Month: June 2018

Indoor and Outdoor Ice-breaker Activities

All of us realize the importance and impact of ice-breaker activities. It sets the context, makes the participants comfortable with each other and with the facilitator and creates a sense of fun, engagement and commitment in the learning process.

It is, however, equally challenging and time consuming to decide on which Ice-breaker to be used. Most trainers and facilitators prefer to use ice-breaker activities that is related to the topic and is not just for fun. Such specificity makes the task of selecting an ice-breaker even more difficult.

Just to make the selection a bit easier for you, we have collated some ice-breakers below which can also be used for some specific topic.

Know About Your Neighbor Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Communication skills/Active Listening

No. Of Participants: 10-20

Duration: 15 minutes

Location: Indoors

Checklist of Items Required: Paper and Pen

Procedure

  • Instruct all participants that they have to find out specific things about other participants seated close to them and write it down on paper. Explain that this can be a mix of professional and personal information such as the place where someone studied, or the area, in which they live, or the most exotic vacation they have taken or the most unusual food they ever tasted and so on.
  • Explain that the aim is to find out something unique about their co-participants.
  • Have each person share the information they collected with the group.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this activity as an icebreaker with groups where people do not know each other well.
  • Include an additional step of having the person being described comment on the accuracy of the points presented.
  • Use any discrepancy to explain how the act of listening is an important part of communication.

I See You Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Non-verbal communication skills/Body Language

No. Of Participants: 10-20

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor/Outdoor

Checklist of Items Required: A large floor/space where people can move unhindered

Procedure

  • Have all participants form a standing circle and bow their heads to keep their gaze on the floor.
  • Instruct that no one is to speak during the game and should only follow your instructions.
  • Ask everyone to look at others in the circle; when two people make eye contact, those two should trade places but without giving up the eye contact until the change is made. Point out that others too will be doing the same thing, so everyone should move slowly.
  • Once the change of place is achieved, the process starts all over again, making eye contact with a new person and swapping places with him or her.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this game as a light-hearted icebreaker.
  • You may also use it to drive home the message of how eye contact is important in communication.
  • Have the group evaluate how they decided the person with whom to make eye contact and whether they consciously avoided it with others.
  • Ask them about how comfortable they felt maintaining eye contact and if it triggered feelings of anxiety that they tried to overcome by smiling or laughing.

Paper Airplane Game:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker

No. Of Participants: 9 -30

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor/Outdoor

Checklist of Items Required: Pen/ Pencil and Paper

Procedure:

  • Ask all the participants to make a paper plane and write their names, likes and dislikes or any other relevant information about themselves that they believe is interesting. To make it more specific to any topic you may ask to include information relevant to that topic in the paper plane.
  • On cue, have everyone throw their paper planes around and when someone finds one, they should again throw it around.
  • After one to two minutes, ask every person to hold on to the paper plane they have with them.
  • Instruct everyone to identify who is the person whose name is written on the airplane they have and introduce them to the group.

Debriefing Notes:

  • Use this to help people get familiar with other participants attending the training program especially if the group consists of members meeting for the first time.
  • This can also be a fun way of introducing individuals to the group.

Drawing Game:

 Learning/Application: Icebreaker/Teamwork/Creativity/ Communication skills

No. Of Participants: Multiples of 3 (6,9,12…) – Team Game

Duration: 15 minutes

Location: Indoors

Checklist of Items Required: Paper and Pen

Procedure

  • Divide people into teams with three members each. Give every team a number. Explain that no discussion is permitted during the game and no agreement can be made as to what the team will draw.
  • Give each team a paper and pen and have one person in each team start the game by drawing an outline or a shape.
  • Shout out “Change” after 15 seconds, and have this person pass the drawing to the other team member who has to add on to the drawing within 15 seconds. After another 15 seconds, have this person pass the paper to the last person in the group.
  • Instruct each team to decide on a description of the drawing unanimously within 15 seconds, mention their team number and hand it over to you.
  • Fold this part with the written description so as to be invisible and pass the drawing to another group to guess and write the description of the drawing, along with the team number. Exchange drawings between all the groups and collect back the papers.
  • Give each team two points for descriptions that match the one given by the team that originally drew the picture; one point for a partially correct answer.

