Monday, March 17, 2008

HRM Model & HRM Chart

Objective of HRM

Objectives are pre-determined goals to which individual or group activity in an organization is directed. Objectives of personnel management are influenced by organizational objectives and individual and social goals. Institutions are instituted to attain certain specific objectives. The objectives of the economic institutions are mostly to earn profits, and of the educational institutions are mostly to impart education and / or conduct research so on and so forth. However, the fundamental objective of any organization is survival.

Organizations are not just satisfied with this goal. Further the goal of most of the organizations is growth and / or profits.

Institutions procure and manage various resources including human to attain the specified objectives. Thus, human resources are managed to divert and utilize their resources towards and for the accomplishment of organizational objectives. Therefore, basically the objectives of HRM are drawn from and to contribute to the accomplishment of the organizational objectives. The other objectives of HRM are to meet the needs, aspirations, values and dignity of individual employees and having due concern for the socio-economic problems of the community and the country.

The objectives of HRM may be as follows:

To create and utilize an able and motivated workforce, to accomplish the basic organizational goals.

To establish and maintain sound organizational structure and desirable working relationships among all the members of the organization.

To secure the integration of individual or groups within the organization by co-ordination of the individual and group goals with those of the organization.

To create facilities and opportunities for individual or group development so as to match it with the growth of the organization.

To attain an effective utilization of human resources in the achievement of organizational goals.

To identify and satisfy individual and group needs by providing adequate and equitable wages, incentives, employee benefits and social security and measures for challenging work, prestige, recognition, security, status.

To maintain high employees morale and sound human relations by sustaining and improving the various conditions and facilities.

To strengthen and appreciate the human assets continuously by providing training and development programs.

To consider and contribute to the minimization of socio-economic evils such as unemployment, under-employment, inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth and to improve the welfare of the society by providing employment opportunities to women and disadvantaged sections of the society.

To provide an opportunity for expression and voice management.

To provide fair, acceptable and efficient leadership.

To provide facilities and conditions of work and creation of favorable atmosphere for maintaining stability of employment.

HRM systems diagnostic checklists

HRM systems diagnostic checklists

The following check-lists present some questions which may prove helpful for you to think about when planning your development programs for human resources (your people) in your organization.

Use them to provoke thought and to stimulate discussion. Consult with others in your organization. They will help you to identify the critical human resource issues facing your organization.

The aim is to begin to explore how a considered and planned approach to people management can improve business performance, to the benefit of all.

Use this checklist in conjunction with our diagnostic Team Building instrument. It will, via your team members responses identify critical issues they perceive as important. These issues may be at odds with your own perceptions and analysis and therefore any such discrepancy will need to be addressed.
Warning Indicators
Your organization is more than likely in trouble if any of the following holds true:
chronic industrial relations problems
no means of resolving employee grievances
increasing / erratic employee turnover
increasing number of customer complaints
no pride in the organization
inter-group conflicts
no career paths for ambitious talented employees
dissatisfaction with pay and conditions
unclear job roles
no clear performance measures
quality is unimportant
bad product service / delivery records
poor recruitment standards / practices
no management development programs
no induction training for new employees
critical skill shortages
inter-departmental conflict
you do not know if any of the above are applicable
you ignore any of the above
Culture, organization, people, systems (COPS) Checklist
Do your staff identify with the organization and 'the success of the organization' as being of direct benefit to themselves?
Do your staff see themselves as having common interests with their work colleagues and group? Is there a strong team spirit?
Is work allocated on the basis of individual expertise rather than position in the organization?
Are there sufficient skills / power bases in the organization?
Are there appropriate leadership skills within the organization?
Are your staff encouraged to say what they think about the organization?
Does your organization encourage innovation and creativity amongst staff?
Do your staff feel a sense of personal responsibility for their work?
Is quality emphasized in all aspects of the organization?
Does the structure of your organization encourage effective performance?
Is the organization structure flexible in the face of changing demands?
Is the structure too complex? If so in what areas?
Do your staff have clear roles and responsibilities?
Does your organization structure tend to push problems up rather than resolve them at the point where they occur?
Do your procedures and management practices facilitate the accomplishment of tasks?
Do you constantly seek to challenge your organization structure?
Do your staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs in the most effective manner?
Do your staff understand their jobs and how they contribute to overall business performance i.e. have clear goals and objectives?
Do your staff have a customer service orientation?
Are people with potential spotted and developed for the future?
Are your staff encouraged to perform well through the giving of recognition, feedback, etc.?
Do your people know what their expected performance standards are?
Do your organization's systems (e.g. Employee selection and Recruitment, promotion, planning, management, information and control) encourage effective performance among your staff?
Are these systems consistent across the organization?
Are there clear rewards for effective performance within your work group?
Does the organization review its systems frequently and ensure they mutually support each other?

You may now wish to consider and write down:
What are the three critical people issues facing your business?
What plans /actions can you take to address these issues?

Strategy for HRM

Strategy for HRM : These issues motivate a well thought out human resource management strategy, with the precision and detail of say a marketing strategy. Failure in not having a carefully crafted human resources management strategy, can and probably will lead to failures in the business process itself.

This set of resources are offered to promote thought, stimulate discussion, diagnose the organizational environment and develop a sound human resource management strategy for your organization. We begin by looking at the seven distinguishable function human resource management provide to secure the achievement of the objective defined above.
Steps in developing HRM strategy

Step 1: Get the 'big picture'
Understand your business strategy.

*Highlight the key driving forces of your business. What are they? e.g. technology, distribution, competition, the markets.
*What are the implications of the driving forces for the people side of your business?
*What is the fundamental people contribution to bottom line business performance?

Step 2: Develop a Mission Statement or Statement of Intent
That relates to the people side of the business.

Do not be put off by negative reactions to the words or references to idealistic statements - it is the actual process of thinking through the issues in a formal and explicit manner that is important.

What do your people contribute?

Step 3: Conduct a SWOT analysis of the organization
Focus on the internal strengths and weaknesses of the people side of the business.
Consider the current skill and capability issues.

Vigorously research the external business and market environment. High light the opportunities and threats relating to the people side of the business.

What impact will/ might they have on business performance?
Consider skill shortages?
The impact of new technology on staffing levels?

From this analysis you then need to review the capability of your personnel department. Complete a SWOT analysis of the department - consider in detail the department's current areas of operation, the service levels and competences of your personnel staff.

Step 4: Conduct a detailed human resources analysis
Concentrate on the organization's COPS (culture, organization, people, HR systems)
Consider: Where you are now? Where do you want to be?
What gaps exists between the reality of where you are now and where you want to be?

Step 5: Determine critical people issues
Go back to the business strategy and examine it against your SWOT and COPS Analysis
Identify the critical people issues namely those people issues that you must address. Those which have a key impact on the delivery of your business strategy.
Prioritize the critical people issues. What will happen if you fail to address them?

Step 6: Develop consequences and solutions
For each critical issue highlight the options for managerial action generate, elaborate and create - don't go for the obvious. This is an important step as frequently people jump for the known rather than challenge existing assumptions about the way things have been done in the past. Think about the consequences of taking various courses of action.

