Business Etiquettes

The foundation of business etiquette is to build strong professional relationships resulting from feeling at ease with people you work with. Business etiquette is not about which fork is to be used but, one’s behavior asserts one’s professionalism. Business etiquette varies from country to country but some fundamentals are still universal.

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  • Introduce yourself using your full name for better retention and online searches. Pay attention to others’ names as well. Introduce people who you think might not know each other, it makes people feel valued, again by their full names
  • Shaking Hands demonstrates confidence, approachability. It also sets the tone for further communication. Eye contact also demonstrates confidence and honesty.Greet people when you see them
  • Punctuality is a virtue that is respected and shows that you value other peoples’ time as well as yours
  • Dress appropriately. Dress code varies from place to place which can be found out from the Human Resource department or by looking at the others around. But the basic clean, pressed clothing and polished shoes never go out of fashion
  • Be Kind. Speak politely. Be courteous to people. Using please, sorry and thank you wherever needed goes a long way in how people perceive you as a person. Do not bring up controversial topics for discussion, talk on neutral subjects as far as possible
  • Do not ask too many questions in a meeting or interrupt someone mid-sentence. This is considered rude and a sign of an insufferable know-it-all.
    In fact, give non-verbal cues indicating your attention and interest to what is being spoken
  • No gossiping or backbiting, it not only tarnishes the reputation of the person being spoken about but also brings out your personality of a blabbermouth. Be mindful of being in an environment where you may not know people at a personal level. No whining and complaining about the organization
  • Declutter your desk. An organized workspace reflects your professionalism
    Do not enter into someone’s office unannounced. You run the risk of derailing his train of thoughts or intruding into their privacy which is totally uncalled for.
  • Respect shared space be it the refrigerator, the desk or the printer area. Keep it clean for the next person to use.
  • Keep emails simple and short and polite. Before clicking the hit button, review your emails for typos or grammatical errors or any source of confusion or misinterpretation
  • Reply to emails as and when necessary. Do not keep people waiting for your reply. Remove people from email threads if it no longer concerns them
    Use the right words, no slang, no loose language. Mind your tongue and you are good to go.

Undeclared and implied business etiquette exists in all company cultures. Maybe not too obvious in the beginning, but following these simple universal rules will help you amalgamate into the organization. Being kind, nice and considerate is what people notice and like, thus help one in becoming a lasting employee or gain ground in the organization

Group Discussion Techniques

A Group Discussion is a group activity, an exchange of ideas among individuals of a group of about 10-12 people on a specific topic. It is a leaderless discussion to bring out and find out the natural leader in an individual. A group discussion is an elimination round usually in a selection setup wherein  participants  of the same educational standard discuss a topic of current interest

The Group Discussion tests you in

  • Body language
  • Keenness and interest
  • Eye contact
  • Communication skills
  • Understanding
  • Ability to present ideas logically and systematically
  • Team skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Convincing capacity
  • Listening skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Backing arguments with examples or facts and figures
  • Attempt to take the group towards  a consensus
  • Getting people to agree with one’s views
  • Co-operation with the group
  • Co-ordination
  • Acceptability by the group
  • Time management
  • Coherent discussion

Tips to remember for cracking a Group Discussion

  • Build knowledge base. Being informed of current affairs shows a well-rounded personality. Read newspapers, business magazines and all sorts of books and news
  • Make up your mind on what is your take on the issues, write down your views, check if your views are fact-based or are influenced by other factors
  • Get into a habit of discussing your views with friends and family so you get a broader spectrum of ideas. Accept faults with grace and refine your thought process as you go along.
  • Learn to have healthy, mature discussions without turning it into a debate or losing your cool. Everybody has a right to their opinion, respect that.
  • Catch people and peers who would be interested in discussing topics with you. Participate in mock discussions, take feedback of your performance from people to improve your technique

Tips to remember during the Group Discussion

  • Have a positive attitude
  • Do not get into complexes towards other participants
  • Carry a paper and pen
  • Think for a few minutes before starting the discussion
  • Write points for and against the topic if it is such so you are prepared for both approaches to a particular topic
  • Try to Initiate the GD with a strong beginning if you have a thorough knowledge of the topic like a quote, story, fact and figures, shock statement
  • Do not think, more talking is good. Relevant talking is good.
  • Be a dynamic and active participant
  • Try giving the discussion a new dimension
  • Stay focused and competitive
  • See things from others’ perspective as well
  • Be assertive of your views and accept others’ views with grace
  • Be open minded
  • Speak calmly and clearly, grab your chances to speak don’t be too aggressive though
  • Make eye contact while speaking
  • Give others a chance to speak
  • Keep the discussion on track
  • Try to help the group reach a consensus though difficult, the attempt is appreciated
  • Try to summarize the discussion

Leaving a good impression on the evaluator is of key importance. Interpersonal skills are of core importance in the corporate world and hence the group discussions are conducted to test your behavioral and attitudinal ability in a team environment and prove that you are the best among equals.

 

By NSS

27th March 2018

Public Speaking Tips

Speaking in public is genuinely scary for most people, including many who outwardly seem calm. But one forgets that the audience actually wants you to succeed. They are glad it’s you up there and not them. So “Don’t try to get rid of the butterflies – just get them flying in formation” Image result for public speaking

Public speaking skills are important in various aspects of a business. Be it in marketing and sales, training, coaching and so on. Succeeding in portraying confidence and capability to stand up in front of an audience and speak well, are extremely helpful. Try these tips to project confidence and shake your nerves

  • Preparation Public speaking is like an iceberg the delivery is just the tip, the major chunk is the time and effort in planning and preparing for it. Preparing helps you anticipate possible questions and eliminate sources of unnecessary confusion.
  • Practice makes you confident, comfortable and compelling. Practicing in front of friends or videotaping yourself will help you tweak your mistakes or shortcomings. Memorizing the speech though always not possible helps real-time additions without losing track of the core material. Practice is only productive when you make a positive effort to improve.
  • Audience Analysis Knowing the audience before creating your message helps determine the choice of words, the information, the presenting pattern, questions and reactions. Find out what the audience already knows and what they expect of you and how you want them to react to your presentation. This will reduce your jitters and give you an upper hand over the audience.
  • Repeat The human memory and attention span are more than a little flawed and usually, people take home around six things from your presentation. Find out what those six things should be and keep making the point again and again in different ways so that it gets fixated in the minds of the easily distracted audience.
  • Keep your material ready Have cue cards ready with key points written on them to get you back on track just in case you lose the flow. Never read word for word from your material.
  • Look for signs from the audience Make it interactive and interesting. Guage their verbal and non-verbal feedback. The audience usually mirrors your behaviour.
  • Entertain Public Speaking is about entertaining as well as conveying information. People retain more if they are enjoying themselves and feeling relaxed. Your research, humor and imagination will take you places as far as the audiences’ response goes. Try using props to make it more lively and interactive for the audience.
  • Gestures Research suggests, what you say is not as important as how you say it.Use your body language, posture, eye contact, smile, your tone, the pitch to doubly engage your audience by not only listening but also looking at the way you are presenting the matter. Well practiced, natural looking gesturing also deviates your nerves to an energy consuming activity so the nerves are not as much perceived by the audience as you might feel them.
  • First impression is the Last Impression The audience has to be intrigued and impressed from the word go. Start with a quote, a rhetoric question for emphasis, statistics or better still a story, if very confident, even a joke might work.
  • Calm your nerves Try talking to someone before you start to make sure your voice is good to go. Check your equipment to avoid last moment nervousness. Smile, take a deep breath, appear confident. Start by looking at the friendliest person in the audience then work your way through the crowd

Nobody expects you to be perfect. But by following these tips you may be able to reduce your anxiety and shine as a public speaker.

By NSS

22nd March, 2018

Leadership Skills

What is common between, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Dhirubhai Ambani, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs? They have been game changers of their times. They have inspired millions to follow them with their extraordinary qualities to achieve remarkable dimensions in their respective fields. They are LEADERS

Image result for leadershipLeadership means ‘the action of leading a group of people or an organization by an individual who uses his influence and interpersonal skills to stimulate and govern them towards a common aim’
A leader can lead a small group in an organization or the whole nation, both are leaders in their own right. The leader commands, modulates and gives direction to the working of the group. The leader by virtue of the skills he possesses succeeds in getting ready collaboration and allegiance of the supporters,  be it fighting for freedom or running an entire nation efficiently or even innovating something revolutionary. Here are some of  the characteristics

Visionary A leader can analyze the current trends and foresee the future market, how situations may unfold in the next few years. His plans are based on new technology and trends in the future

Accountability Taking responsibility and credibility of success and failure of every task undertaken. Staying committed to deadlines and owning up to mistakes. Responsibility to stakeholders, team members building trust that under your leadership you can bounce back from adversities.

