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04.20.2012
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The Importance of Excellent Hospitality Communication

Hospitality communication in the workplace is always an important issue which is constantly addressed by employers and staff alike. Excellent communication is a vital issue, because customers are paying not only for the product – the food, the room or the facilities – they are also paying for the service. And service is just as much about communication as it is about skill.

Hospitality communication covers two important areas: customer service, and ‘behind the scenes’ staff and management interaction. Good communication in both areas is essential for the high standards of operation everyone expects in the industry.

The Importance of Hospitality Communication in the Customer Service Level:

A client may have a bad day, or be in a bad mood, but a genuine smile from the receptionist and a warm welcome from all the staff might just change their outlook for the rest of that day and the days to come. The same applies for the waitperson at the restaurant, the housekeeping or maintenance staff, or any other employee that comes in contact with the guests. A caring, positive atmosphere makes the difference between just a place you pass through and a place your guests will remember.

Employees in the hospitality industry must remember that “service with a smile” is not just a logo – it’s what clients expect. It requires a positive attitude 100% of the time, even if you are having a bad day or you are tired – the customer is paying for your smile, not your frown. It requires patience when dealing with customers from overseas who have a hard time making themselves understood in English. It requires ‘putting up’ with grumpy people or ones who’s manners are not always impeccable – because, up to a certain point, ‘the customer is always right’. These are situations that staff learn to deal with and they take pride in the professional manner in which they handle ‘difficult customers’.

Other important aspect of hospitality communication with customers is providing clear and useful information when asked by customers. Restaurant staff should know the menu inside out, understand special dietary requirements, know about the source of the ingredients they are serving, etc. Reception staff at the hotel should be up-to-date not only with the facilities and services that the hotel offers, but also with all the other information travellers need: activities, transport, eating and entertainment, and opening hours of shops and agencies. It is part of the service, and guests appreciate well-informed and courteous staff – it can make a difference between “just another day” and a memorable day.

The Importance of Hospitality Communication between Staff and Management:

Employers should take the time to explain and train their employees to always maintain a warm, welcoming and professional environment in the workplace, not only where customers are concerned, but also among the staff themselves. An employer can do a lot to promote a positive atmosphere for the staff; a nice staff room with facilities for workers to relax during their breaks will let them know they are valued, that the boss cares about them. This small investment will pay off by having loyal staff who are willing to give a little extra because they feel it is appreciated. Good communication between management and staff will be passed down the line in the form of good communication between staff and guests. Making sure that staff has all the ‘tools of their trade’ to do their job to the highest standards is a two-way thing – employees have to communicate clearly and on time what they need, and management should listen and make sure they are well informed of all their staff’s requirements and needs.

Smiling, happy staff is one of management’s most important assets in the hospitality industry. Therefore, people who are looking at a career in this sector should know that the skills required include ‘people skills’ – understanding, patience, the ability to perform well as a team, and, above all, a positive disposition. Bad tempered people have no place in the hospitality industry – it’s a place where people come to relax and enjoy themselves. A happy and relaxed atmosphere is what anyone entering the facility should immediately feel, and if staff and management can communicate this at all times, they can be assured that their guests will be coming back for more.

Leith James has been a chef for over fifteen years and knows the secrets of effective business management with a book titled “The Secret ingredient to finding hospitality staff”. His vision is to improve hospitality quality and educate employers on effective hiring techniques through personality assessments. Read more articles like Hospitality Communication or to gain access for the Free hospitality mini course Click Here [http://www.hospitality1.net/]

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04.18.2012
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Funny Speech Writing – Make Them Laugh So They Listen

Need to write and deliver a speech? Do everyone a favor and write one with humor. Why? Because humor is entertaining and an audience will listen eagerly to a funny speech. And this increases the chance you’ll get your point across. Of course, the main purpose of your speech may not be to provide entertaining humor. It may be to inform, motivate or persuade. That’s okay. Write humor anyway. When people laugh, it breaks down barriers and makes them more receptive to what you want to convey. So regardless of the main purpose, writing humor helps deliver it effectively.

Perhaps you don’t consider yourself a funny person. And maybe your audience knows you’re not a funny person too. Fantastic! The contrast will make the humor in your speech even funnier to your audience.

Write a humorous speech tailored to your audience-even if they’re tailors

This should be sew obvious I needle not even bring it up. Never talk or write down to an audience. At the same time, write humor and language that is relevant. Are they carpenters? Nail them with great lines. Doctors? Give them your best shot. Attorneys? Be careful, they’re libel to litigate you.

Write humor that is appropriate to the specific group and doesn’t offend their sensibilities. But keep in mind that education and vocation does affect a person’s vocabulary. So write your humor accordingly. As you research your topic, you should also research industry terminology and phrases.

Write a humorous speech that supports your message

The mechanics of speech writing are the same with or without humor. You should write a speech with a beginning, middle, and end. And the beginning is important because it’s often where you either gain or lose the attention of your audience. So write an introduction with a humorous story, funny anecdote, or amusing story. And it doesn’t have to be original humor. The library is full of humor books for speeches with jokes, quips, and stories for all kinds of themes and occasions.