Consider the mix of HR systems needed to address the issues. Do you need to improve communications, training or pay?
What are the implications for the business and the personnel function?
Once you have worked through the process it should then be possible to translate the action plan into broad objectives. These will need to be broken down into the specialist HR Systems areas of:

*employee training and development
*management development
*organization development
*Performance appraisal
*employee reward
*employee selection and recruitment
*manpower planning

Step 7: Implementation and evaluation of the action plans

The ultimate purpose of developing a human resource strategy is to ensure that the objectives set are mutually supportive so that the reward and payment systems are integrated with employee training and career development plans.

There is very little value or benefit in training people only to then frustrate them through a failure to provide ample career and development opportunities.

The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can't yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have -- and are aware of -- personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have.

Note that some people distinguish a difference between between HRM (a major management activity) and HRD (Human Resource Development, a profession). Those people might include HRM in HRD, explaining that HRD includes the broader range of activities to develop personnel inside of organizations, including, eg, career development, training, organization development, etc.

There is a long-standing argument about where HR-related functions should be organized into large organizations, eg, "should HR be in the Organization Development department or the other way around?"

The HRM function and HRD profession have undergone tremendous change over the past 20-30 years. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the "Personnel Department," mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the "HR Department" as playing a major role in staffing, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organization are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.

Human Resource Management

Human Resources may be the most misunderstood of all corporate departments, but it's also the most necessary. Those who work in Human Resources are not only responsible for hiring and firing, they also handle contacting job references and administering employee benefits.

It's true that any individual who works in Human Resources must be a "people person." Since anyone in this department deals with a number of employees, as well as outside individuals, on any given day, a pleasant demeanor is a must.Managing employees is a major job, so those in Human Resources must be equal to the task. Ten or twenty years ago, Human Resources personnel were rarely seen. Instead they worked behind the scenes to ensure personnel records were in order and employee benefits were being properly administered, but the job stopped there.

Today's Human Resources personnel don't only handle small administrative tasks. They are responsible for staffing major corporations. This is no minor feat.It's not enough to be able to screen potential employees, however. Those who work in Human Resources also have to be able to handle a crisis in a smooth, discreet manner. Whether the issue is health care related or regarding sexual harassment or employee disputes, a person working in Human Resources must be trusted to keep an employee's personal details to herself. The Human Resource team must also be a good judge of morale and realize when morale boosting incentives are needed. It's up to them to make sure all employees are comfortable with their surroundings and working under acceptable, if not above average, conditions.

For those looking to enter a career in Human Resources, a college education is necessary. One doesn't necessarily have to have a degree in Human Resources, however. Majoring in Business Administration, Psychology, Labor Relations and Personnel Administration, as well as degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences, can also be beneficial.Human Resources may have gotten a bum rap, but it's clearly among the most important departments in any corporation. The next time you have to meet with someone from Human Resources, remember that without her, your company might not be running so efficiently.Overall Human Resources Management can be defined as a "strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisations most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its goals" (from A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice - Michael Armstrong - 2000 revised edition).Human resource (or personnel) management, in the sense of getting things done through people.

It's an essential part of every manager's responsibilities, but many organizations find it advantageous to establish a specialist division to provide an expert service dedicated to ensuring that the human resource function is performed efficiently."People are our most valuable asset" is a cliché which no member of any senior management team would disagree with. Yet, the reality for many organizations is that their people remain"

*under valued

* under trained

*under utilized

* poorly motivated, and consequently

*perform well below their true capability

The rate of change facing organizations has never been greater and organizations must absorb and manage change at a much faster rate than in the past. In order to implement a successful business strategy to face this challenge, organizations, large or small, must ensure that they have the right people capable of delivering the strategy.The market place for talented, skilled people is competitive and expensive. Taking on new staff can be disruptive to existing employees. Also, it takes time to develop 'cultural awareness', product/ process/ organization knowledge and experience for new staff members.As organizations vary in size, aims, functions, complexity, construction, the physical nature of their product, and appeal as employers, so do the contributions of human resource management. But, in most the ultimate aim of the function is to: "ensure that at all times the business is correctly staffed by the right number of people with the skills relevant to the business needs", that is, neither overstaffed nor understaffed in total or in respect of any one discipline or work grade.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Johari Quadrant


The Johari Window, named after the first names of its inventors, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is one of the most useful models describing the process of human interaction. A four paned "window," as illustrated above, divides personal awareness into four different types, as represented by its four quadrants: open, hidden, blind, and unknown. The lines dividing the four panes are like window shades, which can move as an interaction progresses.In this model, each person is represented by their own window.

Johari region 1 is also known as the 'area of free activity'. This is the information about the person - behavior, attitude, feelings, emotion, knowledge, experience, skills, views, etc - known by the person ('the self') and known by the group ('others').

For example in my case the "open" quadrant represents things that both I know about myself, and that you know about me. For example, I know my name. The knowledge that the window represents, can include not only factual information, but my feelings, motives, behaviors, wants, needs and desires... indeed, any information describing who I am. When I first meet a new person, the size of the opening of this first quadrant is not very large, since there has been little time to exchange information.

The aim in any group should always be to develop the 'open area' for every person, because when we work in this area with others we are at our most effective and productive and the group is at its most productive too. The open free area, or 'the arena', can be seen as the space where good communications and cooperation occur, free from distractions, mistrust, confusion, conflict and misunderstanding.

Established team members logically tend to have larger open areas than new team members. New team members start with relatively small open areas because relatively little knowledge about the new team member is shared. The size of the open area can be expanded horizontally into the blind space, by seeking and actively listening to feedback from other group members. This process is known as 'feedback solicitation'. Also, other group members can help a team member expand their open area by offering feedback, sensitively of course. The size of the open area can also be expanded vertically downwards into the hidden or avoided space by the person's disclosure of information, feelings, etc about him/herself to the group and group members. Also, group members can help a person expand their open area into the hidden area by asking the person about him/herself. Managers and team leaders can play an important role in facilitating feedback and disclosure among group members, and in directly giving feedback to individuals about their own blind areas. Leaders also have a big responsibility to promote a culture and expectation for open, honest, positive, helpful, constructive, sensitive communications, and the sharing of knowledge throughout their organization. Top performing groups, departments, companies and organizations always tend to have a culture of open positive communication, so encouraging the positive development of the 'open area' or 'open self' for everyone is a simple yet fundamental aspect of effective leadership.


Johari region 2 is what is known about a person by others in the group, but is unknown by the person him/herself. For example in my case the "blind" quadrant represents things that you know about me, but that I am unaware of. For example, perhaps in our ongoing conversation, you may notice that eye contact seems to be lacking. You may not say anything, since you may not want to embarrass me, or you may draw your own inferences that perhaps I am being insincere. Then the problem is how I can get this information out in the open.By seeking or soliciting feedback from others, the aim should be to reduce this area and thereby to increase the open area ie, to increase self-awareness. This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or issues in which one is deluded. A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person. We all know how difficult it is to work well when kept in the dark. No-one works well when subject to 'mushroom management'. People who are 'thick-skinned' tend to have a large 'blind area'.

Group members and managers can take some responsibility for helping an individual to reduce their blind area - in turn increasing the open area - by giving sensitive feedback and encouraging disclosure. Managers should promote a climate of non-judgmental feedback, and group response to individual disclosure, which reduces fear and therefore encourages both processes to happen. The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual's own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others - care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset.


