White Label Vs Private Label Reseller Programs

There are so many reseller programs now available particularly for online businesses such as web hosting and text marketing. These are the types of businesses that are easily adaptable to become available for resellers. Many resellers will do so through white labeling or private label reselling. This is a good way to start your own online business or to add a service to your already existing online enterprise. Many who are knew to this type of online enterprise may not understand the difference between white label vs. private label reseller programs. As previously mentioned, there is little difference between the meaning of white label vs private label when it comes to reseller programs. Both terms are used to describe the same type of reseller marketing.

Definition of white label marketing:

A product or service where the provider of the service purchases a supported product from another source and then applies its own name, brand or identity to the service and sells it as its own product. Through white labeling, the customer should assume the seller is selling its own product.

Definition of private label marketing:

Similarly to white label, a private label product is one that is manufactures and provided by one company but is sold under the name or identity of a different company. Private label can occur in a variety of products and services including online reseller programs as well as foods, cosmetics, and web hosting. Most of the time the products offered under private label are offered as the lower cost alternative products compared to the “name brand” of the product or service. Businesses of all sizes offer various types of private label marketing.

As you can see, both white label and private label can be used interchangeable with reseller programs. Most reseller programs under white labeling often find it is far more lucrative business than what is sold through the original business. With consumers always looking for ways to save money while shopping, they often allocate their shopping dollars to generic store-name brands, or will go with the reseller company that can offer the best and most affordable deal. This is standard practice for most consumers, which is why reselling can be a great way to make money online. Most consumers also know and understand that name brand services are not necessarily any better than what is offered by the generic or business label that is private. Because they know this, those who choose to become a reseller can easily undercut the prices of other providers and still make a profit by making the same quality of service cost less, and therefore become more appealing to potential customers.

The difference:

While it may seem that white label and private label are the same thing because they have such a similar meaning, the terms cannot be used interchangeably. The difference between these two types of marketing is that with private labeling, it is a practice that is generally followed in stores. The product is generally manufactured by the same manufacturer that creates the same product for the name brand also sold in stores. With white labeling, it is traditionally used in reference to a service particularly sold online. With white label the logo and name are on the label, the location where they are available for purchase is also on the label as well as the price that the reseller sets. However, with private label, the logo and name are on the label. The locations at which the products are available for purchase is also listed along with the price and what is contained in the box or packaging.

White labeling and private labeling is helpful for those who are interested in starting an online business, but need the support and resources to do so. Reseller programs are an easy and affordable way to make money online or to add a service to your online business. With white label reseller programs, you can make the business your own. All you need is a business/service name and a website. With these tools, you can use your salesman skills to get your own clients, help them manage their accounts and continue bringing in more business. By doing this, you can easily start up your own online business without the hassle of getting a business license and actually go through the formalities of starting up your own business. However, it is important to keep in mind that with white labeling or private label reseller programs, you become entirely responsible for the entire service and operation. This is because with white label, the service you are taking on is your own. This means you control customer accounts, the control panel as well as customer support, billing, etc. With the customer support part of the service, you can always consult the original business to get more information about the product and service and trouble shooting issues if you ever need help in order to provide assistance to your own customers. If you are ready to take on the responsibilities associated with white labeling and private labeling reseller programs, this is a great chance to make money online selling a product you believe in.

7 Steps to Implementing a New Telephone System

Business telephone systems are typically vital to the pulse of any company. Businesses must go through the process of purchasing and transitioning from one telephone system to another on average between 5 and 7 years. Whether a company is upgrading their old digital system, installing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enabled system or implementing a Hosted PBX or Virtual PBX from Hosted VoIP Providers, the transition is usually painful. This does not have to be the case, though. Here are some steps that will reduce the disruption in changing telephone systems:

1. Do Not Wait Till the Last Minute to Make a Decision on the Phone System. Telephone system vendors will agree to almost any installation time frame in order to make a sale. However, the less time they are given, the sloppier the installation will be. Planning a proper installation takes time that is not always under the control of the vendor or Hosted VoIP provider. Small systems need a minimum of 3 weeks for preparation. Larger systems require more time and some may require several months. If telephone service is being switched from one carrier to another, then time for porting telephone numbers should be factored into the equation. Carriers should be able to estimate the time that it takes to port which can be as much as 60 days.