Orientation An establishment comes into existence with a certain purpose. This needs direction, which needs effective leadership to administer the activities towards the attainment of the goals.

People and Communication skills Leader is the one with strong emotional intelligence. They build long-term relationships with respect and diplomacy for individual and overall output. The leader negotiates with suppliers, convinces clients, instills confidence, coaches subordinates, the Leader motivates the group to keep going and even walk the extra mile to achieve higher productivity. He even boosts the morale of the team members by appreciating their efforts and even rewarding them for it.

Initiative Looking beyond the assigned job, being far-sighted about the long-term goals and benefits of the organization. Brainstorming ideas and resolute to do the work that it takes. Also encouraging initiative is a key characteristic of a leader

Delegation One person cannot do everything so the leader can focus on the more important tasks and assign the other tasks to the others, thus giving them a feeling of empowerment. Micromanagement conveys lack of trust, the middle leadership does not take ownership, also diverts the leader’s attention from the most important business.

Creativity has always been at the heart of every team. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” thus said, Steve Jobs. Exploring new experiences, learning new things and practising open-mindedness by asking questions continuously keeps the creativity bug going. Out of the box solutions to day to day, problems gives the leader an edge

Strategising for the Vision of the leader t0 eventuate, a long-term mindset, using research for making decisions and then contemplating on them. A leader plans for the long-term has a layout ready and starts taking practical steady steps towards the larger goal

Planning and Delivery Right attitude, the right decision making and detailed planning result in better delivery. Planning includes financial planning, strategic planning keeping the final result in mind and reviewing the information at a pre-decided frequency to ensure things are going in the right direction, raising a red flag at the right time in case circumstances become unbudgeable. Delivery happens with 100% quality and on time which results in increased revenue

These are the qualities needed for a leader, who people can idolize and follow promoting team-spirit and team­work for the success of the endeavor. Commitment, passion, honesty, creativity, help a good leader to turn around a topsy-turvy situation to his advantage, leaving footprints on the sands of time for others to follow and take inspiration

By NSS

18th March 2018

 

Team Player Skills

Man is a Social being, he has to interact and work with others for survival. Teamwork starts from childhood itself when we play with our friends in groups or perform school projects and gel and live in harmony with each other. The ability to work together with others is a vital skill that is needed in all walks of life. Working as part of a team strengthens social and emotional skills, helps develop communication skills and improves confidence. How does one become a good team player?

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Reliability A person who can be counted on day in day out to get the job done and meet deadlines. Producing reconcilable quality work

Communication skills Effective communication is one of the most important qualities that a good team player must possess. Speaking up and expressing one’s ideas clearly and effectively is what a team player should be able to do. Being open to others ideas and being a good listener also constitute good communication skills

Commitment Towards work and the relationship one builds with the team. Working on one’s strengths, maximizing one’s own contribution to achieve the common goal

Adaptability They proactively adapt to the changing situations and convert them to opportunities. They are flexible and accustom themselves to reforms

Know your strengths Find a role in the team to do what you are best at. It may be good organizing skills, accounting skills, presentation skills, people skills, creativity and so on; use these to the advantage of the team

Transparency Keep your team informed, share ideas and plans with other team members without being tempted to hog all the credit

Help and Respect Offer help and support to everyone who needs it. Tips, pointers should be extended to members if something comes to you easily. Respects others views and perspectives. An ideal team player knows how to have fun, but never at someone else’s expense.

Motivated Being self-motivated and motivating the other members of the team to keep going. Being able to value everybody’s contribution is the key to teamwork

Accept mistakes Take back ideas that do not seem to be working, be able to accept and rectify mistakes without being adamant and self-righteous.

One does not need to be an extrovert to be a good team player. Knowing what the team wants and how as an individual you can add value to the group is the most crucial piece of the jigsaw. Tapping every member’s strengths and collective skills the team can accomplish more in less time giving everyone an inspiring sense of collaboration and cooperation thus increasing the productivity of the team as a whole. This is your time to shine as an individual and as a team by and large

By NSS

12th March 2018