Skills Workshop essay

Real effective communication therefore takes place when all parties get the same understanding of the message from the same perspective (deeper meaning). At any level of the organization and, more critically, at leadership level, communication is crucial. Accuracy is critical and good vocabulary is essential. The ability of the leader to read, write, speak and otherwise communicate (body language e. G. ) can have a huge impact on oneself and on the audience. In fact, this report has been written to address three main aspects of the five- week workshop we attended regarding the communication skills workshop: A.

The Power of Silence B. Communication skills at work C. Negotiation skills A. THE POWER OF SILENCE Silence is a complex and complicated cultural phenomenon. While it is common to view silence as the opposite Of speech, it is also noted that silence indeed complements speech. Furthermore, silence can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional silence may be a deliberate cultural practice that aims at facilitating introspection and self-discipline. At the same time, the practice of presumably unintentional silence may originate from long-term acculturation and embodies semiotic experiences.

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In a nutshell, both intentional unintentional silences have multiple meanings that are open to varied interpretations. In effect, silence is both the signifier and the signified. C] Role Play: Sale of car The first role play we had was on the power of silence. The scenario was regarding the purchase of a car in a showroom. Covina (the buyer/the customer/the respondent) entered a car showroom 1 | Page where she was welcomed by Baby (the seller/the salesman/the sender). Baby instantly talked to Covina in order to know what she was in fact looking for and asked her about her preference regarding a specific car model.

Loving id not reply. He continued to describe the internal and external functions of a car to her and even surprised her by telling her some exclusive functions of a car model. But Loving was indifferent and remained silent. We noted that both of them used a different approach during their communication which was eventually depicted by their body language, facial expression and eye contact. Body language As soon as Loving entered the car showroom, she was politely greeted and welcomed by Baby. The latter had an erect posture which shows that as a salesman, he had a high spirit, energy and confidence in his work.

However, Covina had a slumped posture showing low spirit level. The seller was continuously describing a car model with all its specifications to the buyer. The seller was leaning forward while walking around the car. This demonstrates that Baby was open an interested to converse more. But the buyer was leaning away which reveals that she was defensive in her approach and disinterested. Facial Expression The seller was smiling which exhibits a warm welcome to the buyer. This demonstrates that the seller was showing interest and excitement to the buyer in order to have a sale.

Nevertheless, the buyer was scowling and frowning. Through this expression, it appears that the buyer was bored and not interested. Eye Contact Baby was making eye contact with Covina by seeking attention from the buyer. He was trying to determine the customer-as intention and trying to make her react by giving information on different cars. With eye contact, it seems that it was Baby who was regulating and controlling the whole conversation. On the other hand, Loving was having eye avoidance with Baby which signals lack of interest in the conversation. 1 page Personal view In my opinion, I believe that Loving, being the buyer, was remaining silent in order to have time to think. She used her silence as a weapon to extract more information regarding the car. In fact, a negotiation was taking place behind her remaining silent. She was intentionally showing her disinterest so that the buyer himself could propose her for a cheaper deal. In order to break her silence, the seller could be more informal, for instance, asking her for a cup of coffee. Maybe she would be more comfortable to converse with him then.

But it could be also be the case that due to her continuous silence, the seller lost is patience and stopped providing her with details regarding the cars. The seller also could show disinterest in selling the car where the buyer would have no other option but to communicate. Personal encounter: still remember the day at work when I had an important deadline to meet. A colleague of mine approaches me to talk but I was not in the mood for him at that time. He asked me if he was disturbing me. I did not say anything and continued to work without looking at him. He looked at me for a few seconds, and then left.

It is not very polite not to answer a question, but in my case, you could see a mall argument, but with the use of a silence. Used silence against my colleague, as if I was saying to him: ћLeave me alone, candy you see am busy? C] My colleague was expecting an answer from me when he asked me the question. But instead of replying to him, just ignored him. Nothing is said in this example but still my colleague knows the meaning of my silence. ћDour silence communicates just as intensely as anything you verbalizes]L] (Gasworks 1993) B. COMMUNICATION SKILLS AT WORK critically, at leadership level, communication is crucial.

