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.

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

Managing Versus Leading

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker

The Executive Training and Managerial Training conducted by MMM focuses on transforming managers into leaders. Often the words managers and leaders are used synonymously but there is a world of difference between the two. Henry Kissinger put it very aptly when he said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” This seamless movement requires the leaders to be willing to explore unexplored territories and be comfortable with the uncertainties encountered on the way. It requires for the leaders to be able to ask questions and enable their team members to discover the answers that surprise them with the results as people are more amenable to being led rather than being driven.

The only real training for leadership is leadership.” – A. Jay

The focus of our Executive Training and Managerial Training programs is on helping the managers to understand that in order for them to earn the role of a leader that others desire to emulate, they need to be a role model. In other words, they need to be the leader that does the things that he/she wants other to do. They need to live a life in which they follow the same principles in both their professional as well as personal lives. This all-encompassing passion is what impacts and changes lives.

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Thought Leadership

 

Gautama Buddha, SriSri Ravishankar, BabaRamdev, JKrishnamurti, Paramahansa Yogananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Osho Rajneesh, Sathya Sai Baba, Srila Prabhupada of ISCKON fame – What common thread binds all of these big names – yes they are all spiritual gurus revered and followed by millions all over the world. Apart from this they have another amazing quality – their power to influence the thoughts of their followers – these are spiritual gurus whose kingdom far outreaches the geographical influence of any king or government stretching as they do from one corner of the world to the other. Their followers hail from diverse backgrounds – the common man, artists, politicians, world leaders, homemakers, children, drug addicts, the conscientious working man – the spectrum is really all encompassing.

As early as the 1920’s saw J Krishnamurti urging people to “reject authority particularly one that instructs you on thought”. The promise of freedom from thought instructing authority had thousands eating out of his hand!

These pied pipers of spirituality recognized many years ago the power of establishing the value of a thought or an idea in the minds of their followers. Vedanta, meditation, yoga, kriya, karma and dharma were tied together with the firm thread of “Thought Leadership”. Spiritual Gurus come and go, much like the flavor of the day, they remain in the minds of people for a while – what lives on is their power to influence the thoughts of their followers.

So what is “Thought Leadership”? It is the ability to sell an idea to a group of people – one does not necessarily have to have power, position or authority to display thought leadership. And the changes may not be initiated at the organizational level. The changes can be small scale at the team or group level. Thought leaders can demonstrate using a prototype or use logic and evidence to persuade people.

To be a thought leader a person must be the king of content – the stronger the content the lesser the effort to sell the idea – content, evidence and demonstrated usage will speak for itself. The credibility of their idea is the key to its acceptability. Thought Leadership is radically different from traditional top down leadership.

Let’s compare this to a journey – Traditional leaders define the destination, lay down the road map and sell tickets to reach there as well. Thought leaders on the other hand merely sell the tickets for the journey and allow people to get there on their own or with the help of facilitators, coaches and managers. They just promote a better way to get to the destination.

Thought Leadership ends when the target group accepts the idea. This is where the thought leader becomes a manager and starts to manage the implementation of the idea either on his own or with the help of other managers.

Thought Leadership requires a youthful rebellion and tremendous courage, bravery and conviction to charter new paths. Once a part of an organization’s culture Thought Leadership can add to the sustainability in the long term perspective. Folks go out there and break the mould..yet again!