2. Identify All Telephone Lines and What They Do. This should have been done before the decision was made on the phone system. If it has not been done, do it immediately. Use phone bills or call the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) to identify the lines and numbers. If there is still some uncertainty around specific lines and circuits, call them. Eliminate any that are not being used and make sure the new system or Hosted PBX service accommodates all that are needed.

3. Know the Installation Schedule of New Telephone Circuits. Will the new circuits be ready in time for installation of the new telephone system? Each type of telephone circuit requires different hardware components inside the telephone system. If there is a chance that the new circuits will not be ready, then discuss with the new telephone system vendor how the old circuits will be handled with the new system.

4. Have All Individual and Departmental Needs Been Met? Hopefully the new telephone system vendor helped review all individual and departmental needs to make sure the new telephone system or Hosted PBX service could handle them. Review each department to ensure their needs are known. Organize how individuals and departments will use each phone system or Virtual PBX feature.

5. Know who will get each type of phone. If different models of phones were purchased, decide ahead of the installation who within the company will get each type of phone. Make sure that phone will handle the features used by each individual or department.

6. Make Sure the Network is Ready for VoIP Telephones. If the new phone system includes VoIP telephones with an IP enabled telephone system or a Hosted PBX service from a Hosted VoIP provider, check the data network to make sure it is ready to handle the VoIP traffic. Does data cabling exist to all phone locations? Do remote VoIP users outside of the office have access to broadband Internet? How will the remote VoIP user’s phones connect back to the IP enabled telephone system? Will it be exposed to the Internet? Connected via private network, VPN or Session border controller? Does your telephone vendor know this answer?

7. Have an Implementation Meeting with the Vendor’s Project Manager. The implementation meeting will make sure that everyone is on the same page. Dates should be set for installation during the meeting. Know how long the transition will take place. Will it take place during the business day, after hours or on the weekend? How will calls get answered during the transition? In addition, the answers to steps 2 through 6 should be discussed.

Telephone system transitions can be exciting and painful at the same time. Although following these 7 steps will not guarantee a perfect installation, it will reduce the odds of nasty surprises.

Telephone Systems – An Overview On Operating Principle

A Telephone system is a communication instrument that transmits any voice / sound signals to far by locations by converting these sound signals in waves and receives and reconverts the same waves into sound signals/ voice. The telephone network is extended universally so if you want to talk to someone, you simply need to pick up the telephone system and dial a few digits. You are instantly connected to that person and both of you can have a 2 way conversation.

Telephone systems were first introduced by Graham Bell over one hundred years ago, but it is still works on the same operating principle. To make a call, we need to first pick up the handset. This causes the telephone system to be connected to a routing network. By pressing the numbers present on the touch tone keypad / frequency generator, signals are passed down via phone line to the routing station. Here, each digit is identified as a unique combination of tone frequencies. The specific combination of digits causes a signal to be passed to other telephone systems causing it to ring. When that telephone is picked up, connection between the two telephone systems is achieved.

The ear piece acts as speaker where as mouthpiece acts as a microphone. Sound waves from the user’s voice cause vibration to a thin plastic disc present inside the telephone system. This causes change in the distance between the plastic disk and another metal disk resulting in a varying electric current which is passed through the phone lines. The receiver on the other phone picks up this electromagnet current. These magnets cause diaphragm to vibrate which produces the sound /voice that initiated the current. An amplifier in the receiver end makes it easier to hear. When one of the phones is hung up the electric current get broken resulting in dis-connection of the telephone systems.

Absolutely Free Unlisted Phone Number Search

So you want an absolutely free unlisted phone number search? Okay, lets get to look at your chances of getting that done.