Accuracy is 31 Page critical and good vocabulary is essential. The ability of the leader to read, write, speak and otherwise communicate (body language e. G. ) can have a huge impact on oneself and on the audience. 0 Case: Managing customer complaints Regarding communications at work, a video on managing customer complaints was shown to us. There were two scenarios in the video which demonstrated how differently the customer complaint was handled. In an electronic shop, a salesgirl was busy arranging some items on the shelf when suddenly; a customer barges into the shop.

In fact, the customer has bought a shaver from the shop which has been broken and repaired twice. However, for the third time, the customer is insisting for a refund instead of getting it repaired again. Scenario 1: Despite the salesgirl was hassled on seeing the customer, she tried to be polite and offered him help. When the customer insisted for a refund, the salesgirl immediately concluded that the company does not do refund. On hearing this, the customer fumed and was out of his mind. He was not ready to listen to the salesgirl representative and was aggressively insisting for his refund.

He started using foul language. The salesgirl was confused and started blabbering. The customer was so loud that the supervisor of the shop intervened. However, his intervention was unsuccessful as the customer continued to be impudent with them. The customer was so dissatisfied that he even threatened the salesgirl for a court case. Personal view: noted that due to the sudden appearance of the customer, the salesgirl seemed to be taken aback. When she offered help to the customer, despite she was smiling, her tone was disbelieving. The only sentence used by the salesgirl was ћCHI am so sorry sir… Dњ.

Moreover, she did not explain calmly the policies and procedures and jumped to the conclusion that the company loud not refund for the shaver. This angered the customer. She did not try to understand the point of view of the customer. We also noted that there were also several 41 Page customers present in the showroom. By not being able to attend the customers professionally, this could influence those customers, thus presenting a bad image of the company. Scenario 2: In this scenario, the salesgirl was more comfortable and projects a better attitude by being caring and ready to listen to the customer.

She deterred her fright by being more attentive. As soon as the customer asked for a refund, he politely asked the customer to follow her so that she could tackle the situation more discreetly and to prevent the other customers from overhearing their discussion. She patiently and genuinely listened to the customers complaint. After knowing about the complaint, she requesting politely for the receipt as a proof of the purchase to convince the customer that the company is not in favor of refund. She explained the customer that according to the company policy, only a repair is possible but no refund.

However, as the customer insisted, the salesgirl asked for help from her previous who eventually proposed a solution to the customer. Personal view: It could be noted that in the second scenario, due to the salesgirl cordial, polite and helpful attitude, the customer was much at ease in his approach. Even though he was frustrated, he still managed to be patient and listened to the salesgirl. The fact that the salesgirl took note of his complaint discouraged the customer to be aggressive. He genuinely felt that the salesgirl was actually listening to his problem and was looking for a solution.

He also acknowledged the fact that refund is not in the company policy. However, as the customer continued to insist for the refund, the salesgirl was in doubt and confused to reach a conclusion. She immediately handled the situation by requesting help from his supervisor. The latter succeeded in controlling the whole situation by agreeing to provide the customer with a replacement shaver. The customer complaint was solved and he was happy. In a nutshell, it can be summarized that due to the following steps taken by the salesgirl, the dissatisfied customer turned into a satisfied one: 1.

Be positive, polite, helpful and aware of the situation 2. Establish the nature of the complaint quickly 51 page 3. Handle any situation with discretion 4. Request the proof of purchase in case of exchange and refund 5. Explain company policies and procedures clearly 6. Seek assistance in case of doubt 7. Process the transaction according to company policies and procedures By carrying out the above steps efficiently and professionally, this will help to turn a negative situation into a positive one. C.

