The Art of Communication Prepared for More Than Manners By Tracy Kramer January 2006 The ability to use language, to communicate with people in times of joy and sorrow, and to persuade, soothe, enchant, or calm another person, is a great gift. It’s called the art of communication.
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The Art of Communication
Prepared for More Than Manners
By Tracy Kramer
The ability to use language, to communicate with people in times of joy and sorrow, and to persuade, soothe, enchant, or calm another person, is a great gift. It’s called the art of communication.
Complete Guide to the New Executive Manners in the ’90s
The Two Vs
Making a Presentation
Dealing with Difficult People or Situations
Giving and Receiving Compliments
Mobile Phone Etiquette
When you hear a great speaking voice, most likely that person:
“Good language is contagious.” Clare Boothe Luce
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. --Oscar Wilde
Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak. ---Epictetus
To develop power in your communication skills, try these techniques:
I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than for any other ability under the sun. -- John D. Rockefeller
An interesting or fun topic from the papers
Ask parents about their children
Congratulate someone for recovering from an illness/surgery
Propose fundraising ideas for a social need
Provide news of sports of major interest, like the Olympics
Discuss the real estate market
Discuss heartening news about the economy
Discuss local civic problems and how you might help
Describe fascinating discoveries or inventions you’ve heard about
Provide happy news of mutual friends
Talk about the latest play, concert, cultural event in your area.
The cost of things
Non-humorous controversial issues
Depressing news items
The break up of a relationship
Details of an illness or surgery
Depressing economic news
Ranting about local civic problems
Criticizing local artistic events
Passing judgment on what people eat or drink
Discoursing on a sporting event that is not interesting to all parties
Politics in any controversial manner
Religion, in any judgmental manner
You’re likely a conversational bore is people:
It’s the conversationalist who overdoes it, who won’t get off the subject, or how sticks to his or her topic like glue that is the bore.
The three topics most likely to bore others are: Your health, your job, and your children.
The most important thing in communications is to hear what isn’t being said. --Peter F. Drucker
Crossed arms signify resistance or a closed mind
Leaning (on anything) signifies laziness and a lack of power.
Lack of eye contact, including looking away, rolling eyes, etc
Flailing arms or too large hand gestures—too distracting
Leg swinging or foot tapping—signifies impatience
Slouching or poor posture
Speaking without making eye contact is like talking with a bag over your head. --Dorothy Sarnoff
Get sleep the night before
Make sure you’re appropriately dressed
Mingle with your audience beforehand, if possible
Fight anxiety by willing yourself to relax—mentally, physically and emotionally
Watch your posture
Take great care with the content of your speech
Know your material to perfection
Don’t eat just before you speak
Just before you start, psych yourself up
As you begin speaking, look over your audience, still smiling, and then take a couple of deep breaths
Make your first words something light
As you talk, keep sweeping your eyes over the entire room
Keep listening to the sound of your voice over the microphone
Smile a lot
Keep a glass of water (not ice) nearby
Make absolutely certain your equipment has been checked out
Use your body language to help persuade:
Use hands deliberately, not constantly
Don’t push on glasses
Control nervous habits
Stand upright, without clutching or leaning on the lectern
A man and his friend stopped at a newsstand to purchase a paper. The man thanked the vendor politely, but the vendor remained coldly silent. “A sullen fellow, isn’t he?” remarked the friend.
“Oh, he’s like that every night,” said the man.
“Then why do you continue to be so very polite to him?” asked the friend.
Replied the man, “Why should I let him decide how I’m going to act?”
From The Best of Sydney J. Harris
How do you respond? Take the self-assessment.
This way, you’ve accepted the criticism, but taken control away from the confronter.
Choice 1: Ignore them.
Choice 2: Put up with them.
Choice 3: Don’t put up with them.
After your hosts have served a delicious meal or entertaining cocktail party
After someone has made a public appearance
After there has been recognition or an honor bestowed
When someone has extended great effort on a project
When a person has done something courageous
When a person has done a good job, won or lost, in a competitive sport
When a person has achieved any type of milestone in his/her life
Whenever its warranted
When someone says something nice to you, say:
Treat every call as important. Every time you place or receive a call, your voice and manner should reflect your professional best.
It’s the duty of the person placing the call to identify him/herself when the phone is answered.
The person you called always has priority. Don’t call someone, then put them on hold.
When your phone rings, answer it promptly—within 2 rings at the office, 4 at home.
Always identify yourself when answering.
Never ask “Who is calling” or “What was that name?”
Risky option: “May I say who is calling?”
Always return calls—same day if possible
When you take a message, be sure to get it right. Take the date, time, caller’s name and number and message. Read it back.
Time your call so it won’t interfere with someone’s job.
Always ask if the time is convenient.
Always apologize when you’ve dialed a wrong number.
If someone has an appointment with you, don’t take a phone call.
If you’re with someone in their home or office and they (have to) take a call, offer to leave.
Watch background noises
If you initiated the call and it’s disconnected, it’s your responsibility to re-call.
Take the time to give the call a good ending.
When you’re the caller:
Leave a complete & accurate message
Always leave a message; don’t waste the call
Always leave your name, #, and convenient time to call.
Organize your thoughts before you leave the message
When it’s your machine:
Leave a brief, clear message
Encourage content by telling how long the message may be
Avoid long messages or advertisements
Update your message frequently
Avoid taking your phone inside a restaurant, concert, theater, or church (unless it’s necessary and turned down)
Talking loudly in a public place is an invasion of other people’s space and privacy.
Limit your conversation on a plane or train.
When sitting with or near other people, don’t intrude on their time or space.
Never answer or place calls in front of other people without their permission.
Be aware of how exclusionary it is to other’s around you.
Too many people abuse e-mail:
Since the privacy of e-mail is doubtful, before clicking the send button, ask yourself:
If you send a letter instead of fax, e-mail, or telephone:
The office letterhead is meant for business, not personal use.
If you are involved in a project in which others also play leading roles, you should make copies for them when you send or receive correspondence.
Don’t send sloppy letters.
A hand-written letter is very compelling, whether it’s on company letterhead or your own personal stationary.
Don’t write or type on both sides of office letterhead.
You may write on both sides of personal stationary, if the paper is thick enough.
If writing by hand, use black, navy, or dark brown ink.
If you don’t have blank second sheets, use another copy of the letterhead and write “-2-” at the top.
Be sure that the addressee’s name is spelled properly and that his/her title is included.
Over-familiarity in the salutation may be inappropriate.
City, State Zip
Here we go.
What I want is..
Memos accomplish routine tasks, such as:
Memo, by definition, are generic and general
Good news in a Colleague’s family
Congratulations on completing project
Congratulations on promotion
Gratitude for business meal
Gratitude for dinner in a home
Acknowledging a compliment
Asking for a favor
Declining a favor
For an inappropriate gift
Politely refusing a gift
Letter of apology
Letter of complaint
Request for information
Request for clarification
Acknowledging a compliment