The Successful Communicator

Most people think they are communicating, when in actuality, they are not getting their message across. Yes, they are sending messages; however, much is lost within the communication process, which comprises more than 90% of the message being sent!

The receiver may be thinking what the right answer would be for your question; they may be thinking about something that just happened that they cannot get of their heads, or their feelings and emotions are being compromised from hearing the communication.

By the time your message is sent and the time your message is received, a lot happens with your message. The person hears the message and decodes it, giving their interpretation to it.

In business and in relationships, we want a message to be heard and effective if we are to proceed with a good communication between two parties. Through this book,, The Communication Handbook, my hope is that you obtain the necessary knowledge to use language correctly and to know the many variances of the language process.

Everywhere we go, there seems to be signals of some kind. There are signs, logos, labels, photographs, newspapers mobile devices and computer screens. The signs are so common that we get used to them and instinctively know what they mean. These signals have become important to our way of life.

People interpret what they want to interpret. They hear what they choose.

In the book, Words That Work, Frank L. Luntz says,

“It’s not what you say, and it’s what people hear.” He goes on to say “You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions preconceptions, prejudices and preexisting beliefs.”

In today’s world of social networking, texting, tweets and Facebook posts, along with electronic forms of communication words can easily be misunderstood and misinterpreted.

People want immediate gratification when they send a message. When people used to write letters, (what a concept!) they had to wait for a response. Today, you reach contacts, worldwide, in seconds. We are in an era with “real time.”) Businesses now send messages via office email quickly and efficiently.

In the book, Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner, he said that

“We. now have the opportunity to go beyond stated expectations and explore specific interests. Since sending and receiving messages immediately is so beneficial, we seem to have lost the ability to use more archaic forms of communication. No longer do your children call every week; they text. Everything has moved in a direction of I need information right now. It concerns me we are losing the opportunity to communicate in-person or over a landline, in lieu of technological advances.”

The majority of the population is born with an ability to hear, but not necessarily, to listen. There are several reasons people do not or cannot listen or remember. These range from physical conditions to cultural beliefs.

During one of the classes, required to get my Ph.D., an instructor gave his view on the word ‘understand.’ In his words, “The word ‘understand’ is just a clever reversal of ‘stand under’ and has been suggested to mean just that: to stand under.” If you ‘stand under’ someone and look up to them you will better understand what they are going through and why your communication may not be getting across.

Edward R. Murrow said,

“Communication’ is the process of exchanging information and ideas. An active process, it involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding intended messages. There are many means of communicating and many different language systems. Speech and language is only a portion of communication.

Other aspects of communication may enhance or even eclipse the linguistic code. These aspects are paralinguistic, nonlinguistic, and linguistic.

It is the transmission of information so that the recipient understands what the sender intends.”

Just because we send a message doesn’t mean the receiver hears what you intended them to hear because somewhere in-between the sender and the receiver are the thought processes, feelings and interpretations of the receiver. The receiver must be open to receiving the senders’ message.

For example, when you see a yellow sign with a curved arrow along the road, you know there is a curve ahead. When you see a plus sign, you know you are to add. When you see a red light, you know to stop.

The key to the use of signals in communication knows that both the sender and receiver of the message must understand the communication! Let’s say, you were given a math problem, but you did not know the minus sign is the signal for subtraction, you would not be able to complete the problem.

When people used to write letters, (what a concept!) they had to wait until the receiver gets the communication.

Thus, The Communication Handbook is about the communication process and all that it entails.

Watch on Amazon for The Communication Handbook (March, 2013). Everyone needs this book in order to communicate effectively.

Conflict and Good Communication Skills

What is conflict? Conflict arises when two or more people are in disagreement with each other, and each believe the other is wrong or at fault. Another interpretation is the point at which hostility and anger may result in physical harm to others. Conflict is evident in many of the relationships that we may experience in our everyday lives. It may be between co-workers, employer and employee, spouses or even in other family relationships. In the course of living we may have various relationships and because of our differing personalities these may result in conflict arising.

I vividly remember a situation between myself and a good friend which denigrated into an argument; and as we each refused to give in conflict set in and eventually the friendship ended. As a more mature person I now recognize that it’s okay to hold opposing views. To some extent agreeing to disagree and moving on from the conflict. Sometimes an intermediary may be useful in helping the opposing people come to some resolution. This is especially true with married people who may seek intervention through a marriage counselor.