Johari region 3 is what is known to us but kept hidden from, and therefore unknown, to others. This hidden or avoided self represents information, feelings, etc, anything that a person knows about him/self, but which is not revealed or is kept hidden from others. The hidden area could also include sensitivities, fears, hidden agendas, manipulative intentions, and secrets - anything that a person knows but does not reveal, for whatever reason. It's natural for very personal and private information and feelings to remain hidden, indeed, certain information, feelings and experiences have no bearing on work, and so can and should remain hidden. However, typically, a lot of hidden information is not very personal, it is work- or performance-related, and so is better positioned in the open area. Relevant hidden information and feelings, etc, should be moved into the open area through the process of 'disclosure'. The aim should be to disclose and expose relevant information and feelings - hence the Johari Window terminology 'self-disclosure' and 'exposure process', thereby increasing the open area. By telling others how we feel and other information about ourselves we reduce the hidden area, and increase the open area, which enables better understanding, cooperation, trust, team-working effectiveness and productivity. Reducing hidden areas also reduces the potential for confusion, misunderstanding, poor communication, etc, which all distract from and undermine team effectiveness.

Organizational culture and working atmosphere have a major influence on group members' preparedness to disclose their hidden selves. Most people fear judgment or vulnerability and therefore hold back hidden information and feelings, etc, that if moved into the open area, ie known by the group as well, would enhance mutual understanding, and thereby improve group awareness, enabling better individual performance and group effectiveness.

The extent to which an individual discloses personal feelings and information, and the issues which are disclosed, and to whom, must always be at the individual's own discretion. Some people are more keen and able than others to disclose. People should disclose at a pace and depth that they find personally comfortable. As with feedback, some people are more resilient than others - care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset.


Johari region 4 contains information, feelings, latent abilities, aptitudes, experiences etc, that are unknown to the person him/herself and unknown to others in the group. These unknown issues take a variety of forms: they can be feelings, behaviors, attitudes, capabilities, aptitudes, which can be quite close to the surface, and which can be positive and useful, or they can be deeper aspects of a person's personality, influencing his/her behavior to various degrees. Large unknown areas would typically be expected in younger people, and people who lack experience or self-belief.

Examples of unknown factors are as follows, and the first example is particularly relevant and common, especially in typical organizations and teams:

an ability that is under-estimated or un-tried through lack of opportunity, encouragement, confidence or training
a natural ability or aptitude that a person doesn't realize they possess
a fear or aversion that a person does not know they have
an unknown illness
repressed or subconscious feelings
conditioned behavior or attitudes from childhood

Johari Window-Introduction

A Johari window is a metaphorical tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, as a model for mapping personality awareness, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.

When performing the exercise, the subject is given a list of 55 adjectives and picks five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject.

Adjectives selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Arena quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the participant of which both they and their peers are aware.

Adjectives selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Façade quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware. It is then up to the participant whether or not to disclose this information.

Adjectives that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots".

Adjectives which were not selected by either the participant or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives which were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of that trait.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Better Win Win Result

Achieving a Win/Win Outcome

The best outcome for almost all negotiations is win/win, when both parties walk away with a positive feeling about achieving their goals. But how do you accomplish this ideal situation?
There are four keys:
1. Avoid narrowing your negotiation down to one issue. When you focus on just one issue, there can be only one winner. A common example is arguing over the price of something. To avoid creating a win/lose outcome, you can bring other factors into the negotiation, such as delivery fees, timing, quality, supplemental goods and services, and so on.

2. Realize that the other party does not have the same needs and wants you do. If you think the other person’s goals are exactly the same as yours (for instance, a "good" price, which may mean different things for the two of you), you will have the attitude that the other party’s gain is your loss. With that attitude, it is virtually impossible to create a win/win outcome.

3. Don’t assume you know the other party’s needs. Negotiators often think they know what the other party wants. Salespeople may assume that buyers want to pay the lowest possible price for a product. But many buyers have other needs that may influence their decision to buy. By asking questions, a skilled salesperson may find, for example, that a buyer's biggest concern is not that she pays the lowest price, but that her boss perceives the purchase decision as a good one. This knowledge allows the salesperson more negotiating room.

4. Believe point number two in your heart. Most novice negotiators acknowledge that the other party probably does not have the same goals they do, but once the actual negotiation commences, this acknowledgement vanishes from their mind.

Negotiation Style

The Bully Style
An easily identifiable style is that of the bully. He is powerful, commands attention and has a high energy level. His modus operandi is to push for action, is usually loud, and is confrontational. He is totally insensitive to the feelings and needs of others, wanting to attain his own outcomes at all cost.The advantages of this style are that he commands attention for a key point, and that negotiation can be brought to a rapid close.
Unfortunately, this style of negotiator will miss subtle points in the negotiation which could adversely affect the outcome, and has an: it is my way or the highway attitude.
Nonverbal characteristics of this type are an exaggerated posture of leaning forward, excessive use of pointing, and very direct eye contact.
This style is very limited in its usefulness, and certainly does not encourage a win/win outcome.

The Manipulator
Although not lacking in empathy as much as the Bully, the Manipulator still has a disregard for the feelings of others. He has a low level of energy, largely keeping a low outer profile, speaking in a careless-type of voice, almost condescending.
His modus operandi is to manipulate the other party to expose their weaknesses and get them to concede to his desired outcomes. He plays a cat and mouse game and is sly.
The Manipulator quickly draws attention to real threats that could affect an agreement, and can surreptitiously provoke debate.
On a negative side, he may distort information or bend the truth while exploiting the weaknesses of the other party.
Nonverbal characteristics include, slouching or leaning back with hands behind his head, and using fleeting eye movements as he surveys the group, both his team and the opponents.

The Confident Style
This is your people-person. He gives equal attention to the relationship of those present as he does to the issue under investigation. He exudes high energy and is always looking for better ways to have all parties work collaboratively.
He usually finds it easy to focus on the key points, and likes to openly discuss possible options. His negotiating style is flexible and he adapts it to the situation as required.
He will work at achieving a win/win situation at best and a compromise at worst. His voice is pleasant.
Although he wins people over, he can appear aggressive, and because of his enthusiasm, he may fail to listen properly.
His nonverbal characteristics include an erect or only slightly forward leaning posture whether sitting or standing, lots of hand movements, and good eye contact.

Power Up Your Negotiation

Many negotiation gurus are so successful in their negotiations because of the key habits that they develop over a long period of time. I spent most of my week reading and researching into the key habits of great negotiators. Some of them have a few recurring key habits.

Your goal is to become a negotiation guru. Learn the habits from the great negotiators. Apply them into your life and see how the habits will work for you. Keep experimenting with them.
These are the 4 key habits that they have:
1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
You would not go ski-ing or sky diving without first preparing for it. Similarly, you should not enter a negotiation without having done enough preparation. Without spending adequate time on the preparation process, your negotiation success rate will drop dramatically.
Good negotiators spend a large amount of time preparing for their negotiation. They are not afraid to admit that they do not know everything . One way to prepare for their negotiation is to keep asking questions and finding out the interest of the other party.
2. Expect the best
"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes." - Zig Ziglar
All of us tend to make superficial and premature judgments about ourself and the other party. Wanting to protect ourselves, we focus exclusively on the failures. And all too often, our expectations come true . Since our expectations are coming true anyway, why not expect the best?
Engaging your negotiation with an expectation of the best will yield a much better result. This has been proven many time over by power negotiators. In other words, great negotiators' expectations had improved the performance of their negotiation. Where they had expected success, they found it .
3. Listen, Listen, Listen
"If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut." - Albert Einstein
Listening is the only way to get information. It is found that all great negotiators are great listeners too. Active listening or reflective listening is a way to build mutual trust and understanding. It is an all-important skill as it enables us to receive the information accurately.
4. Never compromise on integrity
Integrity is the single most important quality that you can develop to enhance every single part of our life, including negotiation. Integrity is the essential quality of a successful and healthy relationship. Having integrity meant that the other party is able to be completely honest with you.
Your integrity is evidenced in your willingness to hold on to your own values. It is easy for us to make promises. Keeping to promises is the hard part. When you act with integrity in everything you do, you will find that the other party will trust you more. You slowly build a reputation for yourself. You will find that as people trust you more, the more you win in a negotiation (provided you don't break the trust).

