Effective Communications on the Job Sharon Hamilton-Curley
Communicating at Work • Recognizing the goal and challenge of effective communications • Exploring the impact of assumptions in interpersonal communications
Effective Communications • Brainstorm: • What are some styles of Communications? • Think of your own experience. What types of communication have worked for you? • Think about someone you would consider to be an excellent communicator. What traits do they display?
Sharing the Rope versus Tugging on It! • Interactions between people at work often are like tugs-of-war. • Rope serves as a metaphor for the bond and connection. • The goal of successful communications is sharing the rope so that it is strongly held but no one gets dirty
Understanding where the tug-of-war comes from! • Listening • Speaking • Reading • Writing
Sender’s • Aggressive speaking • Nonassertive speaking • Passive-aggressive speaking • Assertive Speaking • The act of expressing yourself directly, positively, and with confidence so that your point comes across clearly and so that you maintain respect toward others
Receiver’s • Passive listening • Selective listening • Attentive listening • Active listening • The act of providing nonverbal and verbal feedback to a speaker that allows his or her message to be expressed and shows understanding of that message.
Hold the Pickles, Lettuce, and Assumptions • An assumption is a belief that something is true without proof or demonstration. • Not all assumptions are negative. • Avoid the downside of assumptions • “when you assume, you make an A S S out of U and ME.”
Avoid the downside of assumptions • Jump to conclusions • Focus on intentions • Thinking that you know best • stereotyping
Beware of your own assumptions • Deal with each person as an individual • Listen first • Avoid generalizations • Communicate first; act second • Make the safest assumption of them all
Understanding How People Express themselves to others • My way or the highway: Aggressive approach • The appeasing way: nonassertive approach • Subtle but aggravating: the passive-aggressive approach • Straight and Positive: the assertive approach
Become an Assertive Speaker • Collaboration • Flexibility • Self-Control • Continuous respect • Fix problems, not blame
Are you really listening? • Accentuate the positives • Minimize the negatives • Following the Three states of listening process • Avoiding ineffective patterns of listening
Seeing how people listen • Is anybody really home? The passive approach • Getting what you want, not what you need: the selective approach • Grabbing the facts: the attentive approach • Capturing and confirming the message: the active approach
Batteries Required: Making Active Listening work • Hold off on the assumptions • Avoid being quick to offer advice • Exercise patience • Eliminate distractions and physical barriers • Be continuously respectful • Shift attention
Speaking AssertivelyIt isn’t Just What You Say, but How You Say It • The Eyes have it: Communicating with Eye Contact, • Your Body is Talking: Make sure its supporting your message • Putting the Oomph in your voice • Managing your Pace
Speaking in the Positive • Being Powerfully Positive: The Can-Do and Will-Do • Uses of Language • Say What? Communicating your Messages with Clarity • Employing the Language of Solutions • Staying Away from Speaking in the Negative
Tackling Communication Challenges • You’ve Got Mail: Managing E-Mail Communications • To E-mail or Not to E-mail, that is the questions • Knowing when to use e-mail • Recognizing when not to use e-mail • Staying on the Right Track when writing e-mail
Conquering the Challenges of Management • Coaching your Staff • Managing Upward • Managing Outward
Coaching Your Staff • State performance expectations and emphasize results over methods • Ask more than you tell • Give ongoing feedback on performance • Listen first and give advice – framed as suggestions – when asked • Invite feed back and input in return • Managing Upward; you have a problem – so what? • Don’t worry be happy boss
Ten Ideas for Effectively Handling Telephone Interactions • Start with a smile • Give a Professional Greeting • Direct People to the Right Resources • Put the Caller on Hold Smoothly • Sound Alive, Not Scripted • Converse with Patience • Tune in to Your Speaker’s Tone • If Your Time is Short, say so! • Close the Call before you End It! • Leave Messages Worth Returning
Ten Tips to Enhance Teamwork • Make Newcomers Feel Welcome • Keep Information Flowing • Teach So that Others Can Learn • Offer Assistance • Ask for Help • Speak Up in Meetings • Talk in Terms of Outcomes • Give Feedback Supportively • Take Problems to the Right Source • Maintain a Sense of Humor
Ten Actions that Lend Credibility to your Communications • Following Through • Returning Phones • Being Passionate • Demonstrating Expertise • Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable • Staying Calm under Pressure • Taking Positive Approaches to Problems • Listening First, Acting Second • Showing Sincerity • Being Straightforward
Ten Ways to Listen Well • Concentrate on what the speaker has to say • Listen for content and emotion to understand the entire message • Maintain steady eye contact so speakers know your attention is with them • Reflect back with verbal feedback to confirm your understanding of the message
5. Stay patient when people talk to you. 6. Keep your tone sincere and nonjudgmental when you listen 7. When you give feedback to check understanding, do so in one sentence. 8. Tune into how the message is being said not just what the words are
9. Acknowledge feelings that are important to the message you’re hearing. 10. Make your goal in conversations to show understanding of what the speaker truly means.
Ten Tips for Delivering Positive and Confident Messages • Speak up so others can easily hear you. • Make your message as concise as possible; wordiness is not needed or wanted • Use language in the best way possible to make your points • Talk with your hands and use them to emphasize your key points
Be direct and honest with people as a consistent practice • Provide steady eye contact with your listeners to engage their attention when you talk. • Maintain an alert body posture when you speak to put life behind your message
Pause to gather your thoughts so you avoid extraneous sounds such as “um” that clutters your message • Focus on getting solutions when you talk about problems • Be sincere: People respond best to those who are genuine and respectful in their delivery.
Ten Communication Efforts that Build Strong Working Relationships • Respond to request by emphasizing what you can do to help meet them. • Follow through and do what you say you’ll do • Listen without passing judgment and don’t rush in to give advice • When you have concerns, work them out with the source, not with others • Communicate with respect in every interaction regardless of whether you like the person or not
When others give you assistance or support express appreciation for it. • Focus on issues, not personalities, when you discuss work matters and problems • When differences in views or ideas occur, work first to understand them from the other person’s perspective. • Be direct and sincere as normal practices • Use humor in good taste
Ten Pitfalls to Avoid in Workplace Communications • Using e-mail to express concerns • Talking too much • Respond to requests by immediately saying it can’t be done • Providing your employees, if you are a manager, with opinionated criticism when their performance needs improvement
Saying yes when you really don’t mean it • Sitting by quietly and passively when people discuss issues with you • Dwelling on what’s wrong or who’s at fault when dealing with problem situations • Focusing on yourself – what you like and don’t like – you receive others’ messages • Attempting to soften a point when addressing tough or sensitive issues • Pushing forward with your idea and disregarding concerns that people have with it.
Clarity • 4 Rules to keep in mind • Be Clear in your own mind about what you want to communicate • Choose you method of communication carefully (written, verbal, visual, etc.) • Deliver the message succinctly • Ensure that the message has been clearly and correctly understood
Remind Yourself If I am communicating with someone I have 100% responsibility for the proper receipt of the information!
Identifying Communication Systems • See – Visual People who primarily use their eyes to perceive the world and trust their images as a basis for decision • Hear – Auditory, people who primarily use their ears to perceive the world and who depend on spoken words for the information that determines their behavior
Communication • Communication is a valuable tool in today’s workplace. Strong speaking skills enable you to send the right message to your boss, your co-workers and your employees. Communication involves much more than speaking, you need to listen carefully, understand non-verbal communications and know that the tone of your voice can alter the message.