Communication Skills

Communication skills encompass a broad range of applications that focus on communication and teamwork.

Individual Communication

Individual communication focusses on relaying messages and obtaining information from others. The latter we call listening. People often communicate predominantly one-way. Even if they intedn to communicate two-way, their attitude and posture might not generate the desired result. Areas we typically cover:

Social styles - Social styles were first identified by Hippocrates of Kos, the presumably first physician, a Greek living over two and a half thousand years ago. It illustrates how entrenched this subject is in human communication. We ensure that our clients understand what their individual typology is, which determines how they act and react to others and what effect their behaviour has on other people. They also learn how to determine the typology of others rather quickly and understand the communication implications. The discussion partner typically opens up better and co-operates more if we adjust our communication to their requirements, but we equally need to understand what pitfalls arise out of any type of combination of typologies. One area of application is commercial, how do sales people integrate typology in their approach towards customers, however, what is less often considered is to apply it within organisations and specifically within teams. Often teams consist of people with very different typologies who may grow apart and get frustrated as each of them believes that their basic behaviour ought to be normative across the group. Although all will be open to some extent, they do not clearly see at what level their flexibility stops. This is where major gains can be made.

Presenting one’s own thoughts - Structuring one’s own thoughts and communicating them well in a language that other people understand is often not that straight forward. Some simple approaches can improve performance considerably.

Listening - Listening is often seen as a fairly simple straightforward process, but in communication it is probably one of the most difficult to achieve. First we need to be aware that listening provides enormous power and control over a discussion. Second, we focus on various listening approaches to improve our ability to listen. In this context listening is any activity that clarifies what others think and want. To achieve this, we need to capture their ideas, but to induce others to speak up we have to push them to do so.

Reducing tension - Communication is an important way to reduce tensions in teams or tension in different parties. We focus on the main approaches that deliver this result.

Intercultural communication - Communicating with members of our own community is difficult enough

Communicating with members that use different rules and approaches is significantly more difficult. In reality, understanding values and the way they relate to how people think and for that reason communicate is central to operate productively in such an environment. This is the main scope of our practice in this area. We cover communications with the Americas, Asia, and Europe predominantly.

Emotional communication - Emotions are part of human behaviour, even if some control those better than others. Hence, they interfere in our communication patterns and can destabilise productive communication. To ensure we stay productive, we should note how we deal with emotional discussion partners and how we can bring them back to a discussion level based on arguments.

Group and team communication

Presenting to larger audiences - Presenting oneself and representing one’s organisation vis-à-vis a larger group of people requires a different approach from a discussion around the table. Many are nervous standing up in front of larger groups of people. In this area we focus heavily on how you prepare for such events, as this is where the major gain can be made. Separately we deal with managing stress through a better awareness of one’s own behaviour. In some cases, we also deal with how to deal with questions and opposition from the audience.

Team communication - Team communication has a vast scope: managing and/or participating in various types of internal team meetings, technical and work progress meetings with third parties, commercial meetings, discussion meetings, but equally how to manage the dynamics, how to keep pace, how to keep focus, how to keep all team members engaged and how to produce meaningful outcomes. Sometimes managing tensions is leading, just to indicate how vast a scope this subject covers.

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