Etiquette Training – An Important Program for Multi-nationals

Etiquette Training – An Important Program for Multi-nationals

In the yesteryears etiquette was governed by the culture of a country. Etiquette emanated from the desired and accepted practices of that particular culture. So, in India, eating with your fingers in a restaurant was not frowned upon; arranged marriage was the norm and not the exception. But with the world getting smaller and more connected and business becoming global, the need to establish accepted global practices has become the need of the hour. Hence, all multi-national companies are conducting Etiquette Training that focuses on global etiquette. This covers telephone etiquette, meeting etiquette, email etiquette and conversational etiquette. What is acceptable in one culture is often not viewed in the same manner by another culture. The discrepancy creates confusion and broken relationships resulting in loss of trust.

The Etiquette Training focuses on the most important practices but cannot cover all aspects of dealing with various cultures. So our advice is – “The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.” ― Kahlil Gibran. We encourage people to be open minded and tolerant when dealing with the unfamiliar as observation is only way to understand differences.

“Manners are the ability to put someone else at their ease…by turning any answer into another question.” ― Tina Brown

People are very understanding when you question them about something that is novel to you, provided you come from a standpoint of learning and not judging.

Telephone Etiquette also gets a lot of attention in this training, as virtual teams are the order of the day. So much of communication is conducted over the telephone with members of a team sitting in different parts of the world. Not only does the culture interfere but the language and accents contribute to the confusion. Hence it is very important to follow protocols that will reduce the misunderstanding and enhance the comprehension.

From my perspective, here are some important aspects of creating a good impression in a telephone conversation:

  • People on the other side of the phone are making mental impressions from the word ‘Hello’. So have good energy in your voice and be excited about answering the phone rather than feeling that it is an intrusion.
  • When there are numerous people in the conference call, ensure that each person states his/her name when they speak.
  • Be mindful to ensure that when one person is speaking that others do not interrupt.
  • Appoint a timekeeper who aligns time with the agenda and that time is diligently imposed. This will ensure that people get to speak and the agenda is met in the allocated time.
  • The person who is the moderator should also ensure that one person does not talk excessively. When this happens the moderator should respectfully ask him/her to allow others to talk.
  • Most importantly, ensure that each time there is a conference call, the moderator takes a couple of minutes and sets up some agreements that will ensure a productive call – like respecting time, staying on the topic, not to have conversations when someone is speaking etc.

Presentation Training – A Key Component of Corporate Coaching

Presentation Training – A Key Component of Corporate Coaching

Having the skill to deliver good presentations is imperative to the role of a leader. But during our formative years we are hardly given any guidance on this skill and so giving a public presentation is most people’s nightmare. Presentation Training is a key component of our Corporate Coaching.

This blog is focused on 3 simple tips that can make your presentation impactful:

1. Appeal to the emotions of your audience:

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl W. Buechner

A lot of business presentations are filled with facts but are devoid of feeling. A good way to bring in feelings would be to use a story that highlights the key points of the facts. Most importantly, the story and the facts need to answer the question, “What is in it for me?” Only if the audience sees the relevance to their life will they stay engaged.

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ability of a presentation to persuade and convert the thinking of the audience is what deems it great. Persuasion is not possible without tapping into the feelings of the audience. It is not only the vibrant green color of the grass but also the aroma of the crisp blades and the feel of the grass on your bare feet that makes you say that is fresh. Your senses are what determine your feelings and emotion is triggered by a feeling. So if your presentation does not appeal to the senses of your audience your impact will be compromised.

2. Prepare the presentation from the perspective of your audience:

A concerned mother decided to take her young son for advice to a swamiji as he was consuming large amounts of sugar everyday. When she informed the swamiji of the problem, he asked her to bring the son a week later. She consented even though she was puzzled. When she returned a week later, she asked the swamiji the reason for the week’s delay. Swamiji replied, “I was eating sugar and I could not authentically give advice unless I stopped and lived the experience. This past week I have not touched sugar and I feel ready to meet your son.”

Experience your presentation from the audience’s perspective. Ensure that the presentation answers the questions that could potentially arise in the minds of the participants. The captain of a cricket team arranges the field to where the batsmen could potentially hit.

3. Preparation is the key:

“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.” – Wayne Burgraff

The only way to overcome your nervousness and to enhance your confidence thus capturing the attention of your audience is to prepare. Somers White puts it aptly when he says, “90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” The amount of preparation time predicates the outcome.

All this requires discipline and focus, which is the core component of our Business Coaching program.

Communication – A Leader’s Trump Card

ACommunication – A Leader’s Trump Card

Communication is an area that is identified for improvement in a substantial number of performance appraisals. It is a skill that is critical yet under-developed. That is why Communication Training, which is an integral part of Soft Skills Training, is a highly sought-after program by corporates today.

Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit, describes a poll of 23,000 employees drawn from a number of companies and industries. He reports the poll’s findings:

1). Only 37% said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why

2). Only 1 in 5 was enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals

3). Only 1 in 5 said they had a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s and organization’s goals

4). Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals

5). Only 20% fully trusted the organization they work for”

An often-asked question is, “What constitutes good communication?”. There are many schools of thought but I would like to focus on the three critical elements identified by Aristotle – ethos, pathos and logos. Even though Aristotle emphasized it thousands of years ago, it still stands true.

Ethos is essentially your authority on the topic of communication — it is the reason why people should believe what you’re saying. This is something you earn based on your prior, repetitive performances on the subject.

Pathos refers to the emotional connection you are able to make with the audience while you are communicating — essentially, people are able to answer the question, “What is in it for me?” People see the relevance of the subject in the context of their life. This is what made Martin Luther King and Gandhi outstanding orators; they made their speeches relevant to their audience and effectively tapped into their emotions. Taking personal interest in each of your team member’s development, being passionate about your organization’s progress and recognizing people for their efforts are ways in which to enhance the pathos. Of the three dimensions, pathos has the greatest impact on the perception of people rating the leader’s effectiveness as a communicator.

But all the authority and passion will not help you if you are not able to help the people understand your reasoning. Logos refers to the appealing to others’ sense of reason. People often mistake this to mean that you need to support everything you say with facts. This is only a small part; the bigger part is the ability to make explicit the connections that they derive from the data, which strongly supports the conclusions that are being made. Hence, strategic thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills are critical skills for today’s leaders. This enables them to express logical ideas in clear and compelling enough terms to influence outcomes.

The Communication Training conducted by MMM Training Solutions, a specialist in Soft Skills Training, focuses on all three elements. They have to be well balanced in order to increase your impact as a communicator.

“When we change the way we communicate, we change society.” – Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations