Communication Skills

Many business problems – both internal and external – arise from poor communication. People don’t speak or write as clearly, concisely or coherently as they could do – with the result that messages are often muddled or don’t get through at all. Reports are too long, full of waffle and never get to the point.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Good communication is vital in every organisation. It's even more important in global companies with employees who work flexible hours and at a distance. Yet this basic skill is all too often taken for granted. To be successful in any role you need to understand yourself and others, and know how to build and maintain effective relationships with clients and colleagues. You can't afford to miss out on this practical course that covers the fundamentals of good communication required by every business today.

People who want to improve their communication skills and get more from their business relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues.

  • Choose the method of communication that achieves the right result
  • Learn how to communicate professionally using telephone and email
  • Acquire techniques for connecting with people quickly and easily
  • Gain insight into your communication style and how this affects others
  • Respond and adapt to others' needs in a professional and timely manner
  • Understand why sharing information and collaboration leads to success
  • Obtain strategies for dealing with difficult situations

Communicating in a professional way

  • Select the appropriate medium for your message
  • Use best practice for face-to-face, telephone and email communication

Considering the recipient

  • Know your stakeholders and what they need
  • Asking questions to clarify needs and your understanding of a situation

Developing rapport

  • Create a positive impression and connect easily
  • Actively listening to yourself and to others
  • Use body language and voice to build rapport

Developing behavioural flexibility

  • Being aware of your style of working and how others perceive you
  • Recognising other people's styles and flexing your approach to communicate more effectively

Sharing information

  • Know what stops people from sharing information with others and what to do about it
  • How best to share information, and create a sense of team spirit around data
  • Making team briefings and meetings useful, effective and enjoyable

Influencing and persuading others

  • Getting your message across with clarity and impact
  • Gaining buy-in to your ideas

Managing difficult situations

  • Why clashes or misunderstandings occur
  • How to handle difficult people and situations

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Telephone Skills Execellence

More often than not the first contact a customer - internal or external - has with your company is over the telephone. Customers who are handled in a friendly and efficient manner will have a positive first impression. If things are managed badly there will be a breakdown of trust, damaged relationships and possibly lost business. This interactive and highly practical course will help you develop a clear, professional manner and build relationships on the telephone.

This course is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and deliver excellent service over the telephone.

  • Build rapport effortlessly on the telephone
  • Know how to manage conflict and take difficult behaviour in your stride
  • Be able to create a positive impact with customers, suppliers and colleagues
  • Save time through communicating appropriately
  • Improve your customer and colleague relationships

Which medium to choose?

  • Choosing the right medium for your message
  • When to use the telephone rather than other forms of communication

Modelling excellence

  • What skilled and capable telephone advisers do that differentiates them
  • What really works, including getting in the right frame of mind, demonstrating empathy, and taking ownership of the situation

Gauging the response of customers

  • Understanding how customers form an opinion of your organisation
  • What it's possible to notice about the other person from the first thing they say
  • Finding out what's important to clients
  • Making effective notes about the conversation

Building rapport and trust

  • Why active listening is vital and how to improve your listening skills
  • Practical ways of 'connecting' with people immediately
  • Personalising your approach and treating people as individuals rather than just a number

Making the most of your voice

  • Making the most of tone, pitch, rhythm, inflection, clarity, timing and pace
  • Matching the other person's voice

Handling challenging behaviour

  • Techniques for dealing with 'difficult' clients
  • Dealing with anger, frustration and other emotions
  • Maintaining self-control under pressure

Putting it into practice

  • Listening for nuances in customer responses, rapport and voice while dealing with typical calls

Managing difficult situations

  • Why clashes or misunderstandings occur
  • How to handle difficult people and situations

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Effective Business Writing

Creating a well written report is one of the ways in which successful people establish their credibility and communicate their ideas. This highly practical course will give you the skills to plan, research and structure your reports effectively. You will have the opportunity to analyse and refine your work as well as review examples of good and bad reports.

This course is for anyone who wants to produce professional reports, structure material more effectively and write in a way that convinces their readers.

  • Research, gather and organise material effectively
  • Write clearly and concisely using suitable language
  • Get messages across and avoid common errors
  • Bring reports to life with diagrams and examples
  • Structure and lay out your reports professionally
  • Build a credible reputation by following the ten steps of report writing.

Reports from hell

  • What drives people crazy when they receive reports?
  • Why reports are sometimes difficult to read

Improve your readability

  • The Five Cs of effective report writing
  • Using the Fog Factor to assess readability

What a report is and is not

  • How reports differ from other forms of written business communication

The planning stage: The Why? Who? and What?