After the introduction, you’ll write the body of the speech. It usually includes 3-5 main points. Even though the point you make is serious, elaborate on it further with a joke, funny illustration, or anecdotal story. You should also strive to write smooth transitions from one point in your speech to the next. This too, offers an opportunity for humor. And don’t forget visual props. There are cartoons, funny pictures, and even comedy videos that will increase the laughter while making your point.

Make the final present of your speech a funny wrap-up

Write a speech ending that includes a brief summary of your main points-not a summary made in your briefs. Unless you’re addressing a group at Fruit of the Loom. The wrap-up is where you wow your audience with your final, humorous zinger. Something memorable. A profound piece of wisdom with humorous insight that drives your message home. You’ll discover that a funny speech has a funny way of making an impact through the levity of laughter.

Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter in Dayton, Ohio with a sense of humor. He writes a wide variety of advertising, marketing, and public relations material for various media- including speeches. He’s written for Wendy’s, LexisNexis, and Iams along with faith-based organizations like John Maxwell’s Injoy, Gospel Light Publishing, and the Catholic Marianists. To learn more visit: http://www.chiptudor.com.

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04.07.2012
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How to Improve Your Soft Skills and Communication Skills

WHAT’S THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFT SKILLS?

Everyone knows Soft skills are important for everyone. To enhance it is a continous process. A professional who wants to do well in his career must possess good communication skills. You can easily get a job with your technical or academic qualification but to grow in an organization your personality matters a lot. It can help professionals advance their careers.

Everyone already has some form of skills. It can be developed through good training, insightful reading, observation and of course practise. Soft skills help you grow beyond money motivation. So Developing professional ethics is vital to your career.

WHAT ARE THE SOFT SKILSS?

1. Business etiquette
2. Interpersonal skills
3. Negotiation skills
4. Team spirit
5. Socializing
6. Public dealing
7. Listening skills
8. Communicative Skills
9. Telephone Ettiquetes
10. Table Manners
11. Motivate others
12. Maintain meaningless conversation/ Discussion
13. Making a presentation to a group
14. Explaining something to a person
15. Leadership Skills

HOW TO ENHANCE YOUR SOFT SKILLS?

1. Participate in Team activities
2. Positive Attitude & Thinking
3. Positive work ethic
4. Cooperate with others
5. Socailize as much as you can
6. Be an active listner
7. Greet your Family members, Colleagues and Boss.
8. While talking to others, your voice tone and rate of speech must be audible and soothing.
9. Dont be aggressive during discussion.
10. Dress well to suit your profession and to create positive vibes in your workplace.
11. Take the Lead
12. Communicate clearly
13. Take care of your behaviour, Tackle others annoying behaviour
14. Learn to react on feedback
15. Respect everyone

To develop these skills you can join ”Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking” where you will interact with other people and will get the best training. Each participant has unique needs, so every program is customized to the individual participant. Our experts can help any person to develop their personality with these skills.

CONTACT INFORMATION-

Branches: Kamla Nagar, South Delhi, CP
Website: http://AnuragAggarwal.com/
Email ID: Anurag_AAIPS@yahoo.com
Mobile no: 9582121300

http://www.anuragaggarwal.com/

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04.04.2012
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Leadership Expectations – 20 Expectations For Leadership Success

How many times are individuals hired into leadership positions without really knowing what their own leadership expects of them? This is especially troublesome for those who are first time managers. As a leader, I always found it not only important but inspiring to share with my management team what I expected of each of them as leaders within the organization. Of course, turn around is always fair play. They also individually shared with me what they expected of me as their leader. Sharing expectations up front not only allowed us to come together as a high performance leadership team more quickly, but also gave us all the opportunity from the start to jointly build the best work team we could for the organization as a whole.

Below are 20 leadership expectations I have shared and found valuable for creating a strong leadership team.

1. Respect each other – treat everyone well. Do not be confrontational. Maintain their self-esteem. Be sensitive to the tone of your voice and the words that you speak. Give people the respect and the dignity they deserve. Do unto others, as they would have you do unto them. Trust people and honor the best they have to offer. You should always be in a partnership, you are part of the same team and everyone benefits form the organization being successful.

2. Act with integrity, speak honestly and do the right thing. Always, always tell the truth. Then you will not have to try and remember what you said. Choose your highest thought about something when trying to decide how to act.

3. Motivate with a mission; lead from the heart with passion and compassion. Give people a compelling reason for being a part of this organization. Employees are far more likely to put their heart in the game for a manager who breaks through the facade of invincibility and demonstrates humanness. Have a passionate belief in your ideas and values. Say the words “I believe” and share your thoughts with your team. Get people excited! Know that your true power comes from within, the source that fuels all success.

