How to Become a Successful Distributor in the FMCG Sector

The Fast Moving Consumer Goods or the FMCG sector is a place where goods are sold at a relatively low price and includes products which sell out much quicker than other products. They mostly keep perishable items as opposed to durable items. For example, packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, over-the-counter drugs etc.; whereas durable items include kitchen appliances, textiles, items which can be used for many years. FMCG goods mainly compose of items which have low shelf life. Because it includes items which are required by masses in their daily lifestyle and because this sector has a huge demand, it is essential that this sector divides it work amongst various other short segments. The major segments in the FMCG sector are Manufacturer – Packaging – Sales and Distributorship – Retailer/Wholesaler.A distributor is someone who will ensure that all your products reach the right people. Whether it is business to business or business to personal. In any emerging market, as demand for a product increases, so does the need for distributors. From everyday use items like cooking oil, packaged foods like biscuits, snacks and everything else with an expiry date, every new trend which comes up as a team of dedicated distributors hard at work to find quality manufacturers and help them bring their product to retail.Steps to follow to become a Distributor:

Decide what type of distribution business you will run: Distributors can be split into two categories based on who they serve. The first category is, retail distributors buy from wholesalers or manufacturers and sell products directly to consumers. The second Category is, wholesale merchant distributors buy from manufacturers and resell the products to retailers or other distributors. You need to decide which type suits you best and work upon that.

Decide what you would like to distribute: You could focus on a specific product or offer a variety of items. You could base your decisions on a product about which you may feel passionately or any product which you think is not available much in the market. While many large companies are served by equally large distributors, these distributors are unwilling or unable to serve smaller, more specialized business.

Estimate your start-up costs: In addition to a business plan, you will also need some idea of how much money it will take to get your business up and running. As a distributor, your major area of expense will be your inventory. This means that your start-up costs will go parallel as to what product or products you choose to sell. If you are selling a single product then the pricing will depend on how many retailers you are targeting.

Figure out how to sell your products: This will depend largely on who your customers are and what type of products you’re selling. In any case, you have to chalk down specific goals on what methods you can adapt to sell your goods. One of the best ways to do so is to connect more and more with the manufacturers as well as the Retailer/Wholesalers. The more connections you build, the better opportunities you get. This can mean anything from advertising to personal meetings with store owners to search-engine optimization (SEO).

Form your company legally: You’ll have to legally create the company before you can do business. Check with your state regulations and see if you need to create an operating agreement or another type of founding document. Gather any business partners you have for this venture and have them sign any legal documents you fill out

Make your business licensed and registered: You will have to register your business with the correct places or business association as and when required. Your company should be listed in the legal list of companies. Other legal steps may be required to get your business started.

Contact manufacturers or wholesalers of your products: You will need to find sources from which you will buy your product. To locate manufacturers and wholesalers, you will need to build Relationships and connections which will help you to define your work. Networking is the foundation of the distribution industry. You must gain a deep understanding of your target market and clients to develop stronger partnerships. Keep communication open and available.

Purchase inventory: Once you’ve found a source for product, it’s time to place your first order. You’ll need to purchase however much inventory you need. Keeping in mind the budgetary and space constraints you will also need to buy products pertaining to the limit of your users. This is especially true of products with a short shelf-life or FMCG goods. Also, consider the logistics you will require to distribute your goods.

Find a location for your business: The size of the space you need to hold your inventory will be determined by the size of your product and your delivery method. You should consider starting off small as your business builds a reputation. As your business grows, you can move into larger facilities that can accommodate your inventory needs.

Create a website for your business: Creating a customer friendly website is essential in today’s business model. The website should describe prices and product offerings. This is especially important if you sell directly to consumers. You can also invest in search engine optimization (SEO) that directs potential customers directly to your website by placing it higher in search engine results.

Market your product to potential customers. Send out your catalogue to potential customers in your area. The tools of marketing that you can find in today’s digitally marketed world are immense and of huge influence.

The distributorship business is very lucrative. To become a distributor in the FMCG sector, you must have an eye for spotting trends in their industry, as well as with building relationships with manufacturers and retailers. If you’re interested in becoming a distributor for the FMCG sector, you need to follow the FMCG model.