Debriefing Notes:

  • Use this game to drive home the point that a team that is on the same wavelength and communicates well does a better job in lesser time.
  • Explain the importance of either sharing the same viewpoint as another person’s or being willing to adapt quickly to do this to ensure the team succeeds.
  • You may use this game as an icebreaker activity too.

Story-telling:

Learning/Application: Icebreaker/creative thinking/insight and awareness

No. of Participants: 10 – 20

Duration: 30 minutes

Location: Indoor

Checklist of Items Required: None

Procedure

  • Get the participants to sit around in a circle.
  • Introduce the start of the story with a simple phrase such as “Once upon a time….” If there is a specific theme you wish to cover later on during the presentation, introduce that here. For example, if you are dealing with teambuilding, start with “Once upon a time, in an office with 10 people…”
  • Ask one person in the circle to complete this sentence and have each member add a sentence or two to take the story ahead.
  • Make it clear that the last person in the circle has to end the story.

Debriefing Notes

  • Use this game to help participants use their imagination.
  • Alternatively, you may also use it to try to gain insight on the dynamics of the group and the issues they face when working together.

Strengthscape® designs and deliver customized training games and activities across India and other SAARC countries. Our activities are highly innovative, full of fun, safe and provide a great way to break ice and build a high-performance team. We provide services in all major Indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and many more.

Filed under: Team BuildingTagged with: ,

Team Building Locations around Trivandrum, Kerala

Team Building locations around Trivandrum

Outbound training programs have energy of their own – they let people discover things about themselves and their team members – things they may have missed so far or those never really on display in the sterile environs of the office.You can choose from several teambuilding locations around Trivandrum in Kerala that provide the right ambiance for perfect teambuilding programs.

1.About Trivandrum

Trivandrum or Thiruvananathapuram as it is officially known is the capital city of “God’s Own Country” – Kerala. There are several places of tourist interest in Trivandrum right from the lakes and lagoons to the mountains, waterfalls and beaches. Museums, art galleries, palaces, temples and wildlife sanctuaries – this city has them all.

2.  Team building locations around Trivandrum

Some of the locations around Trivandrum also provide the perfect setting for teambuilding sessions. While there are a number of resorts that provide the facilities and infrastructure for indoor sessions on teambuilding and leadership training, the real secret of memorable teambuilding programs is in using the locales in an around Trivandrum to drive home crucial concepts.

3.  Agastyarkoodam

This is a mountain peak of the western Ghatmountains which at 1868 m, is Kerala’s second highest mountain peak. Covered with dense forests, Agastyarkoodam peak is the ideal place to take your team trekking and set them learning about resource management, communication, empathy and working in unity. The state forest department has to be notified in advance and will issue forest passes to allow you entry into this area.

4.  Vaiyanthol/Aruvi Waterfalls

Located in the Peppara forest range, the Vaiyanthol peak is home to the Aruvi Waterfalls. Entry into this area also requires permission from the forest department and after leaving the area called Bonecaud, there is no road. All your team has to do is take a few risks, learn and unlearn, and be prepared to trust and depend on each other for support, besides listening to and obeying the instructions of the guides from the Kaani tribe who guide trekkers to the peak – quite a lot of learning in one session, you’ll agree.

5.  Shangumugham Beach

Less crowded than the more popular Kovalam beach, the Shangumugham Beach can be the perfect spot for some uninhibited fun in the water and on the sands. Besides providing some much-needed stress relief, the beach also turns into the ideal spot for teambuilding exercises when you get your team to begin building sand castles. The castle turns into a metaphor for the organization, and team members begin to introspect, identify and examine their abilities to set goals, use creativity to solve problems and develop of sense of doing their part with responsibility.

