Tag Archives: skills

COMMUNICATION SKILL AT WORKPLACE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Just think of the modes in which our distant forebearers communicated long ago-the evolution of the written word, speech, smoke signals, semaphores and the Morse code-one can go on and on. Here, of course, we need to concern ourselves with communication skills and the time management in work place and home in the present times. Popular work culture does not perceive separate rules for men and women. We are all global managers in the local set up. Consider home, for a moment, as an extension of work place, particularly in the context of Indian women. While life at home may be laid back, care free but is not without responsibility. And there the difference ends. The modern employee needs oral, written and technological skills to excel. Even the most naïve housewife is expected to operate the washing machine, handle the microwave oven, run the mixie, to draw money from ATM and even to drive a car—that is if she wants to contribute meaningfully to the chores of routine but modern domestic life.

    Nearly all work involves interaction and communication with others. Clear and effective communication between individuals between teams and among departments is a vital part of any successful organization. Without effective communication in workplace, business results and team relationships suffer. Poor performers continue to perform poorly and productivity drops. Good people are overburdened with more responsibility. In our personal lives we blame each other for lack of communication and agree to live in companionable silence.

    We can see that employees still need written communication skills. Yet interpersonal oral skills are the ones most prized by employers in the new informal workplace atmosphere. At home the oral word has to be more precise as well as concise to avoid attrition. The ability to follow oral instructions is an important parameter in the overall persona of an employee. Considering the important nature of the faculty even CBSE has incorporated it in the form of “Listening and Writing Skills.” In their curricula employees who work with the public or closely with teams need skills in empathy and feedback techniques, especially in fields such as customer service, medical, and legal. Critical thinking and the ability to function as part of a problem—solving group are also skills that employees look for. Today’s worker must remain cool under pressure, adaptable to new technology and to fast pace with benefit of hindsight. I’ve shortlisted a few points which may be of some help to you while interacting with people.

  1. Clarity: Ensure the information you need to convey is, firstly, intelligible to you. Communicate it clearly and directly. Use language that is specific and unambigious. Check that the receiver understands the message as you intended. Avoid acronyms lest they be confused.
  2. Be Attentive: Without becoming an active listener means you cannot make a conscious effort to truly hear what the other person is saying—‘don’t interrupt or respond until the other person has quite finished. It should come as no surprise that the best communicators are also the best listeners.
  3. Deportment: This means using the other person’s name, looking them in the eye, and nodding to aid in demonstrating you understand what they are saying. If you are communicating in writing, reread before sending your message to ensure that it could not be misinterpreted or taken as disrespectful.
  4. Message & Medium: Some of us are better communicating in writing and some are better at speaking. Consider the preference of your receiver.
  5. Who is the end—user: You may have to style your communication with your boss, co-worker, customer or supplier.
  6. Mode: More and more of our workplace communication is done via e-mail, voice mail and text messaging. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these, depending on the message and the audience. Texting can be especially effective when a quick question or answer is required without further explanation or repeated follow up e.g. “What time is the school council meeting.”

    The important thing is to stay focussed on behaviour or performance and not character. You are not a judge of character. Avoid being biased or opinionated. When you are on the receiving end, avoid getting triggered by difficult messages. Keep in mind the bigger picture and the long term implications.

    Don’t be yourself all the time. Be someone a little nicer and never confuse motion with action. After all “A man diligent at his work shall stand before kings.”

By Ajit K Tripathi

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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

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(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

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IT party is over. Now’s the time to reinvent or die

 Copyright@shravancharitymission

New Doc 62_1

India requires 12 million new jobs a year. But very few know where it’ll come from. This article “IT party is over. Now’s time to reinvent or die” by Ravi Venkatesan makes some valid points such as:

  • Automation can displace a third of all jobs within three years.
  • Infosys CEO aims at increasing revenue per employee by 50%
  • New technologies are destroying old jobs but creating many new ones
  • Whatever skills we have will largely be irrelevant in a decade and all qualifications have a shelf life
  • The future will not be kind to people who are not curious and no interest in reading and learning
  • Indian youth largely needs to move into an entrepreneurial drive when jobs are scarce

IT party is over. Now’s the time to reinvent or die

By invitation- Ravi Venkatesan

Former chairman- Microsoft India

TOI 31.5.15

India’s IT industry is unlikely to remain the amazing job engine that it has been. For the past two decades, the fastest way to increase your income has been to land a job with an IT company. The industry has provided a ticket to prosperity for millions of young Indians; children of security guards, drivers, peons and cooks catapulted themselves and their families firmly into the middle class in a single generation by landing a job in a BPO. Hundreds of engineering colleges mushroomed overnight churning out over a million graduates a year to feed the insatiable demand of India’s IT factories.

This party is coming to an end. A combination of slowing demand, rising competition and technological change means that companies will hire far fewer people. And this is not a temporary blip—this is the new normal. Wipro’s CEO has bravely admitted that automation can displace a third of all jobs within three years while Infosys CEO Sikka aims to increase revenue per employee by 50%. Even Nasscom, the chronically optimistic industry association, admits that companies will hire far fewer people. Not only will the lines of new graduates waiting for job offers grow rapidly longer every year, but so too will the lines of the newly unemployed as all companies focus more on utilization, employee productivity and performance. Employees doing tasks that can be automated, the armies of middle managers who supervise them and all those with mediocre performance reviews and without hot skills are living on borrowed time.

