February 2018
Issue 94

This month's theme - Communication Skills

In this Issue:

For Managers: Ten tips for eliminating ineffective meetings
For Trainers: How to master the art of story telling in 5 stages
•  Training in Action: Improving communication at work
Quote of the Month: Ideas are like rabbits
  For Managers – Ten tips for eliminating ineffective meetings


1. Ask does this situation really require a meeting?

2. Always be clear of the purpose of your meeting

3. Before inviting people to your meeting ask – What is the purpose of their attendance at the meeting? – is this the most productive use of their time?

4. Have and agenda and stick to it

5. Make sure your chairperson has the appropriate skills

6. Review regular meetings and assess them to make sure they are productive

7. Always conclude with clear action points stating the person responsible and deadline

8. If the same agenda items keep appearing at every meeting someone is letting you down!

9. If you are attending meetings where you do not contribute – should you be there?

10. 21st century meetings should be two way and energised resulting in positive and constructive activity – if not THINK CHANGE

We deliver courses on how to make meetings effective, interesting and stimulating where the end result is action, action, action.

Would you like to eliminate non productive meetings and enjoy meetings that will have a positive effect on performance and profit? Click here to learn more about our 21st century meetings courses.




  For Trainers – How to master the art of story telling in 5 stages

Stage 1 - Create a "story" file
Collect stories that you think are funny, interesting, stimulating or challenging. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a need for the story. It will most likely come in useful for some of your future training sessions. Write them down so you don’t forget them. Keep them in a file. Identify training subjects where each story may be applicable and record these in your filing system.

Stage 2 – A story for every course
Decide to use a new story in every training course you deliver so that when preparing you always refer to your file.

Stage 3 – Adapt your story
This is one time when poetic licence is acceptable. Change the circumstances of the story to match the content of your course. If possible put yourself in the story. Delegates love this.

Stage 4 – Practise telling your story
Practise telling your story to perfect timing, humour and wit. Overdoing the details often kills the story and the point is lost.

Stage 5 – Tell the story with enthusiasm
Enjoy telling stories because your delegates love to hear them.

Good luck



  Training in Action - Improving Communication at Work

Syd Strike has conducted numerous performance audits for companies wishing to enhance business performance through good systems and motivated people. During the process of interviews it has always been interesting to note how often one of the greatest problems encountered in reaching high performance is that of poor communication. It isn’t that management go out of their way to starve people of information. Often communication fails due to "busyness" and due to a lack of adequate systems.

Of course communication is a wide area to cover either in a bulletin like this or in a training course. However here are some pointers that may help you think about what is happening in your work place:

Do you have a system for effective two way communication and does it work? Some companies have systems where employees sign to say that they have received communication, and this sometimes works. However it often deteriorates into a bureaucratic burden that excites nobody.

Do your managers communicate informally and frequently to their teams and not just wait until the next meeting – which may in any case be postponed! Through the many audits and surveys conducted by Syd Strike Training Solutions we have learned that to employees information is sometimes like gold. It owes its value to its scarcity. Equally we have learned that managers who keep their teams informed because they value each team member enjoy more loyalty and support from their teams.

Do your managers hold brief (10 minute) information sessions daily? It isn’t always practical but where this can be done then both efficiency and morale are often improved. Giving five or ten minutes before each shift, to chat and inform, perhaps over a cup of coffee, is good for team building and improves communication.

Do problems occur through what appear to be insensitive or badly timed emails and memos? Emails are a great tool in modern business but they can become a curse as well as a blessing. Some companies make rules about the use of emails, length, when to use and not to use etc. Perhaps "speaking before writing" is a good practice to learn. Consider the following:

1. If the purpose of the communication may be contentious or in any way sensitive – do it in person. You can follow up in writing if this is required.
2. If you wish to praise this will likely be well received in writing and verbally.
3. If you need to be sure that people have the facts right then emails and memos are great – maybe after a phone call or meeting on some occasions. On all occasions get someone to look over instructions you put in writing. What may seem an assertive memo to you may appear aggressive to the reader.

Do your telephonists give the right impression when they pick up the phone? We all know that first impressions count and yet many first line operators are not properly trained. Here are a few standards to get you started:

  • Answer promptly – what is your standard?
  • Speak positively with words and attitude
  • Give the correct greeting – what is your greeting?
  • Take a message if the intended receiver is not at his or her desk
  • End in positive and professional manner
  • Do not transfer a call unless there is a recipient at the other end
  • Smile while you dial

Do you know the four roles in effective communication?

Senders role
1. Decide objectives
2. Choose style and method

Receivers role
3. Understand
4. Give feedback

Did you know that some people would rather wither away than receive public praise, whilst others thrive on it?

There is so much more to learn about effective communication skills.

Effective communication will improve performance and morale. Click here to receive our communication skills prospectus giving you a preview of how your company can benefit from fresh, creative and motivational communication skills training




Please ask us about:


More interesting topics for you to consider:

»Success is not everything
»Believe in yourself and be happy
»Easy to Make Mistakes
»Influencing and Negotiating
»Leading the Way
»Clock Watchers





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Quote of the Month


"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to look after them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."

John Steinbeck






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Email: info@sydstrike.co.uk
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