Conflict resolution involves using good and effective communication skills. An essential part of communications is listening as well as speaking. We all know that as we communicate our emotions come into play; so we need to be prepared to calmly put our point of view across. Sometimes it’s necessary to put our point of view across several times, that is to re-phrase what we are saying. For instance in a scenario where a husband and wife are experiencing conflict it is perhaps important to set aside time to speak to each other when there is little chance of being interrupted. It could be that the wife in the situation feels she is not receiving adequate support in the home, whereas the husband feels that all his wife does is nag.

The conversation between the couple may start with the wife saying something like ‘I know I’ve said this many times before, but I really feel that you could do more in the home’. ‘Let me just say that again so that you don’t feel I’m being unnecessarily difficult. Is it possible that we can share the housework? We are both working, but it seems that most things are left for me to do, including the shopping. The response is probably negative from her spouse who may retreat into a defensive mode if he feels he is being attacked and or unappreciated.

So how then do we communicate with each other and elicit the desired response. I would argue that in all situations we need to stop putting ‘me’ first. It’s important not just to get your own way but to recognize that in resolving the conflict it has to be done in a way that is in the best interest of all concerned.

In the scenario previously mentioned if someone, in this case the wife, feels that she is unnecessarily burdened she may at some point become resentful, and seek other ways of balancing the scales. This may lead to other difficulties in the marriage. I believe that sharing your point of view in a constructive manner may encourage a supportive response. It may be that you appeal to your partner’s ego. For instance, I really appreciate it when you put the rubbish out or I really wish you unpack the dishwasher more often.

There are many ways of communicating effectively to elicit a desired response and I have merely illustrated a few. I don’t always get it right, however I definitely believe that its best to communicate feelings rather than acting them out. If you are hurt, or feel aggrieved share the feelings, the hurts or the difficulty with the person with whom you are having a relationship. If they wish to have a harmonious relationship they will respond positively and nor merely deflect the communication.

Telecommunication Bills

But, just as it is vital to have a phone, it is important to have value for money and good quality service from your telecommunications provider.

Do you ever consider how much time per day your spend on the phone? If you haven’t, you will be surprised or even shocked to learn the actual amount.

Telecommunication is an essential service. In today’s world we simply cannot survive without it. Businesses rely heavily on communication, and the need to be ‘constantly in contact’ has forced us to be available 24 hours a day.

So we’ve established that we all need a phone, and that we all use our phone endlessly. What about the bill? It’s not cheap. In fact, telecommunication bills can become extremely costly, and because they are an essential service, it is a monthly expense that will never leave us.

There are a multitude of service providers, and in tough economic times, you need to research your options to find the best deal that suits your need. Cheapest is not always the best deal. Quality of service matters.

Look for bundle deals that might help save you money. Mobile phone, land line, broadband and mobile broadband can sometimes be packaged together to offer a cheaper rate, but be sure to consider what sales service you will receive.

Another factor to take into consideration is the service provider themselves and how long they have been in operation. With telecommunication growing at such an alarming rate, there are service providers starting up all over the world, and they want your business. Buyer beware! Do your research. If something seems to good to be true, it just might be.

So saving money on telecommunication bills is one thing. But what if you could profit when others pay their bills?

How many people do you know have a mobile phone. All of them. Plus they have land lines, internet, mobile broadband. How great would it be to earn an income when they pay their telecommunication bills.

Ask yourself this question – do you like to save money or make money. You will definitely answer yes to one of them, but you probably answered yes to both, right?

If you’re looking for a good service provider that has stood the test of time, a way to save on your phone bills and the opportunity to make money when others pay their telecommunication bills then take action now.

If either saving money or making money is important to you then you need to see this. Telecommunication bills cost people thousands of dollars every year.

Relevance of Unified Communications for Businesses Is Increasing Rapidly

No business can sustain and grow without an effective communication system in place. Efficient communication within the organization and with the external public is a must if a company wants to build strong and lasting relationships. The present-day business world that has gone global is even more dependent on smooth and unhindered interaction and exchange of information and ideas.

Today, even a small or medium scale company looks at developing overseas connections and expanding its business beyond the territorial borders. When the employees, associates and customers are spread all over the globe, the quality of communication system that joins them together and keeps them connected is the vital thing which dictates the success or failure of a business.

The development of an innovative technology architecture of unified communications has been instrumental in helping businesses maintain good connections, regardless of the geographical distances. It is a system that integrates the various fixed as well as mobile modes of communication into a single environment. By streamlining the different communication components into a common system, the unified communications systems enable the users to communicate from their preferred device and the preferred location. This has resulted in great benefits for businesses.

