1.1 Explain the benefits of knowing the purpose of communication. The purpose of communication is for human beings to be able to understand each other in different ways and for several reasons. It can be any means, not just verbal and in order to achieve that I have to develop my communicative skills. That way I can use this skill to help me learn or explain something to someone or help others learn and let others explain things to me. We also communicate in a business environment to listen to each others' problems, and solve difficulties we face in day to day operations in our work and personal life. It helps us find solutions to hindrances that may come into our lives. 1.2 Explain the reasons for knowing the audience to whom the communication is being presented. If I know the audience, I can more effectively communicate with and persuade that audience. My motive is to get the idea across by expressing my ideas and getting recognised and appreciated for helping the audience understand what I intended to get across. In order to achieve this I need to satisfy the audience with things, presentations and activities in that they are interested in. So I need to learn or find out what they expect off me, what mood they are in, and what they need and then get the ideas across. 1.3 Explain the purpose of knowing the intended outcomes of communications. Knowing the intended outcomes of communications is very important, because it informs me if that was the information the other person needed and if they were satisfied, or needed more information. 1.4 Describe different methods of communication and when to use them. Communication can be classified as: verbal and non-verbal, and formal and informal. Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is the most important and most effective type of communication, because that is what we use to interact with people all the time. To understand the emotional and detailed needs of a person, verbal communication is the best, as you see or hear what the person actually says and feels. Nonverbal Communication
Non verbal communication is a type of communication that does not involve words. It could be written, or sign language, facial expression and gestures that help understand the person with whom you are communicating. It is not very effective like the verbal communication.
Effective Verbal Communication
Effective verbal communication is where you listen to people or a group of audience, and not much to do with speaking. It is listening to people’s concerns and trying to find a solution for that. These are used when you have conferences, seminars, discussions etc. Informal Communication
Informal communications are face to face communications that occur in general. It can be a general chat about anything; work related or not, can be texting, emailing, leaving post-it notes or a surprise visit. It can also take place as an informal meeting where you meet up with someone for a small discussion. Formal Communication
Formal communication can be considered as communication efforts that are used to fit customary rules. It follows proper order, and procedures, and can be recorded to store the outcomes. Communication Through Body Language
Many people have a hard time with communication, and can find it difficult to tell others what they think or to give them bad news. Sometimes, they can’t find the right words to express the things they want to say. Body Language however, is always honest and can always be counted on. Some people who are hard of hearing or talking can use sign languages or facial expression to communicate what they feel. 2.
2.1 Identify relevant sources of information that may be used when preparing written communication. Sources of information can be classified as
* Primary source
* Secondary source
A primary source of information is one which is seen or heard directly by a person. It is information gathered by a person directly in contact with the incident or event. These sources can be diaries, letters, newspapers, articles, court records, interviews, surveys, journals etc. Basically primary sources are the actual evidences which haven’t undergone any changes. A secondary source of information is something heard through somebody else. It can be interpreted or analysed literature of the primary source. Books, interpreted documents or recordings, they are all examples of secondary sources of information. 2.2 Describe the communication principles for using electronic forms of written communication in a business environment. Electronic forms of business communications are communications through emails, faxes etc. Anything that is stored or transmitted electronically are electronic forms of data or communication. One has to make use of all the different tools available in the organisation, and learn to use them accurately and effectively in order to perform the job efficiently and save time. In an office environment, you should be able to interpret information from sources whether manual or electronic, and be able to use good paraphrasing skills. You should be skilful enough to exchange or transmit information over telecommunication technologies and know how to use those software, because emails, scanning, fax, etc are all electronic communications. When choosing electronic communications for exchange of information, you should think logically to decide which is the best and efficient method of communication. 2.3 Explain different styles and tones of language and situations when they may be used for written communications. Colloquial, casual, and formal writing are different styles of writing that have their own expectations and outcomes. The style of writing also depends on the purpose of what is intended to say, how it is intended to say, what the document will be used for and the audience. Colloquial language is an informal, conversational style of writing. Casual language is something that we use to communicate with family and close friends. It uses informal words, that we use normally on a daily basis. Formal language is used in business communications. It is based on a professional intention. It also depends on the words you use, the way you use and relates to your role. You need to be personally well presented and the language has formal words with proper syntax, good vocabulary and excellent grammar which is more important. 2.4 Explain the reasons for selecting and using language that suits the purpose of written communication. Communication is a process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions through speech, signals, writing, or behaviour (body language). The language that we use for communication has to be in a way that it is easily understandable for everyone, because the message that is delivered has to reach everyone that is present. In written communication we have to be tactful and use the correct language depending on what subject you are trying to convey, for example complaint, minutes, grievance, etc. Every issue has a different tact for communication. * When writing, always try to address in general to the organisation rather than making it personal. * Try to start off with positive points and then move forward to the negative end, so that it does not have a shocking effect on the reader or receiver. * Explain the facts straight, rather than using doubtful phrases (do not use indirect phrases). * While writing avoid using bold or CAPS, so that it does not intensify the issue. Do not write down just the negatives, also point out the positives. That way it does not make the other person feel bad. 2.5 Describe the ways of organising, structuring and presenting written information so it meets the needs of different audiences. When organising, structuring and presenting written information we have to bear in mind the following. * Prepare all the documents for presentation depending on what has to be delivered. * Keep documents in the correct order, so that the communication goes in a proper flow without any confusions and errors. * While presenting, be clear in what you talk stating the objectives. Give an introduction on what you are going to present, why you are there to do it, why the attendees are there and why it is important. * Present it step by step clearly using proper resources where needed. * In the end, close it down making clear that all objectives were covered, and the attendees were clear of all of them. Inform the team, what will happen next and what actions have to be implemented. 2.6 Describe ways of checking for the accuracy of content in written information. Any written content or communication has to be free of spelling and grammatical errors. It also has to be in the right and professional format. So the following have to be checked or considered before the document is finalised to be sent out. 1. Check the ponts written down:
Whatever we write has to be accurate, otherwise it will have disastrous effects and can even ruin the reputation of the organisation, and the organisation can itself get into trouble. So all details have to be double checked for example dates, names, statistics, events, discussions, actions and other facts. If you are unsure of anything, make sure you check with knowledgeable or experienced people and update the written document.
2. Spell check and Grammar check:
Spell-check is an option available to easily correct typo errors. Sometimes it will not be 100% accurate, because if you had typed a word instead of another, then spell check will not be able to trace it. So it is always best to even read through the document twice before finalising. Also, some new words will not be added on to the spell checkers database, and so relying solely on the spell checker is not good.
3. Use a Template:
Usually every organisation has a different style for documents they produce. They will all be available as templates which one can use to easily input data. In case there isn’t a template available, you should research through to find the correct style for the document that you produce depending on needs, department and organisation and follow the style guide to produce the document. As an organisation, documents have to be produced in a standard and professional format.
4. Take help from another Reader:
Another way to ensure accuracy is to have your document read by another reader. Sometimes when we read through our own work, minor or sometimes major errors can be hard to detect. Sometimes you would have written things repeatedly, which will be easily picked up by a different person. Also grammatical, punctuation and style errors can be picked up if the reader is an experienced person. 2.7 Explain the purpose of accurate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling. The main purpose in the correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling is ensuring the receiver of the information reads it accurately. Addition to this when given a task to do, your employer expects you to do it perfectly. When a document has inaccuracies, readers tend to distrust everything, including the statistics, opinions, and facts. This would be relayed back to my employer who would themselves lose confidence in my ability. For progression in my company I need to ensure I carry out all tasks to a certain standard. 2.8 Explain what is meant by plain English, and why it is used. Plain English is plain language used for communication that emphasise clarity and avoids technical language. This is very important particularly in relation to official government communication, including laws.
Plain English is used so that what you try to communicate is easily understood by everyone and is appropriate to their reading skills and knowledge. It is clear and direct, with nothing hidden, free of unnecessary remarks and unnecessary language or slangs. Plain English is simple, straightforward. It is easily understood English, and is not the ones used by lawyers. They do not have difficult or technical terms, instead have common words used and understood by everyone. 2.9 Explain the purpose of proofreading and checking written work. Any work that is written has to be proofread and checked because the content that we write is important. The way a paper or any information looks affects the way others judge it. We all put in so much effort to develop a document and put in all the ideas and skills we have to create a document. So it has to be error free, else it will create a bad impression to the reader, which affects the name of the organisation. So it is always best to create the correct document and make a good impression. As they say, “The first impression is the best impression”. I should proofread virtually any written piece, from emails to minutes. Just proofreading will have a great effect on the quality of the document I produce, and it will help me get more appreciation from my organisation and help me climb the ladder and get recognised too. 2.10 Explain the purpose of recognising work that is important and work that is urgent. Importance and urgency are totally two different things. When something is urgent, I rush to do it. When something is important, I prioritize it. In our day to day work schedule, we have a mix of tasks, some important, some urgent and some of low priority. But all tasks have to be completed before the deadlines, as it is very important for the progress and running of the organisation. Urgent tasks are not necessarily complicated, so I try to finish off the urgent ones quickly and move on to the important ones. * I prioritise workload in a way that it doesn’t affect the organisation or causes and financial cuts. * I put the urgent ones in a separate folder, so I know which ones to deal with first, rather than going through everything which can consume time. * I also try and finish off as much work as I can early in the morning, as there are not much people around and it helps me concentrate on my work and finish them quicker. 2.11 Describe organisational procedures for saving and filing written communications. Every organisation has its own policies and procedures for saving and filing documents. I always follow the policies and procedures of my organisation while I file documents. Documents with similar information are filed together for ease of accessibility when necessary. Documents that need to shared with other departments and other staff are always stored on shared drives. I am very particular about the storage of confidential information. Irrelevant of where they are stored, they are always password protected and stored safely in personal and protected folders, encrypted if necessary. Records may be kept as paper files, or electronically in shared drives, databases, or document management systems. 3.
3.1 Describe ways of verbally presenting information and ideas clearly. I have to use simple language and short sentences when I am presenting information that way it makes the information easier to understand for everyone. I have to make sure that I am flexible and can give people the information in different ways because different people understand things and concepts in different ways. Some understand by hearing, some by seeing and some by practising. Before presenting the information, I * Plan what I want to speak.
