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Successful Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a normal and necessary part of healthy relationships. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything at all times. Therefore, learning how to deal with conflict—rather than avoiding it—is crucial.

When conflict is mismanaged, it can harm the relationship. But when handled in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for growth, ultimately strengthening the bond between two people. By learning the skills you need for successful conflict resolution, you can face disagreements with confidence and keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing.

Understanding Conflict in Relationships
Conflict arises from differences. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences look trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is at the core of the problem, such as a need to feel safe and secure, a need to feel respected and valued, or a need for greater closeness and intimacy.

Conflicts Arise from Differing Needs
Everyone needs to feel understood, nurtured, and supported, but the ways in which these needs are met vary widely. Differing needs for feeling comfortable and safe create some of the most severe challenges in our personal and professional relationships.

Think about the conflicting need for safety and continuity versus the need to explore and take risks. You frequently see this conflict between toddlers and their parents. The child’s need is to explore, so the street or the cliff meets a need. But the parents’ need is to protect the child’s safety, so limiting exploration becomes a bone of contention between them.

It is important to acknowledge that both parties’ needs play important roles in the long-term success of most relationships, and each deserves respect and consideration. In personal relationships, a lack of understanding about differing needs can result in distance, arguments, and break-ups. In workplace conflicts, differing needs are often at the heart of bitter disputes. When you can recognise the legitimacy of conflicting needs and become willing to examine them in an environment of compassionate understanding, it opens pathways to creative problem solving, team building, and improved relationships.

Conflict resolution training

Conflict 101

A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real).
Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.
We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.
Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.
Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure, knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

Conflict may feel more threatening to you than it really is

Do you fear conflict or avoid it at all costs? If your perception of conflict comes from frightening or painful memories from previous unhealthy relationships or your early childhood, you may expect all present-day disagreements to end badly. You may view conflict in relationships as demoralising, humiliating, dangerous, and something to fear. If your early life experiences also left you feeling out of control and powerless, conflict may even be traumatising for you.

If you view conflict as dangerous, it tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you go into a conflict situation already feeling extremely threatened, it’s tough to deal with the problem at hand in a healthy way. Instead, you are more likely to shut down or blow up in anger.

Successful conflict resolution depends on your ability to regulate stress and your emotions

Conflict triggers strong emotions and can lead to hurt feelings, disappointment, and discomfort. When handled in an unhealthy manner, it can cause irreparable rifts, resentments, and break-ups. But when conflict is resolved in a healthy way, it increases our understanding of one another, builds trust, and strengthens our relationship bonds.

If you are out of touch with your feelings or so stressed that you can only pay attention to a limited number of emotions, you won’t be able to understand your own needs. If you don’t understand your needs, you will have a hard time communicating with others and staying in touch with what is really troubling you. For example, couples often argue about petty differences—the way she hangs the towels, the way he parts his hair—rather than what is really bothering them.

The ability to successfully resolve conflict depends on your ability to:

Manage stress quickly while remaining alert and calm. By staying calm, you can accurately read and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication.
Control your emotions and behaviour. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening, frightening, or punishing others.
Pay attention to the feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others.
Be aware of and respectful of differences. By avoiding disrespectful words and actions, you can resolve the problem faster.

In order to do this you will need to learn and practice two core skills: the ability to quickly reduce stress in the moment and the ability to remain comfortable enough with your emotions to react in constructive ways even in the midst of an argument or a perceived attack.

Quick stress relief: The first core conflict resolution skill

Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centred and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.

Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralysed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.

Stress interferes with the ability to resolve conflict by limiting your ability to:
– Accurately read another person’s nonverbal communication.
– Hear what someone is really saying.
– Be aware of your own feelings.
– Be in touch with your deep-rooted needs.
– Communicate your needs clearly.

Is stress a problem or you?

You may be so used to being stressed that you’re not even aware you are stressed. Stress may be a problem in your life if you identify with the following:
– You often feel tense or tight somewhere in your body.
– You’re not aware of movement in your chest or stomach when you breathe.
– Conflict absorbs your time and attention.

