Shell Handbook

Shell Handbook -Social Skill
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  02.08.30 - 020 1 Social skills Communication Communicating (2) This lesson is about communicating with people. Communication plays animportant role in our daily work. Almost everybody has to deal continuouslywith people during their work. It is impossible not to communicate. Everybodycommunicates every minute of the day. So, if we do have to communicate, let’sdo it properly. This lesson shows us how to do that in an effective manner. Contents of the lesson 1What is communication?2Characteristics of communication3Communicative skills4Active listening5Speaking6Summarising7Asking questions8Making criticisms9Communicating bad news10Receiving criticisms The copyright in this material is vested in Shell Global Solutions International B.V., The Hague, The Netherlands and Shell Netherlands Raffinaderij B.V. All rightsreserved. Neither the whole or any part of this document may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means (electronic,mechanical, reprographic, recording or otherwise) without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.  Social skills 02.08.30 - 020 2 Lesson 1. What is communication? That is actually very easy to describe:‘Communication is exchanging information whereby a sender transfers amessage to a receiver’ 5616-020-001  Figure 1 Diagram of communication Communication in work situations can take various forms.In general, communication with colleagues takes place in a different way tocommunication with managers. Other factors play a role in communication withcustomers and suppliers.There are three main forms of communication:-verbal communication: with words;-non-verbal communication: without words through body language, attitude,gestures;-written communication: in writing, typed, memos, letters, reports.To communicate properly you must not only possess knowledge about the professional discipline, but also about several social and communicative skills. Verbal communication Verbal communication concerns the spoken word. Most communication between people takes place in this way. In the work environment it has takes allkinds of forms, such as: giving orders, instructing, indicating, carrying outassessment talks, holding work consultation, etcetera. Non-verbal communication  Non-verbal communication is the process of making something clear to another  person by means of signals. Body language, attitudes and gestures are forms of non-verbal communication. Sometimes a glance, a gesture or an expression canmean more than many words. Experts even claim that 90% of the informationthat we give to other people is non-verbal and only 10% is verbal, i.e. usingwords. For example, if you do not agree with the decision made by your bossand you do not say anything, then your reaction is usually very clearly visiblethrough your body language, attitude or gestures. Written communication In the case of written communication we can think of letters, reports, memos,minutes, work instructions, etc. Writing down your thoughts and informationgives you the chance to think about what you want to say, and also about howand why you to want to say it. - exchanging information- sender- message- receiver- signals  Social skills 02.08.30 - 020 3 2. Characteristics of communication Whether it concerns contacts with colleagues, managers, suppliers or customers,every form of communication consists of several general characteristics. Italways involves information; either from someone who supplies the information,the sender; or from someone for whom the information is meant, the receiver.When you supply the information, your goal is to make something clear tosomebody else. You want to convince somebody about the correctness of adecision or you want to inform another person about, for example, a problem or a new work order. If we combine, verbal or in writing, sending and receivingwith the four most important communication activities, then we can see thefollowing relationships (see figure 2). 5616-020-002  Figure 2Communication relationships In brief, communication is a goal-oriented activity of speaking, listening,reading, writing and non-verbal behaviour. The conversation, the written or verbal report, the memo, the reading of a report, the presentation, the meeting,these are means to achieve your goal.To achieve your goal as effectively as possible, you must set several highrequirements with regard to the means. These requirements concern both theinformation itself: correct, reliable, unambiguous, important; and the way inwhich the information is transferred: clear and goal-oriented formulation correctmeeting the requirements or the situation of the person who receives theinformation.In this lesson we are dealing primarily with the verbal communication. Readingis an activity that you can practise by, for example, studying this lesson. Ask yourself, with regard to everything that you read and study in these lessons, thefollowing questions:What am I reading? What does it mean, what is purpose of it and what can I dowith it? Negative influences When information is transferred all kinds of negative influences can occur. As aresult, you will not achieve your goal. - verbal communication  Social skills 02.08.30 - 020 4  Example You telephone from your place of work to a supplier of printed, self-adhesivesafety labels to make a final change in the text and to confirm the final deliverydate. In the background you can hear the noise of machines. The telephone lineis not good at all.Employee: ‘The labels must be printed in blue and they must be ready nextWednesday. I need them urgently for a safety campaign that has just beenarranged. The campaign is going to start next week. So I need the labels beforethe weekend!’Supplier: ‘Can you speak a bit louder? I can hardly hear you.’You repeat your request, and you emphasise the delivery date.Supplier: ‘Did you say you want them in gold? All right, you will get them onWednesday.’On that Wednesday you will be surprised when you see all those gold labels.Your message has not been received properly; perhaps because of the noise of the machines, perhaps because the supplier usually supplies labels printed ingold.Fortunately, this ‘miscommunication’ is not disastrous. Whenmiscommunication occurs in the case of larger orders, it can have important(financial) consequences.The example indicates that both the environment and the person who gives theinformation and the person who receives the information can have a ‘negative’influence on the information transfer. It depends on the skills of the informationgiver and the information receiver whether there is good ‘communication’. Listening In the example, ‘miscommunication’ was caused by negative influences aboutwhich you could do little about at the time. Environmental factors were probablythe cause of the mistake. ‘Miscommunication’ can also occur during direct personal contacts. In general, this is the result of not listening to each other  properly. Research carried out at the beginning of the eighties revealed thatAmerican managers annually lost millions of dollars worth of orders becausethey did not listen properly to (potential) customers. Question 1 Is the communication giver (the ‘sender’) the only person responsible for good communication? Explain your answer. 3. Communicative skills What are communicative skills? By skills we mean that communicating can belearnt in all kinds of situations. Some people are able to express themselves better than others. However, with good preparation and sufficient practice,everybody is able to acquire the necessary skills.
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