First you must know that you are trying to access classified information free in a legal way and that the information you are looking for belong to some other people. Unlisted phone numbers are unlisted because people want to feel secure about their lives and they want privacy as well. Celebrities usually keep unlisted phone numbers because they do not want to be stalked and disturbed by prank callers. When your phone number is kept in a public listing, you are trying to say you don’t want any privacy and that anybody can call you anytime.

This is why you will not find a cell phone number that is listed except when it is for business purposes. Unlisted phone numbers may however be searched out only with a paid service. You may try doing it free but the chances of getting anything are low.

Google and Yahoo people search is there, you also have the yellow and white pages at your disposal but there is no guarantee that you will find the information for free via these directories. You will have to waste time, and a whole lot of time more, if ever you will get anything.

Some unethnical directories claim they offer absolutely free unlisted telephone number search but it is a trick to getting unsuspecting people to visit their websites where they will be forced to register for their paid services.

Rather than wasting your time with the so called absolutely free unlisted phone number search companies, it is always better to go along with the ones that tell you just the way it is. Reverse phone lookup companies have got everything you want and you will need, its only that you will have to pay for it. These services have to charge you for the service as they also get charged to gather the information behind mobile phone numbers.

Membership charges are however very small. It is not uncommon to find directories that will let you conduct a search for as little as $15 per search or $40 for unlimited number of searches for over a period of a year.

The great thing is that if you take the time to select the right directory, you will be sure of the accuracy of the information generated for you and all you need is just the telephone number in question to conduct the search.

The Disadvantages of Reverse Phone Directory

The reverse phone directory is the online phone book which enables the users with the exciting offer to search for the identity of the cell phone numbers which are completely unknown to them. Few of the websites which provide such service to the users do not ask for any fees to gather the data for them. But it is seen that severs which give such online service charge a small amount of money in the form of fees from the user to give the complete and correct information of the person connected to that number.

Due to the advanced technology it is studied that there are many advantages for the users in using the reverse phone directory. But at the same time it has its own disadvantages which a user should be aware of.

1) The main disadvantage of reverse phone directory is that, anyone who owns your cell number can easily look up to all your personal details.
2) Yes, there is no privacy for your number in the process of reverse phone directory which gives the assurance to use the advanced technology.
3) In case you own a cell number or an unlisted number, still the phone book companies are capable of listing your all personal information such as name, address, your email id etc.
4) The information is readily made available within very less time for the user who is willing to pay the money for this simple online service.
5) Sometimes the servers which promise to give the true results turn out to be the fraud, as these keep the aim only to make money from the users in the wrong manner.
6) Also the information which is provided turns out to be the incorrect data.
7) It is also noted that few of these websites are equivalent to do the search for the required number as there is no record of that number listed in the reverse phone directory.
8) Also it is seen that there is irregular maintenance of the existing numbers.

The demand for such kind of services is increasing day by day. As a result many servers have registered their company as the database providing company. All the data is accumulated either manually or is collected by the outside sources. The mobile companies are authorized to forward the information of the user's cell number to the registered online servers.

This is why you should only be using a trustworthy reverse phone directory that delivers correct results consistently.

Ooma Hub Vs Telo: Should I Buy Ooma Hub Or Buy Ooma Telo?

What Is VOIP?

Before you can go into a good comparison analysis of Ooma Hub vs Telo, you must first understand what these two products are. Both the Hub and Telo from Ooma are Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems. Unlike the traditional telephone system, VoIP phones use the internet to transmit your voice signal.

VoIP phones are increasing becoming popular – not only because they have the potential to help you save cost but also the broadband technology currently available is able to support its use to give consumers the high level of service they are expecting.

What is Ooma Hub and Ooma Telo?

Ooma Hub is essentially the older of the two products. It was first introduced into the market sometime around 2007. At that time, Ooma differentiated the hub from its competitors by requiring their customers to pay for the Ooma hub up-front and then using it without having to pay any monthly charges or sign any term contract.