How To Become An Effective Communicator

The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been recognised as the hallmark of an educated person since the beginning of recorded history. Systematic comment on communication goes back at least as far as The Precepts of Kagemni and Ptah-Hopte (3200-2800 B.C.) Under the label ‘rhetoric’, the study of the theory and practice of communication was a central concern of Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and early modern education. In the United States, rhetorical training has been a part of formal education since Harvard’s founding in 1636. It continues to be important.

Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another (Wikipedia).

Everything is Communication

Everything we do has something to do with communication. Often we think it is something that happens when we are talking or listening. We accept that the person hearing the information doesn’t necessarily need to be present (e.g. watching the television or listening on the radio) but we know that for communication to have taken place, something must have happened within the listener. It also has to do with understanding the intent of the person speaking and acceptance of that information or the meaning intended by the speaker.

But communication is more ubiquitous than that. Communication - the passing and receiving of information – happens within us as much as between speakers and listeners. The messages beliefs, values and stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, is also communication. Our self-concept, what we think we are capable of, the self-talk that fills a busy mind, is all communication. This internal stream of thoughts, particularly if unchecked, confounds our openness to possibilities for change with ourselves as much as with other people. This self-talk also colours our beliefs and expectations of other people. It inhibits our ability to remain open-minded and available to others so that we truly listen and make decisions based on deep understanding or a filtered version of what we anticipate another is saying. The quality of communication also depends on the ability of the speaker to galvanise their thoughts, access sufficient vocabulary, and adapt their message to suit the audience, convey feelings as well as content, and adopt sophisticated skills to investigate social dynamics and potential conflict. Communication is as much relationship building as it is conveying of information. Communication takes place within the context of relationships: relationships with ourselves, with others, with ideologies, with belief systems and in the case of politics, with a nation or globally. So whilst communication between audiences has something to do with understanding the intent of the person speaking and acceptance of that information and its meaning, the context of relationship must always be taken into account for what is not said is as powerful as what is said. It is however, more complex which the following examples indicates.

Communication Example

Two managers work in the same organisation. Brad, a senior planner has called a meeting with Helen, the marketing manager of a medium sized PR company. The purpose of the meeting set out in the email sent is to discuss the timeline needed to launch a new product to their existing customer base. The meeting begins and Brad shares his department’s progress in finalising the product and Helen listens avidly, nodding and adding the appropriate aha’s which Brad assumes indicates that she is impressed or at least understands what he is saying. We might assume from first glance that the outcome of the meeting will be considered a success with the product soon to be launched on the market. If we had the ability to read minds however, we might find that something else is being communicated. Imagine that Helen has a strong attraction to Brad but has never expressed it, believing that workplace romance is unprofessional and probably a recipe for disaster. But alone with Brad in this meeting she finds him irresistible and during his presentation she hasn’t heard a word about the project. She thinks he likes her because the more she nods and expresses understanding, he becomes more animated, laughing and clearly pleased to be in her company. Brad, on the other hand, has a girlfriend, a successful career woman who works long hours. Because he wants to start a family, he has developed an irritation with ambitious young women who even offer to work on the weekend to finish projects. Realising however, that his quarterly performance depends on launching this product, he hides his prejudice and works hard at impressing Helen with his skills – in the boardroom that is, not the bedroom.

This simple example highlights that what is intended is not always what is heard and understood. In order to be effective communicators, we must develop sophisticated skills to check this out. But this is only a part of what makes communication effective and this is why most communication skills training often fails to deliver beyond rudimentary skills development. We must become experts at communicating with ourselves – the intended messages from within that are often hidden and yet sabotage us effectively communicating and achieving the outcomes we want – in the boardroom or the bedroom, and everywhere in-between in fact. These two aspects – inner and outer communication – when refined, create what is known as Calm Communication. This highly sophisticated process of communication is the hallmark of effective leadership and is an essential ingredient in enjoyable and highly satisfying relationships.

