If what you seek to communicate
Should not suffer an unwanted fate
Make sure that you the sender
The message clear and accurate render
And propagate it to who you intend
Making sure to the channel you attend
And send the message encoded
So that it is by the receiver decoded
Hopefully as you wanted to convey
And not attenuated along the way
For which the channel you must choose
Which you can for the purpose use
And what a variety of channels are there –
Telephones and emails everywhere,
Or good-old fashioned personal meeting,
Memos, letters, reports, videoconferencing.
To avoid the message being misunderstood
The target audience should be understood
Hoping the receiver listens or reads carefully
And decodes the message sent accurately
To confirm you may need to take feedback
Lest by misunderstanding be taken aback.
There are seven C’s of communication
That you should follow to avoid confusion:
Message be correct, clear, concise, complete
As also coherent, courteous and concrete.
Between the words that people speak
And the body language they display
There may be a correlation very weak
Making you suspect falsehood at play.
Body language is non-verbal signals
Ranging from the stride of your walk
From the posture and hand gestures
To the tone of voice and how you talk.
He who is confident, stands tall
With eye contact and smiling face
Hand and arm gestures not small
And speaks in a measured pace.
“Defensive” you assess his impact
Whose gestures are close to his body
No facial expressions, no eye contact
And arms are crossed in front of body.
Develop a sense of how to read
The body language that varies
Depending on situation and need
With no fixed formula for its basis.
People are ever so busy writing these days
Emails, blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter
Though it is a different matter altogether
Whether they are getting any good at it
And able to get their message across better.
If you want to avoid the pitfalls that abound
On a writer’s path, whatever the medium,
Heed this advice and follow it to the tee.
“The medium is the message,” said McLuhan
Which is why you have to choose the format
To befit the message you want to convey
Don’t goof up by sending an informal email
When the need is for a detailed report.
Once there is clarity on the right medium
Keep in mind the audience for the message
Tailoring it to their level and authority.
Create first an outline, sticking to AIDA plan:
Get their Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.
Fill in the detailed facts and persuading text
That is systematic, rational and coherent
In simple and not scholarly language
Not straying too far from the main theme
And evoking their empathy if need be.
As important as the above are these things:
The document should be very reader-friendly
With generous headings and subheadings
And actual text in paragraphs small and many
That are free from spelling and grammar errors
For which you need to edit and proofread
Though that job is nowadays relatively easy
With software highlighting mistakes, if any.
To get by in today’s business world
Need you will good presentation skills
Which if you are not satisfied with
Improve you can in good measure
Following these simple guidelines:
Think and plan long and hard
About what you want to convey
And who the target audience is,
And practice the presentation
Till you are comfortable and fluent;
Select simple and brief visuals;
Then on the day of presentation
Become familiar with the equipment
That you would be using for the talk;
In the beginning, take a deep breath
And in a relaxed frame of mind
Start to deliver your talk confidently
By being passionate about the message
That you want to convey to the audience
And persuade them to your viewpoint
By using plenty of examples for your case
Portraying future scenarios of “what if…”
While being always mindful
That your body language is consonant
With the mood and points you convey;
Do not overshoot the time given
Lest the audience get restive,
And always end on a note of cheer
That things can be turned around
As you summarize your main points.
Time is in short supply for everyone
So those who manage it wisely
Get more done than others who do not
So much so that it may be critical
To who succeeds and who does not.
If you are terrible with utilizing time
Take heart that there are some measures
That if adopted would put you on course.
To start off the tips on how to manage time
Know that delegation of work to others
Frees you up for other important works.
Delegation need not be only to subordinates
Because peers can fit the bill for delegation
If they have complementary skills
Enabling to trade tasks among yourselves
And if some task stretches your abilities
You can let your superior take over
After he is satisfied that such is the case.
Do not procrastinate for whatever reason
Prioritize difficult and worrisome tasks
Over others that are easier to accomplish,
Which not only relieves anxiety and stress
But ensures you are sticking to deadlines.
Organize your day by setting goals
That are specific and measurable,
Realistic, attainable in timely fashion;
And once you settle into this groove
You will start to get better at it
As you get to know more and more
About what it takes and your abilities.
If you believe that the eleventh hour
Is the one that is most productive
Then cometh the twelfth hour
You may have to take a hiding.
So start early, break up tasks, prioritize,
To ensure enough attention to detail.
Organize your work space well
To have oft-used items ready to hand
And junk discarded regularly.
Use a calendar or day planner
To schedule meetings or appointments.
Find by trial-and-error if you do not know
Which hours you are most productive
And schedule your work accordingly.
Anxiety and stress can eat into your time
So avoid or manage them at all costs
By identifying and tackling the stressors.
Do not feel obliged to take on
Work thrown at you by your colleagues
Or because you want to help out;
You should “learn to say no”.
Organizations are paying attention
Offering workshops on time-management
Wellness programs to reduce stress
And other welcome measures
Like flexible working hours
That make you productive and efficient
As the clock ticks by unhurriedly
Stress you cannot altogether avoid
No work or relationship of it is devoid.
Learn as much about it as you can
So that it you can slowly begin to ban.
It is a fact worth bearing in your mind
In stress one may an opportunity find.
Stress may occur in family or workplace
As modern society has increased pace.