6.  Aaranmula Village

To really see the concept of teamwork in action and its ability to fetch results for the team, take your trainees to the little village of Aaranmula during August-September when it is time for Kerala’s oldest river boat festival. Get them to watch as massive teams (100 rowers, four helmsmen and 25 “motivational” singers on each boat work in perfect rehearsed union to win the race. If you manage to arrange a chat with these boating teams – great; even if you cannot, just watching them in action will open your trainees’ eyes to the magic of teamwork.

Taking your team to teambuilding locations around Trivandrum can thus help set the base for team members to develop the willingness to coordinate and communicate. The sharing of experiences that pit the team as a united force against the elements or require them to overcome the obstacles of conventional thinking paves the way for mutual respect, unity of effort and smooth functioning of the team.

Filed under: Team Building

Most Popular Models in Leadership Development

Leadership is a trait that has been revered by men across the ages. It has led to the creation of individuals who are larger than the masses. It has also been quite a sought after quality and many people and organizations have wanted to develop their own. In the modern world leadership training and leadership development are terms that have been associated with various training and coaching institutions. This is because this has now become a field of study with a lot of research to back its discoveries and theories. Leadership training draws its content from these research works and drafts out the delivery with the trainees in mind.

There are various leadership models that have been identified by the scholars over the time and these models are related to the personality of various leaders, their environment, their circumstances and finally their impact on these circumstances in particular and history in general. Scholars and researchers have also differed in the exact number of models and their characteristics. For e.g. some believe that there are three distinct styles of leadership. These are authoritarian or autocratic, the participative (also called democratic) and the free reign model also known as Laissez-faire. As the name suggest the authoritarian style is based on the absolutely power of an individual whereas the participative style allows active participation of the followers. The third style of Laissez-faire is the most lenient with the leader only exerting some controls in the affairs. In leadership training the first and the third styles are the least desired.

Some other classifications are identified as Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership and Situational leadership. These are three important classifications which have further explained this idea. Transactional leadership comes into existence by virtue of a silent agreement that maintains status quo of a particular process at any organization. An e.g. of this is the agreement between an employer (the leader) and a employee (the follower) wherein the employee agrees to follow the leader by accepting to work under him. The Transformational leadership is different as it strives to change the position or status of an organization to something different or better. It seeks change and betterment. It is more proactive and has the ability to involve others in a task or motion. This is an important step in leadership development.

The situational leadership is a very respected and acclaimed identification of Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. They have stated that for a leader to be effective he has to oscillate between four distinct features and styles of leading his men depending upon the situation at that given point in time. Firstly, the leader may direct things to his followers without entertaining any ideas. Secondly, he may act as a coach and listen to ideas although take decisions independently. Thirdly, he supports the participation of his followers but keeps his guidance. And finally, the leader delegates responsibilities to individuals and allows them to make decisions. Situational leadership requires that the leader be vigilant and about the need of the hour and change his style according to the need. In terms of leadership development and management this is the most effective.

All these leadership models have been studied and researched so as to make the managers of the new age better prepared for what’s in store and how to handle them. If this information are available to any person it would be foolish not to utilize them to the best of one’s ability. After all, it would do nothing but help in leading a better professional life.

Filed under: LeadershipTagged with: ,

Ethical Guidelines in All Coaching Practices

Coaching is a client based profession with a focus to enrich the life of the client. The relationship established in coaching is a professional relationship (like counseling) which is time framed and with set objectives. Hence, a professional practice such as coaching/counseling has its own code of ethics and is governed by a specific set of guidelines for practice.

Coaching as a professional practice follows certain ethical guidelines which are common for all coaching practices. Further each coaching association or organization may adopt additional code of ethics which may suit their requirement. However, they are additional guidelines and do not intend to override the general code of ethics for coaching practice.

Code of Ethics

Coaching has a clear set of behavioral guidelines which serves as a safeguard for both the coach and the coachee.  The coach as a professional should live his life and practice coaching according to the highest coaching standard. The professional standard comprises of acceptable behavioral guidelines which the coach has to adopt during coaching.

The coach exhibits the following core values of professional standards for coaching. They are: integrity, honesty, transparency, respect, trust, credibility, professionalism, accountability, care and excellence.