The cost of poor communication We only have to look around us to see the fallout of poor communication. Misunderstandings and prejudice between people, broken relationships, divorce, conflict between neighbours, resistance to organisational change, team conflict and potential war between international leaders. The most challenging part is the fallout of people’s needs not being met when they find themselves misunderstood, their message judged or criticised and the overall quality of the interaction seriously compromised. The solution is to understand that effective communication is only possible when the filters are understood and replaced with ways to challenge what we believe we are seeing and hearing with what is actually seen and heard (or intended).

How to become an effective communicator

Learning to communicate is something that naturally happens within the context of our family and socialisation. Innumerable external influences affect the extent to which that process is successful to an individual learning to communicate effectively – with themselves and other people. However, it is as if becoming an effective communicator is left to chance. Apart from having to speak publicly in exams or assessments throughout the process of education, most people learn that their communication could be improved when their relationships fail, conflict occurs with their friends or clients and opportunities are lost. Forward looking organisations invest in communication training but the emphasis on skills training alone produces limited, long-term results. The reason for this is that the person hasn’t changed on the inside. How a person feels about themself and their abilities contributes enormously to their ability to communicate effectively. At a conscious level, they may work hard to improve their confidence, their rapport-making skills and even their ability to have difficult conversations. However, they often find that they attract similar people and the same situations that keep them trapped in similar outcomes and similar relationships. This is because of hidden, unconscious factors that must be addressed or else the same patterns will continue throughout the person’s life – often leaving them bewildered as to why they keep attracting the same outcomes. It is only when skills-training is combined with overcoming and changing their internal dialogue, that a person can truly connect with others and communicate effectively rather than sabotaging their speaking or listening.

Practical ways to improve communication

Whilst learning to be an effective communicator requires a depth of internal change coupled with skills training, there are some things that can be done to immediately improve communication – in the boardroom or the bedroom – and everywhere in-between. When used, these techniques will have a positive impact on all your relationships and go some way to you achieving the results you want in your work and personal life.

1. Keep Expectations in Check Expectations serve to focus our conversations to achieve satisfactory outcomes. When working with others to achieve a goal, they are essential. However, internal expectations of others regarding how they should, ought and must act because they are part of a particular social grouping, interfere with our communication, particularly if we don’t even realise they exist. Assumptions about different social groups, nationalities, Corporate Warriors in certain blue chip companies or generational groupings must constantly be challenged to preserve the uniqueness of individuals. A good rule of thumb is to question your expectations about any group to which a person might belong and remain open-minded to how the individual you are taking to might different from that stereotype.

2. Question everything – yourself included Calm communicators have a default button that ensures they question everything on a regular basis – themselves included. They ask questions of other people to ensure that what they think they have heard is what is intended. They question their reactions and opinions on things to minimise blindspots or prejudices that filter. When they have strong reactions to what other people say, they examine themselves closely, aware that buttons may have been pushed for them. They don’t assume that their strong reactions to things are always because of strong values on a topic; new information may remind them of something or someone to whom they have a strong reaction to in the past. They become aware of their unconscious counter intentions that become apparent through interactions in everyday life and they work to remove them from their lives where they no longer serve them.

3. Share differences and set up regular times to communicate and question In both relationships and teams, a context can be set within which differences can regularly be discussed. If done in an exploratory way, it becomes an opportunity to share different perspectives and clarify misunderstandings. If we only wait until differences somehow interfere with achieving an outcome, then the conversation becomes a difficult one where the stakes are high, opinions differ and emotions are raised. Making time to discuss differences when each are not pressed to get an outcome right away, allows trust to develop in a relationship. Then when crucial conversations occur in the future, there is credit in the bank, allowing differences to be explored without conflict. When recruiting employees, attention is focused on what can or might be able to do. Great lengths are taken to correlate existing abilities and aptitudes against measures of future performance. Personality and team role types are also used to evaluate the likelihood of a person meeting the job requirements and working well within the team. However, cultural and social norms often only become apparent ‘on the job’. If a team culture is developed which encourage discussion of the meanings behind expressed and implicit values and norms, then opportunity exist for innovation and creative ways of solving problems. The same is true when recruiting a partner – becoming a calm communicator allows differences to be examined without threat, ridicule or antagonism.