Learn how to beat stress in the moment
The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress (if you don’t have someone close at hand to talk to) is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.

Emotional awareness: The second core conflict resolution skill
Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how you feel or why you feel that way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or smooth over disagreements.

Although knowing your own feelings may seem simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. But your ability to handle conflict depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be impaired.

Why emotional awareness is a key factor in resolving conflict
Emotional awareness—consciousness of your moment-to-moment emotional experience—and the ability to manage all of your feelings appropriately is the basis of a communication process that can resolve conflict.

Emotional awareness helps you:
– Understand what is really troubling other people
– Understand yourself, including what is really troubling you
– Stay motivated until the conflict is resolved
– Communicate clearly and effectively
– Attract and influence others

Assessing your ability to recognise and manage emotions
The following quiz helps you assess your level of emotional awareness. Answer the following questions with: almost never, occasionally, often, very frequently, or almost always. There are no right or wrong responses, only the opportunity to become better acquainted with your emotional responses.

What kind of relationship do I have with my emotions?
– Do I experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
– Are my emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
– Do I experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
– Can I experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?
– Do I pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or turned off. In either case, you may need help developing your emotional awareness.

Nonverbal communication plays a big role in conflict resolution
The most important information exchanged during conflicts and arguments is often communicated nonverbally. Nonverbal communication is conveyed by emotionally-driven facial expressions, posture, gesture, pace, tone and intensity of voice.

The most important communication is wordless
When people are upset, the words they use rarely convey the issues and needs at the heart of the problem. When we listen for what is felt as well as said, we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening in this way also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us.

When you’re in the middle of a conflict, paying close attention to the other person’s nonverbal signals may help you figure out what the other person is really saying, respond in a way that builds trust, and get to the root of the problem. Simple nonverbal signals such as a calm tone of voice, a reassuring touch, or an interested or concerned facial expression can go a long way toward relaxing a tense exchange.

Your ability to accurately read another person depends on your own emotional awareness. The more aware you are of your own emotions, the easier it will be for you to pick up on the wordless clues that reveal what others are feeling.

Humour, judiciously used, can effectively defuse conflict
Once stress and emotion are brought into balance your capacity for joy, pleasure and playfulness is unleashed. Joy is a deceptively powerful resource. Studies show that you can surmount adversity, as long as you continue to have moments of joy. Humour plays a similar role when the challenge you’re facing is conflict.

You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a playful or humorous way. Humour can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without creating a flap. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humour and play is used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

Tips for managing and resolving conflict

Managing and resolving conflict requires the ability to quickly reduce stress and bring your emotions into balance. You can ensure that the process is as positive as possible by sticking to the following conflict resolution guidelines:

isten for what is felt as well as said. When we listen we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening in this way also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us.
Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or “being right.” Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to old hurts and resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes. But if there are dozens of spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.
Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Article by Jeanne Segal & Melinda Smith

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We present public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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Telephone Excellence

Telephone Excellence – Be the “Manager of First Impressions” for Your Business

The real bottom line on telephonic client service is not technology or policy. It’s about one person with a problem talking to another who is supposed to solve it. At that point your technically advanced website, advertising, branding, or public relations don’t mean a thing!

It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, for the client your company comes down to a voice on the phone. That voice IS your company to your customer. So it had better be soothing and effective in solving problems. Client support is as good as the person handling the call.

Customers want to be heard, heeded and helped!

The way you handle your phone is as important as a face-to-face meeting. Take the time to go over some of these basics. Here is our “top” phone skills list

