Knowing how to improve communication skills will come easier once you become aware of your own communication style. When you are aware of your own style, study the styles of others around you. Look for those you can pick up and make your own, while adjusting to the other styles.
This involves listening and building rapport with others. Don't criticize others for communicating differently. If we all communicated in the same way, we'd soon be bored with each other. Getting a good grasp of your communication style and finding ways to accommodate other peoples' styles, is a good way to improve your communication skills.
Adapted from Peter Murphy's article "Six tips for Improving Your Communication Style"
What is your communication style?
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The New HR Coaching Role -- The skill of coaching has the potential to revolutionise the Human Resources relationship with organization managers and executives. In the newer coaching role, the HR person partners with the manager and focuses specifically on his development. Few internal HR people are working in this new coaching arena. Organisations have most frequently hired external coaches and consultants. But they don’t always need to do so, if HR professionals are prepared to take on this new coaching role. In fact, a HR professional is missing a career enhancing opportunity if she declines to develop these coaching relationships.
>> Are you practicing "HR coaching" in your organisation?
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By David Goldwich
Author of “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?: Lessons in Effective Communication.”
Susan Heathfield’s article on HR coaching raises an interesting point: having an HR Manager coach his or her colleagues in other departments of the organisation.
We hear a great deal these days about coaching. There are many programs promising to make a “certified” coach out of anyone who pays the tuition fee. As a result we have coaches who are certified in coaching skills and processes but may have little experience in the business world. Most executives prefer to engage coaches with extensive relevant experience, regardless of whether the coach has a certificate. In other words, they recognize that a coach has a set of skills and experiences, and is more than just a label.
Ms. Heathfield correctly points out that coaching is a set of skills. Most of these skills relate to giving feedback and other communication skills, which most HR professionals possess in large measure. So the idea of an HR professional as coach seems ideal. However, coaching can have a number of focuses, e.g., soft skills, technical skills, life skills, and so on.
I do see one potential perceptual challenge. Some managers may accept an HR professional as a coach on soft skills and professional development matters, but have reservations when it comes to other business skills. As Ms. Heathfield notes, “the HR professional must be well versed in management and behavioral theory and practices.” This is the minimum; he or she may need other skills as well, depending on the type of coaching that is contemplated. The nature and scope of the relationship needs to be clearly stated and understood up front. If this is done, then an HR professional may have an opportunity to expand into a coaching role and provide additional value to the organization.
In any event, it is always a good idea for all managers, in HR and elsewhere, to develop communication and coaching skills, which can only enhance their overall effectiveness.
According to Richard F. Gerson, employee turnover rates around the world are extremely high, even exceeding 200% in some companies. He cites burnout as a key factor.
What causes burnout? Many employees burn out because their jobs are fast-paced and stressful. Others are driven away because their jobs involve ongoing repetitive tasks.
Richard then shares with managers some steps to beat burnout by using the “C.H.A.R.G.E.” system:
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Apparently so. According to Ted Santos, CEO of Turnaround Investment Partners, in an article “Just Change Your Mind”, change has to start with the way people think. He writes, “To make changes in the way you think, you will be required to set goals beyond your core competencies and persistently think them through. It is a way to train yourself and people to get out of the proverbial comfort zone.”
“Looking to the future of organizations, there may be a greater return on investment from training people in intrapersonal skills - a clear understanding of the relationship with self, chaos, opportunity, the future, change, risk, and colleagues. That way, people can learn to let go of old thought patterns and uncover blind spots.” He mentions in the article.
His advice to us?
“Before you start implementing new plans, strategies and hiring the perfect employee, look at your mindset and the mindset of your enterprise. If you find yourself resisting change or believing that the time is not right for a new strategy, you don’t have enough money or don’t have the right people, work on your mindset first. A new mindset can help you see things you couldn’t see before or empower you to work effectively through insurmountable challenges.”
Turnaround Investment Partners is a NY based firm of professional managers. Corporations call TIP when they are struggling to get to a level to which they have never been. And they are not sure how to get there. TIP imparts tools and develops processes to create breakthroughs in revenues and innovation. Ted can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888 471-3660. www.turnaroundip.com
Denise Bjorkman, Emotional Intelligence Specialist:
How often do you think, “I know I should speak up, but if I do, I’ll be labeled aggressive!” As a consequence, we often spend much of our lives biting our tongues, putting up with irritation and frustration. Meanwhile, the person whose behaviour is the cause of our unhappiness continues with their behaviour, unaware of the effect it is having. This situation may continue for some time, but may also come to a catastrophic end when our frustration bursts through in an accusing, aggressive outburst!
There is a better way of communicating. There are options other than passivity and aggression. They require a measure of emotional intelligence, along with a willingness to examine one’s own behaviour, to modify it and to accept feedback.
It is not by accident that people with emotional intelligence are often said to show wisdom and maturity in the way they behave. Fortunately, their skills can be learned. The reward for doing so is more open and satisfying relationships, along with far less need to bite our tongues!
Listen to this discussion between Tim Mulvaney and Ted Santos on some important leadership tips of “going beyond diversity training”.
Dr. Michael Benoliel, Director of the Center for Negotiation, Gateway Advisory Board member:
360-degree evaluations provide for performance feedback gathered from multiple sources whom the employee might have interacted with, in the course of performing his or her job, such as direct supervisor, peers, subordinates, suppliers, and customers.
Currently most Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. are using this method and its appeal is growing for thee reasons. First, the evaluation gathered from multiple parties is more accurate than the traditional single evaluation by the supervisor. Second, this method gives various stakeholders a say and ability to influence the performance appraisal process. Third, the employee, receiving a broader evaluation, gains a better understanding of his or her performance and is more likely to accept it.
In order to benefit from the 360-degree evaluation method, certain practices should be followed.
First, the identity of the evaluators, except the identity of the direct supervisor, should be protected and confidential.
Second, the feedback should focus on the employee’s strengths as well as weaknesses, and lead to specific developmental goals.
Third, the 360-degree program should have a follow up component designed to find out whether the set goals were achieved or not.
Fourth, the organisation should be ready for such undertaking which requires effective communication and coordination between various parties, and delivery of the evaluations on time.
The 360-degree evaluation method is quite demanding. In some cases the number of evaluators ranges from 15 to 25. Therefore, it is recommended that organisations should use this method once a year.
According to Cesar Bacani at CFOAsia.com, in Hong Kong and China, 31% of talented workers are unhappy; in Malaysia, 47% are. Of the talents “at risk,” 61% (Hong Kong/China) to 78% (Singapore) are open to other job offers, even though they say they work for a good company. The rest will bolt as soon as they find an acceptable post elsewhere.
He goes on to say, more money may not be enough... “Financial rewards matter in recruiting talent, but they become of lower priority when it comes to talent retention,” says Deery. Career development and training, the quality of the company’s leadership, and the company’s reputation emerge as more important factors. Finish article…
According to John Goff at CFOAsia.com, "A sink-or-swim training policy may make for a good office pool, but it’s lousy management." Here are some pointers on how to help your recent hires excel in their new posts:
1. Map it out. Keep a file on what each job in your department requires. Make sure new employees receive the primer before their first workday.
2. Meet-and-greet. Set up informal gatherings for staffers and new employees. This eases nerves and gives new hires a better sense of what their work entails.
3. Clue ’em in. Enron management may not have been able to explain how the company made its money, but you should be able to explain how yours does. Educate new workers on your company’s business model.
4. Adopt the buddy system. Assign mentors to recently hired recruits. This speeds onboarding and safeguards quality control. It also makes the mentors feel like big shots.
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