Human communication skills Archive

5 tips for risk management during change

Effective risk management helps minimise the impact of threats and to capitalise on opportunities Every change comes with potential risks and opportunities. Most change initiatives originate out of the realisation that the risk of acting is lower than the risk of doing nothing. Pretending the risks don’t exist increases team stress and the potential for failure. Proactively managing risk (acknowledging and anticipating) can give us …

End boring meetings with the standing meeting

Similar to teamwork in sports, at work if any team member is not aligned with the strategic goals or pulling their weight, the rest of the team may suffer for it. It is important to watch for members of the team who don’t seem to pay attention when others are speaking, or always give vague updates about what they’re working on. It may mean they …

Top 10 reasons people tune you out at work

Do you feel like people sometimes don’t listen to you at work? We’re all guilty of not listening at one point or another in our lives. We tune others out while we’re busy, concentrating on a task or when we are reading. Though we try hard to multi-task between tasks we are not always able to listen to someone who’s trying to talk to …

Effective strategy communication tips

Strategy communication tips: How do you share a strategy effectively within your organisation? These Effective strategy communication tips can help persuade employees of the importance and relevance of their company’s purpose (why we exist), and strategic goals (what we are going to do). These communication strategies will help you more effectively reach your employees, and gain buy-in that advances your strategy and improves your results. …

Image selection in slide design

Image selection in slide design is about more than just typing the word or concept into Google, it is about clarifying your message and making each slide count. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but using the wrong picture can be distracting and create confusion.

Preparing for difficult conversations

When preparing for difficult conversations about behaviour, attitude or performance keep these top tips in mind. Approach it as a conversation, not a lecture! Gain perspective and remember our attitude towards the process helps shape it.

Winning over upset customers

Friction between you and a difficult customer is often made worse by how you interpret their behaviour. Get the full picture. Additionally although the customer's anger may seem to be directed at you, you are just the person they are venting to and don't take it too personally.

Tips for handling Group Presentations

Group presentations are often done poorly. The problem is often a combination of poor planning and coordination between group members and a fear of public speaking. Have each speaker plan their speech before you build the first slide; your slides should augment the presentation not be the presentation.

Using humour in your presentations

Humour can be a powerful tool if it is used to make a point Jokes without a point, in a presentation, can be distracting. Humour helps us capture attention, builds rapport, and makes our message more memorable if used effectively. Laughter also helps break tension, too much drama or tension is exhausting (Think Shakespeare’s use of line to break tension “Alas poor Yorick I knew him well”). Tips …

Email tips to get your message across

Keep your emails brief and focused on just one topic, this makes them more productive. Lengthy emails with multiple requests, too much information or multiple objectives hidden in the body of the text take longer to handle, are tougher to archive properly and can prove difficult to forward.

Presentation skills: Bullet points limit the presenter

Use the Picture Superiority effect (PSE) to increase engagement and reduce boring presentations. Bullet points lead to presenters reading instead of speaking. It is easy to begin reading what is on the screen when the screen is filled with text bullets, this is really boring to the audience.

Steps to creating a communications strategy

A communication strategy can be prepared for a variety of internal and external communication scenarios When creating a communications strategy it is important to remember that it is not a one-time project. If the communication in an organisation is unclear it can lead to confusion, disengagement and poor delivery.As the environment and role players change the communications strategy needs to be re-evaluated to fit the …

Body language tips for speakers

Body language tips to improve your speaking Improving your understanding and delivery of nonverbal communication takes time and practice to improve. First we need to recognise the power of nonverbal communication. Facial expressions Our faces show how we feel, even when we try and hide it. Learning how to read facial and body expression gives us insight into the accuracy and honesty of communication.  We …

A compelling call-to-action

Before developing your call-to-action, be clear on what action you’d like your audience to take. Build the interaction around that call-to-action and point people to the next step.

Tips on writing a Wedding Speech

Start by making some notes of stories and experiences that you’ve enjoyed with the bride, groom or couple. Take into account the audience’s cultural background, age, familiarity with the happy couple, etc. By sharing a few stories that show who they are to you, the audience gains insight into your relationship. e.g. “I’ll never forget ...”

Tips on doing the wedding toast

Use stories and anecdotes to create an engaging wedding toast Long drawn out wedding toasts can put your guests to sleep. If you’re not used to public speaking don’t wing it, practice your speech (or get coaching). The speeches offer an opportunity for family and friends to gain insight into the parties involved and have some light fun. Notes on index cards (not word-for-word, but …

Effective adult education in the workplace

We believe what we see above that which we hear. Still the most powerful method to persuade or to positively change behaviour is to demonstrate the desired behaviour. For effective adult education don’t tell them what to do, demonstrate the desired behaviour and offer suggestions instead. Telling can bring out the inner stroppy child.

Leadership, you are always on stage

Leadership means we are always on stage “What you do teaches faster, and has a lasting impression, far beyond what you say.” T.F. Hodge Part of our job, as leaders, is to inspire the people around us to step up, and go the extra mile. To accomplish this we must demonstrate best practice, by doing what we tell others to do. It doesn’t matter whether we are …

Performance feedback: Specific positive feedback

There are many stories about employees who received glowing performance reviews right up to the day they were let go for “performance issues.” There were problems that should have been addressed, but instead “positive” platitudes were used to cover the underlying criticism to avoid hurting feelings. Not all positive feedback is created equal. In order for feedback to encourage positive behaviour it needs to be …

Speech design: Have One Clear Message when you speak

Don’t let your message get lost in too much data. Create a clear take-away you want your audience to remember. We may feel the message should be obvious, but unless you have your message clearly in your mind, it isn’t. Ensure you can write your message clearly in one or two sentences.

Effective email tips for business

Here are a few great tips for creating effective emails. Try them out and see the difference! Most emails end with the point of the email, which many readers never get to. After the call to action summarise your key points, then add detail. NB: If you need to clarify details, misunderstandings or resolve a conflict, pick up the phone.

Why neuroscience matters in business

Too much focus on the bottom line can lead to disengaged employees as they feel they do not matter. Managers now have the hard science to support development of our most important asset, our people while developing engagement. Passionate engaged workers translate in to a healthy triple bottom line (people, profits, planet).

Fairness at work

It turns out we are far more stimulated by the idea of fairness than by free money. Our pleasure/reward circuitry is activated more when the offer is perceived as fair. An unfair offer produces resentment,and may lead to the desire to punish.

The power of price framing

We often use comparisons to assess value. Learn the skills Williams-Sonoma, The Economist and great sales organisations know to ensure your ideas and product have perceived value.

Listening skills beyond words

Relationships are a dance between two emotional human beings who colour each interaction through their own expectations, experiences, and history. Each of us has a different skill level when it comes to communication, luckily better communication is a skill that can be learned. Communication can make or break your relationships.

Become a buying preference

Think about what you have recently bought that you didn’t really need, but wanted. We buy mostly based on our emotional preferences (wants), not always on what we need. As we become aware of this emotional drive we can learn change the way we sell to, or influence, our customers.

Sell emotional experiences to engage

We are emotional beings first, we use reason and reason to make sense of our emotions. Studies have shown repeatedly that we value experiences far more than things. People will pay more for an enjoyable experience than a thing.

Performance feedback: Positive Tipping

Positive acknowledgement is the tipping point, it encourages positive behaviour. Criticism, with little or no acknowledgement, encourages apathy and disengagement. At work, and in relationships, when we get acknowledged for effort, we tend to repeat the appreciated behaviour and add new positive behaviour. When we get criticised we often think “well why bother” and stop trying as hard, reasoning “It doesn’t matter what I …