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  1. Let’s start with enthusiasm – positive attitude shows from beginning to end that you care about the person you are talking to.
  2. Use the right tone of voice to create atmosphere on the phone – your tone and voice inflections will create an impression and help the person on the other end understand what you are telling them.
  3. Be sure to smile – even though you are on the phone the other person can sense a smile from you.
  4. Say “Hello!” (or good morning, good afternoon, etc.).
  5. Have a warm greeting or opening – welcome people into the conversation. Don’t make them feel as if they are an interruption.
  6. Courtesy politeness, showing respect: friendliness, thank-you etc.
  7. Understanding the Customer – you are treated as an individual with specific needs and requirements and a specific personality and way you like things done. Stand in the customer’s shoes (have empathy).
  8. When talking to a customer, avoid company or technical terminology they may not understand. Technical terms and industry “buzz-words” can put a customer in an uncomfortable position.
  9. Don’t get angry, even if the customer is – be an empathetic listener. The customer is angry at the situation not you.
  10. When transferring – ONLY ONCE! if you are transferring to someone else, make sure that person is available.
  11. Control the “hold” button on your phone – customers hate being put on ‘hold’. In providing customer service, there are really only two reasons to put someone on hold: to transfer to someone else or to get information.
  12. Returning a call – if you are going to make a customer wait on hold, for any reason, let them know how long they will have to wait. Preferably call them back giving a specific time.
  13. Say “Goodbye.” Have a strong closing At the minimum, be sure to say goodbye before hanging up the phone.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We present public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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People Management and Leadership Skills for Success

Successful ‘Dream Teams’ don’t just happen! It takes time, energy and ongoing commitment to build the individuals in a team. The leadership role involves being a role model, guiding, encouraging and motivating staff.

By developing and implementing leadership skills in the workplace you will be able to direct, inspire and influence the behavior of your team to:

– Willingly strive to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation.
– Act responsibly and take ownership of their individual roles whilst feeling more of a sense of personal achievement.

Leadership skills can be learnt and combined with sound employee management methodology which will heighten performance and productivity.

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Below are some leadership tips for managers/supervisors:

Lead people in terms of where they are – not in terms of what you find easiest – analyse the requirements of each person and adapt your leadership style to suit the employee. People will cooperate better with you if you approach them in a manner suited to their personality.

Communicate consistently and openly – the more you connect with individuals, the more you will be able to create an environment that causes them to produce at their highest level. Use the correct communication format. Be assertive not aggressive

Be available – keep an open door policy to promote communication.

Develop the skills of those around you – if you develop a team member successfully, you can move from directing to coaching, to supporting and finally to delegating.

Create a clear sense of direction – clarify aims and goals. Identify progress and acknowledge achievements.

Build Trust – the single most important factor in building personal and professional relationships. Trust is the glue that binds followers and leaders together. Trust implies accountability, predictability and reliability. People first must believe in you before they will follow your leadership.

Develop credibility – be consistent in what you say and do. Be confidential and ethical, employees must feel comfortable talking to you. Do not break promises, gossip or withhold information.

Be a role model for them – walk the job. Be proactive – take the initiative and be responsible and accountable for your own decisions.

Learn the professional aspirations of all team members – support their efforts to achieve them and make people feel that they are important

Empower individuals – encourage employees to acquire new skills. Once learnt the task should be delegated with full responsibility giving the individual a sense of achievement, added self confidence and a sense of adding value in the workplace.

Evaluate performance objectively – employees really want to do a good job. The problem is often they don’t know what a good job is, because the clues from management and leadership are unclear. Give clear job descriptions, and the specific goals and objectives for that individual should be developed.

All successful teams share some common characteristics. If as a team leader you can cultivate these qualities in your group, they will become a cohesive team capable of leaping tall buildings or performing any other required task.

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‘Motivate your people, train them, care about them and make winners of them….’ J W Marriot

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We present public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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Top Tips for Perfect Presentations: Overcoming the ‘Fear Factor’

The brain starts working the minute you are born and never stops until you get to stand up in public!’ Why is it that when you mention oral presentations or standing up in front of people and making a speech, most people go into panic mode? The term ‘public speaking’ sounds frightening conjuring up images of formality, inpersonality and ‘me against them’!

The fact remains that in many of our daily business situations, perhaps in a meeting or in someone’s office, you are required to talk to a small group of people. Smaller presentations are not too intimidating or as frightening as making a presentation in a big venue, but they still are a reflection of you and your professionalism.

Mark Twain said, ‘There are two types of speakers: Those who are nervous and those who are liars!’

Presentation skills training

Nerves are good and a natural defense mechanism of the body when faced with a potentially threatening situation. So at the outset we must accept that nerves are not a bad reaction. You want to present a good speech. You have prepared and practiced well. And still you are nervous?

