Tag Archives: communication skills

Use the 7 Cs to Become a More Successful Communicator

Having a successful career depends on your ability to communicate effectively with others in the workplace. To become a good communicator, make sure you are aware of those important aspects oral communication—tone of voice, eye contact, and other body language signals.

Click the graphic below to review Evan Carmichael’s infographic on the 7 Cs of Communication, which illustrates 7 proven communication strategies that you should use as part of your oral communication toolkit.

02-08-2016 7 Cs Graphic

Source: Evan Carmichael, The Entrepreneur Blog, June 21, 2011
Link: http://www.evancarmichael.com/blog/2011/06/21/infographic-7cs-of-effective-communication/

If you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking the BOSS program’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information, please call Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, aedwords@dcccd.edu 972-238-6382.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


2016 List of “Banished” Words and Phrases

01-19-2016 Word Cloud ImageCareful writers and speakers use good judgement and variety when choosing their words and phrases. However, it seems as though each year generates a new list of words and phrases that have garnered particular misuse and abuse over the year by far too many communicators, who should know better but who seem to be caught in the trap of misuse and abuse of the English language.

A list of the previous year’s most abused and misused words/phrases first appeared on January 1, 1976, compliments of the late W. T. Rabe, who was the public relations director at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sadly, a new list of words and phrases has been generated on an annual basis ever since, and there doesn’t appear a shortage of content for future lists being added.

Below are the biggest offenders for 2015, along with explanations as to why they made the made the list. This newest list, which was published on January 1, 2016, by LSSU, represents the 40th annual list developed by LSSU—is there no shame?

So That’s right folks, you should never respond to a question by opening with the word “so.” Example: “What is your favorite pastime?” Answer: “So, my favorite pastime is hiking along nature trails.”
Conversation Media types from all areas seem particularly prone to misuse this word and substitute it for every type of verbal/written word that describes an exchange. “Conversation” seems to have pushed other words such as “discussion, chat, dialog, etc.” out of the way.
Problematic This word appears to have made its evolution and burst on to the scene thanks to the corporate world. If you want to indicate that something appears to be a problem, why not just say it that way?
Stakeholder First used to describe someone who has a stake in a matter or decision, now everyone, e.g., customers, clients, etc., are lumped into this category.
Price Point The comment left on the ISSU web site by one person declared, “It has no ‘point.’  It is just a ‘price.’” Makes sense!
Secret Sauce This phrase, which is meant to refer to some “secret” in “way too much information” detail have left some wondering if it was developed by someone in the fast food industry but somehow found its way into general business discussions.
Break the Internet Refers to a posted comment, photo, or video that may be controversial, that has gone viral, and that will overload the Internet servers and “break them.” What would all of us do if the Internet did break?
Walk it back Meant to show the retreat on or retraction of a statement or policy. We’ve seen politicians do this all the time. I wonder how exhausted they must be after so much “walking back”?
Presser Can you believe this “nonword” made it in to the vocabulary of some as a substitute for press release or press conference? We can do better!
Manspreading Sounds a little vulgar, but it is meant to describe someone taking up too much space on a bus or a subway transit system. This term (it, too, is a “nonword”) has then been used to describe other situations where someone takes more than his or her fair share. Didn’t we used to say “hogging” something?
Vape Used to describe the smoking of e-cigarettes, which actually emit vapor and not smoke. It would be wonderful if the person who left the comment at ISSU’s site, “I hope this one goes up in smoke,” gets his or her wish!
Giving me life This phrase refers to anything that may excite a person or something that may cause the person to laugh. Not good!
Physicality Yep, this noun has become popular in the sports world within the past couple of years, but really folks, what does it mean? It is being used to refer to an athlete or contest, but according to Merriman-Webster, the word physicality refers to, “the predominance of the physical usually at the expense of the mental, spiritual, or social.” Does this mean the body is supreme over the mind? You be the judge!

 

To see a complete list of words and phrases that have made their way to the “banished” list over this 40-year time period, please visit Lake Superior State University’s web site at

http://www.lssu.edu/banished/
If you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking the BOSS program’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information, call 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


Does Your Social Media Business Bio Contain These “Must Have” Ingredients?

