Tuesday, November 10, 2015

7 Essential communication skills

Communication skills are an essential part of everyday life. No man can be a success on his own. No matter what your profession, you cannot make it to the top without the help and support of others. No matter what area of your life you are trying to improve, you cannot do it without the help and support of others. If you want the help and support of others you need to have the essential communication skills. These essential communication skills enable you to make the most of each opportunity by delivering a clear and specific message to your audience. Whether your audience is one person, or many people, these essential communication skills will enable you to build better, more supportive relationships. As a result, you will achieve far more than you ever could alone.

7 Essential Communication Skills

There are 7 essential communication skills which will increase the quality and effectiveness of your communication. In this chapter, I will describe and illustrate all of these 7 essential skills of communication.

1. Be complete 

Whenever you communicate you should include all of the necessary detail in your speech. Never assume that some of the details are known by your audience. When you work off of these assumptions, your message will lack the necessary detail. Your message will become confused and it will be difficult to come to a clear understanding with your audience That’s why completeness is such an essential communication skill.
 For important discussions, you should:
  • provide detailed information to your listeners
  • provide additional information to make your points clearer
  • prepare your message in advance
  • consider any possible questions which your audience may have
When you are finished delivering your message, the last thing that you want is for your audience to say “What are you actually trying to say.” There may be some flaws in your message or the manner in which you have delivered it so, invite questions. Where you cannot answer a question, make a note of it and promise to get back to the person who posed the question. When you send them a response, make a note of how you can include this information in future messages.

2. Be concise

Conciseness is another essential communication skill; especially in business. Time is our most precious resource. No one wants to spend 1 hour listening to a message that could be delivered in half the time. Include only the necessary information.
 For important messages, you should:
  • only include the relevant information about your topic
  • avoid providing unnecessary information e.g irrelevant examples
  • Consider providing an F.A.Q. or supplemental information handout
When you keep your message concise, you save time, both for yourself and your audience.

3. Be considerate

Another essential communication skill is the ablility to consider the impact that your message will have on the other person. When you seek first to understand your audience, you will be better able to tailor your message for them. You have to think twice about the key points and make sure that you are always conveying your message in the most positive tone possible. Where bad news has to be delivered, consider how you might be able to help them to deal with the impact.
Analyse every aspect of your message in terms of how it impacts the receiver. Make the message all about them because that is what they are interested in. You wouldn’t attempt to sell somebody a car by explaining how you will benefit from the sales commission. This same approach applies to all communication.

4. Get your facts right 

Certainty is another essential communication skill. Where a message includes facts, you need to be clear on those facts. Get them right. Double check your facts before you deliver them and make sure that they are in the format that the receiver requires them.
When I worked for a bank, my boss was sourcing a management development program. He prepared an amazing proposal but when he presented it to the CEO, the CEO was fuming. The program was to be delivered by a UK company and all of the prices were in UK pounds, while we dealt in the Irish Pound. My boss had neglected to do the conversions and now he was presenting a proposal without being able to say for certain whether the program was within the relevant budget.
Facts should be clear and accurate. If you sound vague or obscure about the facts, your audience will be confused, sceptical and negative. This will directly impact the effectiveness of your message. If you are clear and assertive with your facts, you will be more confident and this will come across in your message; making more message more convincing.

5. Be clear 

Clarity is an essential communication skill because the purpose of communication is usually to change something. If you want somebody else to change something, they need to be clear about what it is that you want them to do, and what the desired result is. You need to be precise and use simple, easy to understand language. Your audience should not have to work hard to understand your message. Don’t be too formal and don’t use jargon that only specialists understand.

6. Be courteous 

Courtesy means that you should show respect to the receiver.  When you are appreciative, thoughtful, and respectful, you foster good will. Be polite and use non-threatening gestures; your audience will feel comfortable and they will be more receptive to your message. These are just some simple behaviours which demonstrate your professionalism

