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Business communication

Business communication

Introduction

To communicate with others, to convince and to find the compromise, to

listen and speak - those are what the life consists of, and the business

life especially. Without those important skills no success may be reached,

and people gain these skills and improve them during their whole life.

This year we were given a lucky opportunity to have some sort of training.

The Communication, to my mind, is one of the subjects we apply to our life

not once, and studying interpersonal skills maybe the most interesting

occupation I can imagine. I think, nobody can remain indifferent to the

relations between people, their behaviour and their individuality. It is

no matter who are you - the manager of giant corporation or, lets say, a

low-paid employee in a small office - if you are involved into some kind of

business activity and have some goals and wishes - you are compelled to

have a deal with others, without possibility to stand out from the

communication.

Surely, some of the basic communication skills we learn in a childhood. But

it is a common mistake to consider them stable and sufficient. To make a

progress in communication skills means to succeed. That is why to prepare

for a hard task to be managers we must estimate our present abilities, and

then compare them with those necessary to achieve desired result. Even

having a high opinion of your own communication level you would better seek

for the plenty of self-confidence. (It is not so bad but there is always a

room for improvement).

The purpose of this report is to analyse changing in my experience

concerning communication skills taking into account my previous behaviour

and what have I learned this semester. I am going to describe my

impressions after participation and observing role-play situations,

critically estimate my weak and strong points. The contents of report are

divided in accordance with plan of our course in order to summarise it.

1. What have I learned during the course

1. Effective listening

A wise ancient Greek philosopher said once, We have two ears and one tun -

to listen more than to speak, and as the most of the philosophers are, he

is absolutely right. However, still not the most of people apply this

wisdom in their lives. Even speaking one language, using the same words, we

can rarely understand what an other person says. This thing happens because

people during a conversation are too attentive to what they are going to

say to create a good impression. Sometimes we forget about the simplest way

to move the feelings of interlocutor - about effective listening.

Frankly speaking, the skill of listening is one of those I am proud of

possessing. While being a schoolgirl I have understood that it is easier to

concentrate during the lesson and asking teachers to explain, than to see

into books after school instead of spending a free time. Little by little

all the teachers got used to see I am interested in their subjects, and

sometimes explained me personally what I wanted to know. May be

subconsciously I used those techniques for effective listening, and I am

sure they are really effective.

In teacher - student communication, I think, the listening skill is

very important, but also it is necessary for conducting business talks and

different interviews. How often we see people who cant come to the

agreement because of being unable to listen! It is no sense trying to

convince a person if you dont show interest. It is impossible to see

another point of view if you only hear it but not listen.

Up to my mind, this basic communication skill is rather easy to learn,

except the ability to be objective in all the cases. Every one of us has

hidden prejudices and only really talented interviewer can confront his or

her biases completely.

So, the effective listening wasnt a novelty for me, but the communication

training showed that it is no limits for improvement. To finish with the

first skill Ill quote once more the words by ancient sages: If I listen

I have an advantage, if I speak - others have it.

2. Feedback as an interpersonal skill

I will continue the tradition of citing authorities. Treat people as you

want to be treated - anyone, I think, knows this common truth. Lets

consider it in sense of providing feedback. When talking or acting in a

certain way I expect the information about some aspects of my behavior.

Both me and person giving this information are mutually interested in

truthfulness and timeliness of feedback to make the communication more

effective. If my way of behavior corresponds with expectations the feedback

is positive and both sides are likely to give / accept it enthusiastically.

But such a consonance rarely happens.

The problem is to provide person with negative feedback. In that case both

sides feel themselves uncomfortable, especially if a person providing

feedback cares about results trying make another person not feel offended.

As for me, I always avoid hurting people, may be even when they deserve it.

That is why the techniques of providing the negative feedback are very

useful.

The progressive management, I think, must apply these methods to motivate

workers, but former soviet people still prefer the straight judgement not

the careful analysis of their performance.

