English for business
Poor communication is the cause of all breakdowns in business relationships. When they try to communicate people go through different stages and the lack of care at any of them lead to confusion and wasted time and energy. 1. The need or desire to communicate with someone else- aiming. 2. The translation of internal thoughts and feelings into an external means of transmitting them as a coherent message- encoding. 3. The transmission of the message(spoken, pictorial, written, body language, tone of voice, timing)- transmitting.
4. The reception of the message(how and why people listen)-receiving 5. The translation of the message to internal thoughts and feelings on the part of the receiver-decoding. 6. The need or desire to respond to the message that has been sent(thinking, feeling, planning internally, setting objectives)-responding. A successful communication is meant to beware that the meaning of the message is the responsibility of the sender first.
Having decided what it is that you need to communicate and whom you are going to communicate with, you then need to consider the impact the information will have- will it alarm people, will it make them more efficient, irritable, more comfortable, resentful, dafer, happier, bored, more productive, better informed, more motivated, more loyal? The impact that your communication will have on the productivity of your organization has to be a primary concern mostly if you are the bearer of bad news or your message is concerned with a change that will affect the working life of others.
Think about the questions people will need answers to, ask yourself what you would feel if you were to hear this for the first time, decide just what you want your audience to do after you have communicated with them, think about the actions and changes that your communication will cause. Then, you have to make your message of interest to the receiver. The more you can personalise your communication to fit with the needs and interests of your audience, the better that information will be received and acted upon.
We have to list the information that is to be sent and then prioritize the points into categories such as: must know, important to know, helps understanding, gives examples, nice to know, interesting but not important; this is important when communication is verbal since it is linear and it moves the whole time; the listener is required to take part in and remember all that was said. After organizing our thoughts we put them into words and images. They are based on our internal dictionaries, assumptions, experiences, education, mood.
Clarifying the meaning comes next as sometimes words alone are not enough to get the meaning when we deal with complicated concepts or spatial information. We think at least three times faster than we speak. It is easy to mishear, ignore or miss a great deal of information. So, written communication is easier to focus on because we can return again to parts that we need to consider carefully. Recall that the amount of trust a client has in you will go up or down depending on the risk he perceives. You can do several things to reduce this risk.
First of all, you have to demonstrate consistency and reliability right from the start, even for the smallest of things. Showing integrity itself, in other words, reduces risk. Second, you can either implicitly or explicitly guarantee your work. A guarantee doesn’t have to take the form of a certificate that your clients mail in to you. More likely, it will be an understanding between you and your client. You want your clients to feel that if they are not satisfied at any time with your work, you will rectify it as best you can-period.
The words “we’ll work on this until you’re satisfied” can be the occasional reminder of the fact that you’ll stand behind your work and strive to address any issues they may have with your performance. WHEN TRUST IS LOST Sometimes, even though you feel you have demonstrated a high level of integrity and competence, trust is lost. Here are some principles to remember about losing trust: Clients don’t inform you when they stop trusting you. Trust can vanish rapidly and mysteriously, and you’re always the last to know.
Because the symptoms of a loss of trust can be so varied, and because some of them can also signify other problems or issues, it’s always hard to pinpoint when your client stops trusting you. Perhaps you lose a follow-on assignment that you were sure you would win; or suddenly the client throws your business open for a competitive bid. Often, a client can’t even articulate that she’s lost trust in you. She feels a vague dissatisfaction, and she stops sharing information with you and turning to you for advice. You have to watch and listen very carefully.
It’s useful to hold a frank and open discussion with your client when the engagement ends, something that is easier to do if you set the expectation, right up front, that you’ll be having this discussion three or six months down the road. Unfortunately, by the time you discover that the trust has dried up, it may be too late to do anything about it. Clients don’t care why you let them down. Unless a catastrophe has occurred-an earthquake or a death in the family- clients, like most people, don’t particularly care what the reason was that caused you not to deliver on a commitment.
You may believe you had perfectly good reason to let them down, and the excuses are myriad: you caught a cold, the work took longer than you had planned, another client had an emergency, your computer crashed, you forgot to write it down in your agenda, you wrote it down in the wrong agenda, your secretary forgot to tell you about it, and so on. But your client doesn’t really care, and trying to explain it won’t help. It’s better to say, “I let you down, I’m sorry, and it won’t happen again. ” If you have built up a reservoir of trust with your client, he may let it pass. Sometimes, repairing a lapse in trust can enhance your relationship.
If you let a client down, you may be able to recover her confidence. How you react to the incident and the way in which you go about remediating it are critically important. Several years ago, a management consultant conducting an assignment for a large West Coast company carelessly left a draft copy of his report on a BART train in San Francisco. An unscrupulous passenger found it, contacted the client, and demanded $50,000 in ransom for the return of the document. All hell broke loose: the company threatened not just to terminate its relationship with the consultants, but to file a major lawsuit as well.
The consulting firm went into action immediately. Its president flew out to California the next day and met with the CEO of the client company. He apologized for the incident, offering no excuses. He informed the CEO that the consultant had been disciplined and that the firm was assigning a task force of partners to develop new policies and procedures to minimize the possibility that such an incident could reoccur. Then he offered to conduct a major study for the client, free of charge, on a key issue the company faced. The client accepted, and the relationship continued successfully for another four years.