A great variety of things can set it off:
Like ill health or spouse ticking you off,
Stiff deadlines at work or job instability,
Low finances or increased responsibility.
Chances are high that you are under stress
If your personal and/or work life is a mess
With irritability, anger, sadness, depression
Loss of interest in work, anxiety, frustration.
At work you may face many a problem,
Slipping into irresponsibility, absenteeism
As you start to decline into a burnout
With isolation, even an addict turn out.
Cope by avoiding or adapting to the stressor
Or instead altering or accepting the stressor.
Try also relaxation techniques and exercise
Keep in mind counseling, but also socialize.
Companies also should try to reduce stress
By eliminating some sources of job stress
Like effective selection, training programs,
Better job descriptions, appraisal programs.
No one thinks he is a bad listener
But we remember only a small fraction
Of all that we think we have heard well.
Distractions when listening, boredom,
Or thinking how you will respond next
Are some of the main reasons thereof.
This can spell bad news for everyone
Because good listening is paramount
For any success that you are seeking
Whatever be the field of endeavour.
So start to get better at it if you can
Using the simple techniques below.
Give the speaker undivided attention
Looking at the speaker constantly,
Putting aside distracting thoughts,
Avoiding distractions and cross-talk.
So as not to put off the speaker
Show that you are listening carefully
By smiling and nodding occasionally
With an open and inviting posture
And adding small verbal comments
To show that you are understanding.
Your personal assumptions and beliefs
Can distort what you are hearing
So ask clarificatory questions to confirm
And provide feedback to the speaker
Paraphrasing what he has just said
To check that you interpreted correctly.
Do not interrupt with counterpoints;
Give the speaker a complete hearing
Before you come to any judgement.
Your response afterward should be
Courteous, candid, open and honest
So that the dialogue can move forward
Along the correct and meaningful lines.
If you do not speak for yourself
Not only no one else might do so
People will likely walk all over you;
So learn to be assertive to get by
Getting what you deserve rightly.
Being assertive does not mean
Being aggressive and brazen,
Though if not handled properly
It may well seem to be that.
What being assertive does mean
Is being alert to unfolding situations
And detecting threats to your rights
So that you can broach the issue
Gently with the concerned people
Stating your case clearly and openly
Communicating also your feelings
Without giving scope for offense
Or any dreadful misunderstanding
And in so doing, more often than not
Issues tend to get resolved amicably.
It is said in Alice in Wonderland
If you don’t know where to go
Any road will take you there,
Which captures the importance
Of setting and pursuing goals
For without them we are adrift
Aimlessly in all of our voyages.
Organizations are rudderless,
Planning goes awfully awry,
Employees are demotivated,
Performance starts to suffer,
If goals you do not formulate.
Goals serve as the lodestar
Guiding all difficult decisions,
Energize all the employees,
Make everyone persistent,
Acquiring needed knowledge,
To march without halting
In the direction of the vision.
Goals need be specific, realistic,
Difficult but attainable on time,
And capable of being measured.
Objectives are short-term targets
Whose achievement moves us
Closer toward the goals we set.
Goals are of kinds many but tied
To organization’s mission, vision.
Strategic goals are set to support
Directly the mission statement
Affecting the entire organization
Which naturally then are set
By the senior top management
Which can be such things as say
“Upping market share 20% in a year,”
“Three new applications in 3 years.”
Tactical goals support strategic ones
By all the departments and divisions
Mobilizing resources in that direction.
Operational goals are of individuals
In support of the tactical goals set.
Superordinate goals apply to many
Helping resolve any brewing conflicts.
Goal setting follows one of three ways
Top-down or bottom-up approach
Or the preferable interactive approach.
Top-down way is followed in MBO
Used now by half the organizations
Which ensures congruence with mission,
But can tend to be overly ambitious
And also suffer from relative inflexibility.
Bottom-up way is self-explanatory
Doing away with above disadvantages
That beset the top-down approach,
Eliciting more readily commitment
But can stray from the overall mission
Lacking clear direction and focus.
These disadvantages are overcome
By interactive goal setting approach
Preserving advantages of bottom-up.
Whatever the approach followed
There must be frequent feedback
To see how the organization is faring
With regard to goals being pursued.
It usually goes by the name SWOT analysis
An equally valid name is SWOT synthesis –
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
Is how the SWOT proceeds and wends.
Strengths everyone has in different measure
Use them to accumulate your desired treasure.
Weaknesses, too, everyone has to some extent
Overcome them so that you do not repent.
Opportunities are knocking all the time
Seize them in every age and every clime.
Threats are both overt and covert
Which you should by all means avert.
SWOT analysis or synthesis as outlined
You may in every situation useful find.
Whether you manage others or not
Do not neglect to manage yourself.
Self-management is now imperative
Now that flatter organizations abound
As also do self-managed work groups
With a move toward empowerment
And work-from-home being offered.
Self-management should actually begin
With careful, honest self-assessment
Doing sort of a personality inventory
Identifying strengths and weaknesses
As also your interests, values and goals
If need be with performance appraisal
So that you perform a reality check.
Then set goals relevant and realistic
To attain which draw up an action plan
And commit to pursuing it diligently.
Develop constructive thought patterns
With self-talk and mental imagery
To motivate yourself to always be at it
Self-monitoring to see that is the case
Then set up the rewards by yourself
To give yourself on reaching the goals.