Win-Win Negotiations-Objective

Seminar Objectives:
Participants in the Win-Win Negotiations seminar will:
Develop an effective plan and strategy for any negotiation
Know when and when not to negotiate
Negotiate face-to-face, on the phone, and through e-mail
Learn to become more persuasive
Develop a common negotiating language with the other parties
Use techniques that elicit information from the other parties
Identify and work with client and employee behaviors styles to maximize closure
Recognize interests and issues to avoid unnecessary positions
Neutralize manipulative tactics
Minimize conflicts and deadlocks both internally and externally
Coordinate negotiations within client organization
Meet business objectives by focusing on planning rather than tactic

successful negotiation…

However, if you need to resolve a major disagreement, then make sure you prepare thoroughly. Using our free worksheet, think through the following points before you start negotiating:
Goals: what do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants?
Trades: What do you and the other person have that you can trade? What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away?
Alternatives: if you don’t reach agreement with the other person, what alternatives do you have? Are these good or bad? How much does it matter if you do not reach agreement? Does failure to reach an agreement cut you out of future opportunities? And what alternatives might the other person have?
Relationships: what is the history of the relationship? Could or should this history impact the negotiation? Will there be any hidden issues that may influence the negotiation? How will you handle these?
Expected outcomes: what outcome will people be expecting from this negotiation? What has the outcome been in the past, and what precedents have been set?
The consequences: what are the consequences for you of winning or losing this negotiation? What are the consequences for the other person?
Power: who has what power in the relationship? Who controls resources? Who stands to lose the most if agreement isn’t reached? What power does the other person have to deliver what you hope for?
Possible solutions: based on all of the considerations, what possible compromises might there be?

Elements that affect negotiation

Communications: be careful about using the phone, e-mail, and other nonvisual communication vehicles. A lack of facial expressions, vocal intonation, and other cues can result in a negotiation breakdown. Constantly reiterate your interest in the other side's concerns and your determination to find a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Personalities: be conscious of aspects of your personality such of your own needs and interpersonal style as well as the other person's personality; these factors will play a key role and understanding yourself will be an important factor

Your own personality and style: how much you trust the person; how free with your emotions; how much you want to conceal or reveal;

Physical space: sometimes where the negotiation takes place can be important; are we negotiating in a space we are uncomfortable and other is comfortable?

Past interaction: if there is a history of conflict resolution with this person, think about how this history might affect the upcoming negotiation

Time pressure: Think about whether time pressure will affect the negotiation and whether you need to try to change this variable?

Subjective utilities: be aware that people place very different values on elements of a negotiation. For example, in negotiating for a job, you may place a high value on location and relatively lower on salary; it is important to be aware of your subjective utilities and try to ascertain the other person's subjective utilities; it is difficult to know in advance or even during the negotiation what a particular outcome will mean to the other party. Finding out what is "valued" is one of the key parts of negotiation.

"win-lose" situation to a "win-win"

There are many advantages to trying to shift a win/lose situation to a win/win. Yet we will be in situations where the other person either doesn't wish to reach a "win-win" or doesn't realize it is in his or her best interest to achieve a collaborative solution. In these situations it is necessary for us to open lines of communication, and try to increase trust and cooperativeness.
Sometimes conflicts escalate, the atmosphere becomes charged with anger, frustration, resentment, mistrust, hostility, and a sense of futility. Communication channels close down or are used to criticize and blame the other. We focus on our next assault. The original issues become blurred and ill-defined and new issues are added as the conflict becomes personalized. Even if one side is willing to make concessions often hostility prevents agreements. In such a conflict, perceived differences become magnified, each side gets locked into their initial positions and each side resorts to lies, threats, distortions, and other attempts to force the other party to comply with demands.

It is not easy to shift this situation to a win-win but the following lists some techniques that you might use:
1.reduce tension through humor, let the other "vent," acknowledge the other's views, listen actively, make a small concession as a signal of good faith

2.increase the accuracy of communication; listen hard in the middle of conflict; rephrase the other's comments to make sure you hear them; mirror the other's views

3.control issues: search for ways to slice the large issue into smaller pieces; depersonalize the conflict--separate the issues from the people

4.establish commonalities: since conflict tends to magnify perceived differences and minimize similarities, look for greater common goals (we are in this together); find a common enemy; focus on what you have in common

5.focus less on your position and more on a clear understanding of the other's needs and figure out ways to move toward them

6.make a "yesable" proposal; refine their demand; reformulate; repackage; sweeten the offer; emphasize the positives

7.find a legitimate or objective criteria to evaluate the solution (eg. the blue book value of a car)

Win-Win Bargaining:

Keys to Integrative Bargaining

Orient yourself towards a win-win approach: your attitude going into negotiation plays a huge role in the outcome
Plan and have a concrete clear on what is important to you and why it is important
Know your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Alternative)
Separate people from the problem
Focus on interests, not positions; consider the other party's situation:
Create Options for Mutual Gain:
Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do
Aim for an outcome based on some objective standard
Pay a lot of attention to the flow of negotiation;
Take the Intangibles into account; communicate carefully
Use Active Listening Skills; rephrase, ask questions and then ask some more

Kinds of Bargaining/Negotiation

The Two Most Important Kinds of Bargaining:

Distributive (win-lose) vs. Integrative (win-win)

Distributive (also called competitive, zero sum, win-lose or claiming value).
one side "wins" and one side "loses."
there are fixed resources to be divided so that the more one gets, the less the other gets.
one person's interests oppose the others.
the dominant concern in this type of bargaining is usually maximizing one's own interests.
dominant strategies in this mode include manipulation, forcing, and withholding information.

Integrative (collaborative, win-win or creating value).
there is a variable amount of resources to be divided and both sides can "win."
dominant concern here is to maximize joint outcomes.
dominant strategies include cooperation, sharing information, and mutual problem solving. This type is also called "creating value" since the goal here is to have both sides leave the negotiating feeling they had greater value than before.

Global Challenge-Negotiating

When considering negotiations it is my feeling that most people from North America would consider themselves to be upright in their core values. This is good when we are negotiating amongst our own kind or with those who hold the same core values and ideals as we do. However this is not a perfect world and I believe we can set our sights toward the Middle East and the conflicts that are taking place in the world to realize that. Not everyone thinks the way you do.

In my mind negotiation as an exchange of different objectives with the goal of finding a common ground or a mutually acceptable compromise, is something that should be workable for both parties. Anything beyond that is not negotiation rather a flaunting of might. Negotiation requires mutual respect not mutual trust; trust is something that is gained through negotiation not integral to it. Trust only comes through interaction. In my view if we feel that we should trust our opponent from the beginning then we are being trite.

