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 …
Human communication skills Archive
An effective internal communications strategy can reduce uncertainty and increase productivity, retention and participation in achieving organisational goals.
No two interviews are exactly the same, but as a general guide these interview tips will help with the types of questions that could come up in a typical interview.
Email overload reduces effectiveness and productivity. If, like me, you receive dozens of emails each day you are likely to increasingly ignore any mail that requires work to discover its point.
Should we use Emotional Intelligence when dealing with people who are less mature, or demonstrate little EQ? EI is about more than being nice, it is a real world success and leadership skill.
Is human connection suffering? We live in the most connected age ever, yet we are often more isolated than ever.
Empathy is an understanding of what another feels born out of our own experiences and sorrows. It is about connecting to our humanity, and acknowledging another’s experience of the world may be different to our own current experience.
Values based leadership can be an essential tool to grow you culture. When we use values to make decisions, our decisions align with the future we want to experience.
There is a big difference between spoke language and written language. Aim to have it sound natural as it is spoken. The speech should be memorable and easy to follow. Most importantly, when writing a presentation script for some else it needs to reflect the speaker’s style, not yours.
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 …
How do we share what we learn (both good and bad) with our teams so they repeat the good, and learn how to overcome the bad? How do we give our employees a voice and engage them in the process of building a high performance team?
Ways to develop effective peer-to-peer coaching meetings. Training alone can improve individual and team performance by over 20%, but training and coaching together can improve performance by over 80%.
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 …
Not all Q&A sessions are created equal. We could use technology (Twitter or some other live question feed) to get quality questions, but these solutions can be time consuming, complex to manage or expensive (due to the technology required).
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 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.
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.
Nobody wants their time wasted by attending an unproductive meeting. Meetings can eat up days of productive time if inefficiently planned and run. An effective meeting helps you achieve a desired outcome within a specific timeframe and follows up on what was decided.
As emotional beings dealing with upset or disappointed customers can be challenging. Follow this step by step process to deal with difficult customers.
A clear strategic communication plan needs to be sculpted for the needs of each audience in order to communicate clearly and effectively.
Questioning skills to help engage your audience. Questioning can help build relationships and coach if done effectively
Listening is not always easy. Be in the moment. In order to be a successful listener we must be physically and mentally present.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
Using bullet points in your presentations can cause your audience to read ahead or switch off. Use the Picture Superiority effect (PSE) to increase retention and engagement. Pictures are more memorable than lists.
Understanding David Rock’s SCARF model can help us reduce conflict. Understanding that the brain seeks pleasure and strives to avoid pain helps us become aware of the triggers that can lead to conflict.
We have to deal with off the cuff questions daily - after presentations, when dating and in social situations. Learning to think on your feet is a great way to increase your confidence as a speaker.
Speech design tips to help you structure your thoughts so your audience can follow and understand your message.
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 …
Communication that is clear and understood saves time and money, improves customer scores, and helps increase employee engagement levels.
How accurate is the communication participants receive? Is the information accurate and available when required, or is there a lack of information and satisfaction with the communication available?
The facilitator must be open to ideas and thoughts from the focus group members, and not just concentrate on trying to get answers to pre-set questions or find the “proof” for theories. The facilitator should be willing to explore deeper than the surface answers offer.
A communications strategy is the tool that helps support the organisation's strategy for customers, employees and partners. It is the who, what, why, when, where and how of effective communication.
Change can be scary and adapting to change is often complex and messy. Tasks are easy to list, but behaviour and long-held habits are not always so easy to change.
Keep your message clear and simple. Develop a checklist of what needs to be communicated, to whom and when. Set clear objectives and assess whether you have met them.
In a fast moving multimedia world we need to ensure our communication is effective and clear.
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 …
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.
We don’t care what people say, we are more likely to believe what they do. We communicate information in multiple ways (eye contact, gestures, posture, body movements, and tone of voice).
A soundbite pitch is a clear, concise and a well-practiced description of the benefit your company offers.
In a fast moving multimedia world we need to ensure our communication is effective and clear. The aim is to discover what is working, what needs adjustment and what needs to be changed.
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 ...”
The MC helps the day run smoothly. The speeches at the wedding reception are meant to be an enjoyable part of the day, giving friends and family the opportunity to have some light fun and gain insight into the character and lives of the happy couple. To
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 …
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.
Dumping a full Excel spreadsheet into a presentation makes the information less effective. Keep it simple, changes and relevant information.
Numbers can be very powerful to illustrate the story you want to share, but what does your audience actually need to see? Start by clearly defining what your message is and which numbers help make that point clear.
Presentation skills tip: if you can find it on Wikipedia, don’t say it in your speech. Use personal stories to make your point, don't dump data.
Top Presentation skills tip. When speaking practice feeling the emotion, showing it in your face and body language, then saying your line for more natural body language and sincerity.
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 …
Subtle changes to the way you display prices can make a huge difference. Discover the impact of anchoring, premium products, wording, framing value, bundles and selling time can have on your bottom line.
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 …
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.
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.
Our perception of the world is coloured by our unique mental circuitry. We tend to focus on fear and obstacles when we try to bring about change, instead of focusing on the change. Our brain requires energy to focus and achieve.
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).
When people feel criticised we become defensive and don't hear the message. 5 key areas of social reward (and threat) directly impact the brain: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness.
We often wait for life to make us feel happy, before we smile. However research shows that if we smile first it can make us feel happier. By standing up straight we feel, and look, more confident. Don’t wait, smile first.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …