Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Improve Communication in the Workplace

October 17, 2008

Communication is critical in the workplace, and there are many ways we can all improve. This benefits our own careers as well as improving working relationships.

In order to help us all improve, I interviewed Nancy Kaye from American Communication English on communication tips, cross cultural workplaces and why she is so passionate about communication. 

What are your tips and tactics for communication in the workplace? 

Practice Conscious Listening: At the start of our communication sessions with our clients we practice experiencing ACE Inner Tube Breathing™ which calms down, relaxes the mind and brings focus, stilling the inner chatter providing an open space to really hear the lessons. The practice prepares and supports our clients to know how to actively listen to the essence of what someone is conveying. 

Engage in Asking Questions: To receive feedback and clarification. Our clients are taught to digest what you think is being communicated to the other person. Pausing prior to responding is creating a safe space that gives you time for contemplating, comprehension and understanding.

Truth and Authenticity: Learn to discern when the truth is shining in someone, and distinguish when there is incongruence in their communication.

The following limiting idea comes up often with our global clients, and seems to be a stumbling block with interacting clearly with co-workers, especially with higher management. This is how we coach them.

Label Lock: We all have unconscious assumptions about how other people judge us. The ‘generalized other’ is the psychologists term for this. When we fall into this mental trap the reduced negative image constantly comes up for you each time you endeavor to interact with your colleague or coworker. It could very well be an erroneous judgment, a limiting idea such as the “Big Bad Boss.” Your perception may be limited by your personal bias, life experiences, age, and so on. We all see the world as we know it through different filters. We then get bogged down by casting someone in a partial role that has to be incomplete. We are all humans with foibles and unique ways of understanding our particular role in our job and how it should be handled. And we think others should behave accordingly.

Avoid Label Locking: Our clients are trained to become mindful of not labeling people as this or that. Labeling them puts them in a space that may not be true for them or for you.

Label Lock Reversal: When you believe someone sees you in a certain negative way and you adopt and hold that thought for who you are. This is just as stagnant a view of your whole self possibilities, as when you believe someone else’s false opinion of you.
Remember: You have total domain of how you view yourself. Unlock unwanted beliefs, phantoms and limitations.

During the ACE Communication Workshops, we teach our clients the following tip.
GOAL: I can communicate with ease with other people in my workplace with “PASS” To be; Precise, Articulate, Short & Slow.

 

Many of us work in multi-cultural workplaces. How can native English speakers be more sensitive to those for whom English is a second language?

Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop™
Embrace Diversity: We train our clients to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, which is an illustrative idiom that gives you the opportunity to role play and see the view from another’s perspective. Entertain the idea that it may be a struggle for them to come into a new country from a different culture and to try to communicate with a new language. They may be self conscious about their inability to communicate clearly. Learn about the other person’s culture, ceremonies, food and customs. Experience empathy. Locate something that resonates with your understanding and make it a discovery, perhaps you’ll make a friend.

Compassionate Communication: Practice patience with them and try to understand the words and thoughts of multi cultural co workers who are trying to communicate.
Show understanding, by using friendly body language, share your smile, look directly into the person’s eyes, nod your head acknowledging that you are listening, use a warm voice, slow you speech down a bit, paraphrase what you think someone has said, these are all great stress busters.

Treasure Hunt Adventure: You may discover a new way at looking at the world and gain a friend in the process. This is beyond a ‘win win’ situation. Everybody wins. Your company with the ever-evolving marketplace, your understanding of culture and the world at large. These are a few of the ways that we can bring about a society of conscious individuals transcending the differences and seeing the sameness and what you have in common with your colleagues.

 

Tell us a bit about your business. Why are you passionate about communication?

My passion is creative communication problem solving. I have a multi-faceted career background with a distillation of many diversified experiences.


As a child I was interested in knowing more about the world’s philosophies and religions and how they were similar to each other. I sought out friends and went with them to see what their belief systems were. Having traveled extensively I have learned about many cultures and countries. I am truly interested in other people and their cultures and different ways of doing and being.

Founding an English as a Second Language School and having taught for many years, I feel the frustration of those who wish to be able to communicate well and who struggle to do that. I understand how it is for them to try to get from place to place, understand the culture and language. Those in a new country do experience culture shock. 20 years ago, I began to explore and develop interesting creative programs to put students at ease and help them learn to communicate better. We discover, discuss and listen to their goals.


Our coaches assess each individual’s needs and we then create dynamic courses that deliver answers and produce great results for our clients. That is my passion.