4. Be adaptable. Stay creative. Have the courage to do things differently. Find ways to always improve. Be willing to think a new thought if you want to create a different (new and improved) reality. Instill in others the need to “think a new thought”. Remember, change is part of the natural order of things. You must either change or be left behind. Be comfortable with letting go of the past in order to gab hold of a different future.

5. Pick your battles – know your non-negotiables. How you manage a crisis will determine whether it escalates or goes away. So pick your battles wisely. Some things are not worth fighting for now. Timing is everything!! Do not allow problems to fester. Deal with it. Recognize problems right away and deal with them.

6. Keep communications open. Deconstruct the barriers that inhibit the ability of the organization to learn, grow and continually adapt while moving forward. Create an organization that allows the sharing and flow of thought and information to proceed effortlessly as part of the process for the greater good. Learn to listen to and handle adversity while adhering to your beliefs. Take the heat and move on.

7. Get in the wheelbarrow! We succeed or fail together – it’s a partnership. People must know that everyone, including you, is in this together. They must understand that your success as a leader is linked to their success.

8. Always look for ways to improve something (remember everything can be improved upon until it is no longer needed). Keep being creative and looking for new ideas and thoughts. Find ways to always be improving, find new ways to win. Do not get stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it” because if that’s true, it’s probably time to change.

9. Live for the future, not from the past. Put your team in “future think” while bridging the gap between the past and the future. Find ways to not only create a vision for the future but also become that “vision” now, in the present. Remember you must first envision it before you can be it, you must be it before you can do it, you must do it before you can have it and only when you have it can you then claim it – SUCCESS!!

10. Work with a sense of urgency. You must understand that we do not have unlimited time! Everything has a time limit and nothing last forever. Lead with a sense of urgency and purpose knowing that what you are currently working on now is only a stepping-stone to the next opportunity that lies before you and your team.

11. Build a team ego – inflate the people around you. Put the group first. Make the people around you feel better. Make people proud to be a part of the team. Let people know they are “making history” everyday. Center success around the teams’ accomplishments. Build a team culture with shared values.

12. Do not just go through the day GROW through the day so tomorrow you can achieve more. Everyday look for or create opportunities for the members of your team to develop and grow. Remember the more they become, they more they can offer to not only the team’s success but their personal success as well.

13. Meetings: get in – get out! Enough said, literally!

14. Promote and support a balanced worklife. Realize, people don’t live to work; they work to live. Therefore, embrace the fact that they have a life outside of work, and so do you. Lead from the knowledge that people live within a holistic system that includes what happens inside and outside of work.

15. Show appreciation. Personally recognize. Understand that your team is the most valuable resource you have. It is what makes your leadership and the ability to succeed as an organization unique. Recognize that your team is uniquely qualified to deliver success to the organization. What you do with the unique talents, experiences and expertise that resides within your team will make all the difference between success and failure. There is no other team like the one you have on this planet, so lead like it.

16. Communicate what you want. Know the dangers of assumptions. Have one-on-one meetings to keep people informed. People cannot be blamed or held responsible for what they do not know. Make sure the message is understood. Do not simple assume people know what you want.

17. Be your own messenger. Be hands-on, talk to the team (everyday), reaffirm the vision, and constantly keep it out there. Be visible and let others see you lead. Let your team hear you and see you leading from the future, versus holding onto the past.

18. Act decisively – be an “intentional leader”. Decide to succeed on purpose and do what it takes to make that happen. Forget about “trying” because there is no such thing. You either get the results you want or your don’t. So decide to be a successful leader. Learn the methods of other successful leaders. Learn what works and what doesn’t and find what works best for you.

19. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take personal ownership and pride in all you are responsible for. Failure is part of the leadership package. Do not be afraid to be wrong, do not be afraid to fail, its part of the process. Failure is just another class in school. Just remember, when you fail, fail fast, learn from it and then keep moving forward.

20. Always “be of service”. Everything you do as a leader must be geared towards nurturing an environment that makes peoples lives better. Stay in service to others and those that are depending on you for your leadership.

Angela Chammas M.Ed., M.S., CPC, is CEO and Managing Principal, for The Chammas Group, LLC, a life and leadership consulting and coaching organization. Angela is a professional speaker, certified professional coach, consultant, author and trainer. She has extensive experience and expertise in strategic leadership, adult training and professional development, executive and leadership coaching, organization management, operational excellence and process improvement. Visit her website for more information at http://www.thechammasgroup.com

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04.03.2012
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5 Popular Topics For Conversation People Love to Talk About

Everyone has had that conversation, the one that drags on, stumbles all over itself, the discussion that seems like treading through molasses. Usually, tedious and boring conversations have less to do with the two people talking and more to do with the subject being discussed. A good, lively and interesting topic often does more than to keep a conversation rolling than an engaging, gregarious person discussing something dull and uninteresting. To help you, here are five popular topics that people love to talk about.

