1.1 Explain the benefits of knowing the purpose of communication. Communication is key in any business, it keeps the productivity of the business high and all colleagues feel part of the team as well as the company if they are being communicating with properly. It is also important to communicate with customers properly via phone, email, fax etc. By not communicating with customers properly we could lose their business and potentially develop a bad reputation.
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At Traplet it is extremely important we communicate to each other as we all work to get the magazines to print on time, without communication we wouldn’t know what stages the magazines were at. Which could result in advertising executives over or under selling pages, the marketers not having their adverts and campaigns ready in time, the magazine being sent to the printers late, which we get charged for and customers ring up to complain as they’ve received their copy late. Therefore, all departments liaise with each other to ensure the production of all 14 magazines goes smoothly and on time.
1.2 Explain the reasons for knowing the audience to whom communications are presented. It is important to know who your audience is and the level of ability and interest in the chosen subject to be presented. For example, At Traplet the editor will need to know a detailed description about the figures, feedback and ideas. The editors interest would be very high due to it being their magazine and interest/hobby. The accounts department would only want to know the figures. Their interest in content and marketing strategies would be low as the hobby and magazine content doesn’t affect their job. Knowing the audience for whom you are presenting to is very important as you do not want to exceed your audience’s level of interest, there mind will wonder and you won’t get your information across the way you want it to.
1.3 Explain the purpose of knowing the intended outcomes of communication. If you know the intended outcome of communicate then you can understand how it is going to be
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interpreted by the audience. If you think about what you’re going to say/write, you can look at it from the audience’s perspective and ensure that interpretation is the intended one. For example, when I write and upload content onto the website, if they’re instructions about how to use the website features I ensure I write them in a very simple, easy to understand way because some people aren’t very good with computers.
1.4 Explain the purpose of knowing the intended outcomes of communications Written communication would be standard written letters, verbal communication would be person to person and Skype. Electronic communication would be fax and email. Although, you can argue that these categories of communication cross over with each other, for example, Skype is verbal communication using electronic equipment, fax is electronic communication however, it can also be classed as written. All communication is extremely important for a business, as customers like to receive different methods some prefer to just communicate via email and not be contacted via telephone.
2.1 Identify relevant sources of information that may be used when preparing written communication Sources of information can be classed as primary & secondary sources. A primary source of information is one which is seen or heard directly by a person. It’s information gathered by a person directly in contact with the event. Primary sources can be letters, newspapers, diaries, court records, articles, interviews, surveys, journals etc. A secondary source of information is something heard through somebody else. It can be a ‘tweaked’ version of the primary source. Secondary sources can be book, interpreted document, or recordings.
2.2 Explain the communication principles for using electronic forms of written communication in a business environment Electronic forms of business communication are emails, faxes etc. Any information stored or transmitted electronically are electronic forms of data communication. At Traplet it is important I know how to use all different communication types effectively to be able to do my job properly and save time. For my job, I use all electronic communications mainly to send out documents for the show.
2.3/2.4 Explain different styles and tones of languages and situations when they may be used for written communications and explain the reasons for selecting and using language that suits the purpose of written communication The reason for using language that suits the purpose of the communication is to get your point across in a clear and concise way. At Traplet we maintain a high level of professionalism, therefore when we write emails we address tem by sir/madam if we don’t know their name and we sign the email with ‘kind regards.’ However, if you have built up a relationship with a customer it is important to write in a ‘chatty’ manner (depending on the customer and relationship you have with them) as they feel service we offer is a lot more personal and they feel more looked after which hopefully keeps their business as good customer service skill are crucial.
2.5 Describe ways of organising, structuring and presenting written information so it meets the needs of different audiences. When organising, structuring and presenting written information it is important to understand the target audience and what they want. When organising written information it should be done in chronological order (when you are going to say/read it). It would make things harder and more complicated to have the last thing you were going to say at the top of the page, you also need to make sure all information applies to the topic of discussion and is relevant to the audience.
2.6 Describe ways of checking written information for accuracy of content When writing and checking information it is important to check more than one source, if they differ then check more sources until one is the apparent ‘right answer.’ You can also use tools such as spell checker or Google a word if you are not sure on the definition etc. It is also handy if someone else proof reads your work as they may pick up on something you’ve missed.
2.7/2.9 Explain the purpose of accurate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling in written communication and explain the purpose of proofreading and checking work It is important to accurately use the correct grammar, punctuation and spelling in written communication so the receiver reads it in the intended away. It is also important as it reflects back on the business as well as yourself. For example, if I am uploading a project to the inspired to make site and there are mistakes, it may stop potential customers from subscribing to a magazine as they may think the magazine has mistakes. (Projects uploaded to ‘Inspired to Make’ are projects from our magazines.) At Traplet they expect a high level of professionalism and being able to correctly use grammar, punctuation and spelling. Therefore, when I compose emails or any documents I make sure to double check for any mistakes.
2.8 Explain what is meant by plain English, and why it is used. Plain English is Standard English; it is when no slang, jargon, acronyms or abbreviations are used. Plain English is used in business mainly when contracts, sales, agreements and business terms & conditions are written making sure the information provided is clear enough to understand and it can’t be misinterpreted in any other way than the intended. At Traplet we are constantly running various competitions and promotions meaning we need to write terms & conditions. For example, ‘Offer ends 19.11.13, this cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.’ We need to write the terms & conditions in plain English to ensure everybody understands.
2.10 Explain the purpose of recognising work that is ‘important’ and work that is ‘urgent’ It is important to differentiate between urgent and important tasks because they need to be prioritized and completed by the deadline date. Urgent tasks usually should be done first before other tasks as urgent gives the impression, its times sensitive meaning time management is crucial. Important tasks don’t require the same level of speed but they require spending more time on them but still making sure they are done at a high standard and to the deadline (usually a longer deadline that urgent tasks). Whilst working at Traplet, there’s always a variety of important and urgent tasks. For example, uploading a project to the website is important but taking off last month’s competition and putting the new competition up is urgent as it’s dated.