 7. Keep it appropriate

It is important that your message is tailored for the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. Appropriateness is a fundamental and essential communication skill.  While you should respect all people, you may need to communicate with different people in different ways. For example, many CEO’s expect to be addressed in a different manner than you would address the ordinary level worker within their organisations. You may, or may not, agree with that but when communicating, you should always attempt to communicate in the preferred style of the audience; not in your preferred style.
I once had to work with a CEO who expected all written communication to be condensed on to one page. If there was more than one page, the message came back, unread. Personally, I thought that it was unnecessarily petty and pedantic but, nonetheless, every message that I sent to her was on one sheet of paper.
Communication skills are essential in all areas of your life. You can learn to master communication skills with How To Talk So Others Will Listen.
Whenever you manage to control each of these 7 essential communication skills, you will deliver a very effective message. Your audience will be able to understand exactly what you are asking of them which will increase the likelihood of them helping you. Supportive relationships allow you to harness the power of synergy. These essential communication skills lie at the very heart of supportive relationsips. In short you can say that if your message meets all of these criteria then, it is said to be an effective message and the results you achieve will be greatly improved.
Image credit: Ian L

Sunday, November 8, 2015

5 Ways To Increase Your Annual Income

Invest in Enriching Your Life and Increasing Your Income
Invest in Enriching Your Life and Increasing Your Income
Increasing your annual income has many benefits- mainly, ability to afford a quality lifestyle for you and your family, and also the ability to manage unexpected money requirements.
Here are five practical ways to increase your annual income.
#1: Invest in Yourself – Add Value to Your Self Worth
Investing in yourself will give you disproportionately high return on investment- both for the amount of money invested and the time you spent.
DIY Tips to Invest in Yourself
  • Leverage the power of learning. Add a new skill, learn a new language, or try something that’s been on your bucket list.
  • Set aside time on a daily or weekly basis to read informative blogs, articles or books.
  • Attend a workshop, webinar or training to stay updated on the latest trends.
  • Explore your creative side to exercise untapped areas of your mind. This will open up different doors of perception- personally and professionally.
Invest time in taking a sabbatical – Retrospect, introspect and regain your focus
How Does This Increase My Annual Income?
Better skills, greater knowledge and wider perception, all lead to a higher level of opportunities.
#2: Invest Smart – Monetarily not Momentarily
Talking about increasing income is incomplete without considering the actual monetary aspect of investing smart.
DIY Tips to Increase Your Future Annual Income
How Does This Increase My Annual Income?
Increase your profits by investing wisely. Instill a long term perspective to evade myopic results from a short-sighted plan.
#3: Invest in a Long Term Career Path – Map Your Progression Professionally
Mapping your professional interests can help you strategically build your career path.
DIY Tips to Chart Your Career Path
  • Do a SWOT analysis on your professional traits. Determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In this way you can identify the best opportunities that can help you progress with purpose.
  • Inculcate a long term vision. Do not let short term challenges come in the way of building your potential in the future.
How Does This Increase My Annual Income?
Being at the right place, at the right time with the right capabilities, tactically improves your career prospects.
#4: Invest in Rewarding Risks – Zone Out of Your Comfort Zone
Taking risks can snap you out of your comfort zone.
DIY Tips to Zone Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Take a chance to challenge yourself. Push your limits beyond the monotony of mediocre tasks. It is a bitter truth that machines will replace you eventually.
  • Focus on work that allows you to build your capabilities, even if it means making a drastic change.
How Does This Increase My Annual Income?
Stepping out of your bubble automatically unlocks new possibilities
#5:  Invest in Health – Focus on Your Physical, Mental and Social Well Being
The real wealth is in the health and well being of your body, mind and social interaction. While the increase in disposable income may translate to a higher standard of living, it could also lead to increasing health issues.
DIY Tips to Enrich Your Wealth in Health
  • Physical Health
    • Exercise. If not for the physical benefits, it also helps in reducing your healthcare bills.
    • Eat healthy. A home cooked meal is not only healthier but also lighter on the pocket.
  • Mental Health – Many occupational lifestyle diseases are creeping into urban population. Maintain a good work-life balance to avoid mental problems such as depression, hypertension and neurological issues.
  • Social Well Being – Whether you admit it or not, who you interact with socially and your lifestyle have a big impact on your personality. The social environment you choose to be influenced by will affect the way you think and the decisions you make. Choose wisely.
How Does This Increase My Annual Income?
You become the environment you live in. Make it clean, green and lean on the body, mind and wallet.
Dementia can reveal itself through multiple symptoms and is sometimes difficult to diagnose. Following are the top five symptoms that point toward a diagnosis of dementia:
  • Memory problems: This is probably the most well-known but least understood of all of the symptoms of dementia, mainly because although everyone becomes forgetful, this doesn’t mean everyone has dementia. The crucial issue here is whether failing memory affects the way someone is able to carry out tasks every day. If it does, then it is certainly significant.
  • Difficulty solving problems and planning: In the early stages of dementia, people lose the ability to perform tasks that may need planning or involve having to work out what to do next. So, for example, they’re not able to pack effectively for a holiday or trip and may become confused at the petrol pump when filling the car with fuel.
  • Trouble finding the right word when talking or writing: Again, this happens to everyone from time to time. You are mid-sentence, and the next word you’re looking for completely eludes you. In early dementia, this word-finding difficulty becomes more and more frequent, and people often forget names of people and objects they’re trying to describe.
  • Getting lost and losing things: People with dementia increasingly forget where they left something, from their car keys to the car itself, and aren’t able to retrace their steps to work out where they’ve left the thing. Familiar journeys also become a mystery, and so people themselves often become lost, too.
  • Different emotions: Another early change occurs in a person’s mood, emotions, and personality. Mountains may become molehills more often than ever before, people may become either withdrawn or more aggressive and impatient with things, and sexual disinhibition is also more common.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Three Things You Can Do to Grow More Brain Cells

