big-picture fashion. If I want more details, I will ask for them. Of course, it helps me a lot that my assistant, Melia, is a detailed thinker.

     

    I have been teaching administrative assistants about communication styles for more than two decades. I teach this in our Star Achievement Series® course and in our World Class Assistant course. Both of these are certification courses. In class, attendees get to complete an assessment to see if they have a preferred communication style. And if so, how to communicate with that person to be most effective.

     

    If you would like to see if you have a preferred style, here is a link to the assessment. https://officedynamics.com/pdfs/communication-style-13.pdf

     

    Here is a small sampling of the characteristics of each color. You will notice some distinct differences. Please keep in mind this has to do with communication, not personality.

     

     

    Red:

    Concrete, impulsive, risk taker. Wants to know the short-term objectives of a project. Doesn’t like indecision and vagueness in others. Take charge type, self-assured. Quick to act; spontaneous; likes to be in control; doesn’t like advice; uninterested in personal feeling.

     

    Yellow:

    Empathetic, personal, intuitive. Emphasis on human relationships and feeling when communicating. Enjoys friendly, informal relationships with everyone. Doesn’t like rigid, bureaucratic, unfeeling management. Full of ideas; dislikes telling people unpleasant things; seeks harmony.

     

    Blue:

    Introspective, creative, conceptual. They easily make associations. Enjoys expressing ideas. Asks questions for understanding. Responds poorly to authoritative management. Can take small pieces of information and form a whole. Good listener; need to be unique; often unrealistic.

     

    Green:

    Precise, analytical, impersonal. Likes consistency and logic. Prefers clear procedures, rules and regulations. Wants guidelines and structure. Needs to know deadlines.  Principled, cautious, prefers working alone; likes problem-solving; unemotional.

     

    Learning about and understanding, if someone has a preferred style, is very powerful. Here are ways to use your new understanding of communication style.

     

    • Complement your executive’s preferred style. For example, if your executive prefers the red communication style which is big picture, then hopefully you can “balance” their style with being more of a detailed thinker. This means that you would ask more questions to get more information from your executive. Or you would think of things that your executive has not thought about.

     

    • Build rapport with internal and external customers. If we truly want to build rapport with others, we will consider if they have a preferred communication style. If they do have a preference, then you will want to communicate in their style so they are open to your ideas and want to work with you.

     

    • Tailor messages so they’re best received, and most easily understood, by different communication styles. Whether communicating verbally or in writing, you would tailor your message to a person’s preferred communication style. Here are some examples of how you would tailor your messages based on the communication colors.

     

    Red: big picture; short and to the point; be business-like.

     

    Yellow: emphasize feelings; be friendly; don’t hurry the discussion.

     

    Blue: informal; casual; provide small bits of information.

     

    Green: structured; don’t rush them; be organized and precise.

     

    • Break through social barriers to outstanding job performance by promoting mutual understanding and even greater respect for different communication styles and unique cultures.

     

    • Enhance your persuasive techniques so you can influence decisions and make a more positive impact on the workplace.

     

    Best of luck!

     

    joan_burge_signature

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  • feedwordpress 19:11:50 on 2018/12/26 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills, ,   

    Chiasmus: When Words Mirror Each Other in a Sentence 


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    Using figures of speech in our business writing makes it fun for us and entertaining for our readers. Truly my favorite figure of speech is the chiasmus (ky-AZ-mus). That’s when words in a sentence mirror each other.

    Politicians have made them famous (e.g., Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. – John F. Kennedy). Experts have made them accessible and even popular (e.g., Dr. Mardy Grothe’s book: Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You: Chiasmus and a World of Quotations That Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say).

    My contribution to the joy of words is a 4-page Chiasmus Collection I’d like to share. Simply email me with Chiasmus Collection in the subject line.

    Those included come from years of gleaning examples from authors, clients, and subscribers in my daily editing work. A few choice examples:

    Write only what you love, and love what you write. – Ray Bradbury

    New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city. – Sir Lewis Mumford

    It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    What is your favorite chiasmus—one you’ve found or one you’ve written yourself? Email it to me to add to this Chiasmus Collection.

     

     

    administrative_training

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource to quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    The post Chiasmus: When Words Mirror Each Other in a Sentence appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:00:38 on 2018/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: , Communication Skills, , ,   

    Joan’s Naughty and Nice List for Assistants 


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    During a Facebook Live event Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics International, had discussed her Naughty and Nice List for Assistants. This discussion highlighted many great things that can be practiced in the office as well as actions that should be avoided. In the middle of the live stream, Joan asked the viewers to give her some examples of naughty behavior practiced in the office as well as some nice behaviors.

    Be sure to watch the video for some great, funny, and “oh my gosh” kind of answers.  Special guest appearance by Melia!

     

    And here is Joan’s list!

