agent of arcadia

Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

How to successfully communicate cross culturally

In Collaboration, Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Language, Leadership, Strategy, Team, teamwork on July 3, 2017 at 6:07 am

Once upon a time, some 100,000 years ago, language was born when a human uttered the first word to another human.

Fast forward to the modern day and language is only a part of how we communicate these days as we navigate our way through other communication complexities such as technology, virtual reality and multiculturism.

As we move swiftly forward in a global entrepreneurial world, multicultural teams become more and more prevalent, and having the ability to break down any communication barriers is vital to ensuring that collaboration and productivity stays at a high.

For as if it’s not hard enough to communicate with someone when you don’t even know their preferred communication style, default behaviors, or conflict preferences, or worse, when you can’t even see their visual cues and body language, as in the case of a remote team, add in time difference, distance and cultural differences, and you won’t be blamed if you sometimes feel as if you might as well throw in the towel. What’s more, all of this can occur even if you’re speaking the same language!

Such triggers can frustrate and give rise to conflict.

Not all is lost though. The very crux of communication is about ownership of the message you send as much as the message received. After all, how can you expect someone to understand you when you can’t even understand yourself? There are some things you can do to strengthen and grow your communication toolkit. And its roots come from more than speaking the same language, indeed, more than what you say or the words you use.

So how do multicultural teams successfully deal with multicultural challenges? One of the most successful ways is to recognize complexities and adapt accordingly. Acknowledge the diversity and rather than focusing on this as a barrier, learn to celebrate this. Identify cultural gaps openly and work around them.

Diplomat and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said:

“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

He is not wrong. Successful cross cultural communication stems from cultural intelligence, the success of which depends on three pillars.

Read the rest of this entry »

Personal branding: Three important tips for presentation success

In Branding, Personal Branding, Style on May 4, 2017 at 6:32 am

Have you ever been to a presentation and left the room with such a positive first impression that even after they have finished the presentation, you want to continue to connect with them, meet them or do business with them? Why do you suppose that is?

Let’s say you attended a presentation and the presenter was sloppy in appearance, shuffled along the stage and never made eye contact with the audience. How would you feel if you were sitting in the audience? Would you even stay til the end of the presentation?

How important is the way we look to the success of the presentation? What are you communicating with your visual cues?

How you look plays a vital role in the message you send out. According to Albert Mehrabian, famous for his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages, 55% of the message we give is received through visual cues and body language.

It’s true what they say. First impressions last. Indeed, you only have approximately seven seconds to make that first impression. That’s not a long time. And you only get one chance. Remember that how you come across to others and how you communicate via how you look all becomes a part of your visual cue and the message you are giving before you even utter a word. As a presenter, this is your marketing and your calling card.

So what kind of impression would you like to leave as a presenter?

Briefly, let’s look at three ways you can improve your presentation before you even face your audience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Influencing with impact

In Collaboration, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, influencing, Leadership, Networking on April 27, 2017 at 6:09 am

Consider someone you know who is an influencer or who has, what you believe to be, effective influencing skills. What is it about them that gets you interested, motivated, or even inspired? Are they passionate and dynamic? Perhaps. Confident? Most definitely. Knowledgeable? Certainly.

Are they a leader?

Not necessarily.

According to John Maxwell, in his book, ‘The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization’,

“leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. Anyone can choose to become a leader wherever he is. You can make a difference no matter where you are… You may be able to grant someone a position, but you cannot grant him real leadership. Influence must be earned.”

So how do you acquire those admirable influencing traits?

Read the rest of this entry »

The role of a good facilitator

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Development, Personal Branding, Team, Training on March 20, 2017 at 4:38 am

Have you ever been to the symphony or watched a snippet of an orchestra playing on TV? Can you visualize the conductor at the front of the orchestra? What exactly is the role of the conductor? Do they simply stand at the front waving their batons madly? Or is there a crucial role they play that if there is no conductor, the orchestra falls apart and the music crumbles?

It seems with the baton, the conductor speaks a subtle language to the orchestra to remind them during the performance of how to play the piece. It’s almost hypnotic to watch.

In fact, with the baton, it’s almost as if the conductor gives each instrument a chance to play and each musician an opportunity to speak. As if without the conductor, the audience might overlook the presence of an instrument or musician in the orchestra. And it’s almost as if without the conductor, the audience would miss pivotal moments in the symphonic piece.

So when we think about it, could we compare the role of a facilitator to that of an orchestra conductor? Why not?

Read the rest of this entry »

The human side of negotiation

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on March 6, 2017 at 11:02 pm

How often do you think you use negotiation skills? We may not realize it but negotiation is a big part of our daily life. We negotiate various factors in our roles at work, from project timelines to resources, to parameters for our performance indicators or salaries, and even in our personal lives, with conflicting opinions, or even something as simple as where to dine.

Negotiation is about reaching an agreement where both parties walk away with mutually acceptable terms. The ability to get what we want is only enhanced by our ability to negotiate effectively.

The word ‘negotiation’ has copped a bad reputation. Oftentimes, we associate the act with competition or confrontation or believe that only an all-or-nothing approach can win; the word ‘win’ supporting the act of competing.

