Business and Communications skills
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While communication comes easily to people in many situations, in the workplace it's often a different story. Business settings require special considerations when it comes to communicating effectively, especially during times of conflict. If you feel like your communication skills aren't up to par, don't worry; with a little practice, positive communication skills can be learned.
Listening may be the most important business communication skill. When employees feel that they’re being listened to, they feel respected and are more willing to share their feelings and opinions. When speaking with an co-worker, focus on what she is saying. Avoid thinking about what you’re going to say next, the meeting you have at noon or what’s going on in the break room. If a problem arises, ask the individual how she feels about it and give her time to speak. Respond without interrupting and demonstrate that you're listening by nodding, asking questions and showing concern. Simply saying "That sounds like a difficult situation" shows the individual that you've heard what she has said.
Asking questions is part of showing that you’re listening. During everyday conversations, asking questions shows that you’re interested in what your colleague is talking about. Asking co-workers questions about how a child’s soccer game was or how a project is going makes them feel that you care about them. In a tense situation, avoid starting questions with “Why” (such as “Why were you late?”) as it can make the individual feel that he is being punished. If a disciplinary situation arises, to avoid a defensive reaction, ask the employee what happened, how he feels about it and how you can work together to solve the problem.
Related Reading: Effective Business Communication Skills
Repeat What Was Said
During a conversation, repeating and summarizing what the speaker has said can ensure that you’re both on the same page. Simply rephrasing what the individual has said in your own words and asking if you’ve understood correctly can ensure that misunderstandings don’t occur and prevent tension from escalating.
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How would business and communication skills be taught?
Business and professional skills (including communication) is taught throughout the course. You will be taught through lectures, seminars and workshops together with team-based and individual projects. Staff from the Vet School, other University of Nottingham academic schools and practitioners will deliver this part of the curriculum ensuring that theory is augmented with practical application.