    • Cost savings: Unified communications services are generally available through hosted service providers. This eliminates the need for an organization to maintain dedicated IT resources. Moreover, companies make huge savings on travel costs too as video/web conferencing has made trainings and meetings possible even when the participants are not in the same location.
    • Ease and Reliability in communication: Ease and reliability in communication is ensured by virtue of the users’ communication applications and devices being integrated seamlessly into one platform.
    • Quicker decision-making: Real time conversation and exchange of calls and messages eliminates information lags and enables decisions to be taken instantly.
    • Efficiency in remote working: Unified communications allow more flexibility in work. Employees can work from a location of their choice and yet their productivity does not suffer. This boosts employee morale and also helps an organization source high quality workforce from all over the globe.
    • Better productivity: Improved communication, faster decisions, lower costs and happy employees translate into better productivity for the business.
  • Eco-friendly communication: By reducing the need of maintaining individual communication systems, unified communications help in reducing power usage. Moreover cutting down on corporate travel also contributes towards conservation of environment. Thus, the solutions are great ‘green’ initiatives.

The exceptional advantages offered by unified communications give the company a distinct edge that helps it excel in the modern competitive business world.

As businesses have started making increasing use of remote working, the relevance of unified communications solutions has increased to be more than ever before.

The Key Components That Make a Successful Unified Communications System

Unified communications (UC) is a system that integrates the diverse communication applications and tools into one comprehensive environment for optimizing business processes. This merger has transformed business communication and brought about improved functionality, higher employee productivity and reduced IT management expenses in the company that uses it. No wonder unified communications is becoming increasingly indispensable for all types and scales of businesses.

The relevance of these solutions is increasing also because of the growing trend of remote working. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of employees who do not go to office to work. While this gives great flexibility to the workers, the company also benefits as it saves on renting of office space, power costs, provision of amenities for employees, etc. The concept of remote working depends a lot on UC for success.

To determine whether your business can benefit from unified communications, you have to understand what it exactly means. It is a solution that comprises of several components. Some of these include

    • Call Control: The IP PBX is an important UC enabler as it provides the basic plumbing that is required for this solution.
    • Video: Video is a critical link of unified communications. Easy connections and high-definition videos make video conferencing a powerful business tool that offers a great experience to the participants.
    • Presence: Presence enables assessing the users’ present availability as well as ability to interact and communicate. In the business world where time is of primary importance, Presence forms the cornerstone of successful UC.
    • Instant Messaging: Instant messaging translates the availability of a person into effective communication and is therefore, an important UC element.
    • Unified Messaging: This integrates fax, email, voice mail and other communication technologies and allows the users to access the messages from a single interface.
    • Mobility: Mobile communication devices are commonplace today. Their integration with the enterprise communications enables the users to work efficiently from wherever they are as the audio or video communication can be launched from the mobile devices too.
  • Collaboration & Document Sharing: Collaborative capabilities like audio, video and web conferencing, file/document sharing, white-boarding, shared workspaces, etc. allow the participants to engage in real-time interaction and simultaneously look at common documents and presentations.

As both the vendors and users of UC are realizing the potential offered by this technology architecture, its deployment is increasing at a fast pace. The businesses that have implemented the system have got a definite edge over the ones that haven’t progressed to it yet.

Get Hosted Unified Communications to Improve Your Business Communication

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business world, companies are forever on the lookout for technologies that streamline business operations and increase the overall efficiency and productivity. Business communication is a sphere where efficiency is most desirable. Over the years, there has been a proliferation of communication devices, and the use of disparate tools by people can often lead to complications in interaction between them.

Unified communications has come up as the ideal solution to such complexities. It is a solution that brings the different communication systems, applications and tools into a single system. By streamlining the diverse media and applications like telephone, email, fax, instant messaging, white-boarding, audio/video/web conferencing, etc. on to a simplified common platform, this integrating technology allows efficient exchange of information between participants who may be based in different locations.

The improved communication made possible by the system has attracted many businesses to make use of it. Several service providers have entered the market offering hosted unified communications, whereby the company using their services is freed from the need of maintaining the required hardware or software. The hosted solutions are especially beneficial for small/medium businesses that can save on time, money and effort while enjoying efficient communication systems. The key advantages offered by these hosted solutions include:

    • The integration of employees’ computer applications with phone of the front desk executive in the SMB’s has simplified his/her work to a great extent.
    • Switching between fixed and mobile communication devices has become easy. By simply pressing a key, you can continue unbroken conversation/interaction. This makes it convenient to engage in multitasking and maintain your productivity even from out of office. Remote working has also become very much feasible with the system.
    • Hosted unified communications assures you of continuous connectivity. With their back-up arrangements, the service providers give you uninterrupted access to your employees, clients and associates.
    • The solutions make it easy to manage the information in different communication applications from a single device like a phone.
    • Business travel has been greatly reduced as unified communications make it easy to arrange web and video conferencing. You can conduct training sessions and hold meetings even between participants who are separated by huge geographical distances.
  • If your business occasionally needs to handle high volume calls and requires more phone lines, your service provider can easily arrange that.