But what if we take the notion of competing out of the equation and approach a negotiation in a more fair way?

After all, the reason you’re getting into a negotiation in the first place is either because one party wants something from another, or that both parties want something from each other. Once you each establish what is important and unimportant to each, the negotiations can begin. The questions that each person needs to ask is ‘What do I want from you?’ and ‘What can I give you in return?’

But how to do this? How exactly do you start asking those questions without sounding contentious?

Let’s explore.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to build a positive personal brand

In Branding, Communication, Inspire, Leadership, Personal Branding, Positive Thinking on October 24, 2016 at 2:03 am

stocksnap_nci5n8ul3z

If someone was to ask you to use three words to describe yourself, what would those words be? And if someone was to use three words to describe you, what do you think those three words would be?

What message do those words convey about who you are?

We’re all communicators. At any point of the day, we are sending out messages to the world. Even when we don’t say a word, we are communicating. In the way we dress, the way we carry ourselves, the way we conduct our lives, even the food we eat, the places we hang out, the people we associate with. They’re all sending out a message.

Every message you send out is an extension of your personal branding. Everything is a communication that sends out the data: ‘This is who I am. This is me.’

This is so important, it bears repeating. Everything that you say, do, and think feeds into your personal brand. Think about it.

Therefore, consistency is important. Just like an organization, there needs to be an alignment of your personal branding to your personal goals.  Read the rest of this entry »

The qualities of a good leader

In Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Organizational Development, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy on September 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

bo5urb867f

It takes courage to be a leader. To stand up and say: I can lead these people into the future with my vision. I can guide them through change. I can inspire them to want to tap into their passion and give that one hundred percent to a cause every single day.

No one said being a leader is easy. Whether you’re a person or a company, there is a certain sense of gravity and expectation that goes with the job and the title. So grave is the weight, that it caused Joseph Wambaugh to pen the words: ‘fish rots from the head’. Meaning that when an organisation or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

So what are the qualities of a good leader? It all starts with how others perceive who you are as a leader.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dysfunctional habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand

In Branding, Communication, Inspire, Language, Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding on July 6, 2016 at 3:06 am

photo-1429681601148-75510b2cef43

Have you ever been in a conversation where no matter what you did, you struggled to engage with the other person?

What was it that they did? Or didn’t do? Having a conversation should not be a difficult thing to do. After all, we all do it every day. We have multiple conversations with various people in several settings, using a variety of mediums. The thing is, you could be the most charismatic, articulate speaker or communicator, but there are some common conversational habits that would absolutely kill your chances at engaging with the other party.

So what are they? Let’s consider six habits that can damage your communication style and personal brand, and what you can do to avoid them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three ways to manage nerves in a feedback conversation

In Collaboration, Communication, Inspire, Leadership, Performance Management on May 31, 2016 at 1:42 am

one-way-london-1500x1000

Let’s face it. There are aspects about our jobs that we love and then there are aspects about our jobs that we don’t. Any job. Things we look forward to. And things we don’t.

Like feedback conversations. Nobody looks forward to those. Whether you’re a manager, leader, or coach who has to deliver the feedback, or whether you’re the one who is on the receiving end.

But what is it about feedback conversations that make us uncomfortable? Is it the thought of having to deliver news to someone about what they did that sounds like you’re telling them off, as if they are a child who did something wrong?

Or is it the nerves that hit you just before you’re about to have the conversation that suddenly render you incompetent and fighting to find the right words, or to fill the space when you are met with silence from the receiver that causes you to fumble over more words and approach the situation with verbal vomit?

Feedback conversations don’t necessarily need to be uncomfortable experiences. Nor do they necessarily need to be filled with awkward silence.

But how do you start to deal with your nerves and the emotions that manifest as a result of those nerves? Let’s look at three very basic but powerful ways you can manage nerves and emotion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Steering yourself through a challenging conversation with pacing and leading

In Assertiveness, Communication, Effectiveness on April 11, 2016 at 6:33 am

photo-1449965408869-eaa3f722e40d

How many conversations do you have in a day? And how many of those conversations do you think you actually do well in? That you can walk away from thinking you handled well and said what you needed to say, delivered your message well, and got your intention across?

And while some conversations are easy to navigate, others aren’t so breezy. So how many of those conversations do you wish you could have again? And if given the chance, you would say something different, or in fact, say anything at all!

In a perfect world, all our challenging conversations would go according to plan and we would emerge with perfectly desired outcomes for both parties. And both parties would come out of the conversation stronger for it, with big smiles, skipping together through a field under a rainbow enhanced sky.

And yes, pink elephants would fly.

But plans don’t always go to, well, plan. And in a conversation where the stakes are high, such as a project conversation, or an invested or focused consultation, we want as much as possible to prevent a situation where we have to face an irate other party or handle a conversation where things have gone direly wrong.

You know the type of conversations I’m talking about. Conversations where there is conflict. Conversations that are challenging. Conversations that have the potential to damage relationships.

So what to do? The main thing is to rein in the chaos and then steer the conversation down a path you want it to go. But how to do this? Let’s have a look.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: