KE SARA, SARA, what ever will be, will be …











{March 17, 2008}   Effective Communication

Ten Commandments Of Effective Communication

Communication can be defined as the two-way meaningful exchange of ideas, emotions, information, attitudes and, most importantly, experiences.


In this world, everyone needs to communicate. Communication is central to human existence. One starts to communicate right after birth and a child’s first cry is, perhaps, the most sought after communication. It is now well known that verbal as well as written forms of communication are but just a small percentage of the overall process and hence non-verbal communication (gestures, postures, looks, deportment, etc.) assumes greater importance. However, both are inter-related and often performed simultaneously. Also, both can be taught as well as learnt.


To make this complex yet critically important subject easy to comprehend and to make the process of communication, particularly verbal communication, more effective, ten easy to recall (user-friendly) words of day-to-day English, all starting with the letter ‘C’, have been adopted by the authors and called the Ten Commandments of Effective Communication. The readers will also come across several other commonly used words in English language, again starting with the letter ‘C’, during the course of reading this piece and elsewhere and many of you may also recall several such words which complement/supplement our Ten Commandments. Thus, the ten commandments propounded here are not the last word. Readers are advised to change, exchange, interchange these with those which suit the occasion and/or their style. The only being advocated cardinal rule here is to use only those words that begin with the letter ‘C’ for convenience and comfort.

YOU SHALL COMMUNICATE

1. CLEARLY: Whatever may be the content, unless it is delivered in a clear voice, will be an exercise in futility. The golden rule is to avoid grunts, huffs, etc. Rehearsals as well as role play helps. Use of natural accent of the speaker further adds to the clarity. (It is advisable not to assume a foreign one as then the focus is more on accent than on content). Vary tone/tenor, pitch and volume, as required by situation, to add more punch to the message you wish to convey. Avoid mumble and jumbles.

2. COHERENTLY: Besides clarity, coherent delivery of the message is perhaps as important. The cardinal rule here is to express yourself rationally & logically and, if possible, fluently. Command over the language to be used is an asset and hence in the beginning itself clarify the mode of communication to be employed . Coherence helps in making the process of communication smooth.


3. CORRECTLY: This is most important, particularly if your message includes data, figures, coordinates, etc. It is always better if you carry consult prepared notes. Thus, homework is vital. Of course, for the rest of the text/content, use appropriate words, phrases, etc. Again, as stated above, communication could be perhaps in vernacular, if not well versed with foreign language; even English.


4. CONCISELY: In most of the communication, it is always advisable to cut the bull and come straight to the point. Avoid beating about the bush. Even a humorous piece loses its punch if it is too long or has too many interruptions. To start with, define the subject clearly, albeit in brief. If possible, give a summary of what you wish to convey so that everyone remains focused on the main theme.


5. CRISPLY: If first four ‘Cs’ are followed in tandem, it becomes apparent to communicate crisply thus saving on time, effort and perhaps, money. Command over vocabulary and judicious use of phrases, helps. Crisp communiqués carry more punch and are more effective. You do not have to be curt to be crisp. Be cordial instead.

6. CREDIBLY: Credibility of the communication should be beyond doubt and it is almost synonymous to correct & coherent communication. Wherever factual information is to be conveyed and use of statistics & data is unavoidable, quote reference(s). If necessary, back-up material should be available to help you carry the day in case the credibility is in question.


7. CONVINCINGLY: Any communication can become convincing if it is delivered with a smattering of examples, case studies, experiences, role plays, etc. These should be backed up with references to establish credibility. Clarity of purpose and sincerity of the one delivering the communication apparently add to making the communication more acceptable. Hence practice it before-hand, whenever you can.


8. CONCLUSIVELY: Conclusive here also means all-inclusive. It is better to re-cap the entire communication towards the end, of course in brief. This helps in zeroing on to the vital, critical issues in the communication. As mentioned above, clear definition of the subject or the purpose of the entire process aids in concluding properly.


9. COMPLETELY: An effective communication must have a well defined ending, linked to subject. You can gauge the level of all the ‘C’s mentioned above by asking for a feedback. There are several ways to check completion and the easiest is to ask if the message had reached the audience. Structured questionnaires are sometimes used for this purpose, particularly if the communication is to be used further.