Many times, we may see a thread of puritan ideals, when trying to realize a perfect world in which everyone should be "good" and at the same time be proud it. Don't get me wrong, I am in the same group, I was only fortunate enough to survive twenty years living in a culture that was in no way similar to that which I was born into. I learned, with great hardship, that the rest of the world does not see "good" in the same light that I do, in fact some people's good may not be good by my ideals. This is simple reality in a global village.

Negotiating is influenced and affected by one's base cultural values, which are made up from our religious and social ideals. What if we grew up in a Communist country? Would we not have values and ideals different from those of a Capitalist country; therefore we would see reality much differently from the environment that we were nurtured in.

From my personal experience of living in China I had to learn to accept things that were sometimes unacceptable in light of my upbringing and cultural value-set and ideals. However, by looking beyond my own limitations I began to see opportunities and possibilities that never occurred to me before. This took years and many a frustrated night contemplating and trying to understand what was wrong. Finally, I would realize that the problem was me; the way I think. And I think the way I was taught to think but that is not the way the rest of the world thinks. We need to allow room for other ways of thinking in a world where my culture is the youngest one around.

In your mind, place yourself at a table with two Chinese negotiators. You should have your strategies set strong in your value set, you know what you have to offer and you know what you want. You put everything you have on the table and say "this is all I can offer". What will you do when the Chinese negotiating team all of the sudden brings something new to the table when they said that they had nothing new to offer previously? Would they be considered as dishonest? Would they be seen as lying? Now, stop and ask yourself how they may view the negotiators from your side when you refuse to bring anything new to the table. Will they view you as being dishonest? Would you be seen as lying? This is a mixing of cultures and what is acceptable in one culture may not be acceptable in the other. So how do we deal with these issues in a global economy and in order to maintain peace in a world that is nearing turmoil?

Essential steps for Negotiation

Negotiation is not a process by which you try to destroy the other party. Rather, it is a process by which you reach a certain result. Good negotiation occurs when all parties are truthful, and they connect and interact successfully with each other. Good negotiation cannot happen if either party is trying to boost their ego in the process. People can win while helping the other person get what they want.

We were born to negotiate just as we were born to walk. You may not even realize that you are negotiating when you talk to business associates, friends, children, and anyone in your communication realm. Some people think negotiation is confrontational. Good negotiation is not confrontational, and you really can negotiate “win-win” results.

Preparation is the key to being a good negotiator. If you are not prepared, you may not be able to explain the results you want, you may not be able to evaluate all the issues and alternatives, and you may give up too soon. There are certain essential steps that prepare you for the negotiation:

1) Set clear expectations and clear goals;
2) Identify any undisputed points;
3) Anticipate the counter-offers you could make or receive;
4) Know every detail and every issue;
5) Anticipate what the other party wants;
6) Decide what is the highest/lowest you will give or take; and
7) Be ready to explain why this the highest/lowest you will give or take

When the negotiation starts, state that it is your objective to reach a win-win result. Keep your goal in mind and listen carefully to what is important to the other party. Take notes if necessary. Be calm, courteous, unemotional, and relaxed. Isolate the points of disagreement and try to find solutions for each of them.

Ask “what,” “how,” and “why” questions to better understand the other person’s values and what is important to them. Continue to isolate the points of disagreement and find solutions for them. Acknowledge the points of agreement that you have reached up to this point.

Repeat the process, moving each party closer to the other until you have full agreement. If you cannot reach a result that is mutually agreeable, agree to disagree at that moment, give yourselves time to think about it, and schedule another meeting. It may take time and work, but you can negotiate a win-win result.

Win-Win Negotiations

Win-Win Negotiations

Negotiation is a science that requires preparation if you are to have any chance of succeeding. To realize your part of a win-win outcome in every negotiation, identifying your project cost and profit margin is essential. Knowing these two components of a project fee will help ensure the desired outcome.Before a client ever receives your fee proposal, most have already established a specific fee amount they are willing to pay for your services. If your proposal should exceed that threshold, you’ll have to negotiate to get your fee.What's the best way to prepare for such a negotiation? The most critical piece of information to identify in a negotiation would be the estimated project cost, exclusive of profit, to complete the project. This figure is otherwise known as the project "break-even" cost.You can determine this cost in several ways, and you would do well to investigate and compare the results of each method. One of the best methods is to review projects of similar type and of comparable size and complexity. If you have kept accurate project cost accounting records, you will have an excellent resource to evaluate and help you build the fee you may need to negotiate. You will need to determine the actual, final percentage of profitability for these projects to ascertain whether the fees were adequate to complete the project(s) and still earn a "reasonable" profit. Two other useful methods to define the break-even cost of project delivery are the "top-down" fee budgeting approach (for public-sector projects) and the "bottom-up" approach (for private-sector projects).Public-sector project fees are usually fixed, up front, as a percentage of the owner’s construction budget. On public-sector projects, therefore, the top-down method helps you to define whether the fee given is sufficient to provide the required scope of services and the defined deliverables.

Working down through this process will provide you with an estimate of the hours the given fee will accommodate. If your calculations indicate that the fee will not provide an adequate number of hours to provide the services required, before declining the project you could negotiate for a reduced scope of services to match the available hours within the given fee. To determine the scope the given fee will support, you need to determine your break-even cost. Because the top-down method uses "billing" rates (profit included), you will need to then switch to the bottom-up method to calculate your break-even cost.Even though the bottom-up method is applicable primarily to private-sector projects, it’s also a useful tool for defining the break-even cost of delivering a public-sector project for a given fee. This method uses "break-even" rates (exclusive of profit) to determine the actual project cost. With the bottom-up fee budgeting method, the profit is added as the last step in defining the total fee to be negotiated.

In other words, you get to establish the percentage of profit to be added to the break-even cost.Beginning a negotiation with knowledge of the project break-even cost and profit margin gives you the power to "control" the negotiation. The control I refer to is the power to make an informed decision at each stage of the negotiation. For instance, if the client’s offer is less than your calculated fee, you have several options. You can negotiate for a reduced scope. You can reduce the percentage of your profit. You could ask for time to discuss the offer with your key team members. Or you can, as a final resort, say, “Thanks, but no thanks” and terminate the negotiation. Whether both parties make an informed decision to accept the terms of the scope and fee amount negotiated or whether they "shut down" the negotiation, any one of these options would result in a win-win outcome.Some circumstances could lead you to accept a fee with a reduced profit, but I cannot understand why anyone would agree to a fee with a zero profit or one that is less than their project break-even cost. Negotiating a fee without the above preparation and knowledge, however, increases the chances are that such a possibility could occur.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Communication Feedback

Constructive Feedback: Developing your Skills

"I don't know how to turn her performance around; she never used to have these attendance problems and her work used to be so good; I don't know why this is happening and what to do."
This manager is struggling with one of the most important yet trickiest and most difficult management tasks: providing contructive and useful feedback to others. Effective feedback is absolutely essential to organizational effectiveness; people must know where they are and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals-yours, their own, and the organization.

Feedback taps basic human needs-to improve, to compete, to be accurate; people want to be competent. Feedback can be reinforcing; if given properly, feedback is almost always appreciated and motivates people to improve. But for many people, daily work is like bowling with a curtain placed between them and the pins; they receive little information.

Be aware of the many reasons why people are hesitant to give feedback; they include fear of causing embarassment, discomfort, fear of an emotional reaction, and inability to handle the reaction.
It is crucial that we realize how critical feedback can be and overcome our difficulties; it is very important and can be very rewarding but it requires skill, understanding, courage, and respect for yourself and others.