    Naughty:

    • Not adequately preparing your executive for a trip
    • Gossip about your peers (or anyone else)
    • Take on too much work
    • Multi-task
    • Bring your bad attitude to work
    • Not be a team player
    • Withhold information from others
    • Be stagnant in your growth or education
    • Text or read messages while others are talking to you
    • Ignore signals that you are under too much stress
    • Intentionally not give your boss an important message
    • Spike your boss’s coffee

     

    Nice:

    • Give your best every day
    • Be patient with others
    • Care about your executive’s success
    • Take the initiative
    • Remind your executive of important meetings
    • Share your knowledge with your peers
    • Be a leader
    • Champion a cause
    • Make time for yourself
    • Make others look good
    • Listen to others when your opinions are different
    • Be organized and ready for your day
    • Gather a group of your peers for a mini training session
    • Let your executive know that you appreciate him or her
    • Give yourself a BIG pat on the back at the end of the day!

     

    ©Copyright Office Dynamics International 2018.

    The post Joan’s Naughty and Nice List for Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:15:56 on 2018/11/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Communication Skills, , , ,   

    Decision Making 


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    Why is it that at the time we make a decision we believe it is the best, right answer or choice. Then days, weeks or months later, we regret the decision we made. We say to ourselves, “What was I thinking? However, based on the information I had at the time, I felt I made the best choice.” We will never be perfect at making decisions but we definitely need to take each bad decision or poor choice, learn from it, and commit to making better decisions in the future.

    Decision Maker

    Decision-making skill is key for productivity and growth. Your decisions take you on different paths depending upon the decisions you choose not to make as well as the actual decisions you make. Do not underestimate that even the smallest decision could change your life forever. [Read Andy Stanley’s book, The Principle of the Path for additional information on how to get from where you are to where you want to be.]

    Decisions are made daily, often without even realizing it. Some decisions are habit forming. You make the decision once and then repeat it again and again until you no longer hear yourself think or deliberate about it. An example is choosing to have a pastry at morning break daily. Your “decision” will affect your health, even your future, but you don’t even think about it any longer. 9:00 a.m. and you go get your pastry!

    When making a decision you may consider, “What would my leader do?” Having the knowledge of what your leader would do in certain situations will allow you to make a more educated decision. This, in turn, will free up your leader’s time. The more you do this kind of thinking the more empowered you become and the stronger the connection is with your leader and the organization’s need for you – a true cognitive being – as their business partner.

    In order to make a decision on anything, you must first understand the objectives and the situation surrounding the issue. Whether you are making a decision that affects your manager’s travel itinerary or involves purchasing a software package, you need to consider the objectives and purpose intended. You must set aside your own bias and needs to see the big picture. Many people are poor decision-makers because they only consider “what’s in it for me?” and they look no further. That is very short-term thinking and people around you will begin to assess that you are only in it for your own selfish and self-serving motives. That may get you a few plums, but that will not get you the prize!

    There will come a time in your decision-making journey of learning where you will have to remove the training wheels. You will have to make decisions and play them out, taking responsibility for them and being confident that you will be accountable for whatever happens. This doesn’t mean you need to “know everything” beforehand; it means you will take responsibility, shepherd them, and adjust as necessary along the way. Also, make sure you watch to observe the results, so you can learn from the results and do even better next time.

    joan_burge_signature, Contributing Author, Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets from Dynamic Executive Assistants

    The post Decision Making appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:00:10 on 2018/11/20 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills,   

    Sprinkle Similes into Your Writing 


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    Teaching a weekly fitness class—like writing weekly business messages—can get repetitious. A good instructor motivates action while guiding people in their exercises. My instructor likes to interject colorful similes to keep us going. I suspect it’s also her way of staying sharp and engaged, too.

    Here’s an example of her colorful use of language. Describing what not to do while on all fours, she said, “Think of an overburdened mule in a spaghetti Western movie and don’t slump your back like that.” Later, while on our tummies, she told us to lift our arms “like you’re jumping out of an airplane.” Great visual!

    Her imagery boosts our enjoyment while making the point of the exercise stick. What’s good for fitness is also good for your writing. Sprinkle similes and other figures of speech into your prose so readers can visualize your point more easily.

    Examples from a fitness class:

    “Drop your head to your shoulder like it’s a 10-pound bowling ball.”

    “Flatten your back like you could put a tray of food on it.”

    For over 50s who remember typewriters: “Shift your ribs to the side like the carriage on a typewriter.”

    Example from a book:

    This excerpt is from Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star. I recommend Martha’s books for the sheer delight of seeing how she applies similes, metaphors, and other figures of speech to her points and stories.

    If you’re planning to wait for them [your family] to locate your true path, draw you a careful map, pack you a lunch, and drive you to your North Star, you might want to take up needlework. I hear it passes the time.

    Colorful similes lead to smiles. Use them in your business writing whenever you can!

     

     

    wordtrippers_grammer_course

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource to quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    The post Sprinkle Similes into Your Writing appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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