4. Create new shared meanings - Anyone who has ever been in love experiences a culture of two, each person tuned to each other’s dog whistle that only the other person can hear. Alas, if the relationship ends in tears, those shared meanings somehow don’t seem to coincide. However, what was created in the union was an experience of perceived ‘we-ness’. The likelihood of the relationship continuing and being sustained over time, has a lot to do with the ability of the partners to tolerate differences that previously were not apparent in the honeymoon stage. They still might find their hearts moved by a shared song or mutually enjoyed movie, but for a healthy relationship to develop, each must realise their different identities. Likewise in organisations, the cohesiveness of a team depends on the extent to which the members uphold norms that are important to them as a group. Generational differences make team working challenging when people from different generations are trying to agree on how best to work together. These different expectations of work and life impact enormously on modern day organisational behaviour and together with high turnover and the reality of change and multiple careers over a lifetime, impact on the community which we call work. However, for all teams to work effectively there must develop a sense of ‘we’ which requires a leadership style that encouraged shared meanings that produce productive results and individual and collective satisfaction.

What Is Communication?

Communication is the currency with which we navigate our personal and professional relationships. The difference between good and bad communicators is not based on skills ability alone. When a person has a good relationship with themself and takes full responsibility for their part in creating their outer reality, they are empowered to change and improve their interactions.

By developing a self-questioning mindset that constantly asks ‘What is my part in creating what’s happening here?’ they are empowered to change something about themself rather than hope for circumstances to change or blame others for their experiences. The reason that a high level of self-awareness is essential in effective communication is that there are hidden, unconscious factors that influence our behaviour as much (if not more) than conscious ones.

This is evident when a person realises that they keep attracting similar outcomes in their life and where similar games, dances and dynamics keep playing out in their life which they feel powerless to change. Without changing one’s internal dialogue, challenging the inner saboteur and finding the source of one’s destructive, self-sabotaging behaviour, a person is doomed to get similar outcomes – regardless of whether those outcomes assist them in getting the results they want.

Becoming an effective communicator is only possible when skills-training is combined with a person developing an on-going ability to be self-reflective, take responsibility and in every conversation, see their part in creating the results they get. When these abilities are combined, they directly contribute to a person achieving the relationships they want as well as making them powerful communicators who have impact and influence on others.

Communications for Change

An article in the December issue of PM Network by Sarah Fister Gale deals with the public relations issues that companies engaged in the extraction of oil and natural gas reserves by the process of fracturing, or “fracking” as it’s called by the industry. The issue is basically one of distrust: people concerned about the affect of toxic chemicals on their drinking water distrust the extraction companies. They suspect that the chemicals they use are poisoning their water. In some cases they may be right but in the majority of cases, their suspicions are unfounded. Unfounded or not, these suspicions have a negative impact on the drilling projects. The same suspicions caused by a lack of facts can impact on IT projects, especially those introducing a new process or replacing existing systems. Before I examine the affects of communication on those projects, let me bring you up to speed on the issue Sarah Fister Gale wrote about.

Fracking requires the extraction company to dig a deep well through intervening layers of shale or other hard deposits and flush the gas or oil to the surface by pumping pressurized water, sand, and chemicals into the well. The pressure created opens up fissures and flushes the gas or oil to the surface. If fracking only relied on water and sand to achieve results, there would be no issue; it is the toxins that are sometimes used in conjunction with these natural agents that are the issue. Because the process requires the flushing action to be carried out at a level that is usually lower than the water table there is a risk that any toxic chemicals used could contaminate the drinking water. This fear is compounded by the exemption that American companies enjoy from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The amount of public resistance to fracking projects has led to the postponement or cancellation of some projects as politically savvy environmental protection groups exert pressure on politicians to intercede.

Companies who have enjoyed some success in countering these campaigns have done so by treating the communities whose water the project could affect as stakeholders and treating communications with the communities as a project deliverable. An example of one such communications campaign involved newspaper ads which included photos and descriptions of all the equipment and materials used in the project. This approach presupposes that the materials and equipment in use does not introduce harmful chemicals to the drinking water. Communication with these stakeholders from the initiation phase of the project is another key to success.