* Cut out any unnecessary detail
* Present the important ideas in a logical order.
Use active and personal language like “you” and “we”. 3.2 Explain ways of making contributions to discussions that help to achieve objectives. There are various objectives as a department and team. In order to be successful within the team, I need to learn to listen to people, give importance to everyone’s ideas, perform the required tasks within the agreed time-frame keep everyone updated of all events, discussions and other communications and most important of all be very caring and respectful. 3.3 Describe ways of adapting verbal contributions to suit different audiences, purposes and situations. Before presenting anything or before going to talk to a group or a team, I will have to learn the type of audience, purpose and situation and adjust my verbal contributions to suit it. Communication skills are some of the most highly prized and sought-after skills in business.
Without communication skills we are unable to let others know what we think, feel, or want to accomplish. We will not be able to build partnerships, motivate others, or resolve conflict. Studies have shown that as professionals rise higher in an organization, their communication skills also become more important and not less. (Source: wittcom.com) 3.4 Explain how to use and interpret body language.
Body language or nonverbal communication is a very important form of communication. It is a strong form of communication that is often neglected by a majority of the people. Every person in this world uses gestures as a sign to express their emotions, but not many of us are aware of it or acknowledge it. Body language is a form of nonverbal signal that is used by many to communicate. It can be our facial expressions, our body movements, eye contacts and many other forms, which are things that we do not say verbally, but they still can convey huge amount of information. Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating. One has to understand that body language is a very large part of communication. By learning how to interpret body language, we can become a much more effective communicator in all areas of life. Some ways to understand body languages are: * Observe the level of eye contact, because this tells a lot about the person and how they feel. * Notice what the person does with their hands, hand movements can show if the person is nervous or relaxed. * Pay attention to posture, as different postures mean different things. * Recognize aggressive postures.
* Watch facial expressions, as it can express many kinds of emotions, like sadness, happiness, anger, aggressiveness, frustration, confusion etc. 3.5 Describe how to use and interpret tone of voice.
When a person speaks, through their tones we can recognise whether the person is in a funny mood or passionate about what they are talking. The tone delivers the concerns the speaker, and we can also figure out whether the speaker is sincere or not. When we talk or present anything, the event has to be a two way one, so that it includes everyone present, otherwise the audience may find it boring. It is the sole responsibility of the speaker to create a feeling of how important the delivery is and to keep everyone engaged. 3.6 Describe methods of active listening.
Listening is one of the most important skills I should be having in order to perform my job well. The extent to which I listen will reflect on my job and performance. It also will portray the quality of my relationship with my team and clients. * I listen to obtain information from others.
* I listen to understand what others say.
* I listen to learn new things.
* I listen because I respect others feelings as I wish others to respect mine * I listen because I care for others
* I listen because it is important to listen and act accordingly Becoming a better listener, will help me improve my productivity at work. It will also help others achieve the ability to be influential, persuasive and to negotiate. Methods of active listening include:
* Listening calmly without interrupting, so that I let the other person speak and show them that I care and respect them * Asking others to repeat if I do not understand anything, in order to avoid mistakes * Taking notes of important points, so that I do not forget or miss out on any important points * Confirming what I have understood, so that there is no misunderstanding of information 3.7 Describe the benefits of active listening.
Active listening has several benefits.
* It helps people to be attentive of what they are listening to * It avoids misunderstanding, as we are there to make sure that they have said and understood the right thing. * When we listen, the person who speaks feels like talking, because they know that there is someone there to listen to them. * It helps me being open to what I am listening to and makes the other person feel open too about what they say. * I get to see things from the other person’s point of view and helps me to empathise with them. * I get to understand people.
* I am also able to clear doubts and assumptions, and get a clear idea of what had actually happened. * Overall it helps to be a better team and helps the organisation. 3.8 Explain the purpose of summarising verbal communication. The purpose of summarising verbal communication is to
* Identify major points - behaviours, thoughts, and feelings - that have been discussed * Put it all together
* It helps to have a clear precise outline
4.1 Describe ways of getting feedback on whether communications achieved their purpose. Feedback is the last process in communication and it completes the entire process of communication. Feedback helps us decide if the communication was effective and useful, and made sense. It helps one decide what can be done better next time, thereby giving one new ideas. I get feedback from my team, my manager and other departments that were involved through either email or in person. This helps me improve my performance and rectify errors. For that I
* Collect data
* Take action
* Communicate the feedback
* Refine the changes
4.2 Explain the purpose and benefits of using feedback to further develop communication skills. Feedback is a very important aspect in any working or academic environment. I use it to create a change and improvement as a person and also in my work performance. It improves the morale of the team, increases the quality of service and the reputation of the organisation. The bond between the organisation and employees and the bond between the organisation and its customers improve as a result of feedback. Feedback has to be received and actioned too. When I have actioned on my feedback, I let the people know, that way they know I have listened and it shows that I am willing to learn and enthusiastic. This will also encourage people to offer me feedback in the future, and I can further improve my performance and climb up the ladder.