The 3 core values which every coach is expected to adhere are:

  • Professional Conduct
  • Professional Relationship
  • Care Management

Professional Conduct

Coaches are to follow the applicable laws, regulations and rules that may affect their coaching practice. They should not enter into any agreement with the client apart from the coaching agreement to defraud or for dishonest gain. They are to conduct themselves according to the highest ethical coaching standards.

  • Coaches should ensure that their behavior is not perceived as inappropriate in terms of physical, sexual, verbal or non-verbal ways.
  • Coaches should be aware of and be sensitive to client’s race, gender-orientation, culture, religious values, disability and diversity.
  • Coaches are required to act in a way that does not bring dishonor to coaching profession.

Coaches should not manipulate with their professional practice by working the clients either in the form of counseling or psychotherapy for the purpose of financial gain or non-monetary support. With a clear understanding regarding the scope of coaching, they should limit their practice with coaching alone and focus on qualifying the client.

Professional Relationship

Coaches should explain to the clients the terms of the contract, costs, and conditions if any before entering into the coaching contract.

Coaches are expected not to prolong the relationship with the client beyond the professional grounds.  The coaching contract should be terminated once the client has fully benefitted from the practice. It is the responsibility of the coach to terminate the contract once the client’s goals has been met.

Coaches are to treat all the information of the client with absolute confidentiality. They may disclose only those information if it is harmful in nature to the client, organization or others.Coaches should terminate the coaching contract if the client desires to do so without persuasion or demanding justification for termination.

Care Management

Coaches should explain the coaching process to the client before entering into contract. The coach should not make any false claims regarding the benefits of coaching. At the same time no misleading information should be provided to the clients to make believe or for buy in.

Coaches should treat the clients equally with respect irrespective of their intellectual ability, gender, job profile, skills and vocabulary.Coaches should provide an explanation of methods, techniques, tools and strategies used in coaching process if requested by the clients

Filed under: CoachingTagged with: , ,

Coaching and Mentoring – A Case Study

Mrs. Juggles social environment has affected her emotionally due to which she feels intimidated. She fears that if she fails to take an action, situations would turn out negative. She feels nervous and helpless due to factors which lie beyond her control.  So how would Mrs. Juggles deal with her problem?

Many a time people feel better when they are in control of things or people. Lack of control can make people feel helpless and miserable. Being in control of ourselves and our lives is a positive factor. However, we need to understand that we cannot be control of all things such as other people’s feelings, actions or behaviors towards us (social stimuli) or weather or stock market (physical environment). There can be a lot of conditions, circumstances or situations t that can arise in our day to day lives that affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These form the environment or stimuli which can be physical, social or psychological.

For every kind of stimuli, we respond. The basic fundamental principle of human nature is that we are conditioned to respond to a particular stimulus or environment in a particular way. And this conditioning is something which we have inherited or learnt during our developmental years. As noted earlier, our social or physical environment can affect our feelings, thoughts and response. However, there are two ways to respond. We can either to choose to respond our natural way or we can choose the way to respond. Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist, states that between a stimulus and response we have the freedom to choose.

Marcus Aurelius, a stoic philosopher pointed out that most of our distress is not because of the external stimulus which causes the pain or hurt but because of our estimate of it. He states that we have the power or the right to reject the hurt if only we choose to. It is natural for us to feel hurt by social, physical or economical environment. However, we have the power or right to reject the thought and feelings caused by the external stimuli through careful consideration, by choosing and internalizing values.

In the case of Mrs. Juggles as long as Mrs. Juggles has self-awareness and is confident of self, no one can snatch away her self-respect or reputation unless she willingly gives the permission for other comments to affect her life, well-being and future prospects.

We can decide to reject all negative thoughts and emotions that can hamper our life, well-being and effectiveness. We have the right to reject our usual way of response to the external stimuli no matter how challenging or intimidating it can appear. By internalizing positive thoughts, we can redirect our emotions to a much higher value based response. To know more about how to internalize positive thoughts and know how to choose the right way to respond, try getting into a coaching relationship!