So what do you do if you are a member of these endangered species? What constitutes good career advice in these times? I’d say that the first thing is to embrace reality and recognize that the same has changed for good. The worst thing to do is be wishful and wait for the good times to return. They won’t. But there are still lots of opportunities. What’s happening in the industry is ‘creative destruction.’ New technologies are destroying old jobs but creating many new ones. There is an insatiable demand for developers of mobile and web applications. For data engineers and scientists. For cyber security expertise. So for anyone who is quick learner, anyone with real expertise, there will be abundant opportunities.

There has also never been a better time for anyone with an iota of entrepreneurial instinct. India is still a supply constrained economy and so there is room to start every kind of business: beauty parlour, bakery, catering, car-washing, mobile/ electronics repair, laundry, housekeeping, tailoring. For entrepreneurs with a social conscience, there is a massive need for social enterprises that deliver affordable healthcare, education and financial services. Not only are there abundant opportunities but startups are “in” and there is no shame at all in failure. The ranks of angel investors are swelling and it has never been so easy to get funded. There is even a website, www.deasra.in that provides step-by-step instructions to would-be entrepreneurs.

For those who prefer a good old fashioned job, there are abundant jobs in old economy companies which are struggling to find every kind of talent—accountants, manufacturing and service engineers, sales reps. Technology is enabling the emergence of a new sharing ‘sharing services’ such as Uber or Ola that enable lucrative self-employment; it is not uncommon to find cab drivers who make Rs 30,000-40,000 a month.

My main point should be clear. While India may have a big challenge overall in creating enough jobs for its youthful population, at the individual level there is no shortage of opportunities. The most important thing is a positive attitude. The IT boom was a tide that lifted all boats—even the most mediocre ones. However, this has bred an entitlement mentality and a lot of mediocrity. To prosper in the new world, two things will really matter. The first is the right attitude. This means a hunger to succeed. Being proactive in seeking opportunities, not waiting either till you are fired or for something to drop into your lap. A willingness to take risk and the tenacity to work hard and make something a success. Humility. Frugality. The second is the ability to try and learn new things. The rate of change in our world is astonishing; whatever skills we have will largely be irrelevant in a decade. People are also living much longer. So the ability to learn new things, develop new competencies and periodically reinvent ourselves is a crucial one. Sadly, too many of us have no curiosity and no interest and no interest in reading and learning. The future will not be kind to such people.

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.” –Friedrich Nietzsche.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS AT WORKPLACE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

c2c1c3

Just think of the modes in which our distant forebears communicated long ago- the evolution of the written word, speech, smoke signals, semaphores and the Morse code-one can go on and on. Here, of course, we need to concern ourselves with communication skills and time management in work place and home in the present times. Popular work culture does not perceive separate rules for men and women. We are all global managers in the local set up. Consider home, for a moment, as an extension of work place, particularly in the context of Indian women. While life at home may be laid back, care free, but is not without responsibility. And there the difference ends. The modern employee needs oral, written and technological skills to excel. Even the most naïve housewife is expected to operate the washing machine, handle the microwave oven, run the mixie, to draw money from an ATM and even to drive a car- that is if she wants to contribute meaningfully to the chores of routine but modern domestic life.

Nearly all work involves interaction and communication with others. Clear and effective communication between individuals, between teams and among departments is a vital part of any successful organization. Without effective communication in work place, business results and team relationships suffer. Poor performers continue to perform poorly and productivity drops. Good people are overburdened with more responsibility. In our personal lives we blame each other for lack of communication and agree to live in companionable silence.

We can see that employees still need written communication skills. Yet interpersonal oral communication skills are the ones most prized by employers in the new informal workplace atmosphere. At home the oral word has to be more precise as well as concise to avoid attrition. The ability to follow oral instructions is an important parameter in the overall persona of an employee, especially for front office employees. Considering the important nature of this faculty even CBSE has incorporated it in the form of ‘Listening & Writing skills, in their curricula. Employees who work with the public or closely with teams need skills in empathy and feedback techniques, especially in fields such as customer service, medical, and legal. Critical thinking and the ability to function as part of a problem-solving group are also skills that employers look for. Today’s worker must remain cool under pressure, adaptable to new technology and to a fast pace.

With benefit of hindsight I’ve shortlisted a few points which may be of some help to you while interacting with people.

  1. Clarity: Ensure the information you need to convey is, firstly, intelligible to you. Communicate it clearly and directly. Use language that is specific and unambiguous. Check that the receiver understands the message as you intended. Avoid acronyms lest they be confused.
  2. Be attentive Without becoming an active listener means you cannot make a conscious effort to truly hear what the other person is saying—don’t interrupt or respond until the other person has quite finished. It should come as no surprise that the best communicators are also the best listeners.
  3. Deportment: this means using the other person’s name, looking them in the eye, and nodding to aid in demonstrating you understand what they are saying. If you are communicating in writing, reread before sending your message to ensure that it could not be misinterpreted or taken as disrespectful.
  4. Message & Medium. Some of us are better communicating in writing and some are better at speaking. Consider the preference of your receiver.
  5. Who is the end-user : you may have to style your communication with your boss, co-worker, customer or supplier, differently.
  6. Mode: More and more of our workplace communication is done via email, voice mail and text messaging. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these, depending on the message and the audience. Texting can be especially effective when a quick question or answer is required without further explanation or repeated follow up, e.g., “What time is the school council meeting.”

The important thing is to stay focused on behavior or performance and not character. You are not a judge of character. Avoid being biased or opinionated. When you are on the receiving end, avoid getting triggered by difficult messages. Keep in mind the bigger picture and the long term implications.

Don’t be yourself all the time. Be someone a little nicer and never confuse motion with action. After all, “ a man diligent at his work shall stand before kings”

A.K.Tripathi

Anubhab Apartments                                                                       26/03/2015