As with almost all technology products, newer models are introduced to take advantage of newer technologies over time and the Ooma Telo was introduced around October 2009 as a replacement for the Hub. What this means is that the manufacturer is slowing phasing out existing inventories of the Hub. As such, do not expect any new firmware upgrades except for break fixes.

Both Ooma models compared here share some same function and features and I shall not go into that as you can find out more on those from the links at the end of this article. However, what I would like to focus here are the differences when we look at Ooma Hub vs Telo.

Ooma Hub vs Telo – What are the differences between the two?

When we compare Ooma Hub vs Telo, here are some of the differences:

Flexibility to integrate a landline:

Hub: Yes Telo: No

Online Phonebook:

Hub: No Telo: Yes

Ooma HD Voice Ready:

Hub: No Telo: Yes

Supports Ooma Telo Handsets:

Hub: No Telo: Yes

USB port for future expansion:

Hub: No Telo: Yes

Regulatory Recovery Fee (RRF) or Taxes:

Hub: Required (except for Ooma Core which is a Hub and Scout combination package) Telo: Required

Incoming DTMF:

Hub: No Telo: Yes

New Telo facilities that Hub does not have:

Bluetooth (Premier) Google Voice Extensions (Premier)

When evaluating Ooma Hub vs Telo to decide on which product to buy, there are stronger reasons to buy Ooma Telo rather than buy Ooma Hub. This is because when you compare Ooma Hub vs Telo, you will find that even though both have some similar core capabilities, Ooma Telo has more features that will help you increase productivity and save money in the long run. The Telo also has the latest hardware while the hub is being slowly phased out. The upfront price of the Hub is more expensive than the Telo as well.

I hope that you will find the Ooma Telo review helpful for you to make a decision to buy Ooma Telo or Hub.

Just What Is SIP And SS7…. And How Do They Work With VoIP?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Signaling System 7 (SS7) are the common protocols used for transmitting voice across networks. Just how they work with VoIP….or not….opens the door for both concerns and opportunity.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a protocol developed by IETF MMUSIC Working Group and proposed standard for initiating, modifying, and terminating an interactive user session that involves multimedia elements such as video, voice, instant messaging, online games, and virtual reality. SIP is a text based, signaling protocol similar to HTTP and SMTP , and its used to create, manage and terminate sessions in an IP based network. A session could be a simple two-way telephone call or it could be a collaborative multi-media conference session.

Entities interacting in a SIP scenario are called User Agents (UA) User Agents may operate in two fashions –

o User Agent Client (UAC): It generates requests and send those to servers.

o User Agent Server (UAS): It gets requests, processes those requests and generate responses.

SIP works as follows: Callers and callees are identified by SIP addresses. When making a SIP call, a caller first locates the appropriate server and then sends a SIP request. The most common SIP operation is the invitation. Instead of directly reaching the intended callee, a SIP request may be redirected or may trigger a chain of new SIP requests by proxies. Users can register their location(s) with SIP servers.

Now…..how is this different than the SS7 protocol?

Here’s a simplied explanation:

Signaling System 7 (SS7) is architecture for performing signaling in support of the call-establishment, billing, routing, and information-exchange functions of the PSTN, whereas SIP is a protocol which is used for maintaining sessions in VOIP.

SS7 are used to set up the vast majority of the world’s PSTN telephone calls, where as SIP in used in IP network.

A little more on the differences between SS7 and SIP.

SS7 uses a common channel for signalling call setup and tear down information for circuit switched services. It is common to have hundreds or thousands of voice circuits controlled by a pair of 64 kb/s signalling links. SS7 was specifically designed for circuit switching although it has some very sophisticated additional call control and transaction control capabilities.

SIP is an IP based signalling solution which does not use a separate signalling path, but relies on the IP connectivity from the originator to a Server and thence to the terminating end. It is used for packet based communications and allows for many different call types such as video, gaming interaction etc as well as voice.