Hiring a coach could be the best decision of your life. A coach helps you become aware of your derailing behaviors, limiting beliefs and helps you create a structure for following the path towards fulfillment.

Coaching services, offered by The Strengthscape are unsurpassed. Coaches at Executive Coaching India have helped many professionals play on the their strengths and get over limiting beliefs. Life coaching, another form of coaching is gaining popularity in India.

Filed under: CoachingTagged with: , ,

How to Become a Coach or Guru

With the expansion of business horizons around the globe, leadership development took an all new meaning. More and more businesses now are run by persons who are more globally aware and know the importance of coaching in these circumstances. Professionals like an executive coach have become more sought after and for very good reason. Coaching is a process that enables the client and in the case of an executive coach, the corporate, to achieve the potential that they are capable of. They help in facilitating the self exploration of desires, needs, skills motivations and thoughts of the corporate and business individuals and this helps in creating a long lasting and effective change.

The famous executive coaches of the world are very adept in this process and their association with various companies and their work to bring about a change in the corporate is proof enough of their abilities. Some of these names have had a very long and exclusive relationship with some companies and developed their brands like Michael Gerber with E Myth and Jay Conrad Levinson with Guerrilla Marketing. But many of them have been able to work with their own name and become much searched and sought after like Brian Tracy, Jay Abraham, Michael Port, Brad Sugars, Paul Lemberg, Scott Hallman, Tony Robbins, Jim Symcox and Zig Ziglar just to name a few.

Leadership development is one of the most important task that and executive coach masters in. It is in fact a process that is divided in to three different phases. The first one deals with identifying the hidden potential and abilities of an individual. When these are identified the individual needs to be introduced to it. This phase also requires enlightening the person with the possibilities that emerged from such a discovery. And third phase deals with educating and equipping the person with the knowledge and understanding that enables him or her to utilize his or her abilities to bring about a positive change in their life, be it personally or professionally.

This is not an easy task and more often than not it requires the coach to rediscover new techniques and ways to influence the trainees. That is why a successful executive coach has a very lasting impact on the trainees, so much so that some of the renowned coaches are one of the most searched for on the internet even years after their death like Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill.

Coaching is a collaborative alliance which establishes and clarifies certain goals and purposes and then drafts out a plan of action to achieve those goals. It also requires an understanding of what is important in a person’s life and what are his or her priorities and most importantly what are their negatives. Negatives are determined to target them and eliminate them by either overcoming the shortcomings or covering them up successfully with other assets that a person has. All this requires developing a sense of attachment and trust with the trainees and this is something that the greats of coaching like the ones mentioned above have mastered. Their ways and processes alone are enough to give an idea about the manner in which life should be led or a business carried out and any further learning obviously gives more.

Filed under: CoachingTagged with: ,

How to Conduct Psychometrics in Coaching

Psychometric profiling is a scientific mathematical process to asses a person’s behavior and ability. Although nowadays it is widely used in the recruitment process by many companies, it is also being introduced in the coaching field as a great tool to understand a trainee’s persona and coach him or her accordingly. Just like in the recruitment process, in the case of the trainer too an assessment of the personality goes a long way in determining what to expect and what to work on. This simplifies a lot of things. Although there are various psychometrics on which a person can be measured but the procedure of the assessment remains the same by and large.

There are two different ways to conduct this assessment followed around the world namely the ‘Test’ and ‘Questionnaires’. The Test style incorporates answers that majorly follows a Yes (I am like that) or No (I am not that) Performa. These questions are drafted to judge a person’s ability and hard skills along with their aptitude. These tests have right and wrong options to choose from. The Questionnaires style follows a question pattern that tries to find how a person prefers to behave in any given circumstance, it is not judged by answers being right or wrong but how is the reaction.

Another very popular version of the psychometrics is called the DISCDISC measure four aspects of the behavior of any individual namely, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and compliance. These are a reflection of an individual’s assertiveness, structure and patience. Another interesting aspect of DISC is that it interprets the relationships between the above mentioned factors as well. For e.g. the behavior of a person with high level of dominance and influence will be somewhat different to that of a person who has high dominance but is low on influence. These are various combinations that make up different profiles and the number theoretically reaches around a million.