Fracking projects are not the only ones that can fall prey to the fear of the unknown. Many IT projects run the risk of meeting user resistance because the effect of a new system on their jobs is an “unknown”. Users fear that their jobs are going to be made more demanding or that they will lose functionality with the new system. They may also fear losing their jobs as a result of a new software system making their jobs obsolete. Project managers responsible for projects which implement new software systems should take a page from the fracking industry’s book. The tools used to communicate may differ but the same principals that make the fracking communication effective can make communications for the IT project effective.

The first rule of effective communications is to treat the user community as a project stakeholder that must be communicated with. The primary user community will be immediately obvious, these are the folks the system must be rolled out to and who must be trained in its use, but look beyond that initial community. Are there any folks downstream or upstream of this primary group whose work could be impacted by the new system. Even if the work products are substantially the same, could slight differences affect their work? Could differing delivery schedules affect them? The use of process flow charts can help you identify hidden stakeholders. Don’t stop at the edge of the chart; check out the groups at the other end of those “off the page” markers.

Make communications with these stakeholders a project deliverable. Large extraction companies frequently employ whole groups of people whose only job is communications. They are seasoned veterans of project communications and can manage all aspects of this work from identifying stakeholders, to defining the best strategies, to composing the right communications. Smaller, less sophisticated, IT projects must manage this activity on their own. Make sure your project has a communications management plan, identify all the stakeholders and then find out what information each stakeholder group would be best served by. Another trick we can learn from the extraction sector is to engage these folks as early as possible, don’t wait until the week before implementation.

The stakeholders you must communicate with may include workers whose jobs will be eliminated when you deliver your new system. You may be tempted to discount these people – after all, they won’t be around to trouble you after your new system is implemented. Often the best and brightest of these folks get re-assigned to other jobs that you may come in contact with so treating them with respect is in your best interests. Even those who will leave the company will have an impact on those left behind. If the perception is that these people are treated fairly, included being kept informed, the effect will be positive. If the perception is that they are deliberately being deprived of information, the effect will be negative.

Now for the $64,000 question: exactly what do I say to people whose jobs will disappear when the new system is introduced? Firstly, don’t try to hide or cover up the fact that jobs will be eliminated; your dishonesty will be discovered and from that point forward you will have lost everyone’s trust. Work with your HR organization to develop information to be communicated. These are the people who understand which policies affect that type of communication. They should also be experienced with putting these types of communications packages together. Secondly, get all the facts around job eliminations. Which jobs will be eliminated? Which jobs will be opening up because of the change? How do workers go about applying for other positions in the company? Your HR organization should be able to help with all these questions. Include what you know about the project. What were the reasons behind building the new system? How will the new system benefit its users? How will it benefit the company? There may be information that is sensitive and can’t be communicated until the public has been informed. This information is usually of the type that would tend to influence stock prices. When you are unable to share this information, inform your stakeholders of the reason you can’t share it with them. It is very likely that communications for a new system that is part of a major change in business will be managed at the corporate level. Your communications should form a part of that larger plan.

Be honest in your communications. Give people the facts they are interested in or that they need. We are often tempted to gloss over any negative impacts the new system may have on the user community. We don’t deliberately mislead people but we tell people things we think they want to hear. Don’t be afraid to mix the good news with the bad. Frequently new systems require users to endure short term pain to enjoy long term gain. Don’t shy away from communicating information about the short term pain. Your user community is smart enough to figure out the value proposition. Just remember that once the cat is out of the bag it is very hard to put it back in. Know who has overall responsibility for communication in your company and always seek for their blessing of the information you want to communicate and the timing of that communication.

Timing is everything with communication. Being communicative with your stakeholders at a time when they aren’t particularly concerned with your project is wasteful of your project’s communication resources. Communicating a welter of technical details about the new system a year before implementation won’t be seen as honesty, it will be seen as noise and ignored. Good communications should give your stakeholders the information they want when they want it. This criterion must be balanced with the information available and when it becomes available. Communicate a description of the new system in a few sentences, along with the business reasons for choosing it in your first communications. You can also communicate changes to existing processes and procedures in very broad terms. This information should answer the question: how will the new system affect my work, but only at a very high level. Communicate project progress and any “wins” the project experiences during your build phase. Communicate the specifics of how the new system will impact work to specific groups of workers as the project gets closer to delivering.