3. Appraising performance

The praise is pleasant even for a cat. This phrase is not so

sophisticated and philosophical as previous were, but it is rather closely

tied with following part of my report. At first sight it is similar to

giving feedback, but it turned out to be the usual approach in foreign

companies to evaluate employees performance. As I know, the majority of

our domestic companies have no idea about systematising their relations

with subordinates in such a way. They conduct a some sort of performance-

appraisal interviews spontaneously, and it seems quit natural to them.

If speaking about the approaches to performance appraisal, some of them I

think are absolutely unavailable for our reality. For instance, the

Critical Incident Method, which is supposed to be more effective because of

full information, may create a misconception of persons performance due to

possible subjective evaluation. Other two methods - Rating and Management

By Objectives - are more likely to fit the real life, but it will take a

time to inculcate such techniques.

4. Skill of oral persuasion

Nobody will deny the importance of this aspect of communication. It is, I

would say, a quintessence of communication training, which includes all

those above mentioned skills.

A manager may reach a success using persuasion, not authority, even when

having authority. The fact, that the power does not means the motivation is

obvious for the democratic society. If you want to impose your views on

another person or on a group of people it is not enough to order them

thinking in certain way. If it were a kind of dictatorship it would be

enough, but we study the conditions of democracy.

Now, knowing the theoretical base, I can conclude that my attitude to oral

persuasion was a little bit passive and it was my blind spot. I feel I must

improve this skill and I am encouraged to do well, because some of my

classmates turned out to be the outstanding persuaders.

2. The usefulness of communication training: how to deal with real

businessmen and with classmates

Now I would like to say a few words about our practice in communication

role-plays. Participating both as actors an observers we had a possibility

to imagine the real situations. Sometimes the role-plays were successful,

sometimes there was a lack of preparation. I wish I should more actively

participate, but it is my fault that I hesitated to show my view and to

compete.

I found it more difficult than it seemed to be natural. Some situations

were rather unusual for me: knowing how I had to behave, I tried applying

theory, but rarely imagined myself in similar situations.

Due to these difficulties during the communication training I learned my

weak points and the ways to improvement. But to use all the skills we must

make the adjustment to reality, which is more competitive than studying

conditions. As the famous Russian general Suvorov said, if it is hard in

exercise, it is easy in action.

The most interesting and useful part of training for me were Persuasion and

Performance Appraisal. By the way, observers all the time used some sort of

appraisal, and observing was the item I really was in favour of.

The role-plays prepared under scenarios I think were a little bit far-

fetched, and it is more natural to use our own names and individual traits

in performances. Therefore the improvisations like those played while

discussing Persuasion Skills were more useful.

Conclusion

The course of Communication Training was one of significant theoretical and

practical importance for me. The communication skills are necessary if you

wish to success in business activity or in any other sphere of life.

The effective listening skill is very important in relations with people.

Some of us can hear what others say, but can not listen. It is matter of

common sense: to listen is the simplest way to create a good impression.

Providing feedback gives the possibility to inform a person about some

aspects of his/her behavior ant its effect on you. The real difficulty is

to provide person with negative feedback. To avoid hurting a person we

should use several techniques, and their main idea is to keep it impersonal

and nonjudgmental.

The performance appraisal skill is used systematically by foreign managers

and has a great impact on the career of employees. During performance-

appraisal interview managers make decision concerning promotion or

dismissal of his subordinates.

The skill of persuasion is also one of the basic communication skills. To

motivate people do what you want them to do it is not enough to have the

power. Being persuaded people feel they are acting on their own accord.

Improvement of persuading techniques means using facilitative tactics and

tailoring your approach to different people.

The participation in role-plays was interesting and useful both for the

actors and observers. However some situations hardly corresponded with

life and performances played on spot were much more vital. Due to this

communication training I investigated my weak and strong points and found

the ways to improve.

Thus, my general impression about the course is very good, and I wish we

had more time for such a subject to master the skills of communication.

 
 

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