To improve security and confidentiality in the workplace, you should: • Not allow computer screens to be seen by unauthorised people • Ensure people can't see confidential documents that aren't meant for them • Log off your computer if it is unattended
• Use computer passwords that are not easy to guess
• Double check outgoing emails before you send them
• Never gossip or share confidential information
• Err on the side of caution when disclosing information • Keep sensitive documents in folders and lockable drawers • Comply with your organisation’s security procedures • Report any lapses in security
• Close windows before leaving empty offices/rooms
• Log off computers that have been left on by colleagues • Lock away valuables/confidential papers
• Ask colleagues to be more careful if sensitive information is being discussed with inappropriate people. Take a look at the following table for information about different communication factors and what needs to be thought about for each one. |Factor |Think about... | |Desired outcome of the |What does the person receiving the communication need to know or do as a result of the message? If | |communication |it is important then the message should be more formal and less prone to distractions. | |Target audience |Who is the target audience? What level of detail will they understand? Is English their first | | |language? What is their attention span? Is it a single person, a group or a large number of people?| |Complexity of the message |How complex is the message and how best is this conveyed to people (will tables / diagrams / other | | |visuals help?) | |Time available (speed |How quickly does the message have to be conveyed (do people need to know immediately, the next 3 | |required) |months, etc?) How much time is there to communicate a message (10 minutes, half an hour, for | | |example?) | |Resources available |What tools are available to aid communication? Computers? PowerPoint software? Overhead projectors?| | |Microphones, photocopiers, etc. | |Formality |On a scale from highly formal through to highly informal, how does a particular communication rate?| | |Is it highly formal (such as legal / contractual issues) or highly informal (such as greeting a | | |colleague at the start of the day)? |
Here are some handy tips to help you listen actively to others when they are communicating: • As far as possible, be in an environment that minimises distractions. If you are discussing something particularly detailed, a quiet interruption-free office may be needed. • Make sure you have enough time to receive the information. • Look at the speaker and focus on what they are saying. • Don’t interrupt. Note any questions and ask them at the appropriate time. • If your mind wanders, switch back quickly. Ask for a summary if you think you have missed anything. • Focus on details.
• Recap to check that you have understood correctly.
1. If you hear anything you don’t understand (a word / statement), ask for further explanation. 2. Double check names / addresses / correct spellings and numbers / dates. 3. If a person assumes you know something – when you do not – explain their error to them. 4. If...
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