Training on new systems is critical to their delivery of the value envisioned in the business case. Training sessions can also present you with opportunities to communicate to the trainees. Include the reasons the new system is being introduced with training in how to use it. Use the information you have available to support your communication and start out as you mean to go on. Let the stakeholders know when you will be communicating with them and if possible what you’ll be communicating (your communication management plan). During the initiation phase of your project you’ll have very little information available, but you will have the Business Case and Project Charter to use. The benefits, both tangible and intangible, the new system will bring to the organization is a good start and you should have that information to hand. You may want to tailor that information to suit your audience. Filter the benefits to make them specific to the group of stakeholders you are communicating with.

Slipping delivery dates for the introduction of a new system that will cause stakeholders some discomfort can leave these people feeling like they are being drawn through a knothole backwards. Realize that there are many different reasons that a final delivery date could change that have nothing whatever to do with the project or your management of it. The people who are paying for your project have every right to change the final delivery date when they have good business reasons for doing so. I wonder how many dates were changed as a result of the fallout from 9/11. Don’t paint yourself into a corner with your communications. Let stakeholders know that the delivery date chosen for the project could change down the road if business needs dictate. If you have to communicate a change in date, be sure to communicate the reasons for the change. Don’t just say the new Acme time tracking system will not be delivered on April 1st as originally planned, but on July 1st, tell the stakeholders that priorities have shifted to take advantage of a business opportunity that will increase revenue by 15%. This shift means that project work is being delayed and this will move final delivery to July 1st.

Treating project communications as a key project deliverable probably won’t eliminate all the fear and loathing of the new system you are building, but it should succeed in eliminating it for those stakeholders capable of viewing the project objectively. At the very least it will trigger questions that will provide you with an opportunity to refine the information you give your stakeholders.

Communication Effect

The system of sending information or message from one place to another place is communication.

Understand the meaning of communication and system of communication. Understand about the familiar developments like Mobile, Fax, Computer, E-mail, and Telecommunication.

In ancient times it used to take many days to send a message or information to distant places. But today we can send messages to any part of the world quickly due to the development in the field of communication. The message may be in the form of written piece, sound, picture or movie. Today man uses Telegraph, Radio, Television, Telephone, Fax, Mobile, Videophone, Pager etc., through telegraphy, message can be sent in the form of words. For example: If you want to send a message “Happy Birthday” to your friend. Go to a nearby post office and send the message to his address. This message reaches your friend in few hours. The most common device used for communication is Telephone. We can converse with a person anywhere in the world through a telephone. Depending upon the distance between the communication people, service of the telephone is divided into three categories. The system of sending information or message from one place to another place is known as telecommunication. Through Fax, written material and pictures can be sent. Telephone calls are grouped as local-calls, Subscribers Trunk Dialing, International Subscribes Dialing. Through internet one can access the required information from any part of the world. The modified form of postal service is e-mail.

Speaking through the telephone while driving a vehicle or even walking is not a surprise. Here the mobile phone acts as a receiver and transmitter. The radio waves are set up between the two people, who are communicating with each other. Fax is a modified version of telegraph. The written material pictures can be sent through Fax. For Ex: If you want to send a cartoon story to a news paper, feed the fax machine with your data. The cartoon story written on a paper is transferred to the fax machine at the news paper office through telephone line as it is For this you should know the Fax number of the news paper office.

Every individual needs to be well equipped with the tools to communicate effectively, whether it is on the personal front, or at work. In fact, according to the management gurus, being a good communicator is half the battle won. After all, if one speaks and listens well, then there is little or no scope for misunderstanding. Thus, keeping this fact in mind, the primary reasons for misunderstanding is due to inability to speak well, or listen effectively.

Communication is a process of exchanging verbal and non verbal messages. It is a continuous process. Pre-requisite of communication is a message. This message must be conveyed through some medium to the recipient. It is essential that this message must be understood by the recipient in same terms as intended by the sender. He must respond within a time frame. Thus, communication is a process and is incomplete without a feedback from the recipient to the sender on how well the message is understood by him.