As SIP is implemented with the deployment of next generation networks I am certain we will see both some very interesting network behaviours, untold new technical issues as we iron the bugs out and probably new opportunities for fraud. They should be interesting times.

Effective Communication Skills For Today’s Managers – Life Lessons

Effectively communicating to your employees will result in a more efficient operation and will help achieve the bottom-line objectives of any company, business, or basic interaction. As a manager, your communication skill is critical in directing the actions of your employees. This basic managerial skill course in communication will enable you to become a better manager for yourself, and for your organization. You will learn how to communicate effectively, which will help you to maximize “work through others” to get the job done.

There are many components to communication. Consider verbal communication skills, listening skills, written memorandums/email, telephone skills and non-verbal communication. Also, reflect upon all the people we communicate to: subordinates, peers, supervisors, customers, and groups of people. In addition, ponder some of the reasons, why we communicate: to get and give information, to discipline subordinates, to make assignments, and so on. 

We will not be able to explore every facet and component of communication. Rather, we will focus on the general principles of effective communication that apply to most situations and we will point out important things to remember for some specific situations.  We will use only as much “theory” as needed to gain basic understanding of communication problems. Primarily, we will discuss what you can do to become an effective communicator.

Our Objectives

Upon completion, you will be capable of:

1) Recognizing communication problems and barriers.

2) Implementing techniques to resolve communication problems and barriers.

3) Demonstrating the basic general rules of effective communication.

4) Using special techniques in specific communication situations.

This is designed to do more than just give you information on communicating. Rather, it is set up to teach you skills which you can apply in your day to day routine.

What is Communication?

Communication is simply the sending of a message to another person. The person sending the message first needs to formulate the message in his head. This involves determining the meaning that the sender intends to convey to the other person. To formulate the meaning of the message, the sender usually draws upon his background attitudes, perceptions, emotions, opinions, education, and experience. 

The message is then sent to the listener through both verbal talking and non-verbal gestures. The person receiving this message then interprets its meaning. To do this, the listener uses his background, attitudes, perceptions, emotions, opinions, education, and experience. 

Effective communication exists between two persons when the person receiving the message interprets it in the same way as the sender intended it. Sounds really simple doesn’t it?  Well, it can be.

Who is Responsible for Communicating Effectively?

Managers share the responsibility in communicating effectively with the individual employees themselves. The manager is 100% responsible for communicating effectively with their employees.

This includes establishing an open and trusting climate for communication, as well as demonstrating good communication techniques to their employees. The employee is 100% responsible for taking advantage of the “climate for communication” to express what is important and relevant. For example,it is expected that a manager will ask “are there any questions?” after giving an employee an assignment, but it is also expected that an employee will say, “I have a question”, if one should occur to the employee, without waiting for the manager to ask. 

Why Managers Need to be Effective Communicators?

o Communication is used so frequently that “we cannot afford to do it poorly”.

o Communication has a special power: to create interest, stimulate action, achieve agreement, foster enthusiasm.

o Communication is the primary method that managers use to direct their employee’s behavior.

o Communication is the basis for almost all other managerial skills. It is involved in delegating duties to subordinates, motivating employees, demonstrating leadership  abilities, training new policies and programs, and counseling performance problems, etc.

Barriers to Effective Communication

o Supervisor inaccessible.

o Supervisor buried in work.

o Supervisor always in a hurry.

o Supervisor maintains a pre-occupied expression; little eye-contact with employees.

o Supervisor only informal with his peers or boss (never with subordinates).

o Supervisor tells employees to “write it up” instead of promoting discussion.

o Supervisor never asks, “How’s it going?”.

Where do Difficulties in Communication Arise?

The basic source of misunderstanding between two persons are communication failures that occur when the receiver understands the meaning of a message differently than it was intended. We do not always communicate what we intend.

Communication failures arise when there is a gap between what the sender meant and what the receiver thought the sender meant.