TOP SPOTS TO HANG OUT AT – This is a great way to learn about where people love to hang out in their spare time, and where to meet other people with similar interests. Most gossip that doesn’t involve people revolves around the best places to be seen, or to get coffee, pizza, a beer or dance the night away. This topic can easily lead to invitation to further social encounters at any of the places discussed between you and your conversation partner.

THE ECONOMY – Believe it or not, everyone has an opinion on the dour state of the economy right now (making it a great topic to talk about) and most everyone knows someone impacted by the decline in some way. Commiseration loves company, but beware, such conversations are not a good place to discuss political action beyond generalities unless you know ahead of time the political proclivities of your conversation partner, and that you know such what create unnecessary friction.

MUTUAL INTERESTS – Most likely you will share with the people you talk with some common interest or activity that you both enjoy doing and talking about. If you are unsure what your conversation partner enjoys doing, pick a couple of your favorite interests and ask them their thoughts on those things. Chances are you will soon find common ground on this and have plenty to talk about.

POPULAR CULTURE – Most everyone has an opinion on the TV shows, newspapers and Web sites that define and dominate our culture. Good or bad, chances are your conversation partner has plenty to say about American Idol, Survivor, or the NY Times Book Review. They call this water cooler talk for a reason. Good social skills involves both meaningful and light topics like water cooler talk.

VACATIONS – Everybody loves to get away, and most people love talking about their last vacation or the one they currently have in the works. Such conversations are great ways to mutually fantasize about leaving your respective lives behind, even if for only a short while.

Learn the secrets of making friends and gaining respect by developing conversation skills with Big Talk from Joshua Uebergang.

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04.01.2012
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10 Steps to Effective Communication

At the root of any successful leader is a strong ability to communicate. Sure, there have been leaders who have ascended into the highest positions and not had that skill, but they likely didn’t last long. This point was illustrated recently as I listened to a NPR program about the failure of the big banks on Wall Street. When Congress grilled executives from these institutions about why they didn’t catch the risky investments that were being made that ultimately failed, their answers were all the same and quite simple – we didn’t know. It was their job to know and either nobody told them or they didn’t catch it in the data they had access to. No flags were raised; nobody asked so nobody told. This is definitely a communication meltdown that had widespread negative consequences.

What is communication? Communication in life is the pinnacle of every successful – and not so successful – relationship. According to Webster’s dictionary, communication is defined as a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication processes are sign-mediated interactions between at least two agents, which share a repertoire of signs, and semiotic rules. Communication is commonly defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. Although there is such a thing as one-way communication, communication can be perceived better as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and progression of thoughts, feelings or ideas (energy) towards a mutually accepted goal or direction (information).

Why is communication important? Often times, we have a message which we want to communicate or we want the receiver of message to understand our message in the same sense as we convey it. Take for example a company’s need to raise the cost of health insurance. Often times, this is conveyed through a written document to the employees at open enrollment time. The employee’s reaction is usually anger towards the company for making them pay more money for health coverage. The miss here is that the company is not sharing as much information as they should to help the employee understand how the raising cost of health insurance coverage affects the company and their contribution too. A company should give the employee a total compensation statement at that time so all employees can see how much the company invests in him/her as individuals. Giving each employee a clear, individualized picture and then telling the employee the cost is raising would change the way the message is received. There may still be anger, but it will be focused on the right culprit of raising costs, which are the insurance and medical companies and not the employer. Effective communication helps in that the message is enable to achieve its goals and helps in receiving the desired response from the reader of the message. Effective communication helps organizations in keeping good relationships with their customers and employees; forwarding information effectively helps in avoiding any dispute that can arise because of a misunderstanding.

The 4 Types of Communication. I used to work with someone who I refer to as a “chit-chatter.” He’d walk the halls every day knocking on doors and say, “do you have a minute?’ An hour and a half later he’d still be sitting there rambling. I learned very quickly that my body language could help deter this activity without me having to be rude or disengaging. When Mr. Chatter would show up at my door and say, “do you have a minute?” He’d start to walk in the door before I would answer and I would throw my hand up in the “stop” mode. I would say, “actually, I’m in the middle of something right now, can I get you on my calendar for later today?” His answer was always, “Oh. No, I just came by to say hello.” That one gesture changed the whole dynamic of the conversation. There are 4 types of communication that are present in our lives: verbal, non-verbal, written and visual.

Verbal Communication: Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said to have originated from sounds and gestures. There are many languages spoken in the world. The bases of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area, age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and is again classified into two types viz. interpersonal communication and public speaking. Good verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. In a business, you come across people from various ages, cultures and races. Fluent verbal communication is essential to deal with people in business meetings. Also, in business communication self-confidence plays a vital role which when clubbed with fluent communication skills can lead to success. Public speaking is another verbal communication in which you have to address a group of people. Preparing for an effective speech before you start is important. In public speaking, the speech must be prepared according to the type of audience you are going to face. The content of your your speech should be authentic and you must have enough information on the topic you have chosen for public speaking. All the main points in your speech must be highlighted and these points should be delivered in the correct order. There are many public speaking techniques and these techniques must be practiced for an effective speech.

Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also included in non-verbal communication. Body language is a non-verbal way of communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Body posture matters a lot when you are communicating verbally to someone. Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like, shaking hands, pushing, patting and touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Reading facial expressions can help you know a person better.

Written Communication: Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good written communication is essential for business purposes. Written communication is practiced in many different languages. E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom the communication is intended. This is one of the main advantages of using writing as the major means of communication in business activity. Written communication is used not only in business but also for informal communication purposes. Mobile SMS is an example of informal written communication.

Visual communication: The last type of communication out of the four types of communication, is the visual communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.

What is Your Communication Style? I come from a family where being direct is considered combative. To me, honesty is the best policy and the only way to be honest is to be direct. Of course that ends up causing conflict between myself, my mother and my siblings because they would rather agree with the person to their face then disagree behind the scenes. My style is direct and their style is harmonious (with a bit of passive aggressiveness in my opinion, but that’s a blog for another time!) I have adjusted my style to reduce the conflict and I have learned to get my point across without ruffling anyone’s feathers. Does it always work? No, but it has reduced my stress and those around me. It is critically important to know your style of communication and recognize the style of others so that you can learn to be flexible in your message without compromising it and drastically reduce the possibility of miscommunication. I found an interesting article that had some critically important information relative to communication style: The 21 most important words in the English language:

The two most important words:

Thank You

The three most important words:

All is forgiven

The four most important words:

What is your opinion

The Five most important words:

You did a good job

The six most important words:

I want to understand you better

The least important word:

I”

The Power of Listening: There is nothing that will derail effective communication quicker than one of the parties not really listening to the other. This recently happened to a client with the financial aid office of the University of Michigan, where his child attends school. Every single person that he have dealt with in that office since his child first attended there in 2009 had been short, curt and robotic in conveying the Federal guidelines for student aid. Clearly, there is a budget they adhere to and there is no going outside the box, which is a total disconnect for him as the recipient of financial aid when he attended the Western Michigan University years ago. HIs perception was that the financial aid office exists to help student find a way to fund their education when they don’t have money out of pocket to cover the entire cost. The University of Michigan’s Financial Aid Office employees make it clear through their words and non-verbal communication that their mission is to limit the amount of funds that go to each student to meet some secret budget goal. He tried on several occasions to explain this to the head of the department and each time she twisted it around and blamed him for misunderstanding the counselors, or not following their guidelines, or taking what was said out of context. Not once did she acknowledge that she heard what my client was saying or that she would try and help him find financial resources to help him cover the $26,000 annual cost of school. His child asked, “How can I find more money to go to school?” The counselor responded, “By getting married, having a baby, joining the military or your parents dying.” He said, “None of those are a remote possibility, to which he responded, “Well maybe you should have chosen a school that was more affordable to you.” His child worked hard to get accepted to U of M and he worked hard to save enough money for him to go there. The counselor was actually conveying the Federal guidelines of student aid to him, but it was the way he conveyed it that was totally inappropriate. When my client brought it to the attention of the department director, she was very defensive and blamed the entire issue on me in that he wasn’t accepting that these were the guidelines. That wasn’t the point, but rather there is a right way and a wrong way to say, no, which is exactly what they were telling his son in terms of getting more aid. The last exchange my client had with the department head, she said, “Please accept my apologies for any response you feel was inappropriate.” My client didn’t feel the responses were inappropriate, they were. He totally understands the Federal guidelines, and she repeatedly and robotically recited them to him over and over and over again, missing the point. Putting the blame back on my client and his son clearly showed she never listened what I was trying to say and my client wasn’t heard. That’s an unfortunate gap between a parent and a major function at a major institution.

Managing Conflict: To say my client had a conflict with the U of M financial aid office is an understatement. It was a major communication breakdown, one I’m sure he’ll pay the price for at a later date – literally. However it is a normal part of life to have conflict at home, in the workplace, in any situation where two or more people are exchanging information. What is key is how we manage conflict and bring it to successful resolution. In the case of the financial aid office, my client has agreed to disagree, take what they will give and find another resource to cover the gap in tuition. The head of that office will never get what was said to her and he can live with that, it’s her loss. There are many effective ways to defuse a tense situation and one thing that has been successful is to decide – what can you live with and what are you not willing to budge on? Knowing conflict happens and being armed with tools to manage through it and resolve it are keys to having the right mindset while it is happening. My client’s situation was unfortunate but not personal and I guarantee he is not the first nor will he be the last to experience a brick wall when it comes to the U of M financial aid office. Removing the emotion and defusing the situation helped bring this to a reasonable conclusion.

How Your Attitude Affects Communication: Every attitude is a combination of feelings, beliefs and evaluations. Behavior refers to the reactions or actions of an object or organism and attitude predicts behavior. Persuasive communication changes attitudes, which then affects behavior, which then creates a more productive environment. Persuasive communication involves openly trying to convince another to change their behavior and only works when the source is credible and trustworthy. Addressing trust and credibility first among your coworkers and other critical relationships you have lays a strong foundation. Learning to clearly state your position, followed by supporting arguments and obtaining others’ agreement are the keys to persuasion.