If a small/medium business has a long-term vision for success, it must utilize hosted unified communications and simplify their communication system. By taking up this technology architecture, businesses have been observed to experience increased operational efficiency productivity and cost savings, and better business resilience.

The enhanced productivity and cost-efficiency offered by unified communications solutions is leading all types and sizes of businesses to outsource these solutions from established service providers.

Benefits Of Using Managed Communications Network For Your Business

A virtual private network or a managed communications broadband VPN network is an inexpensive solution for connecting to you, suppliers, workers, and customers. There are innumerable benefits associated to using managed communications. Every medium and large-sized business requires secure access of systems and information to let the staff connect with them through remote networking. Even small businesses are increasingly switching to managed communications to securely exchange information.

But a VPN network is quite complex to carry out and keep up. Even the slightest technical error can have a serious impact on the network performance and workers in remote locations will be unable to gain access. That is why when a VPN network is not managed it can prove at times as a very problematic issue for the business. The latest advancement in the broadband VPN technology allows you to link load-balance broadband and broadband. This gives you the flexibility to choose the area for your bandwidth capacity.

With the help of the right investment in IT systems including broadband VPN networks, companies can substantially reduce their costs and efficiently work over a wider geographical area. Having access to a global broadband network can help small or medium-sized business to act like large ones. Being able to connect with a wider audience is sure to give the business a boost. Managed communications can help you to effectively communicate with your business colleagues and partners in diverse places without having to use a public network for the same.

Most managed communications service providers will be able to give you customized services to suit your requirements. You can make broadband connectivity at high speeds to any desired place. You can even choose specific network speeds between different locations. One of the best things about this service is that there is no limit on how many sites you want connected on this network. These networks make use of layered IP technology and carrier grade 3DES architecture that make sure security and privacy on the network.

Network professionals handle the installation and maintenance of these systems with ease to make sure you get uninterrupted connectivity. This will make sure a smooth-functioning of your business activities. With a managed communications broadband VPN, you can make the information you give to customers available regardless of the area they are in. The above mentioned benefits show that having a managed VPN service can give you an edge in the competitive business environment.

In the communication world there are several important things to have in place for your company to be successful. Such things like a content distribution network, interactive video services, managed communications and wireless technology are all important pieces to have in place for your business to run smoothly.

The Importance of Communication Training For Your Career

Are you planning on going to college? If you are planning on going to college or grad school for business management or any other business related course, you should certainly consider taking communication courses to further your well-rounded education and potentially further your career.

Applying for a communications career usually requires an applicant to have completed in-depth training along with having a college degree in communications or any other related industry. Any extra real world experience from an older job or an internship would also help with getting hired for your next job or career, more so than simply having a college degree or certificate from a professional and certified communications training institution.

Preparing for the real world is the most important step a person can take to guarantee success in just about anything they do in life. Taking a communications training course and other related courses along with having real world experience is the most impressive option employers consider when hiring employees for their company.

The communication industries are constantly upgrading and evolving, as this process happens, more and more communication training courses will need to be taken to keep up with the changing industry. This particular industry will always be on the front lines of technological development as fast and efficient communication is one critical reason for the general advancement of technology.

Existing employees and students looking into a career in the communications industry will all have to under go some communications training to be able to work within the communication or to keep their employment within the communications industry.

Communications Training and College Degrees

Most college degrees and their ascending careers will more than likely need professional communication skills. Whether through use of paper, emails, live customer support, PR, presentations, meetings, or public speaking; communication is all part of the business world and business processes. Furthermore, by taking related courses for business, communications, and psychology; one would be able to fully understand people, how psychology works in the business world, and how to see and interact professionally within the business world. As most colleges offer the very basic fundamental core classes as a component of all major college degrees, selecting related business and communication training courses on your own is highly recommended. If you are going back to college to further your education, selecting a communications training course or two may be a good idea to include in the classes you want to take.

Continuing education to further one’s knowledge of how people and the rest of the world communicate is perhaps one of the best training decisions a business oriented person can make. Being able to effectively express one’s self on a piece of paper, or online, or in person will all contribute to the amount of success a person will have in their particular business industry.