Communication failure can be caused by:

o Being so preoccupied that you do not listen to what other are saying.

o Being so interested in what you have to say that you listen only to find an opening to work your way into the conversation.

o Being so sure that you know what the other person is going to say that you distort what you hear to match your expectation.

o Evaluating and judging the speakers, which makes the speaker guarded and defensive.

o Not being able to “see past the words” and get the emotional message of the sender.

o Not trusting the speaker and becoming suspicious of what is being said.

Setting the Stage for Effective Communication

Even before the first word is uttered, various factors are already at work that can affect the success or failure of our communications.  Let’s examine these factors to see what role they play. 

Communicator’s Appearance

Before we ever say a word, others have been receiving messages from us. We communicate to others just by the way we dress and groom. In the book Dressing for Success, the author notes that other people conclude about 17 different things about us just on the basis of how we appear.

Many businesses utilize a dress code to guide people to the appropriate type of attire. It use to be traditional within the business world for men to wear a coat and tie. This conveys to others that we are professionals. In addition, conservative colors are preferred to more outspoken colors. This communicates seriousness, stability, and a “down-to-business” attitude. Recent changes have occurred in this area, just always remember that people do make conclusions about you based on your appearance.  Understand the expectation as it relates to dress code and insure you are in tune with the company position. 

Communicator’s Past Conversations

Communication experts tell us that the credibility of the communicator, as determined by past conversations, is a critical factor in effective communication. Credibility refers to the attitude the listener has toward the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the sender’s statements. When a listener views the sender as dependable, knowledgeable, reliable, warm and friendly, emphatic, and non-selfish, the message that is sent will be more likely to be received. Unless we seem credible to the receiver. our message will be discounted and we will not be able to communicate effectively with him.

Communicator’s Personality

The personality of the communicator plays a part in both the formulation of the message and in how the message is communicated. Each individuals beliefs, opinions, prejudices, feelings, biases, and personal experiences enter into the development of a message. Most of the time this happens quickly, automatically, and out of habit. In addition to influencing what we think and say, our personalities also play a role in how we say the message. You may know of an instance where two managers sound completely different in conveying the same exact message to a listener. For example a result oriented manager may talk in short, concise, action-oriented sentences, while another manager may end up in a long discourse including many details and side points.

The Communication Situation

The situation and circumstances surrounding our communication plays a part in determining its success or failure. Although many types of situations affect the messages we send, one particular type that can easily distort our messages is communication under stress. Stress, by its very nature, makes it difficult for us to “think clearly”. In a stress situation, the meaning of the message can be distorted; subtle shades of meaning can be confused; pieces of information can be forgotten; minor points may seem more important than major points. In addition, the wording of the communication may suffer. Uncertainty, nervousness, and confusion can creep into the speaker’s voice, resulting in a less assertive statement. 

Communicating Effectively – Verbal Communication

Verbal communication means talking. The goal in communicating verbally is to convey a message to another person so that the other person understands it exactly as the person talking intended it. A well communicated message is one which the other person can accurately repeat back in his own words. Verbal communication can be made more effective by:

o Talking about specific rather than general situations.

o Using concrete language, e.g., “merchandise” rather than “stuff”.

o Using words familiar to employees; explaining unfamiliar words.

o Including an example to illustrate the point.

o Giving sufficient detail to convey the point.

o Giving details slowly and in order.

o Making it a practice to address the five “W” questions in the  topic (if applicable).

Who is involved?

What is the situation; how did it begin?

When will it occur?

Where is it taking place? What you think, believe, feel?

Why will it happen? Why is this important?

 Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication refers to the gestures and body positions that accompany ones speaking. All people display certain gestures or lack of them when talking. It is important to be aware of your nonverbal communication, for it plays a big role in making your total communication effective. 

Effective communication occurs when a person’s verbal message and nonverbal message both “say the same thing”. Problems in communication occur when the speaker’s words say one thing, but his gestures and body language says something else.

Types of Nonverbal Communication

All of the following “says something”. In the specific context, they should correspond and reinforce the spoken message.

o Eye contact.

o Position of our arms and legs.

o The distance we stand from others when talking to them.

o Where we sit at a table or in relation to others.

o Smiling.

o Nodding or other head movements.