Giving and Receiving Feedback: Feedback is a type of communication that we give or get. Sometimes, feedback is called “criticism,” but this seriously limits its meaning.

Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are trying to accomplish, or how they affect you. It provides a way for people to learn how they affect the world around them, and it helps us to become more effective. If we know how other people see us, we can overcome problems in how we communicate and interact with them. Of course, there are two sides to it: giving feedback, and receiving it.

Getting Feedback: Some people experience feedback as pure criticism and don’t want to hear it. Others see it as spiritually crushing; a confirmation of their worthlessness. Still others only want to hear praise, but nothing that might suggest imperfection. That’s not the case for everyone, of course. Some people are willing to accept feedback and seek it out, even if it is sometimes disturbing, because they believe they can grow from it. It comes down to whether you believe feedback will harm you or benefit you.

This is not to say that we should always have to accept feedback or the manner in which it is sometimes given. We all have the right to refuse feedback, and we can expect feedback to be given in a respectful and supportive manner. But for every positive and open way of accepting feedback, there’s an opposite; a negative and closed manner which pushes feedback away and keeps it at bay.

Negative/Closed Style

Defensive: defends personal actions, frequently objects to feedback given. Attacking: verbally attacks the feedback giver, and turns the table. Denies: refutes the accuracy or fairness of the feedback. Disrespectful: devalues the speaker, what the speaker is saying, or the speaker’s right to give feedback. Closed: ignores the feedback, listening blankly without interest. Inactive listening: makes no attempt to “hear” or understand the meaning of the feedback. Rationalizing: finds explanations for the feedback that dissolve any personal responsibility. Patronizing: listens, but shows little interest. Superficial: listens and agrees, but gives the impression that the feedback will have little actual effect.

Positive/Open Style

Open: listens without frequent interruption or objections. Responsive: willing to hear what’s being said without turning the table. Accepting: accepts the feedback, without denial. Respectful: recognizes the value of what is being said and the speaker’s right to say it. Engaged: interacts appropriately with the speaker, asking for clarification when needed. Active listening: listens carefully and tries to understand the meaning of the feedback. Thoughtful: tries to understand the personal behavior that has led to the feedback. Interested: is genuinely interested in getting feedback. Sincere: genuinely wants to make personal changes if appropriate.

Giving Feedback

The other end of feedback is giving it. Some people deliver feedback with relish; after all, it’s easier to give advice than take it. Some use feedback as a weapon, or offer it as tit-for-tat. For others, feedback is a great way to be critical. How you deliver feedback is as important as how you accept it, because it can be experienced in a very negative way. To be effective you must be tuned in, sensitive, and honest when giving feedback. Just as there are positive and negative approaches to accepting feedback, so too are there ineffective and effective ways to give it.

Ineffective/Negative Delivery

Attacking: hard hitting and aggressive, focusing on the weaknesses of the other person. Indirect: feedback is vague and issues hinted at rather than addressed directly. Insensitive: little concern for the needs of the other person. Disrespectful: feedback is demeaning, bordering on insulting. Judgmental: feedback is evaluative, judging personality rather than behavior. General: aimed at broad issues which cannot be easily defined. Poor timing: given long after the prompting event, or at the worst possible time. Impulsive: given thoughtlessly, with little regard for the consequences. Selfish: feedback meets the giver’s needs, rather than the needs of the other person.

Effective/Positive Delivery

Supportive: delivered in a non-threatening and encouraging manner. Direct: the focus of the feedback is clearly stated. Sensitive: delivered with sensitivity to the needs of the other person. Considerate: feedback is intended to not insult or demean. Descriptive: focuses on behavior that can be changed, rather than personality. Specific: feedback is focused on specific behaviors or events. Healthy timing: given as close to the prompting event as possible and at an opportune time. Thoughtful: well considered rather than impulsive. Helpful: feedback is intended to be of value to the other person.

The Importance of Feedback

Feedback is a must for people who want to have honest relationships. A powerful and important means for communication, giving feedback connects us, and our behavior, to the world around us.

Communication and the Digital Age: There are now multiple means of causing communication barriers between people; texting, Facebook-ing, Twittering, instant messaging, voice mail and email to name a few. Stephen Covey’s Time Management program preaches for us to be the master of technology versus letting technology being our master. I recently attended a baseball game and when I looked around the stadium, I saw a sea of people looking at their cell phones. They were texting, taking pictures, uploading them to Facebook, talking – it was a new age of mass media blitz. I frequently get instant messages from clients and potential clients asking me in-depth life changing questions and expecting a simple answer in return. It’s hard to be an effective communicator in the digital age unless we learn how to use these means in a persuasive and appropriate manner. A client of mine has an employee who constantly fires off scathing emails. My client gets constant complaints about the employee who is perceived as being combative and abrasive. I advised her to sit down with the employee, show her examples of the inappropriate emails, advise her to a 24-hour “cool down” period, then initially reviewing the emails with someone they can trust before hitting the send key. A month later the client reported that 9 out of 10 emails were scrapped before sending. The employee then learned the skill of not reacting via email to other communication that was angering her. It is especially important in this economic climate where we’re doing much more with much less and tensions are high.