10. COST-EFFECTIVELY: This dimension has not even been touched upon in most of the material available on effective communication. In today’s world, however, it has assumed critical importance. It is not easy to make instant cost-benefit analysis of most communications but it is possible to have a fairly good idea. Of course, for any communication to be fruitful, benefits accrued should be more than cost involved. This is particularly true for lectures, training, interactions, etc. for which one has to pay to attend. In addition, your Communication should preferably be either Contemporary or Classic depending on the receiver’s background and also on the ambience. For example, to a young generation next audience, a Contemporary (chic) style and delivery will perhaps be more in order while a group of freedom fighters who took part in India’s struggle for independence would appreciate the Classic approach. Here, Creativity could play a crucial role. One need to be imaginative and a judicious mix of both these modes may help the sender to carry the day, particularly if the audience consists of a mixed bag. However, try and avoid use of clichés and too much jargon.


Obviously, for communication to be effective, it must lead to a mutually acceptable and/or logical conclusion. This also bring about another critical aspect, and that is of Continuity. Thus even though one feels that the communication is complete, it is perhaps only the current phase that is concluded and that too for the time being. The process of Communication is very much on all the time if connectivity of the sender and receiver is ON.



{October 18, 2007}   A little higher

 

A little higher

There will be days so dreadful that you may regret ever getting out of bed, and there will be days so beautiful that you’ll wish they would never end. You can make something good and valuable out of all of them.

Some people you meet will make you instantly feel that you’ve known them for years. Others you meet may make you want to get as far away from them as quickly as you can.

All kinds of people are equally worthy of your kindness, respect and consideration, and have their own valuable gifts to offer. Remind yourself often of that.

There will be stretches of time when you’ll feel you can’t get anything right, and there will be periods when everything you touch seems to turn to gold. Don’t allow either extreme to get the best of you or to compromise your precious integrity.

You’ll experience times of boundless joy, and moments of overwhelming frustration. You’ll discover places of extraordinary beauty, and regions of terrifying ugliness.

Through it all, remember that whatever you may encounter is virtually insignificant when compared with what you choose to do with it. Always choose the best response, no matter what comes your way, and each day you’ll rise a little higher than you were the day before.



A cab driver taught me a million dollar lesson in customer satisfaction and expectation. Motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to impart his kind of training to corporate executives and staff. It cost me a $12 taxi ride.


I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on a client. Time was of the essence and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport. A spotless cab pulled up.

The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed the door. As he got in the driver’s seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded Wall Street Journal next to me for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy.

Well! I looked around for a “Candid Camera!” Wouldn’t you? I could not believe the service I was receiving! I took the opportunity to say, “Obviously you take great pride in your work. You must have a story to tell.”


“You bet,” he replied, “I used to be in Corporate America. But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be.

I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service and feeling like I have done a full day’s work and done it well. I evaluate my personal assets and… wham! I became a cab driver.

One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But, to be GREAT in my business, I have to EXCEED the customer’s expectations! I like both the sound and the return of being ‘great’ better than just getting by on ‘average'”


Did I tip him big time? You bet! Corporate America’s loss is the traveling folk’s friend!
—–

Lessons:

  • Go an Extra Mile when providing any Service to others.
  • The is no good or bad job. You can make any job good.
  • Good service always brings good return.


{October 15, 2007}   Creativity Defined

Creativity Defined

 

A “new” idea is often a combination of old elements. Being able to devise new combinations depend on your ability to discern relationships between seemingly disparate items.

 

‘Creativity is the juxtaposition of ideas which were previously thought to be unrelated.’ It is your ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make useful associations among ideas.

 

“There is virtually no problem you cannot solve, no goal you cannot achieve, no obstacle you cannot overcome if you know how to apply the creative powers of your mind, like a laser beam, to cut through every difficulty in your life and your work,” says Brian Tracy.

 

Huge Personal Benefits

Creativity is your key to a brighter future. Creativity gives you an incredible source of adventure, achievement, self-discovery, connection, spirituality, awakening, normalcy, self-worth, identity, healing, happiness, energy and power.

 

Huge Business Benefits

All progress and innovation is the result of finding new – often radically new – better, cheaper, easier, or different ways to do things and solving customer’s problems, and this requires the continual honing of your creative thinking arts and skills. The benefits of functioning more creatively can be enormous. You can win customers and retain them by producing more or of better quality or cheaper or faster or differently – and this requires doing things in new ways, differently, using creativity.

 

You Are Creative!

Creativity is not about inventing something totally new, it is about making new – synergistic! – connections. You don’t have to be a special kind of person to be creative – everyone can do it. It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you do. You just need to start looking for multiple solutions rather than settling for just one, and give yourself permission to be playful and inquisitive, flexible and versatile.