2.11 Describe organisational procedures for saving and filing written communications. Saving and filing written communications can be done physically & electronically. You can save them electronically by scanning the documents into the computer and creating a folder to save them in or on a memory stick. Electronically saving written communications is very useful as it doesn’t take up any draw space and it can’t be physically lost. It is also safer than physically filing if the electronic files are password protected. Although, computers can break and documents aren’t backed up they can be lost. One way to physically file documents would be filing draws in alphabetical or categorical sections.
However, this does take up a lot of room and eventually space will run out, it also mean unless the draw is locked with a key that is kept in the safe place, a lot of people will be able to view these files. The best way to save and file documents does depend on the document, if it is important that using both physical and electronically filing is best to ensure it won’t be lost. For example, At Traplet after the show we have a lot of documents like trader forms, competition entry forms, competitors show programmes, important notes etc. Instead of us typing it all up we file it in a filing cabinet and refer back to it as and when we need to. Although, we do file same documents from the show electronically in Google drive which is shared to only me or Angela. These documents include traders coming back next year, notes and ideas for the 2014 show, document created for last year etc.
3.1 Describe ways of verbally presenting information and ideas clearly When verbally presenting information it is important to engage with the audience to keep them interested in what you’re presenting. The best way to do this is by keeping eye contact, speaking clearly & let the audience ask questions. Depending what information you are presenting determines how you present it. For example, if you are presenting to a business a good way to catch their attention would be a PowerPoint presentation as it uses different features and show time and effort has gone into the presentation. If you are holding a quick meeting, the best way to present information would be from a written agenda.
3.2 Explain ways of making contributions to discussions that help to achieve objectives Making contributions to discussions can be difficult as you don’t want to appear rude if the discussion is going of the objectives but you can try to ‘break up’ any arguments against opposing parties by trying to find a middle ground and reaching a reasonable fair agreement. If you aren’t a
dominant person discussions are hard to contribute to if there are people with strong opinions. However, making sure you do contribute as well as listening and discussing your ideas shows the employer confidence. It’s equally as important to have approachable and professional body language – you don’t want to look bored!
3.3 Describe ways of adapting verbal contributions to suit different audiences, purposes and situations. When making verbal contributions to variety of audiences, you should adapt your language appropriately, for example, when making contributions to friends you can speak informally, but when you are speaking to a potential customer, it is important to speak formally and politely. It is important to know your audience to communicate effectively, to see things from their point of view and tailor the communication to them. It’s crucial to understand what type of verbal communication to use and when during meetings it’s important to participate by sharing ideas in a professional manner but just as important to listen. Whereas when giving a speech, you are the only one talking so it’s important to keep the audience engaged and anticipate questions your audience may have and try to address those in your communicate.
3.4 Describe how to use and interpret body language
Body language is a big part of communication that is neglected by a majority of people. By understanding how to interpret body language, you can become a more effective communicator. You can understand body language by observing the level of eye contact, noticing what the person does with their hands (can show if the person is nervous and relaxed). Also, it is important to pay attention to posture, as different postures can mean different things, for example, aggressive posture. Watching facial expression is also important as it can express emotions such as sadness, happiness, anger and whether they agree with what you’re saying or not.
3.5 Describe how to use and interpret tone of voice
We can usually determine a person’s mood and intent by their tone of voice. For example, whilst speaking to an audience if you had a dull tone the audience would sense this and loose interest in what you’re saying instead you should keep a passionate, enthusiastic tone.
3.6 Describe methods of active listening
Listening is a key skill that I need to do my job well. I need to listen to my colleagues to keep up to date with company plans, I need to listen to my boss to be able to know what tasks are expected from me and I also need to listen to customers to know what they want. To show active listening you should ask related questions to show you’re intrigued in what I’m listening to. Body language is just as important for example, you should not cross your arms or look around the room but instead you should nod and show eye contact. Taking notes also shows that you are listening and show an interest.
3.7 Describe the benefits of active listening
The main benefit of active listening is to assure you have received the messages as the speaker intended. Not understanding what is said can lead to mix ups so it is very important especially at work so you know what you’re expected to do. Actively listening at work, for example, in meetings can improve productivity as it’s very easy to drift into passive listening mode which means you are missing key information.
3.8 Explain the purpose of summarising verbal communication
It is important to summarise verbal communication to check both parties have an understanding of what has been discussed, restate any agreements or contracts made, refresh each other’s memory of what is discussed and bring the conversation to a close. It can also be useful to write down what has been agreed, for example Michelle advertising executive will ring a customer and if they book an advert she will follow it up with an email to say what they have booked so there is no confusion.
4.1 Describe ways of getting feedback on whether communications achieved their purpose You can ask for feedback by creating forms for people to fill in anonymously so you get honest answers as people won’t feel they have to be nice. You could also receive feedback verbally and then take notes; this is also good because you can ask more detailed questions. Another way you
can get feedback is by videoing yourself and giving a presentation or in a meeting and then watching it back to see what you think you can improve – although this method can be quite biased, on the other hand we tend to be our biggest critic. Once you have received your feedback you can examine it and hopefully be able to see where you need to improve and what you did right.
4.2 Explain the purpose and benefits of using feedback to further develop communication skills The purpose of receiving feedback will help your communication skills grow and become better. Constructive criticism and observations will hopefully mean you will improve and take on other people’s feedback. For example, if you had to pitch your products to a business and they didn’t like your communication skills then the business is not likely to invest in your business/idea because the pitch and communication skills were poor.See More on Business