Ask yourself the following questions:

How would your professional and personal life change if you could successfully master these basic skills? Can you afford not to make the investment to improve your communication? You will be amazed at the startling turn your life will take once you learn how to communicate effectively and successfully. Did you know that the most important asset to a company or to a client is a person who communicates effectively, someone who has the ability to influence and persuade others? Are you communicating successfully and effectively to influence others or are you just talking?

i. 2007, Stoney deGeyter; Pole Position Marketing. ii. 2009, Phil Rich, Ed.D., MSW, DCSW; Self-Help Magazine.

About Terri Kern Company

Terri Kern Company, LLC ( http://www.terrikern.org ) provides professionals at any level around the globe with the training & development they need to successfully manage their career. From group training, to executive coaching, to one-on-one career development planning, clients that have used TKC for their career management needs have achieved their goals faster, struck a work/life balance, engage in meaningful work and are financially stable. They work with or independent of the professional’s current employer.

Vision of Terri Kern Company:
Our vision serves as the framework for the mission and guides every aspect of our business by helping each professional client:
• Create foundation for success through visualizing who you want to be, self-awareness and the perception of others;
• Cultivate a development plan that will bridge the gap between now and later;
• Conquer new skills, behaviors and motivations;
• Succeed in your new world.

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03.29.2012
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21st Birthday Speeches Are Different to Other Speeches

21st Birthday speeches mark an important stage in one’s life. They combine looking back with looking forward. Usually parents or relatives give the speeches and so they are personal in tone because they are being given by someone who knows the celebrant well. Of course that is not to say that 21st speeches are not sometimes given by a peer and, if so, such speeches will usually be lighter in tone and have a bantering note. It’s probable too that many of the guests may even heckle!

These days people often celebrate their 18th birthday as their coming of age yet 21st birthdays are still important occasions in most people’s lives. When you reach this age you are poised on the threshold of adult life. When you become 21 you are usually ready to choose a career, decide you want to travel or at least make some decisions regarding your future.

21st Birthday speeches should take this into account. They should, of course speak of the past years, the childhood and teenage years of the birthday boy or girl. They should also, though, speak of the future that lies ahead. They may make suggestions or give ideas. They may give guidance to the celebrant. Above all they will express the good wishes of the speaker.

Parents will often speak with pride of the achievements of their now adult son or daughter. They may have qualified at university or learnt a trade. They may have been excellent sportspeople or deeply involved in social work. Whatever their achievements 21st birthday speeches give parents the opportunity to say how much their child means to them. It is even more important that they do so at a party where the boy or girl is surrounded by family and friends.

21st birthday speeches are often the last speeches parents will give addressed to their children. As the celebrants grow older it is often their own spouses or children who toast them. So a 21st birthday is a very special occasion and the words you say should be words that will be remembered.

A party is a time for celebrating so the speech should be light-hearted while sincere. It should also be short because nobody wants to listen to a long-winded speech at a festive occasion. It should express praise and love and above all the hope that the celebrant will enjoy a long and happy life. It should, naturally end with a relevant toast.

Niamh Crowe
Copyright Speechwriters 1995-2010
marketing@speech-writers.com
Tel. +353 1 8333599

Niamh Crowe has written Birthday speeches for 20 years. She has written thousands of speeches for every event and occasion including 21st Birthday speeches, inspirational speeches, funeral speeches etc.

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03.27.2012
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Father of the Bride Speeches – Top Tips For Writing a Memorable Wedding Speech and Toast

If you are looking for inspiring ideas on how to write father of the bride speeches, you have found the right place. In this article, let us talk about topics that you can include in your speech to make it meaningful, enlightening, and memorable.

The Welcome Note

You must begin your father of the bride speech with a cheerful welcome note. First, you may briefly introduce yourself as not everyone who attends may know that you are the bride’s father.

Next, welcome and thank everyone who attended this joyous family occasion, including your family, relatives, friends and acquaintances. Be sure to extend a special welcome to the groom’s parents and family as well.

In your welcome note, you may also highlight one or a few of your favourite moments during the wedding ceremony, such as walking your daughter down the aisle, which you will treasure in your memory forever.

About the Bride

Of course, no father of the bride speech will be complete without the story about the bride. This is the part where you can share funny anecdotes that you remember about your daughter when she was a child, while she was growing up, or while she was in her teens. This is your chance to reminisce your precious bonding moments spent with your daughter.