The manager can use nonverbal behaviors in two ways. First, when speaking, he can monitor his own nonverbal behavior and try to make sure it corresponds and emphasizes what he is verbally saying.

For example:

o When taking charge of a situation, the manager should have good eye contact with his subordinates, stand in a straight posture, use a firm but not overbearing voice,and point to what he wants done. 

o Upon noticing customers, the employee should smile to indicate friendliness, make eye contact to acknowledge the customer’s presence, tun his body in the direction of the customer to indicate his willingness to help if needed.

The other way a manager can use nonverbal behavior is in “listening to what others are really saying”. If the manager notices the employee saying one thing verbally but another thing non verbally, then the manager should suspect that the verbal message being said may be somewhat “incomplete”.

Active listening skills is what separates the good from the great. Learn to listen with your ears, eyes and perception paying attention to both the verbal and nonverbal communication.

For example:

An employee who says that he would feel comfortable doing a task but who exhibits folded arms, crossed legs, and tensed neck muscles might not be feeling as comfortable as he thinks. The manager who suspects this might need to keep his eye on this situation.

Written Communication

In written communication, the simpler, shorter, and more direct the better. This can be remembered by the equation:

Effectiveness = Conciseness = Completeness

Try the following tips for achieving concise and complete communication.

o Use simple words; your goal is not to impress your reader with your vocabulary, it is to get the point across.

o Make sure the words exactly express the thought; different words can slant the entire message of your point.

o Make the sentence structure clear; poor grammar, run on sentences, etc., can distort the point you want to make.

o Use a different paragraph for each complete unit of thought.

o Make sure all of the necessary information is included.

o Anticipate questions and include the answers in your message.

o Use only essential words and phrases.

o Make sure your facts, dates, times, etc., are correct.

o Consider the tone of the memorandum. Make sure it doesn’t contain antagonism or    preaching. I highly suggest that if you are upset about something, it is OK to    write out your thoughts and ideas for making the situation better.  Then make sure you do not send it, until you read it the next day. You will find in most cases that what you want to say does not change, but how you say it will change dramatically once you are over the emotions you attached to it.

o Make sure it is neat in appearance.

Remember all written memorandums have a dual purpose: you want the reader to receive your message and you want to do it the shortest, quickest way possible without leaving out necessary information.

All memorandums written in this way will be a good reflection upon you.

Phone Conversations

Talking on the phone lies between face-to-face communication and written communication in regard to information we can receive from the other person. Phone conversations do not give us access to the body language of the other person, hence, we miss the nonverbal cues accompanying the words. On the other hand, phone communication does allow us to take into account the tone of voice the other person is using, unlike written communication/email. 

Voice tone can be used in two ways. First, we can vary our voice tone to reinforce what we are saying verbally. Managers can convey competence, sincerity, and trust through the tone of their voice when talking to customers or employees.

Secondly, we can pay attention to other people’s tone of voice, much like nonverbal behavior, to check on unspoken feelings and thoughts. To do this accurately, practice listening to both the words and the tone of the voice that carries the words.

When talking to someone you have spoken to before, pay attention to changes in their usual voice qualities. Some people speak slow, loud, or clear. When these people change their normal voice qualities, they are communicating something extra to us. It is up to us to look for cues to detect what these changes in customary

voice tones mean.  Remember, you can’t talk to someone on the phone and someone in front of you both at the same time and do justice to either party.  

Communicating to a Group

Communicating to a group can be as simple as making an announcement r as complex as running a training program requiring much group participation. Much of what has been presented in this training applies to communicating to a group. Pre-communication factors, such as your appearance, credibility, and the specifics of the situation plays large part in establishing a successful presentation. Talking effectively and using nonverbal body language to correspond to the spoken words can all be used in group settings. A particularly skillful speaker can even “read” the nonverbal cues of the group as a whole and use this information to adjust his talk.