DISC uses all this information to draft an individual’s personality traits, how the person works, what his likes, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths etc. Other notable methods of psychometrics used by recruiters and professional coaching academies are the MBTI (Meyrs-BriggsType Indicator) and the Big 5. MBTI was developed in 1942 whereas the Big 5 was introduced 40 years later. The Big 5 has been endorsed by various researchers as a very accurate profiling technique especially when it is coupled with computer technology.

Although psychometrics are a great assisting tool but it should be considered just that, an assisting tool. It is by no means a final decision or result of any person’s ability or persona. This is because these tests follow a pre designed question patterns which are word based and hence once the patterns and questions have been around for a substantial period of time they become very predictable. Therefore people who have faced them previously do not find it difficult to answer in a manner that is expected rather than what is their true instinct. So this has to be kept in mind by any coaching authority while conducting the psychometrics for profiling of aspiring candidates.

Although it has been a great tool of modern day and has helped many individuals and organizations in planning for the best, yet it is an ever changing field with newer systems and tests coming around often. True success lies in understanding this system and using it wisely.

Filed under: PsychometricsTagged with: , ,

How Do You Implement a Successful Mentoring Program?

One of the greatest dilemmas faced by organizations and corporate is attrition. Organizations hesitate to inculcate knowledge transfer programs because it often results in attrition. Though knowledge transfer is the key for organizational success, it also has other side of the coin, namely attrition. Once employees gain the sufficient knowledge, improvise their skills and have the required experience they tend to look out for other jobs, as their marketability and potential increases with knowledge transfer. Research found that this problem could be dealt effectively with mentoring. Implementing mentoring programs in organization results in higher commitment levels on the part of the mentees even with knowledge transfer, a study found. Not limiting to that the mentees also exhibited strong intentions for higher turnover in the organizations.

Mentoring Is An Essential Component For Agrowing Organization And The Primary Means to Facilitate Change

In mentoring relationships, the key ingredient demonstrated is the element of trust which the mentees adopt after having experienced the same with the mentor. The whole of mentoring relationships demonstrates the effect of the mentoring on the mentees, affective commitment of the mentees to the organization, promotion of effective knowledge transfer by the organization and retention of key knowledge employees.

One of the key aspects of mentoring relationship is knowledge transfer. That is, knowledge transfer happens from an expert or a highly experienced employee to a less experienced employee. This is exactly what organizations do in knowledge transfer programs, then how different can this affect an employee or mentee in mentoring relationships? In a mentoring relationship, the mentee derives a continual personal support from the mentor which serves as an emotional bond for higher level of organizational commitment. The mentor plays both career and psychosocial functions with the mentee.

The mentor shows interest in career development of the mentee through knowledge transfer and skill development. The psychosocial support is demonstrated by the mentor by expressing concern in the welfare of the mentee. Research has shown that mentoring relationships operate on a dual pathway by developing knowledge transfer and high-quality interpersonal relationships simultaneously which contributes to mentees commitment to the organization.

Filed under: Business EtiquetteTagged with: , ,

Effective Questioning Techniques in Business Communication

The development of research in business studies and business communication has brought about a lot of new facts and interesting aspects if human behavior. Most of these related to various aspects of customer interaction. On the basis of these studies business communication has developed a process of verbal interaction while doing business or sales. Most business and sales personnel undergo a training of this process and most of the soft skill training include it in their curriculum as well. Open ended and close ended questions form an integral part of these business communications.

The use of these techniques is not just limited to the area of business communication, today almost all surveyors and research questionnaires depend on this form of questioning to generate a more reliable data for their use. The main reason behind this is that these two forms if combined together provide a funnel effect and help reach a desired solution or data rather more easily. A close ended question can be defined as one which can be answered in a single word, this word can be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or any other word. For e.g. questions like ‘how old are you?’ or ‘which grade are you in?’ or ‘Do u like football?’ all can be answered in a single word, hence they are called close ended questions.

