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BestPracticesStandards of ExcellenceWe spend a great deal of time interacting with external and internalclients and partners in a variety of situations. One thing is certain -every interaction represents an opportunity to establish, build orreinforce a relationship.
Face-to-Face Our Most Familiar Form of Interaction Every day we meet and talk with people from Some Things To Keep In Mind: sun up until sun down. Some of out • Plan And Prepare conversations are no more than greetings; some are quick up dates about personal or - have an objective/goal professional topics; others can be of a more - organize thoughts into 2-3 main ideas serious nature. - focus on desired outcomes In business situations, informal face-to-face encounters can turn into opportunities to • Know Your Audience exchange vital information, enable a relaxed - understand their key concerns and recap of an important issue or gain hard to learn feedback. expectations - anticipate questions and objections Even more formal types of face-to-face situations can represent an excellent time for • Keep Listener(s) Engaged building comfort levels with challenging ideas and innovative approaches. - spend more time interacting versus Effective face-to-face interactions can facilitate talking consultative discussions and useful solutions. - ask questions/probe/check-in regularly2
Email & Instant Messaging Interacting at Warp Speed Probably the biggest driver of the 21st Century • Re-read documents multiple times before hitting send. The more important the document, theinformation age is the advent of the Internet. This slower the move towards the send buttonresource allows us to communicate information to • Proof read for accuracy, errors, and correct spelling, especially with people’s namesany part of the world in a dazzling short period of • Restrict the distribution list to only those who aretime. most affected by the communication There is no doubt that it is definitely a good • Include specific subject lines alwaysthing to be able to respond to inquiries and • Commend in public; condemn in privateneeds as quickly as possible. By the same token, • Seek others reactions, especially when dealing with controversial topicsbecause the Internet is so invasive, it is important • Organize emails for quick reading; includefor writers to move slowly in hitting the send detailed information in attachmentsbutton. • Use a neutral tone when writing about highly charged topics Errors, miscommunications and wrong • Pick up the phone sometimes to break long email “chains”information can get to people very rapidly and • Limit the use of modicums or othercan leave a poor impression in readers’ minds. punctuation marks such as exclamation marks Once you are certain of your purpose and what • Respect your reader’s time by avoiding the overuse of instant messagingoutcome you are looking to achieve, at right are • Be understanding when you don’t receive instantsome tips to remember when preparing email or replies to your instant messagesinstant messaging correspondence. • Avoid using jargon or abridged expressions, especially if the correspondence could be forwarded to another person unbeknown to the original writer 3
Telephone Interactions For over a century, the staple for keeping people connected A whole industry was born as soon as Alexander THINGS TO CONSIDER: Graham Bell uttered those famous words in 1876, General “ Mr. Watson, come here, I want you. • Speak with confidence in all telephone Since then , we have perfected multiple ways to conversations reach people via the phone. As a result, any of us can fall into habits that can prevent us from making • Greet people personally-speak with a smile the best impression possible and lead to missing an • Think dialogue – engage frequently, call on people opportunity to start a new or build an existing relationship. Conference Calls With such a premium placed on time and expense • Set goals and send out agenda in advance containment, businesses have been using the phone to conduct meetings and share information that at • Limit agendas to a few important points – one time was relegated to face-to-face interactions. “less = more” Because of these changes it is important to evaluate • Select appropriate audience our telephone manner and approach to interacting, especially in group situations, where the mute • Summarize periodically–who, what, where, when button is always an option.4
VirtualMeetingsTechnology allows us to connect withassociates using both voice and sight.Videoconferencing, webinars, virtualmeetings make it possible for peopleto participate in gatherings fromanywhere they can connect andreceive/send a signal.Keeping an audience engaged is thecritical challenge.Tips for effective virtual meetings: • Set meeting goals, expectations and access to technology in advance • Start and end meeting on time • Solicit feedback regularly - electronically or verbally • Use rhetorical questions • Provide examples in terms of the listeners’ perspective • Recap next steps and responsibilities periodically • Use good vocal tone and inflection • Avoid acronyms or unfamiliar terms, especially when interacting with multi-cultural audiences 5