Communication skills

It’s good to talk – or is it?

Master the tools and techniques you need to communicate effectively, confidently and professionally in the workplace, whether writing emails, speaking over the phone (including conference calls) or meeting others face-to-face.

Learn how to express yourself even more concisely, precisely and clearly with a keen focus on knowing what you want to achieve, understanding the audience and considering the context.

The workshop focuses on the more challenging situations, such as when you need to be assertive, deliver bad news or win others over to your point of view.

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn how to select the appropriate communication medium (email, telephone or face-to-face)
  • Be able to organise and express messages relevant to the audience, objective and context
  • Know how to communicate more clearly, precisely and concisely in a range of situations
  • Practise new techniques to enhance your communication in the workplace
  • Understand how best to ask questions to establish needs and relevant information
  • Appreciate the impact of assumptions and know how to eradicate them

Workshop outline

(Full-day version, 9.30 – 5.00)

1 The communication cycle

  • The message we want to send isn’t always what the receiver gets
  • Understanding the three channels of communication: visual / vocal / verbal
  • How challenges and misunderstandings can arise:
    • When the visual disappears (telephone and teleconferencing)
    • When the vocal disappears (writing)

2 Which medium when?

  • When is it best to put it in writing?
  • When should you use the phone?
  • When is face-to-face the best choice?
  • Issues to consider when you have difficult messages to deliver, when you want to influence and persuade, or when the situation is getting emotional

3 Four steps to communicating well

  • Thinking about your objective
  • Thinking about the recipient
  • Selecting the content
  • Making it compelling

4 Communicating effectively in writing

  • The importance of being clear, precise and concise
  • How to create a logical, coherent flow, make the content accessible and get the tone right – the A to B model
  • The power of short sentences and simple language
  • How to write emails that get read and get results
  • ‘Wimp talk’ versus ‘power talk’ – why it’s important to avoid softeners and qualifiers
  • How to write an effective email

5 Adapting your communication style

  • A question of style
  • What’s yours? – questionnaire
  • How to adapt it

6 Telephone and teleconference skills

  • Using verbal and vocal channels
  • How to explain things clearly over the telephone

7 Assumptions and misunderstandings

  • Understanding the dangers
  • How ‘mind-reading’, making assumptions and jumping to conclusions can sabotage effective communication
  • Why you should avoid interrupting people when you think you know what they’re going to say
  • The importance of suspending judgment, being patient and listening carefully
  • Making the content of your communication explicit rather than implicit

8 Precision questioning

  • How to eradicate assumptions and avoid misunderstandings
  • What makes a question powerful?
  • What questions should you avoid?
  • The problems with leading questions

9 Active listening

  • The power of active listening
  • How to show active listening

10 Communicating effectively face-to-face

  • 1-to-1s and meetings
  • How to build and maintain rapport
  • Using body language and eye contact
  • Communicating confidently and assertively when stating your opinion, making requests or giving feedback

11 Difficult conversations

  • How to communicate well in difficult conversations
  • Effectively managing your emotional state

12 Actions and next steps

  • Review
  • Personal action planning
  • Next steps

To discuss which management and personal effectiveness modules would best suit you, just give us a call on 01582 714280 and we’ll be happy to talk you through the options.