  • Step One: Being clear about why you are writing it
  • Step Two: Understanding your audience
  • Step Three: Knowing what to include

Organising and writing the report

  • Step Four: Collecting and selecting the content - identifying resources, evidence and recording methods
  • Step Five: Organising and structuring - producing a well sequenced report
  • Step Six: Writing the first draft - getting started

Secrets of masterful writing

  • Step Seven: Making writing compelling - speaking your reader’s language

Polishing your report

  • Step Eight: Reviewing and revising - challenging content and style
  • Key points about grammar and punctuation

Make reports look interesting, attractive and readable

  • Step Nine: Presentation and layout for reports
  • Breaking up text and making it readable
  • Choosing an appropriate typeface and visual aids

Producing the final product

  • Step Ten: Proof reading and final check - why the best writers always proof read twice

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Email skills/proposal writing

The majority of business communications are now via email. It's quick and efficient, but there are hidden dangers. The immediacy of the medium, coupled with the emotional detachment of staring at a screen, means that mistakes and misunderstandings can result in major problems - conflict, confusion and loss of credibility that can be costly..

This interactive and highly practical course will help anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and deliver excellent service by email. .

  • Write clear and well structured professional emails
  • Save time through communicating appropriately from the outset
  • Create a positive impact with customers, suppliers and colleagues
  • Learn ways to quickly proof-read before you hit send
  • Avoid frustrating others with email overload
  • Write with impact and capture your reader's attention

Plan your emails to make them look professional

  • Following our four-step process will guarantee your emails are professional

Structure emails so they're easy to follow

  • Simple structural techniques for creating a logical flow
  • The importance of saying the first things first

Three easy-to-apply email fundamentals

  • How to get the response you want from others and avoid your emails being ignored

Respect email netiquette and avoid embarrassment

  • Build rapport on-line and avoid offending others

How do you say 'hello' and 'goodbye'?

  • Best practice for salutations and sign-offs

Get your emails read

  • The importance of breaking up text and summarising
  • When to use attachments for detailed information

Hit the right note

  • Avoid being too formal - but don't get too familiar
  • Choosing the right style for your corporate culture

Make your emails crisp, clear and accurate

  • Communicate clearly and concisely first time
  • Elements of grammar and punctuation

Write emails that are engaging and compelling

  • Why being direct, specific and varied in your style gets your message noticed
  • Using the active rather than passive voice

Avoid mistakes through thorough proof reading

  • How to catch the ones that could easily get away

Manage emotional emails effectively

  • Why it's vital not to write in anger or when you're upset
  • How to respond to rude or aggressive emails

Save time and improve efficiency

  • Avoid copymania by only informing the right people
  • Getting the best out of Outlook

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Report Writing

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, a key determinant of an organisation's success in winning new business is the quality of its written proposals. Yet for people who are already busy, responding to an invitation to tender can be regarded as a tiresome chore. Inevitably this will be reflected in the finished product. This practical course will give you techniques for planning, writing and editing successful proposals.

Anyone who writes, compiles or edits new business proposals will benefit.

  • Turn factual information into a persuasive document
  • Use the best structure for a successful proposal
  • Identify and communicate key messages that will win you the business
  • Learn how to use proposals to increase rapport and build relationships
  • Speed up the writing process by developing a focused method of preparation
  • Learn an objective way of analysing your writing
  • Win more business by writing more persuasive and successful proposals

Plan your emails to make them look professional

The function of the written proposal

  • The role of the proposal in the selling process
  • How to use a proposal to build rapport and develop a relationship with a client

Getting inside the client's mind

  • Identifying your client's hot buttons
  • How to achieve your client's objectives and yours too

Selecting material and structuring it in the best way

  • How to make sure your proposal is relevant, concise, complete and coherent
  • Structuring your material persuasively - the four-step process
  • Designing a proposal on the assumption it may not all be read

Making your writing clear, compelling and engaging

  • Key tips for clarity and readability
  • Turning features into relevant client benefits
  • Influencing techniques to strengthen your messages
  • How to speak the client's language - getting the right style and degree of formality

Mastering grammar and punctuation

  • How to eliminate common 'credibility killers'
  • Top tips for correct punctuation and avoiding grammatical errors

Final steps which make a difference

  • Increase readability through layout and appearance
  • Editing and proof reading techniques to demonstrate professionalism

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Managing Conflict

Coming soon.
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Cultural Awareness

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