There are a lot of communication barriers faced these days by all. The message intended by the sender is not understood by the receiver in the same terms and sense and thus communication breakdown occurs. It is essential to deal and cope up with these communication barriers so as to ensure smooth and effective communication.

It is of utmost importance not only to communicate but also effectively communicate. Please throw some light on the first instance where Lisa was not suitably promoted. She did give her presentation, she did communicate, then why was she denied her promotion? She did not effectively communicate. The trick is not only to communicate but effectively communicate. And if you can effectively communicate, the world is all yours.

Communication process is a simple process where a message is being transferred from a sender to the receiver. The receiver after receiving the message understands the message in the desired form and then acts accordingly. Not every individual is born with good communication skills; it is inherited in due course of time as the individual passes through the various stages of life. Communication skill is an art which has to be mastered to make one’s presence feel, stand apart from the crowd and emerge as a strong leader in all facets of life.

Don’t always depend on verbal communication at work place. After any verbal communication with the fellow workers, make it a habit to send the minutes of the meeting or the important points through e-mail marking a cc to all the participants. Always depend on planners, organizers and jot down the important points against the date set as the deadline to complete a particular task. During presentations, the addressee must use whiteboards, papers and the participants also must carry a notepad to avoid forgetting any point.

Intra-personal communication skills: This implies individual reflection, contemplation and meditation. One example of this is transcendental mediation. According to the experts this type of communication encompasses communicating with the divine and with spirits in the form of prayers and rites and rituals.

Interpersonal communication skills: This is direct, face-to-face communication that occurs between two persons. It is essentially a dialogue or a conversation between two or more people. It is personal, direct, as well as intimate and permits maximum interaction through words and gestures. Interpersonal communications maybe:

Focused Interactions: This primarily results from an actual encounter between two persons. This implies that the two persons involved are completely aware of the communication happening between them.

Unfocused interactions: This occurs when one simply observes or listens to persons with whom one is not conversing. This usually occurs at stations and bus stops, as well as on the street, at restaurants, etc.

Non verbal communication skills: This includes aspects such as body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, etc., which also become a part of the communicating process; as well as the written and typed modes of communications.

communication like group discussion. Remember you are not the only one speaking in the group discussion; there are other participants as well who are vying for the limelight. You might get only a single chance, and you just can’t afford to miss the opportunity to create that first impression, and as they say first impression is the last impression. An individual might have complete knowledge about the topic assigned to his group, might be well aware of what is happening around him, but if he can’t effectively communicate his ideas to others, he will fail to create his mark. The way an individual communicates his ideas has to be very impressive for him to live up to the expectations of the deciding authorities.

Teddy appeared for an interview with a reputed media house. He had been eyeing for this company for quite a long time. He fared extremely well in the face to face rounds and was looking forward to getting selected in the organization. Unfortunately something else was in store for him. He could not get through the GD Round. He was exceptionally good in academics, had a healthy professional background and even expressed his ideas in his best possible way in the group discussion. The problem was in his communication level. He did try his level best but failed to impress the interviewer and thus lost out on his dream job.

Converting your thoughts into words is an art and one has to master it to win over the trust and confidence of the assessor. One has to very sensibly and carefully choose the right words to share his thoughts with the other participants and make his points clear. Never use slangs, instead go for some corporate jargons or professional terminologies for the desired edge. Also avoid cracking jokes in between as it is considered highly unprofessional. An individual must not stammer in between or chew half of his words. Speak clearly and your voice must never be shaky. There is no one who will beat you there, so why to get afraid of a group discussion?

No one will ever deduct your marks if you greet your fellow participants well. Use warm greetings and never forget the handshake on meeting. These gestures actually help in breaking the ice and create a bond among the participants. Someone has to begin the discussion, so why not you? Take the initiative and start the discussion. Introduce yourself and your team members well. Never believe in personal favors. If any participant is unwilling to speak, do not force him unnecessarily. If someone has spoken well do not hesitate to give him a pat on his back. Such non verbal communications sometimes go a long way in boosting the morale of the participants. Be very confident to win over the trust of the interviewer as well as the other participants.