HOW TO REDUCE NERVES AND IMPROVE YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS

Plan and Prepare – There is no short cut, simply stated: Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance of the Person Putting on the Presentation. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!!

Know the Venue – Have a venue checklist. Check: acoustics, visibility of and space for AVAs, seating space and arrangement, lighting, heating/cooling, availability of breakaway rooms, etc.

Know your Audience – Knowing the demographics of the group will focus your presentation. Arrive early, mix and mingle to give yourself a feeling of connection.

Realise that People Want you to do Well.

Know your Subject Matter – If you are not a subject expert for the level of the audience do not offer to give the presentation.

Learn how to do Relaxation Exercises.

Speak through Mental Blocks.

Pause and Breathe deeply – Pauses are good as they give your audience a break and they allow you a chance to think and collect yourself before continuing. Pauses also assist your audience in emphasizing the moving from one point to the next.

Do not apologise for being nervous – The audience does not know that your are nervous. If you apologise, they will get anxious for you.

Concentrate on Your Message and Your Audience – This takes the focus off yourself and makes you less self-conscious.

Gain Experience – Practice makes perfect!

Look Good – Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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Service Excellence in Business

The real bottom line on client service is not technology or policy. It’s about one person with a problem talking to another who is supposed to solve it. At that point your technically advanced website, advertising, branding, or public relations don’t mean a thing!

Customer Service

Customers want to be heard, heeded and helped! Take the time to go over some of these basics:

1. Be professional – take pride in the work you do.

2. Be enthusiastic – positive attitude shows from beginning to end that you care about the person you are talking to.

3. Say “Hello!” – good morning or good afternoon. Have a warm greeting or opening – welcome people into the conversation. Don’t make them feel as if they are an interruption.

4. Be sure to smile – whether you are face to face or on the phone the other person can sense a smile from you.

5. Be courteous – politeness, show respect: friendliness, thank-you etc.

6. Use the right tone of voice – your tone and voice inflections will create an impression and help the person understand what you are telling them.

7. Understanding the Customer – you are treated as an individual with specific needs and requirements and a specific personality and way you like things done. Stand in the customer’s shoes (have empathy).

8. Reliability, consistency and dependability – get it right the first time and keep your promises.

9. Responsiveness and promptness – a sense of urgency. No waiting, delays, or queues.

10. Listen actively – stay focused, don’t interrupt or jump to conclusions, show you are listening through positive body language, eye contact, keeping notes.

11. Thank them – the customer’s time is valuable. Whether they spent money in your business or not, thank them for calling you and welcome them back.

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” John W. Gardner.

Dealing Democratically with Difficult Customers. Dealing with complaints is often challenging and upsetting. It is very natural to try to explain or justify what was done. The suggestions in this list are not easy to do in the heat of a situation. So when you hear a complaint about you or your business perhaps the best strategy is to count to ten and then do some of the following:

1. Listen – ask relevant questions. What is the real problem? Be empathetic, you are also a customer!

2. Don’t be defensive work on building a sound, open and honest line of communication with your customer.

3. If you are at fault, fix it immediately or do what you can to satisfy the client and apologize learn from mistakes and do not repeat again.

4. Don’t get angry, even if the customer is – be an empathetic listener. The customer is angry at the situation not you. And remember, as Bill Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

5. For a more complex issue, research the problem before you make any decisions get to the bottom of the complaint by investigating fully. Take time to work out a win-win resolution.

6. Look for lessons in the situation assess the situation and formulate a plan. This may mean new policies or retraining of staff. The situation should not repeat itself.

7. Re-educate the client when necessary – why were expectations not met? Was information misunderstood or misinterpreted? Help the client to understand the process now to guard against future misunderstandings.

8. Know that if one client complained there are others feeling the same way what do you need to do to address the problem with the others? Who else might have been affected in the same way?

9. Give the client choice of possible resolutions – make the problem ‘go away’ for the customer! Negotiate a win-win deal that has permanence.

10. Thank the client for helping you with your business complaints assist building customer service excellence. Learn from mistakes and don’t let the situation reoccur.