10-06-2014 final 187440476Take a “working tip” from Richland College’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication course on what you should do to improve your business social media bio:

Regardless of whether you are using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other SM sites, follow this link to read Courtney Seiter’s excellent post on several important points to include in your SM business bio.

Because each site has its own unique characteristics, the web site Unbounce has created a terrific best practices reference chart to help you make the most of your bio information on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. They also recommend reviewing your SM bios every 3 months to ensure they are still relevant.

Finally, you will want to make sure your bio is free of any spelling, grammatical, or logical errors—did you use the word “form,” when you should have used “from” or “do” when the logical word should have been “due”?  Check and re-check for errors that scream “careless or unprofessional”!

If you want to improve your communication skills and learn more about how to use Social Media professionally, consider taking one or more courses in the BOSS program at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote


Are You Just Hearing, or Are You Listening Your Way to Success?

09-15-2014 final 478293049

Take a “working tip” from Richland College’s POFT 2312 Business Correspondence and Communication course on how to enhance your career and leadership success by developing effective listening skills.

Some people don’t realize that there is a big difference between hearing and listening. As a result, they run the risk of jeopardizing their success at work as well as in other aspects of their lives.

According to experts, hearing is one of the five human senses—vision, hearing, sight, smell, and touch; while listening is a communication technique.

Developing an effective listening technique is vital for anyone who wants to be successful in today’s workplace. The ability to demonstrate effective listening is key to your success, and to ignore important listening strategies is to invite failure.

Review the list below that was developed by authors Thill and Bovée on important listening strategies that can help you succeed in your career. These authors also look at the flip side of the coin and identify behaviors that can reduce your effectiveness and ones that may actually be harmful to your success. So don’t just “hear”; learn to “listen”!

09-15-2014 Table FinalIf you want to improve your communication skills, consider taking one or more courses in the BOSS program at Richland College.

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers both online and on-campus courses. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

Source: John V. Thill and Courtland L. Bovée, Excellence in Business Communication, 11th edition, Pearson, Boston, 2015, p. 49.

 

 

 

 

 


Use Good Listening Skills to Improve Your Career Success!

With so much emphasis placed on “high tech” skills in today’s workplace, there is still one very powerful “low-tech” skill that is vital to your success:  Listening

Developing and refining good listening habits can help you in all aspects of your current job as well as future employment. The first rule of thumb is to acknowledge the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the process, function, or power of perceiving sound…the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli. Therefore, hearing is recognized as one of our five physical senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch). Listening, on the other hand, is defined as “hearing something with thoughtful attention…to give consideration to what has been heard.”

How many times in the past have you thought you “heard” what your boss or a fellow coworker was saying only to find out later you missed a key point, or that you got the opposite impression of an idea or result? Poor listening results in costly mistakes that require refunds, lost customers/clients, accidents, etc. Undoubtedly, poor listening is also a factor in lower productivity and higher expenses.

The good news is that good listening skills can be developed with practice. Successful listeners are aware of and understand the importance of good listening. They make a commitment to practicing good listening habits, and they understand the fact that maintaining good listening habits is an ongoing process. The rewards, however, are unlimited; so keep these ten points in mind as you refine your listening:

  1. Control external and internal distractions.
  2. Become an “active” listener—lean forward and maintain eye contact with the speaker.
  3. Separate facts from opinions.
  4. Identify important facts.
  5. Avoid interrupting.
  6. Ask questions that clarify your interpretations.
  7. Paraphrase to increase your understanding.
  8. Capitalize on lag time—as you wait for the speaker’s next idea, use that time to review what the person is saying.
  9. Take notes to help with comprehension and retention.

10.  Be aware of gender differences. According to authors Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy, there are distinct differences between the communication styles for men and women. By being aware of these differences, you can bridge these communication gaps more successfully.

Source: Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy, Business Communication: Process & Product 7th edition, Mason, OH:  South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2011.

For more information, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.