Withholding constructive feedback is like sending people out on a dangerous hike without a compass. This is especially true in today's fast changing and demanding workplace.
Why managers are often reluctant to provide feedback

As important as feedback is, this critical managerial task remains one of the most problematic. Many managers would rather have root canal work than provide feedback to another-especially feedback that might be viewed as critical. Why are managers so reluctant to provide feedback? The Reasons are many:
fear of the other person's reaction; people can get very defensive and emotional when confronted with feedback and many managers are very fearful of the reaction

the feedback may be based on subjective feeling and the manager may be unable to give concrete information if the other person questions the basis for the feedback
the information on which the feedback is based (eg. performance appraisal) may be a very flawed process and the manager may not totally trust the information

many managers would prefer being a coach than "playing God."
Other factors get in the way of effective communication or feedback sessions. Some of these reasons are:

· defensiveness, distorted perceptions, guilt, project, transference, distortions from the past
· misreading of body language, tone
· noisy transmission (unreliable messages, inconsistency)
· receiver distortion: selective hearing, ignoring non-verbal cues
· power struggles
· self-fulfilling assupmtions
· language-different levels of meaning
· managers hesitation to be candid
· assumptions-eg. assuming others see situation same as you, has same feelings as you
· distrusted source, erroneous translation, value judgment, state of mind of two people

Win-Win Negotiation

Win-Win Negotiation - Finding a fair compromise

Negotiation skills help you to resolve situations where what you want conflicts with what someone else wants. The aim of negotiation is to explore the situation to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

There are different styles of negotiation, depending on circumstances. Where you do not expect to deal with people ever again and you do not need their goodwill, then it may be appropriate to ‘play hardball’, seeking to win a negotiation while the other person loses out. Many people go through this when they buy or sell a house – this is why house-buying can be such a confrontational and unpleasant experience. Similarly, where there is a great deal at stake in a negotiation (for example, in large sales negotiations), then it may be appropriate to prepare in detail and use a certain amount of subtle gamesmanship to gain advantage.

Both of these approaches are usually wrong for resolving disputes with people you have an ongoing relationship with: if one person plays hardball, then this disadvantages the other person – this may, quite fairly, lead to reprisal later. Similarly, using tricks and manipulation during a negotiation can severely undermine trust and damage teamwork. While a manipulative person may not get caught out if negotiation is infrequent, this is not the case when people work together on a frequent basis. Honesty and openness are the best policies in this case.
Preparing for a successful negotiation…Depending on the scale of the disagreement, a level of preparation may be appropriate for conducting a successful negotiation.

For small disagreements, excessive preparation can be counter-productive because it takes time that is better used elsewhere. It can also be seen as manipulative because just as it strengthens your position, it can weaken the other person’s.

If a major disagreement needs to be resolved, then it can be worth preparing thoroughly. Think through the following points before you start negotiating:
Goals: what do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you expect the other person to want?

Trades: What do you and the other person have that you can trade? What do you each have that the other might want? What might you each be prepared to give away?
Alternatives: if you don’t reach agreement with the other person, what alternatives do you have? Are these good or bad? How much does it matter if you do not reach agreement? Does failure to reach an agreement cut you out of future opportunities? What alternatives might the other person have?

Relationships: what is the history of the relationship? Could or should this history impact the negotiation? Will there be any hidden issues that may influence the negotiation? How will you handle these?
‘Expected outcomes’: what outcome will people be expecting from this negotiation? What has the outcome been in the past, and what precedents have been set?

The consequences: what are the consequences for you of winning or losing this negotiation? What are the consequences for the other person?

Power: who has what power in the relationship? Who controls resources? Who stands to lose the most if agreement isn’t reached? What power does the other person have to deliver what you hope for?

Possible solutions: based on all of the considerations, what possible compromises might there be?
Style is critical…
For a negotiation to be 'win-win', both parties should feel positive about the situation when the negotiation is concluded. This helps to maintain a good working relationship afterwards. This governs the style of the negotiation – histrionics and displays of emotion are clearly inappropriate because they undermine the rational basis of the negotiation and because they bring a manipulative aspect to them.

Despite this, emotion can be an important subject of discussion because people's emotional needs must fairly be met. If emotion is not discussed where it needs to be, then the agreement reached can be unsatisfactory and temporary. Be as detached as possible when discussing your own emotions – perhaps discuss them as if they belong to someone else.
Negotiating successfully…
The negotiation itself is a careful exploration of your position and the other person’s position, with the goal of finding a mutually acceptable compromise that gives you both as much of what you want as possible. People's positions are rarely as fundamentally opposed as they may initially appear - the other person may quite often have very different goals from the ones you expect!

In an ideal situation, you will find that the other person wants what you are prepared to trade, and that you are prepared to give what the other person wants.

If this is not the case and one person must give way, then it is fair for this person to try to negotiate some form of compensation for doing so – the scale of this compensation will often depend on the many of the factors we discussed above. Ultimately, both sides should feel comfortable with the final solution if the agreement is to be considered win-win.

Importance of Communication

Why Communications Skills Are So Important:

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others. This is a process that involves both the sender of the message and the receiver. This process leaves room for error, with messages often misinterpreted by one or more of the parties involved. This causes unnecessary confusion and counter productivity.

In fact, a message is successful only when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way.

By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.
In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single more important decisive factor in choosing managers. The survey, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School, points out that communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success.

In spite of the increasing importance placed on communication skills, many individuals continue to struggle with this, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively – whether in verbal or written format. This inability makes it nearly impossible for them to compete effectively in the workplace, and stands in the way of career progression.

Getting your message across is paramount to progressing. To do this, you must understand what your message is, what audience you are sending it to, and how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding your communications, such as situational and cultural context.

Myths of Communication

Myths of Communication
Myths of communication are common misunderstandings about communication. When people believe these myths, they make mistakes in communication.
1. We communicate only when we want to communicate. FALSE
We communicate all day, every day, often without realizing it. As long as people can observe or hear us, they’re getting information from and forming opinions about us.

2. Words mean the same thing to both speaker and listener. FALSE

When Bala said she needed the third Saturday off, she thought she was being clear. Manoj thought he clearly understood. However, both of them attached entirely different meanings to the same set of words. Words hold different meanings for different people based on their experiences, perception, and interpretations.

3. We communicate chiefly with words. FALSE

Manoj communicated a great deal without using only words. He argued, slammed the phone, stormed out, muttered, threw the clipboard, glared, shouted, and replied sarcastically. And Bala clearly got his messages! In reality, we communicate most of our messages nonverbally. We use our tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and the way we sit or walk to communicate what we are feeling and to support the words we speak.
4. We believe what a person says, not how he or she says it. FALSE

When Manoj leaned back, covered his eyes with his hands, and replied sarcastically, “No problem, Bala. I’ll be happy to rearrange the schedule to suit your family’s needs,” do you think Bala really believed it would be no problem and that Manoj would be happy to do it? It’s not likely. She believed Manoj’s tone of voice and what she saw, not the words he spoke. When a person’s verbal message and nonverbal message don’t match, the listener will believe the nonverbal message.