Listening

Why you Should Listen to Your Employees

o Employees might have helpful ideas.

o Employees might know causes of problems in the workplace.

o Employees might be able to warn me about potential problems I haven’t yet recognized.

o How employees feel about things can be a tip-of future problems.

Ways of Not Listening

o Signing routine papers.

o Sorting papers.

o Allowing long telephone interruptions.

o Sneaking looks at the time.

o Gazing out of the window, or at distractions passing by.

o Maintaining pre-occupied facial expressions.

o Calling orders to other employees in between sentences.

o Fidgeting nervously, shaking foot, playing with gadgets, coffee cup, etc.

Inhibiting Communication from Your Employees

Avoid the following to prevent cutting off future communication from your employees:

o Blaming the employee who gave you bad news.

o Getting angry.

o “Falling apart”.

o Demanding the employee to justify work that is reported to be not going well.

How should you react to news:

React to bad news by remaining objective; keep your emotions under control; switch to a “problem-solving”, “let’s get this situation corrected” approach. Respond to good news with praise, acknowledgment and appreciation.

Active Listening

Active listening is comprised of three separate and important skills: attention skills, following skills, and responding skills. Attention skills are those actions you take to put the talker at ease, to non verbally show you are listening, and to best “pay attention to” what the other person is trying to say. Maintaining eye contact, eliminating distractions, and concentrating on both the verbal and nonverbal are examples of attention skills. 

Following Skills

These are the skills we use to encourage the conversation along; to get the point the person is making. Nodding our heads, saying “uh-huh”, “I see”, and “go on” are following skills. Asking appropriate questions to bring out the point is a following skill as is allowing silences without jumping in. All following skills serve two purposes: to indicate to the speaker that you are “with him” and to help him get the point across.

Responding Skills

This is where we determine if we received and interpreted the message as the speaker intended it. Say something like, “If I understand correctly, you are saying … ” and go on to paraphrase that we understand, using our own words. Check out the facts and ideas, the main point of what the speaker said. It is only after we are sure that we understood the message as intended, can we then evaluate, judge, take action, or supply an answer or comment.

Communicating on the Job – Who We Communicate To

Before the message is formulated and communicated, we become aware of who we will be sending it to. How and what we communicate can change depending upon who is the intended audience.

Upward Communication

If we will be communicating to our immediate supervisor, our message might be prepared, formulated, and presented in a specific manner. For example, if we need to seek assistance from our supervisor, asking an open-ended question will result in more information than a question that can be answered yes or no.

Peer Communication

If the communication is intended for a peer, the message might be less “formally” prepared and presented. For example, less background information might need to be given since the peer can “easily relate” to the situation to be described.

Downward Communication

The manager who is communicating to his subordinate may need to do so in a different way than to others. Clear, concise, directions might be the format for much of the messages the manager gives to his employees. In addition, the manager may follow-up many of his messages with, “Do you have any questions?”.

Checking For Understanding

When communicating with employees, it is always a good idea to check for understanding. Simply take a second and ask ” recap for me what I have asked you to do.” By doing this, you can clear up any missed communication that may have taken place.  This step is helpful for both parties as it allows them to communicate back to you that they heard and understood your direction. This is a critical step in delegation of tasks.

Communicating With Customers

Communicating to a customer also affects how the message is formulated and delivered. Messages conveyed to customers need to be totally accurate and delivered in a professional and friendly manner.

Purpose of the Communication

When we talk to someone, we usually have a purpose. The purpose of the communication differs depending on the situation and who we are addressing. A manager may communicate for any of the following reasons:

o To motivate employees.

o To teach, instruct, or explain a task.

o To counsel an employee.

o To seek information or assistance.

o To correct an employee’s behavior.

o To be persuasive.

o To socialize.

With each of these purposes, the communication changes in order to accomplish our goal.

One of my favorite leaders use to say, that you will have  become a master of communication when you are able to tell someone where to go and to have them looking forward to the trip!