The pitch and tone must also be taken good care of. You are speaking not for yourself, but for others to listen and respond. Always ensure that you are audible to one and all. Every participant must be able to hear you clearly and understand what you intend to convey. An individual must also learn the art of voice modulation. Don’t keep the same pitch always; learn to play with your tone as per the importance of the word or the sentence. If you want to raise a question to your fellow participants, it must also reflect in your voice. Avoid shouting or being too loud in group discussions. You are here to voice your opinion, not for fighting. Keep your voice polite, soft but convincing. Never sound unintelligent or foolish, as the interviewer has a constant eye on you. Do take care of your punctuation marks and the flow of words. It is no harm to take pauses or breaths in between sentences. Never repeat sentences as it will lead to monotony and others will tend to ignore you. Don’t just speak for the sake of speaking.

Always remember there are other individuals also who are participating in the group discussion. They may not be from the same background as you are, might have an altogether different thought process, but you have no right to make fun of their views. Always respect their opinion. If a participant is speaking, never criticize or oppose him in between. You will get your time to speak, and please wait for your turn. An individual has to be very patient, calm, dignified, sophisticated and above all professional in his approach. The individual who passes the information to others for sharing his thoughts and ideas with them is called the sender. (First Party) The individual who receives the information from the sender and responds accordingly to give him the feedback is called the receiver. (Second Party). In the process of communication the information must reach the receiver in exactly the same form the speaker intends to. If the recipients fail to provide feedback to the speaker, communication is considered to be ineffective and incomplete.

Communication is neither transmission of message nor message itself. It is the mutual exchange of understanding, originating with the receiver. Communication needs to be effective in business.

Communication is essence of management. The basic functions of management (Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling) cannot be performed well without effective communication. Business communication involves constant flow of information. Feedback is integral part of business communication. Organizations these days are very large. It involves number of people. There are various levels of hierarchy in an organization. Greater the number of levels, the more difficult is the job of managing the organization. Communication here plays a very important role in process of directing and controlling the people in the organization. Immediate feedback can be obtained and misunderstandings if any can be avoided. There should be effective communication between superiors and subordinated in an organization, between organization and society at large (for example between management and trade unions). It is essential for success and growth of an organization.
Communication gaps should not occur in any organization. Business Communication is goal oriented. The rules, regulations and policies of a company have to be communicated to people within and outside the organization. Business Communication is regulated by certain rules and norms. In early times, business communication was limited to paper-work, telephone calls etc. But now with advent of technology, we have cell phones, video conferencing, emails, and satellite communication to support business communication. Effective business communication helps in building goodwill of an organization.

Business Communication can be of two types:
• Oral Communication
• Written Communication

Oral Communication – An oral communication can be formal or informal. Generally business communication is a formal means of communication, like: meetings, interviews, group discussion, speeches etc. An example of Informal business communication would be – Grapevine. Oral communication implies communication through mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each other, be it direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Speeches, presentations, discussions are all forms of oral communication. Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication matter is of temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face to face communication (meetings, lectures, conferences,
interviews, etc.) is significant so as to build a rapport and trust.

Written Communication – Written means of business communication includes – agenda, reports, manuals etc. Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for business development. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.
Advantages of Written Communication

Written communication helps in laying down apparent principles, policies and rules for running of an organization.

It is a permanent means of communication. Thus, it is useful where record maintenance is required.

It assists in proper delegation of responsibilities. While in case of oral communication, it is impossible to fix and delegate responsibilities on the grounds of speech as it can be taken back by the speaker or he may refuse to acknowledge.

Written communication is more precise and explicit.

Effective written communication develops and enhances an organization’s image.

It provides ready records and references.

Legal defenses
An effective and efficient communication system requires managerial proficiency in delivering and receiving messages. A manager must discover various barriers to communication, analyze the reasons for their occurrence and take preventive steps to avoid those barriers. Thus, the primary responsibility of a manager is to develop and maintain an effective communication system in the organization.

Remember effective communication is a necessity in today’s challenging scenario and the above tips definitely go a long way in improving one’s communication skills.

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