NEGOTIATION SKILLS When trying to visualize workplace negotiations, what might immediately come to our minds is the picture of two teams of “opponents” sitting across a able with supporting documents and determined to outwit each other. Obviously, quite some negotiations adopt this adversarial attitude and negotiate competitively, as if to end up with a winner and a loser. Negotiations can, however, also be run collaboratively and end up in a win- win situation and where the parties] relationship has as much importance as the end results of the deal itself.

C] Role play: Negotiation for salary increase A second role play activity we had was regarding the negotiation of a 25% salary increase for the employees of a hotel between the trade union members and board of directors of the hotel. The negotiation meeting consisted of the following panel of members: 1 Board of directors (BODY)- the chairman, the operations director and other two directors 2 Trade Union members – the president, the treasurer, the secretary and another member Once the meeting started, the presentation of the members was made to each other.

The president took the first stand and requested for a salary increase Of 25% for the employees of the hotel. The main arguments put forward by the president, supported by his other members were as follows: No salary increase was given to the employees during the past five years The tourism industry and hotel sector have been growing. Inflation has not been taken into consideration. 61 page However, the board of directors refuted the above points by the following arguments: (I) Despite the flourishing Of the hotel industry, the tourism industry is increasing at a declining rate. 5% of salary increase is outside the budget of the hotel. During the negotiation process, we observed the behavior of the players which could be interpreted as follows: 1 . In fact, while negotiating, we noted that it was only the chairman, the operations director and the president of the Trade Union who were showing interest and were actively participating by putting forward their argument in order to support/reject the salary increase proposition. However, the other members of both teams were showing disinterest and seemed bored. They did not have that negotiating and bargaining attitude.

They were leaning on the table with their hands clenching into fists showing their submissiveness and gave the impression that they were resistance to the opponents. 2. The language used by the president of the trade union who started the negotiation was English. Also, when arguing regarding the salary increase, the resident used some technical economical terms. I believe that it would be better if he argued in Creole or a much informal language as being the representation of the employees, this would be enable him to have an upper hand on the BODY who were rather much more professional. 3.

Furthermore, no specific conceptual framework was used by both teams to illustrate their arguments in favor or in against of the salary increase. For instance, they could have used the PESTLE framework which would enable them to focus on at least six different environments and to convince the opponents. 4. One important point put forward by the treasurer concerning the arrival of international tourists in the hotel was ignored during the negotiation process. Believe that if the treasurer requested the permission of the president or chairperson before putting forward her argument, she would not have gone unnoticed.

Maybe, the tone she used also was not with a negotiation attitude. 7 | page 5. On the other hand, at one point in time, noted that the Operations director was continuously talking with a high pitch explaining the financial situation of the hotel to the trade union members. According to me, I believe hat this was a strategy used by the latter to have an upper hand in the conversation by not giving an opportunity to the team trade union members to refute his arguments. 6.

Even after negotiating, the trade union and the BODY could not arrive at a compromise regarding the rate for salary increase. It was then that the president of the trade union invited in the negotiation an intermediary. Unexpectedly, the intermediary uninvited entered the meeting room. Arrogantly, he took a seat with his feet on the table. Surprisingly, no one in the room objected regarding his entry and even regarding his way of sitting. In fact, the chairman talked to him in a very welcoming way.

This showed that the BODY succumbed to him, without even knowing his identity. I believe that tallest someone could object regarding his presence in this meeting. Even though, no negotiation was made and both teams did not arrive at a conclusion. It is therefore essential to know at the outset when a negotiation really is before embarking on the process of learning how to negotiate. This is because negotiation is becoming increasingly important for managers wishing to get the best possible results in the interactions with business takeovers.

To be effective, a negotiation ought to result in a mutually beneficial, sustainable relationship. In such a deal, the parties maintain the trust in each other and share similar expectations on how the deal is on paper and how it will work out in practice. Personal encounter A situation when I had to negotiate was during an interview for a new job. The salary expectation I had did not correspond with that of the employer. After several discussions, both of us arrive at a negotiated amount where both of us had nothing to lose and thus resulted into a win-win situation for us.