As with every business or any other type of relationship for that matter, communication is key in order for any type of relationship to be successful.

International Calling Cards For Better Communication

Due to rapid globalization, many people travel to different countries for business or other purposes. Also there are people who have relatives living in different countries. The most difficult thing that people face at this time is to stay connected with friends, family and business partners. There was a time when international calling was a very expensive affair. But with advancements in technology, making these calls has become not only easy and comfortable but also affordable.

Gone are the days when international calling used to be very heavy on one’s pocket. The phone card service providers have flooded the market with a lot of options to keep the phone bills under control.

There are various benefits that a calling card can offer you:

Convenience– Calling cards offer you the most convenient way to make international calls. You can either buy them from a retail store or check online. They can be used both by landline and mobile phones.

Cheap Rates– With these cards, you will not only get cheap calling rate but also certain free minutes. You must do proper research about the company and the calling rates it offer, before buying the card.

Offer Various Features– Different companies offer different features on such cards. These are also available in different price range and you can choose one according to your requirements.

Easy Communication– These cards have made it very easy to maintain a regular and healthy communication between people across countries. You can easily stay in touch with your loved ones anytime and every time you want.

Buying Calling Cards Online

There are times when you may not be able to go to a retail store to buy a calling card. These can be easily purchased online and offer a lot of benefits to the buyers.

– Facilitates comparison between different service providers.

– Offers ease of buying.

– Facilitates features and card prices.

– The reputation of the company and reviews provided by different users can be read easily.

The use of phone cards to make international calls to people has become very common now. You can easily search online for the various service providers. It is important to be careful of companies that are fraud and it is advisable only to go for well reputed websites. You can also ask any of your friends or relatives who have made use of these cards. Use of cards is the best way to save your money and still be in contact while abroad.

Communication Process

Communication:
Communication is a two way process in which two persons or group of people exchange their ideas, messages, feelings, emotions, thoughts, and speeches both orally and verbally. Communication works only if it is effective and meaningful otherwise it creates many discrepancies. A famous author’s (Lawrence Clark Powell) quote completely justifies the above stated statement about communication i.e. ”Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow.”
How Communication model works?

According to the communication model of Shannon-Weaver, the process of communication flows through 8 different steps. These steps include source, encoder, message, channel, noise, decoder, receiver and feedback. The source is the sender or an individual who will start communication in order to convey his message, ideas or thoughts. Encoder will decide the format of interpretation in which the message will be addressed to the channel. Message is the idea, inner feeling or thought of that sender or source. Channel is the way via which the message will be sent i.e. verbal, non-verbal, and electronic or something else as per the needs of sender. Noise is anything that disrupts the message as it may be some physical distortion as well as psychological obstacle. Decoder will decode the message according to the receiver’s interests and capabilities of understanding the messages. Receiver is the person to whom the sender wants to say something and finally he or she will give his reply in the form of feedback that how he or she interpreted the sender’s message.

Effective communication:
Another famous author James Humes defines communication in his own way i.e. ”the art of communication is the language of leadership”. Communication works only when the receiver completely understands what the sender wants to say whether verbally or orally. Not only face to face communication works but actually body language and gestures also convey the sender’s messages clearly. However, many barriers become constraints in the process of communication and thus prevent people from being communicated effectively.

Barriers:
The barriers may be physical, social, emotional as well as psychological. Non-attentive listening plays major role in impeding people to communicate. Sometimes culture, language, background and thoughts also become barriers in effective communication. People’s language and culture matters whenever they communicate with each other. Similarly, some people lose emotional connection with one another and hence they become distract from the actual topic. The way of communication also counts a lot in the process of effective communication because people or receivers may not feel comfort with the speaker’s language, vocabulary and tone. Communication from distant places also becomes obstacle for both sender and receiver because some people do not know how to deal with technology and some distract due to background noise etc.

Tips to communicate effectively:
Sender should clarify his message before conveying it to receiver. He must use proper phrases, vocabulary as well as effective channels. Active listening is demanded on the part of receiver because if he will listen by remaining active then lots of barriers can easily be removed. Similarly, the communicators must develop empathy on their parts so that they must know the feelings and ideas of one another. The gestures and body language must go with the messages which a sender wants to convey. Similarly, sender and receiver both should understand their calibers first (like background, culture, language etc.) and then move further. Communicators must give a chance to each other so that both can say what they want to describe. Respect must be present in the communication process which will bring effectiveness.