11. Follow up with those who complained to be sure they are fully satisfied let the customer be aware that they have been heard. Tell them what you have done.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” Mahatma Gandhi

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za
Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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Professional Skills for Secretaries and Office Administrators

The busy Office Professional has many balls to juggle and this demands that s/he develops a multiple skills set.

Trust and confidence of not only the manager but also colleagues and when providing quality customer service in order to gain and maintain clients. Establishing and maintaining effective business relationships, projecting a positive image and attitude, understanding your role in the organisation, being pro-active, accountable, reliable, accurate, consistent, dependable, being a professional communicator and keeping information confidential. The list is daunting!

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Building rapport is a great starting point. Use the following suggestions to start you off on a positive path to success and build professional skills for secretaries and office administrators. People will want to work with and will enjoy working with someone with these characteristics:

  • Find common ground – Find something you have in common. Use open-ended questions to discover personal information about the person. It is important to be sincere.
  • Focus on your appearance – Your appearance should help you connect with people. Don’t let your appearance become a barrier to creating rapport with others.
  • Be empathetic – Understand other people by seeing things from their perspective. Develop your emotional intelligence so that you are in a position to understand others better.
  • Use mirroring – This is adjusting your spoken language and body language to reflect that of the person you are talking to. Be subtle (understated) as being too obvious will work against building rapport. Don’t match every word and gesture. Mirroring is a difficult skill to perfect.
  • Don’t forget about the basics
    It is hard to build rapport without these basics of good communication:
    – Maintain a good posture
    – Make and keep eye contact
    – Shake hands firmly
    – Smile
    – Be sincere
    – Face the other person instead of looking at your computer or any other device.
  • Apply effective communication – Use clear, concise communication to create understanding. Pass on information as it was received – do not distort it. Be a mature communicator – check for understanding, be polite, never use foul or abusive language, resolve conflict (do not argue), do not participate in gossip, be honest and sincere.
  • Use the correct channel of communication – Written communication is more reliable than verbal communication. Ensure correct tone, style and font is used in written communication.

“Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.” – Tony Robbins

  • Have a professional approach – Follow organisational policies and procedures. Be disciplined in your approach to all work. Be more concerned with your work than with the work of others. Don’t interfere in other people’s work. Be accountable. Have a positive attitude. Remember your attitude:
    – Influences your behaviour
    – Determines your level of job satisfaction
    – Affects everyone you come into contact with
    – Is reflected in your body language
    – Is controlled only by YOU!
  • Be prepared for meetings – People appreciate people who are prepared. Work through the agenda prior to a meeting. Read the minutes of the previous meeting before going to a meeting. Use a laptop and notepad for minute taking in the meeting.
  • Appreciate, support and co-operate with others – People need to be valued within a relationship. Greet the people you work with. Ensure that you compliment or thank people when they have assisted you – show your appreciation. Give assistance and extend yourself to others when it is needed. Demonstrate that you can be relied on.
  • Share knowledge – Don’t keep information that will be helpful to others to yourself. Share what you learn. Keep colleagues and customers abreast of changes.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth presenting public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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Setting Performance Standards

Create a methodical, predictable and on-going recipe to improve performance, throughout the organisation, by applying the Performance Management Tools and Skills which follow:

1. Clarify the Performance Management Process:

  • Planning and set goals
  • Monitor
  • Develop
  • Review and Rate
  • Reward

2. Identify Performance Management Activities

  • Action Planning: Hiring, internal movement, promotion
  • Goal setting
  • Feedback and developmental coaching
  • Corrective coaching
  • Progressive discipline
  • Counselling
  • Exiting programmes