5. Communication is a one – way flow of information from the speaker to the listener. FALSE

During their meeting, both Bala and Manoj spoke, listened, and responded to what the order has to say. Some people believe that communication is a speaker talking at a listener rather than with a listener. In reality, effective communication takes place when both individuals participate actively. They do this when the listener gives the speaker feedback. Feedback is a listener’s reaction to the speaker’s verbal and nonverbal communication. Feedback can be verbal, such as “I don’t understand what you mean,” or it can be nonverbal, such as scowling or shaking your head.

Communication Elements

Communication Elements

Body language
Voice quality
Manner: directness, sincerity
Dress and clothing (style, color, appropriateness for situation)
Visual aids, animation
Eye contact
Emotional content, energy, strength
Concept of others
Listening, hearing the underlying message
Speaking from the heart
Setting, time, place, timing
How the messenger holds the message
Rhythm and pacing
Attitude and confidence
Purpose of communication - knowing what you want to communicate
Silence, centering, looking

Attentiveness to speaker
Eye contact
Intention be fully awake and aware
Openness: to other person and your own
Paying attention
Listening to yourself
Body language
Change in pattern
Expectations about person speaking, about their message, about their agenda

Communication Methods

Communication Methods

Experts say that communication is composed of different methods: words, voice, tone and non-verbal clues. Of these, some are more effective in delivering a message than others. According to research, in a conversation or verbal exchange:

Words are 7% effective
Tone of voice is 38% effective
Non-verbal clues are 55% effective.
Non-verbal clues include:

*Body language (e.g., arms crossed, standing, sitting, relaxed, tense),
*Emotion of the sender and receiver (e.g., yelling, speaking provocatively, enthusiastic)
*Other connections between the people (e.g., friends, enemies, professional similarities or differences, personal similarities or differences, age similarities or differences, philosophical similarities or differences, attitudes, expectations).
In other words, WHAT you say is not nearly as important as HOW you say it!

Guidelines of communication

Guidelines of communication
Have a positive attitude about communication. Defensiveness interferes with Communication

Be an active listener and do not answer until the other person has finished talking

Be slow to speak. Think first about what you are going to say and how it may sound

Do not use silence to frustrate the other person. Explain why you are hesitant to talk at this time

Do not get involved in blame-game or name calling. It possible to disagree with having conflict

Listen without thinking about what you will say next. Take time before you respond

Do not be invested in being right. Being right is not the point. If you must be right, you are able

to neither listen nor communicate because you have set up a barrier already. If you are always
right that means the other person is always wrong. That cannot be true.

If your mind wanders, ask for repetition. We all are subject to distraction. Try to stay focused

In all cases repeat back what you heard and ask if it is correct

Work at improving communication skills. It takes knowledge and work

Maintain eye contact

Use an open posture with your hands and legs

Smile or nod in accord with what is being said or in what you observe in the other person

Effective Communication Skills

Communication is not only conveying or sharing our ideas, thoughts or feelings, however it’s about having those ideas, thoughts, and feelings understood by the people we are talking with. So communication has to be effective which also involves feedback. As without feedback, there would be no way of knowing if meaning has been shared or if understanding has taken place.

The ability to speak clearly and concisely, and to convey information or articulate an opinion is essential for every job. Communication is reflection of our professionalism, our intellect, our preparedness, and our character. Communication is not an isolated series of only one skill. It involves several other skills. The ability to effectively communicate is a critical skills and it involves the following skills:

Language skills
Writing Skills
Listening Skills
Soft skills
Effective Verbal Communication

Verbal communication requires the use of words, vocabulary, numbers and symbols and is organized in sentences using language.

Mastering linguistic skill is not reserved for the selected few. It is a skill that each and every one should develop for personal growth and to improve relationships and interactions.

Everyone's brain is forever having thoughts and they are primarily with words. Words spoken, listened to or written affect your life as well as others. They have the power to create emotions and move people to take action. When verbal communication is delivered accurately and clearly, you activate the mind and encourage creativity.

You create your reality with your senses, the eyes, ears and feelings and words and symbols are used to create the meanings. This is why you are encouraged to read and watch informative materials, listen to motivational audio programs and attend classes or seminars that relate to your line of work or objectives. Positive and uplifting spoken or written messages motivate and inspire.
You can do the same to inspire others. Motivation comes from within each individual but you can become the source and when your are able to affect their thinking, you can help them improve their lives.

1. Verbal communication is communication done by word of mouth and face-to-face.

2. Three general telephone etiquettes when answering the telephone are:

1. Identify yourself, with your first and last name, when answering the phone.
2. Return phones calls within 24 hours, and apologize if the call is late.
3. Identify yourself when you place a call. Say your name, the company, business or department you represent.

3. The speaking style is problem-solving style.

4. Women are found to talk to create connections and intimacy.

5. The seven steps to creating an effective speech are:

1. Choose a topic
2. Define the purpose of your speech
3. Get to know your audience
4. Gather information for your speech
5. Organize your speech
6. Add an introduction to your speech
7. Add a conclusion to your speech

6. Skills an active listener should use (Any three):

1.concentrates on what is being said (doesn't read, shuffle papers or otherwise non-verbally communicate a lack of interest)

2.listens to all facts and tries not to interrupt until the speaker has concluded his/her statements. When someone is talking for a long period of time, it is sometimes helpful to either take notes or ask the speaker to stop so that you can feed back to them what you have heard.

3.listens for key words of interest on which to comment and ask questions (communicating that I am really interested and want to hear more or better understand what you are saying.) objective; hears people as they are, not the way you'd like them to be.

5.holds back personal judgments until the speaker has presented his/her ideas.

7. Effective feedbacks that a good communicator should use: (Any three)

· descriptive (not evaluative)(avoids defensiveness.) By describing one's own reactions, it leaves the individual fee to use it or not to use it as he sees fit

· avoid accusations; present data if necessary

· describe your own reactions or feelings; describe objective consequences that have or will occur; focus on behavior and your own reaction, not on other individual or his or her attributes

. suggest more acceptable alternative; be prepared to discuss additional alternatives; focus on alternatives

· specific rather than general.

Effective Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication consists of all the messages other than words that are used in communication. These symbolic messages are transferred by means of body posture, body gestures, and facial expressions, which all together are called Body language.

Body Language

Body language is the person’s expressions, behavior, body movement etc through which you can judge a person.

Body language consists of signs and symbols we send out by the small movements we make with our eyes, face and the way we sit, stand and move.

A recent study tells us that non verbal signals play a large part of any communication between people. But exactly how much?

According to the 10-40-50 principle, 10 % of the impression or impact comes from what we actually say, 40% comes form the way how we say it and the major par i.e. 50% coming from our body language.

Examples of Body Language

Brisk, erect walk
Standing with hands on hips
Sitting with legs crossed, foot kicking slightly
Sitting, legs apart
Arms crossed on chest
Touching, slightly rubbing nose
Rubbing the eye
Hands clasped behind back
Locked ankles
Rubbing hands
Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed
Open palm
Tapping or drumming fingers
Patting/fondling hair
Tilted head
Stroking chin
Looking down, face turned away
Biting nails

Top Ten Effective Body Language Tips

Eye Contact
Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of dealing with others, especially people we've just met. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say.

Posture is the next thing to master, get your posture right and you'll automatically start feeling better, as it makes you feel good almost instantly. Next time you notice you're feeling a bit down, take a look at how your standing or sitting. Chances are you'll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can help make you feel nervous or uncomfortable.

Head position
Head position is a great one to play around with, with yourself and others. When you want to feel confident and self assured keep your head level both horizontally and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative and what you're saying to be taken seriously. Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other.