English has more words than any other language. When our international clients study with us they gain the benefit of vocabulary enrichment. This enhances their ability to learn to articulate their thoughts.
We teach communication workshops to English as a first language clients as well ESOL speakers in companies and organizations to develop their ability to be confident communicators. The Confident Communicator Workshops cover many areas of communication capability.

You cannot speak that which you do not know or share that which you do not feel. You cannot translate that which you do not have or give that which you do not possess. To give it and to share it, and for it to be effective, you first need to have it.

Great communication starts with good mindful preparation. In our fast paced world we often do not take the time to be full communicators. We speak in shorthand and move swiftly flitting from idea to idea. Deepening our communication capability deepens our connections.

My passion extends to all people to be able to become articulate confident communicators. I love helping others find and express their voice.

“It warms our heart to know that we have been understood. The connection with other people is true communication in action. The thread of connection weaves itself with others and we become one in understanding.” ~ Namaste, Nancy Kaye

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You can find out more about American Communication English here. She also has a few special offers for you. 

Special Offers: I invite you to Sign up for the “What is Communication?” A lively, interactive & informative free monthly series tele-seminar series with participants from all over the world teaching new tips and tactics to assist you in communicating confidently.
Learn about interesting people and their books and the work that they do. Send in questions about communication issues to be answered during the call. request@acemyenglish.com. This popular series has listeners in 12 counties.

Useful Attitudes for Speaking and Listening. Recently I was invited to attend to The Seeds Of Compassion 5 day event hosted by The Dalai Lama and featuring Archbishop Desmond TuTu and notable scientists, childhood-development advocates, organizations, foundations, educators, business leaders and the greater community to promote tools and strategies to assist the healthy development of children as happy compassionate members of society. I attended workshops and discussion panels of leading researchers with scientific data proving the value of compassion in our society. I brought  back Useful Attitudes for Speaking and Listening.
To receive your copy go to: request@acemyenglish.com Code # Joanna.

To request receiving our popular ACE Communication Tips and Tactics mailing: learn@acemyenglish.com

 

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Communication at work: 6 steps to being more effective

June 7, 2008

Companies that communicate retain more staff and increase job satisfaction for their employees. But ineffective communication can be worse than none at all. Here are six ways to communicate effectively within the organisation.

·         Set clear expectations. If you hold a weekly communications meeting, then make sure there is an agenda that informs people about what you will communicate. People will know what is being covered and can save their questions for the appropriate time. It also ensures all topics are covered. Make sure items are varied, relevant and interesting so people look forward to these sessions.  

 

·         Ask people what they want to know. So often management will drive meetings based on what they want to tell employees, and not necessarily about what is on people’s minds. Turn this around and ask instead. Send out an anonymous survey or ask for emailed questions to a central address. Allow people to ask anything they want of management. You may be surprised at what people are concerned about. Communication is a two-way street, so be prepared to listen and then broadcast the most useful answers.

 

·         Be clear and concise. People want to be communicated with, but do not need more than a summary most of the time. Cut meetings short if there is not much to share, and make sure they finish on time. Be specific, decisive and articulate about each topic. If people are speaking, do not allow them to monopolise and take over the meeting. Time is precious, so move things along. Make sure there is follow up to people who were involved. If decisions were made and actions were taken, ensure minutes are sent out promptly.   

 

·         Communicate in different ways. Face to face meetings are just the beginning. Conference calls are an effective way to get participants from global locations, and presentations can be seen onscreen over the web. Internal newsletters and intranet pages can also be ways of broadcasting communication. Some companies now use e-zines (electronic newsletters) which individuals can contribute to and subscribe to within the organisation. Again, allow feedback and suggestions for improvement.

 

·         Take a risk. Some CEOs and executives have maintained a distance between themselves and employees, and have not revealed much of their personality. Others embrace communication as a part of their daily work. Some CEOs have started blogs as a way of communicating to employees and the world. The most high profile of these is the President of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz, http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/  but there are many others. Sun even has a blog policy acknowledging and allowing that people will communicate online. Accept that people will blog and your corporation stories will get online and you will get feedback. This type of communication will only accelerate with Gen Y employees. Use that information to improve the company and the risk will pay off.

 

·         Be truthful and respect your audience. Your integrity is always on show when you speak and communicate something, even if it is not important news. People generally know something of what is going on in the company and just want the gaps filled in. Be sincere and respectful of the intelligence of your audience, whoever they are. People will see through half-truths and when the truth is revealed, your honesty is on the line. In these days of mass communication, transparency and integrity is valued in every organisation.

Effective communications can transform your company, so make it a central part of your corporate strategy.

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