3. Setting Performance Standards Expectations by:

  • Collaboration of the manager and employee – Focusing on the role that the employee is performing so that it can be improved and developed in a way where everybody wins. Collaborating with the employee improves morale.
  • Establish short term goals, or wins. 90-days is the ideal – Set specific goals for the employee in 90-day increments so that there will be ample opportunity to monitor systems and progress, as well as to experience wins on a routine basis. Involve the employee in this goal setting process so that they experience some control over their work.
  • Determine the strengths required to do the job well – The manager and employee must decide jointly what strengths are required, and how the employee is going to be able to apply his/her strengths. This is where having a good match between the employee and the job is so important.
  • Set standards, determine HOW they will be done – Decide on the standards that will apply to each activity, as well as how the standards will be achieved. Understanding the level of performance required gives the employee a sense of achievement.
  • Establish communication agreements – Decide at the outset how to communicate progress (and challenges) along the way. The minimum time frame is week-to-week. Less frequent than that and it all falls apart.
  • The employee decides how to achieve the desired results – It is essential that the employee be leading the process in order for he/she to have ownership. Help the employee take responsibility for deciding how to accomplish the results. First determine if the employee has the skills and development to do this. If they don’t, provide maximum guidance to them.
  • Get it in writing – If it is not in writing, within one to two weeks everyone will be confused and uncertain. The focus, responsibility, resources, constraints, timetables and measures all need to be written. The purpose of doing this is to make sure that the manager and employee are so clear on the goals and process that there is no confusion whatsoever.
  • Establish a monitoring method – Agree on how the performance will be monitored and how frequently. In order for the process to go forward, the employee needs to agree to monitor their own performance, and the manager must agree to sit down and review it with the employee on a pre-determined schedule. Casual, incidental feedback is also vital.

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It would be irresponsible of us to over simplify the process of Performance Management by simply giving a few key pointers and expecting you to be successful in such endeavours.

If you would like to know more about the procedures to be followed join us for the Performance Management training course relating to this topic.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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“Shedding Light on Skills Development”

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business

Employers used to focus on intellectual competencies, qualifications, work specific experience and technical knowledge. With the developing need for coaching, mentoring, multi-level leadership and communication skills there has been a shift to employing and developing Emotional Intelligence – the ability to relate to the self and other people.

Emotional Intelligence is a key element in management and leadership, understanding one’s self and the people you manage in terms of motivation, behaviour and performance potential.

Emotional Intelligence assists with:

– Understanding yourself and motivations
– Adaptability to change
– Intrapersonal and interpersonal skills
– Stress management
– Empowering yourself and reaching fuller potential
– Improving social relationships
– Problem solving
– Greater wellbeing and happiness

As we want and demand more from life it becomes crucial to reprioritise our skills. A key area of success is pursuing the knowledge and understanding of ourselves and others.

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To be successful we have to ACT with Emotional Intelligence. ACT stands for: Awareness; Choices; and Treating Others – the basic guidelines in recognising, understanding and managing emotions in ourselves and others. Some of the ways to ACT with emotional intelligence are:

Awareness – develop positive attitudes in thinking and language and be aware of your attitude and the effect it has on yourself and others.

Understand yourself – your strengths and weaknesses, your self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness issues in order to command results.

Analyse your beliefs and values – see if they still serve you and understand the importance of personal values in managing others.

Manage stress – know the impact of stress, what stresses you out and what helps. Make choices – choose what to think, say and do – take control.

Don’t blame others – take responsibility for your own life.

Make changes – develop positive habits to improve your work/life balance. Be able to say no to what you don’t want.

Treating others – develop sensitivity, rapport and practice positive conversations. Give effective feedback for better performance.

Recognise – the importance of your body language.

Listen to people – A LOT! Developing listening skills will build and maintain trust.

Improve conflict management skills – face up to and work with conflict. Set your boundaries – and keep your promises.

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Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We present public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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“Shedding Light on Skills Development”

Supervisory Skills – Motivating Staff and Leading Your Team to Success!

All successful teams share some common characteristics. Cultivate these qualities and they will become a cohesive team capable of leaping tall buildings!

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Successful ‘Dream Teams’ don’t just happen! It takes time, energy and on-going commitment to build the individuals in a team. The leadership role involves being a role model, guiding, encouraging and motivating staff. By developing and implementing leadership skills in the workplace you will be able to direct, inspire and influence the behaviour of your team to:

– Willingly strive to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation;
– Act responsibly and take ownership of individual roles whilst feeling a sense of personal achievement.