These kinds of questions have many uses like opening a conversation or understanding a point more clearly or to generate a concrete response etc.

On the other hand open ended questions intentionally seek longer and more descriptive answers. With such questions the respondent is required to think and ponder over the answer and then convey his or her feelings or opinions or needs. In business communication this is a process of further knowing a person’s needs, requirements or problems etc. for e.g. questions like ‘what are you looking for?’ or ‘why is that so important to you?’ or ‘what is it that you require?’ etc require an elaborate answer to be convey a message clearly, hence these are called open ended questions. Such questions are used to lead a conversation especially during a business communication towards identifying the needs and problems to which one has a solution. It is quite an effective tool in this regard.

So whereas the close ended questions generate quick responses, the open ended questions are the ones that lead towards a solution or a deal. The close ended questions usually leave incomplete remarks which demand an unrestrained and free response that is in turn created by the trust developed with open ended questions.

Soft skill training of various categories and different segments emphasizes on the need to club these two together for a good general conversation. It also helps in leaving a good first impression at someone you have just met. Also such a combination makes sure that no one party is completely overshadowing the other or controlling the conversation, rather it enables to develop a healthy and a mutually interesting dialogue that is satisfactory for both the persons involved. Along with this it also leads to a smooth business interaction that is in the end very yielding. So mastering the art of using these questions can be the best thing a budding sales executive learns. More so because it is something not taught at business schools.

Filed under: Communication SkillsTagged with: , ,

Importance of Body Language Skills in Communication

Good communication forms the basis of any successful relationship both in the personal as well as professional domains. But it would be wrong to say that this communication is only done using words. In fact humans have a very strong non verbal communication pattern, and many experts believe that we majorly use our body as means to convey some message or to communicate. Such communications include body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture and even voice modulation. Soft skill training usually emphasize on the ability to understand and utilize this aspect of human behavior to convey messages and express thoughts. Not only this, but it also helps in navigating difficult situations and develop healthier relationships.

More often than not the body language of a person and other non verbal messages help understand the persona and differentiate between what is true and what is not because such communication seldom lies. So if any time one happens to witness a person whose body language does not endorse what he verbally says then the other person is forced to choose between believing one of the two communications and usually people end up believing the non verbal one. This is a universal truth. Soft skill trainings try to drill home this point and encourage the trainees to be more receptive towards such interaction and understand it.

Apart from body language, facial expressions, posture and gestures form an integral part of these non verbal interactions. A careful understanding of these is also required because such behaviors change from culture to culture as well. Often what is considered to be a welcome gesture in one culture is taken as an offence in the other. For e.g. standing or talking at close distances is a practice very fondly followed in some countries like that of Latin America, whereas in countries of the north America or Europe people will not be comfortable with this at all, they prefer to keep a distance. So it is always advisable to have some knowledge of non verbal behavior in other cultures as well especially for those who are in constant interaction with people of those cultures.

Usually body movements or posture gives an idea about the state of the mind of the person whether he or she is relaxed or tensed or impatient or irritated or thoughtful etc. Similarly the eyes convey a lot of messages regarding attraction or affection or animosity, hostility or love or hatred etc. The touch can also be a great indicator of the other person’s feelings. For e.g. consider a hand shake, a firm handshake shows interest whereas a slack one signifies laziness or that the person is disinterested. A warm hug or patronizing pats on the head all have their own significance in their realm of communication. The voice is also a great non verbal indicator although it is related to words but in a totally different way. Part from listening to what we speak people also read our voices, i.e. they reassure the meaning of the words with the tone. A voice can be sarcastic, angry, affectionate or confident. All these are various ways in which a person communicates.

So understanding the non-verbal communication pattern helps in making a person a better communicator and a better manager all at the same time. When we say better manager, we mean a manager of people, time, resources and everything else that matters. It is also interesting to study and learn, quite unlike anything boring.

Filed under: Communication SkillsTagged with: ,