Growing more brain cells is possible, and it all comes down to a few simple lifestyle choices.
In this video from the TED YouTube channel, neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret explains how our brains can grow new brain cells through neurogenesis. The more active neurogenesis is for you, the more likely you’ll have a better mood, increased memory formation, and be able to fight off the decline associated with aging. Here are three things Thuret suggests will help you grow more brain cells:
  1. Learning
  2. Sex
  3. Running
Doesn’t sound too bad, right? There some things that can decrease neurogenesis, however. Getting older causes a natural decline, but stress, sleep deprivation, and having a poor diet can make things much worse. It all comes down to keeping active and maintaining a somewhat healthy lifestyle. A healthy body means a healthy mind.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Beyond Prevention: Chemical In Broccoli Kills Cancer Cells

New research has identified one of the key cancer-fighting mechanisms for sulforaphane, and suggests that this much-studied phytochemical may be able to move beyond cancer prevention and toward therapeutic use for advanced prostate cancer.
Scientists said that pharmacologic doses in the form of supplements would be needed for actual therapies, beyond the amount of sulforaphane that would ordinarily be obtained from dietary sources such as broccoli. Research also needs to verify the safety of this compound when used at such high levels.
But a growing understanding of how sulforaphane functions and is able to selectively kill cancer cells indicate it may have value in treating metasticized cancer, and could work alongside existing approaches.
The new findings on the unique abilities of sulforaphane were recently published in the journal Oncogenesis, by researchers from Oregon State University and the Texas A&M Health Science Center. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
“There’s significant evidence of the value of cruciferous vegetables in cancer prevention,” said Emily Ho, professor and director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and lead author on this research.
“However, this study is one of the first times we’ve shown how sulforaphane can affect a histone methylation and alter gene expression in metasticized prostate cancer cells,” said Ho, who is also a principal investigator in OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute. “It begins a process that can help to re-express tumor suppressors, leading to the selective death of cancer cells and slowing disease progression.”
The evidence now shows that sulforaphane should have therapeutic value against some forms of cancer, Ho said, including late-stage, metasticized disease. Its multiple impacts on metabolic processes might also make it a valuable adjunct to existing therapies, helping them to work better.
No clinical trials have yet been done to test the value of sulforaphane in cancer therapy, although a trial is under way using sulforaphane supplements in men with high risk for prostate cancer. Results from that may help demonstrate the safety of higher-dosage supplements and set the stage for therapeutic trials, Ho said.
Dozens of studies have examined the health value of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages, and many of them ultimately focused on the role of sulforaphane, one compound found in these foods. Broccoli sprouts contain some of the highest dietary levels of the sulforaphane precursor.
The new study identified a particular enzyme in prostate cancer cells, SUV39H1, that is affected by exposure to sulforaphane. Aside from potential dietary approaches, the researchers said that this establishes SUV39H1 as a new therapeutic target, in general, for advanced cancer.
Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, and existing therapies include surgical removal of the prostate, radiation therapy, hormones or other approaches. Although often slow growing, prostate cancer can be much more aggressive if it metasticizes to other areas of the body, at which point survival rates decrease dramatically. In the U.S. it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer death.
In laboratory studies, sulforaphane has shown toxicity to a number of human cancer cell lines, including prostate, breast, ovarian, colon and pancreatic cancer, and in animal studies it decreased metastases of prostate cancer.
Press and study source: Oregon State University. Image source: US Dept of Agriculture