You can also compliment the bride on how beautiful and blooming she looks on this special day. Everyone knows that the bride is the star of the event so she deserves all the best compliments. Let the audience know how proud you are that you are her father and that you are standing here today to give this speech for your daughter’s wedding.

About the son-in-law

This is your opportunity to publicly express warm welcome to your new son-in-law. Tell the audience how happy you are now that he is officially part of your family. What particular traits do you admire about the groom that makes you feel he is the perfect partner for your daughter? Giving sincere complements to the groom will surely make your daughter’s heart happy as well.

In crafting wedding speeches for the father of the bride, you want to show your wisdom and insight, dispensing valuable matrimonial advice to the bride and groom. Above all, you want to show your great, unconditional love for your little girl.

As father of the bride, you play a strong, vital role in the wedding of your daughter. That is why it is important to make all wedding speeches for the father of the bride the best that they can be; and luckily, help is available.

For more inspiring ideas, visit father of the bride speeches and toasts website to read exclusive samples of father of the bride speeches that you can use to get your creative juices flowing. The website also offers a great selection of wedding toasts, quotations, a step by step guide to help you write your own speech from scratch, advice on how you can deliver a great speech without worrying about mental block or stage fright and more.

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03.26.2012
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Barriers to Effective Communication

Do you sometimes feel difficult to effectively communicate with other people especially for business purpose? You may simply think because you not just not sociable. Well, what is more behind the general word sociable? Understanding more about these barriers help you know more about what the underlying factors are causing you not sociable and achieve better communication.

Filtering
Filtering is the control of information flow intentionally so that the receiver feel more easily accepted. In an organization, it can happen when the upper hierarchy not desire all the information be known by the lower hierarchy. For more personal situation, it can happen when your family member refuses to disclose certain bad news to you.

Selective Perception
Selective perception means we interpret information selectively based on our own interests. Facing the same information, different receiver will selectively pick up the piece of information that interests him, leading to certain information more impressive to us while others are not.

Information overload
In such a technologically advance era, information is flowing everywhere. We are not monster or even computer, the information that we can process at the same time is very limited. When there is too much information, we will be overloaded. When this happens, we start to miss out, forget and ignore information. With information loss due to overload, we are not going to have effective communication.

Emotions
You feelings at the time of communication mean a lot to how you interpret the information. The same message sent to you when you are angry and when you are happy can be interpreted significantly different. The biggest problem to us caused by emotions is not we are going to miss certain information (maybe useful ones), the problem is usually at that time we are not that rational. If we fail to interpret the information rationally, we are not objective and logical.

Language
The same word can have different meaning when it comes to different people due to our background and cultural differences. Even we are speaking the same language like English, sometimes, we cannot accurately get the meaning from others. The big problem does not lie with the fact that a word can mean differently to different people, the problem is we always assume other people interpret the word with the same meaning as we do. This is especially true to the communication between men and women.

By knowing the barriers to effective communication, you can intentionally do something to lower the barriers. Though it is not that easy to eliminate all the barriers due to tons of reasons, knowing more about it is always better.

Learn to negotiate and communicate, check out: Negotiation.

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03.24.2012
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The Importance Of Feedback In Communication

Communication plays a very crucial role in an organization. In fact, communication is the reason for human existence. There are different forms of communication through which the intentions of people and animals and even plants alike can be passed across to another. Without communication, life will be very difficult and in fact, it will be full of chaos.

Feedback makes communication meaningful. It is the end-result of an idea and makes communication continuous. In the process of communication, the originator first gets the idea to be passed across and then think of how to get it across via appropriate channel or medium. After the coding and dissemination, one expects the decoder after receiving the information or idea to give response. The response thus given is called the response which may be verbal or non-verbal, that is, in words or mere smile, glance, clap, etc.

While feedback could be instantaneous as in the case of verbal conversation between two people standing or on telephone conversation or internet instant message, it could be delayed for sometime before the response is given to allow the receiver to think and take his time to consider what he is given. While the former is common to an informal communication, the latter goes with formal communication via letters, memo, etc. Feedback could also be in written form or in oral form or even both. It could be also in form of demonstration e.g. body movement, paralanguage, gesture, posture, etc.

At one time or another, people are seen been frustrated as a result of the refusal of another person to give response to their message or letter. Some got so mad that delay in such could result to disciplinary measures or insubordination especially in a formal setting. To lovers, it means life itself. Refusal to communicate one’s intentions may mal the whole relationship of a thing. All these explain the importance of feedback in communication.

The following are some of the importance of feedback in communication either in a formal or informal setting:

1. It completes the whole process of communication and makes it continuous.
2. It sustains communication process
3. It makes one know if one is really communication or making sense
4. It is a basis for measuring the effectiveness of communication
5. It is a good basis for planning on what next to be done especially statistical report
6. Communication will be useless without feedback
7. Feedback paves way for new idea generation

These points are few in number. The basis being established here is that feedback is the livewire of communication as communication is the livewire of human existence and interaction. Thus, feedback should be carefully considered before being put forward due to its significance.

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