Trainers and Consultants
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... The Foundation
the time we're young children, we're taught how to talk. All through school
we take classes in English to help us speak and write properly. What we
aren't taught is the art of interpersonal communication.
an effective communicator is especially important in developing and keeping
relationships with your associates, members and/or clients. In fact,
according to the American Management Association 90% of all problems in an
organization are a direct result of poor communication.
and One Mouth
make sure you not only survive ... but thrive, there are basic
assumptions regarding communication that you must understand.
Communication Skills Can Be Learned. Many people believe good
communicators are "born with" the skill - and only a few
"lucky people" possess outstanding communication ability. In
reality, those excellent communicators who you admire either had superior
role models, or they made a deliberate effort to learn. For example, Winston
Churchill, one of the greatest orators of all time, grew up with a severe
stuttering problem. It took him three years to get through the 8th grade
because of his poor communication skills. With practice and determination he
became a great speaker.
To help you with your interpersonal communication skills I would recommend
Toastmasters International. Toastmasters programs can be offered at your
workplace. They focus on all aspects of communication and the program allows
you to get positive constructive feedback from fellow workers. To get more
information about setting up a club or going to an existing club call
Have Two Ears And One Mouth. Many people assume that good
communication only deals with how well you talk. This couldn't be further
from the truth. Most of the communication mishaps happen because of poor
listening habits. To become an active listener follow these 6 rules:
your own talking - You have two ears and one mouth. The more you
listen the more opportunity you'll have to find and understand the
wants, needs and aspirations of your employees.
interrupt - By interrupting your employee, sensitivity, rapport
and commitment are all killed. Although at times it seems expedient to
interrupt, this perceived lack of respect for your employees helps to
deteriorate the relationship and makes it harder to develop rapport.
nonverbal communication - Only 7% of the message we are
communicating is through the words we use, 38% is through the tone of
our voice and 55% is through our body language. This means that body
language and tone of voice convey 93% of the message that someone
communicates. Therefore, if you're talking to an employee and they start
doing things like, crossing their arms, crossing their legs away from
you, yawning, leaning back, looking bored or avoiding eye contact, you
need to "listen" to their body language. By being sensitive to
their body language you pick up the real underlying messages and
feelings that are being conveyed. In addition, you can encourage others
to communicate with you by softening your body language. Follow the key
points in this acronym. S- smile, O - open posture, F- forward lean, T-
watch others territory, E- eye contact, N- nodding to show you're
only think about what you're going to say next - Too many times
we are so concerned about we want to say that we don't hear what the
other person is really saying. By not paying total attention to our
employee(s), we focus on what we think is important to them and not what
they're really concerned about.
to your employees in a conducive setting - To get others to
us and have them focus on the substance of our message, distractions
must be minimized. Is your office too hot? Too cool? Is the
phone ringing all the time?
Are you answering the phone while talking to them?
Are there other people around?
Do you have distracting habits? To make sure
active listening takes place, you must alleviate all distractions.
what has been said - To avoid misunderstandings, it's important
to repeat back what your employee has told you. The problem is that when
you talk, how you say something and the words you use may have a
different meaning to your employee. Many times we say, "do you
understand? or does that make sense?" In most cases your employee
will say, "yes". The question we really need to find out is,
"what did they understand?" And since it may seem rude to ask
that question, we need to repeat back what they said to make sure we are
both hearing and understanding the same thing.
Sanow, MBA, is the co-author of four books, including "Marketing Boot
Camp". He is a professional speaker and trainer with more than 2,500
speaking engagements to his credit. His keynotes, breakout sessions, and
seminars focus on marketing, sales, customer service, communication and
presentation skills. For more information on his programs call 352-438-0261
email [email protected]
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