Psychologists call the activities associated with idea generation “loose associative thinking” processes. Associative thinking is not linear or sequential. It is jumpy. To invent new connections, the maintenance of uncertainty is important for a time. “Closure is a killer; it strangles associative thinking, in favor of arriving at “an answer”. Early in the process, leveraging uncertainty, riding it, and valuing it are critical to developing robust ideas.


An Important Pre-Condition

Although creative people come from varied backgrounds, they all seem to have one thing in common – they love what they are doing.

 

Practice Every Day

How often should you practice if you wish to win the World Tennis Cup: once a month? once a week? every day? How often should you exercise your right brain’s creative muscles if you wish to master your creative skills: once a month? once a week? every day?

 

Take a Different View

It was by taking a different view of a traditional business that major innovations were achieved. To find a better creative solution to the current practice, force yourself to re frame the problem, to break down its components and assemble them in a different way.

 

Ask Searching Questions

Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of “Why?” and “What If”? questions, you won’t generate creative insights. “To avoid this most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including your own.

 

Don’t take anything for granted. Especially success. Try looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in motion; try asking the all-important: “Why?” See what happens!”

 

Mediation as a Source of Your Creative Power

Meditation has been scientifically proven to improve creativity, intelligence, memory, alertness, and to integrate left and right brain functioning. It has been shown to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. In a word, meditation is an invaluable tool to ensure that you are at your very best every day.

 

Creative Thinking Tips

• Break out of self-imposed limitations.

• Look for wider solutions, ‘think outside the box’.

• Think sideways; explore the least likely directions; abandon step-by-step approach and thinking ‘to one side’ and master the ‘lateral thinking’ approach.

• Sharpen your brain – communicate and exchange ideas with other creative people as often as you can. This is useful not only for stimulating idea generation but also for giving you an opportunity to validate your ideas through professional colleagues.

• If you are thinking along a certain line and nothing happens, stop. Step out of your shoes, analyze the problem again and see if you can come up with a new approach.

• If you are working on a problem and getting nowhere, leave it for a while and let your subconscious – your depth mind – to take over. Soon, new ideas and facts will inspire new associations and innovative combinations.

 

Lateral Thinking – Looking for Wider Solutions

Vertical Thinking

· Chooses

· Lateral Thinking

· Looks for what is right

· One thing must follow directly from another

· Concentrates on relevance

· Moves in the most likely directions

 

Lateral Thinking

· Changes

· Looks for what is different

· Makes deliberate jumps

· Welcomes chance intrusions

· Explores the least likely direction

 

A person consists of his faith. Whatever is his faith, even so is he.

 



{October 11, 2007}   Improve your Communication Skills

Here are 6 great tips you can use!

1. Awareness of your own interaction with other people is the first step in improving your communication skills. Learn to identify which types of situations make you uncomfortable and then modify your behavior to achieve positive results is a critical step in improving your communication skills.

You can learn to become aware of behaviors in other people that prompt you to respond in negative ways and modify your own behavior to turn the situation into a positive experience.


2. You must accept responsibility for your own behavior and do not fear apologizing for errors in judgment or insensitive actions. Asking others for honest feedback about the way you interact with others can be very helpful. Accept the negative feedback along with the positive and make changes accordingly

3. Your non-verbal communication is equally as important as the things that you say. Positive body language is extremely important in your interactions with other people. If your words and your actions do not match, you will have a difficult time succeeding in social situations.

4. In order to learn how to improve your communication skills, you must become a great listener. You must fight the urge to respond immediately and really listen to what the other person is trying to communicate.Offering suggestions or criticism before you are certain of the other person’s intent can only lead to frustration for both parties.

5. Improving your communication skills is a process and cannot be accomplished overnight. Trying to improve or change too many things at once will be counter-productive. You will become discouraged and overwhelmed if you attempt to change your entire personality all at once. Choose one or two traits at a time and work on those over a period of time. Learn to take advantage of your personal strengths and make a positive impact on others.

6. Maximize your positive personality traits and use them in your interactions with others. Good communication and great listening skills are the most important tools you can use in improving your communication skills. You can learn how to improve your communication skills by developing excellent listening skills, learning to resolve problems and conflicts, understanding body language, and accepting responsibility for your own negative behavior.

Determination and self-awareness will make your desire to improve your communication skills a reality.

You can change your life and now is the time to start.


Exceptional communication skills can be Learned…and Mastered!!!



et cetera