Lead people in terms of where they are – not in terms of what you find easiest: analyse the requirements of each person and adapt your leadership style to suit the employee. People will cooperate better with you if you approach them in a manner suited to their personality.

Communicate consistently and openly: the more you connect with individuals, the more you will be able to create an environment that causes them to produce at their highest level. Use the correct communication format. Be assertive not aggressive.

Be available: keep an open door policy to promote communication.

Develop the skills of those around you: if you develop a team member successfully, you can move from directing to coaching, to supporting and finally to delegating.

Create a clear sense of direction: clarify aims and goals. Identify progress and acknowledge achievements.

Build trust: the single most important factor in building personal and professional relationships. Trust is the glue that binds followers and leaders together. Trust implies accountability, predictability and reliability. People first must believe in you before they will follow your leadership.

Develop credibility: be consistent in what you say and do. Be confidential and ethical, employees must feel comfortable talking to you. Do not break promises, gossip or withhold information.

Be a role model for them: walk the job. Be proactive – take the initiative and be responsible and accountable for your own decisions.

Learn the professional aspirations of all team members: support their efforts to achieve them and make people feel that they are important.

Empower individuals: encourage employees to acquire new skills. Once learnt the task should be delegated with full responsibility giving the individual a sense of achievement, added self-confidence and a sense of adding value in the workplace.

Evaluate performance objectively: employees really want to do a good job. The problem is often they don’t know what a good job is, because the clues from management and leadership are unclear. Give clear job descriptions, and the specific goals and objectives for that individual should be developed.

“Motivate your people, train them, care about them and make winners of them”
JW Marriot, Chairman Marriot Corporation

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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“Shedding Light on Skills Development”

Top Tips for Brilliant Business Writing

Business professionals must express their ideas clearly, concisely, and completely when speaking and writing. If your written messages are not clear or lack important details, people will be confused and will not know how to respond. In addition, if your written messages are too lengthy, people simply don’t read them.

You don’t have to be a great writer to be successful. However you must be able to clearly and succinctly explain your thoughts and ideas in writing. Strive to be simple, clear, and brief. Like any skill, “good writing” requires practice, feedback, and on-going improvement.

Ensure your business writing will pass the 5 Cs test?

Concise – to the point and professionally presented
Clear – all the necessary information is included
Complete – format, headings and layout logical
Correct – suits requirements of the primary reader
Corrected – well edited and proof read

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Who Is The Audience? – knowing the reader, is critical. Implicit in that knowledge is the question, “What do they want to know?” As a general rule, readers are looking for two things: the bottom line and how will it effect me.

Write for Your Reader – don’t allow yourself to fall into jargon and phrasing no matter how much you or other people may feel it’s more appropriate. It isn’t. Use language and tone of voice that your key readers will feel comfortable with. Your writing is a reflection on you and the company you represent.

Set the right tone in business writing – how you say it is as important as what you say. Tone is the quality in your writing that reveals your attitude toward your topic and reader. It comes from your choice of words, the structure of your sentences, and the order of the information you present. Control the tone of your writing so to achieve the results intended. An inappropriate tone can cause a reader to ignore, delete, or overreact to your message.

Review your writing especially emails messages

Five tips in setting the right tone in e-mail – the best advice in setting the tone for your business e-mail is to write in a tone that is closest to the way you would speak to your reader in person. These five tips will help you write e-mail in a courteous and professional tone:

Be more polite than when you speak – because the tone and inflection are missing, it is more important to use friendly language, descriptive adjectives and carefully chosen words.

Email is supposed to be quick and simple – Aha! But that’s what gets you in trouble. If you don’t consider how it will sound on the other end and take steps to shape the delivery so the meaning is understood you could be doing damage control later.

You’re judged by your grammar and spelling – just as if you were writing a letter – sloppy email’s with poor punctuation, misspelled words or written in lower case letters shows that the writer doesn’t realize that what they write and how they write telegraphs their credibility to others.

“The writer’s aim is not to wow people with big words. Instead, the accomplished writer uses ordinary words to achieve extraordinary results.” James Michener

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
Email: julie@kwelangatraining.co.za

Website: www.kwelangatraining.co.za

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“Shedding Light on Skills Development”