They give away the clues as to how open and receptive we are to everyone we meet and interact with, so keep your arms out to the side of your body or behind your back. In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the more you tend to use your arms with big movements. The quieter you are the less you move your arms away from your body. So, try to strike a natural balance and keep your arm movement’s midway. When you want to come across in the best possible light, crossing the arms is a no, no in front of others.

Legs are the furthest point away from the brain; consequently they're the hardest bits of our bodies to consciously control. They tend move around a lot more than normal when we are nervous, stressed or being deceptive. So best to keep them as still as possible in most situations, especially at interviews or work meetings

Body Angle
Angle of the body in relation to others gives an indication of our attitudes and feelings towards them. We angle toward people we find attractive, friendly and interesting and angle ourselves away from those we don't, it's that simple! Angles includes leaning in or away from people, as we often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways to someone to share a bit of conversation.

Hand Gestures
Hand gestures are so numerous it's hard to give a brief guide but here goes. Palms slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm down gestures are generally seen as dominant, emphasizing and possibly aggressive, especially when there is no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm. This palm up, palm down is very important when it comes to handshaking and where appropriate we suggest you always offer a handshake upright and vertical, which should convey equality.

Distance from others is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand too close and you'll be marked as "Pushy" or "In your face". Stand or sit too far away and you'll be "Keeping your distance" or "Stand offish".

Yes your ears play a vital role in communication with others, even though general terms most people can't move them much, if at all. However, you've got two ears and only one mouth, so try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as much as you talk you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike up a balanced a conversation without being me, me, me or the wallflower.

Mouth movements can give away all sorts of clues. We purse our lips and sometimes twist them to the side when we're thinking. Another occasion we might use this movement is to hold back an angry comment we don't wish to reveal. Nevertheless, it will probably be spotted by other people and although they may not know the comment, they will get a feeling you were not to please. There are also different types of smiles and each gives off a corresponding feeling to its recipient.

Types of Effective Listning

1. The non-listener

At this first level, the listener does not hear others at all. In fact, he does not even make an effort to hear what is being said. He manifests blank stares as well as nervous mannerisms and gestures. He fakes attention while thinking about un -related matters. He is too busy in preparing what to say next. So, primarily concerned with doing most of the speaking. He is typically disliked or “tolerated” by most people”

2. The Marginal Speaker

At this second level, the listener hears the sound and words but not really listening. They postpone problems into the future rather than dealing with them in the present. He is not able to recall or grasp what he has heard. He is easily distracted by their thinking or by outside occurrences

3. The Evaluative Listener

This third level takes somewhat more concentration and attention by the listener than the first two levels. At this level the listener is actively trying to hear what the speaker is saying but isn’t making an effort to understand the speaker’s intent. He tends to be a more logical listener who is more concerned about the content than feelings

This type of listener forms opinions about the speaker’s words even before the message is complete. This obviously leads to risks of not understanding the true meaning of the message.
4. The Active Listener

This is far by the highest and most effective level of listening. The active listener does not interrupt. He is always looking for verbal or visual clues that might signify that the other person would like to say something. When one appears, the active listener promptly gives the floor to the other person. He listens for feelings and emotions, as well as words from the speaker. He listens not only to what is said and how it is said, but also is perceptive of what is not being said. Above all he is a skillful questioner.
Active, effective listening is a habit, as well as the foundation of effective communication.
Therefore, follow these quick and easy steps to ensure that you not only hear but understand what is being said as well.

Be Prepared- It involves understanding the complexities of listening, practicing listening to difficult material and doing necessary background study. Reading appropriate material, background papers, and doing research before meetings assists in being ready to listen

Stop Speaking- Resist the urge to jump in and finish sentences. Clearly, you're a far more effective listener when you're not talking as it is difficult to listen and speak at the same time

The focus factor- This is the most obvious -- and most broken -- rule when it comes to listening. Be in the moment. Put other thoughts out of your mind. Remove distractions. Good listening means giving the speaker your undivided attention

Be patient – Be patient. Some people take longer to find the right word, to make a point or clarify an issue. Give the speaker time to get it all out before you jump in with your reply. Put the other person at ease. Give him/her space and time. How we look at them, how we stand or sit, makes a huge difference. So relax and let the speaker relax

Take notes-
Do not rely on you memory. While listening it is perfectly acceptable to take notes. However, when taking notes make sure to pay close attention, which includes making periodical eye contact, asking questions and understanding non verbal messages. Write down only key words or phrases, the things you will need to trigger the message instead of writing down complete thoughts sentences, which can distract you from listening.(obviously, remember to expand notes afterwards, while the meaning these key phrases is still fresh in your mind)

barriers of Communication

No matter how good the communication system in an organisation is, unfortunately barriers can and do often occur. This may be caused by a number of factors which can usually be summarised as being due to physical barriers, system design faults or additional barriers.
Have you ever been talking to some one and they misunderstood what you were saying? Or have you ever faced a situation of miscommunication?

Why do you think that happens?

This happens because of barriers in communication process. Anything which blocks the meaning of a communication is a barrier to communication. Barriers keep us from understanding other‘s ideas and thoughts. Barriers can appear at any point of communication loop.

Barriers to communication are things people say or do that are obstacles to good conversation or good interpersonal interaction. They are hurdles that do not bring discussion satisfaction. They are high-risk responses who impact on communication is frequently negative.

These hindrances are more likely to be destructive when one or more persons who are interacting are under stress. These roadblocks frequently diminish the other's self-esteem.
These roadblocks tend to trigger our defensiveness, resistance, and resentment.

They can lead to our dependency, withdrawal, feelings of defeat, or of inadequacy. They decrease the likelihood that we will find the solution to our problem. Each roadblock is a feeling-blocker. They reduce the likelihood that the we will constructively express our true feelings.
The repeated use of barriers can cause permanent damage to a relationship.

These twelve ways of responding are viewed as high-risk responses, rather than inevitably destructive elements of all communication. They are more likely to block conversation, thwart the other person's problem solving efficiency, and increase the emotional distance between people than other ways of communicating.

There are two types of barriers

Internal barriers- fatigue, poor listening skills, attitude towards the sender or the information, lack of interest in the message, fear, mistrust, past experiences, and emotions. Here is a list of or reasons why we sometimes find it difficult to take the risk and communicate our true attitudes and feelings to one another.

Fear of exposing my/our deep feelings and my/our weaknesses

Fear that the other person will not understand my feelings

Fear that the listener may hurt me by blaming me or putting me down

Fear of appearing less in the listener’s eyes

Fear of not being taken seriously

Fear of negative feedback from my partner or a fear of potential conflict

Fear of appearing self-centered

Fear that listener will not be able to cope with such disclosures or that I will not be able to cope with listener’s reactions

External Barriers- noise distractions, e-mail not working, bad phone connections, time of day, jargons, environment etc.

The choice of right channel helps the receiver understand the nature and importance of a Message

An effective communication takes place in the presence of common language between the
speaker and the receiver

Physical things that get in the way communication. For example: telephone, noise,
Uncomfortable meeting place etc.

Overcoming Barriers

"Discover why we misunderstand so often"
"Understand how several people can each hear something different"
"Learn how to gain clarity in your message"
"Learn how to allow your message to be accepted by others"
"Discover innovative new thinking tools for powerful self-communication"
"Effective Listing"
"Effective Specking"