Monday, January 25, 2021

Laughter at work place

Photo by CardMapr on Unsplash

 Well, there are many of us who are against laughter at workplace. Why? Well, because some of us want to continue depicting the image of an overtly serious employee, who is strictly focused only on work and nothing else. While some of us are worried that we will be taken for granted as a ‘manager’, while some of us are apprehensive of offending someone presuming our jokes may be lame. But, did you know, that humor in good taste is one of the keys to success? Well, not just that. There are some pivotal reasons for which you must add good humor in your work life. No, you do not have to be a stand-up comedian. But, if you can make people laugh with funny jokes which do not hurt anyone’s sentiments, then why not spread laughter? So, why is humor important in workplace: 

  1. Creativity: People tend to think better when they are de-stressed. Laughter is one wonderful way to de-stress and calm the mind. 
  2. Approachable: People who laugh and can make others laugh are more approachable than people who are exceedingly serious. Although people with serious mindset tend to believe that humor can make people taken for granted, that is not true. As a matter of fact, outstandingly serious people are sometimes not taken seriously because of their demeanor. Rather, people with good sense of humor are taken more seriously because such people tend to create a beautiful bond. 
  3. People enjoy working: Humor, used positively, is a wonderful way to win friends and make people like you. When people like you, they enjoy working with you as well. 
  4. Humanizing: In this world full of stress, people find solace in humor. The relationship between colleagues become better. People look forward to coming to work, because they know that despite work stress, there will be moments of laughter at work, which will rejuvenate them. 
  5. Trust: Yes, humor helps in building trust. People with positive sense of humor are often viewed as authentic people underneath the professional cloak. 


Monday, January 11, 2021

Speaking the right way in conference calls / telephone meetings


Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Many of us are more comfortable sending an email or a text message rather than explaining stuff over the telephone, why so? 

Because in emails and text messages, we can proofread, re-read, change the words, sentences and then finally send the message. Whereas, when it comes to speaking on the phone, there are times when we are jittery, we need to grope for words, we are not sure how to explain every little thing with clarity, sometimes doubt engulfs us and sometimes fear. With all the above concerns troubling us we tend to become immensely conscious while speaking with someone over the phone. 

All the same, with the pandemic wreaking havoc in this world and people working from home, telephone meetings, conference calls have become a norm. Hence, the better we are equipped with telephone etiquette, the easier it becomes for us to grow in the realm of our jobs. Here are some tips to better our speaking skills over the telephone: 

  1. Be aware of your tone: Remember, the person/people at the other end of the call cannot see you. They will comprehend your personality and attitude based on your tone. Refrain from speaking in a monotone. Do not sound distracted and impolite. Talk in a pleasant tone. 
  2. Do not Multitask: Since people can’t see us in telephone meetings, there are times when we are tempted to do other tasks while still being on the call. This results in missing important points. Also, when we are distracted, we tend to make awkward pauses while talking. Listeners do feel that tone of distraction. Pay attention when others are talking. Ensure you focus thoroughly on your speech when it is your turn to talk. 
  3. Take care of your pace of talking: Some of us tend to talk very fast and some of us use a lot of fillers like ‘um, uh, like, you know’. This affects the credibility of our speech. Hence use your words carefully and speak in a pace wherein there is clarity. Avoid usage of slangs, jargons. 
  4. Identify yourself: Do not assume that listeners will recognize your voice. Hence, identify your voice for the first couple of times till the listeners recognize your voice. 
  5. Use names when it comes to asking questions or soliciting opinions: Instead of asking, ‘What do you think?’, you can direct the question to someone, who you know, has knowledge and experience in that subject. For example, ‘Arpita and Rohan, you guys have a lot of experience in this sphere. Could you share your views?’ 
  6. Body Language: Although the listeners cannot see you, your posture can depict your confidence in your voice. Sit up straight and don’t forget to smile. The listeners can feel the smile in your voice. 
  7. Use a good quality headset: Talking on the speaker phone tends to muffle the voices. A good headset is always a better option. At the start of the call, do check with the listeners if they can hear you. 
  8. Listen actively: Please listen without interruption. Use verbal nods like, ‘Okay, uh-huh, that’s interesting, so on and so forth.’ That will let the other person know that you are listening. Take notes. Once they are done talking, you can put forth your questions. 
  9. Seek permission before placing anyone on hold: Putting someone on hold without informing them is rude. Never leave anyone on hold for 15 to 20 seconds or more. If you think you may need to put them on hold for some more time, you might as well offer calling them back at a time suitable for them.