Do You Hear What I Hear???

 

woman wearing headphones standing beside man

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

Listening to me and Hearing me are two different things. How well do you listen? According to PR Daily, less than two percent of the country’s population, have had formal education on how to listen. Did that not just blow your mind, because mine is flabbergasted. We communicate everyday with people from around the world, only to realize what we are saying to each other is only being heard, and not comprehended. I have three quick points on how we can enhance our communication skills, by simply improving our listening abilities.

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Open Your Mind
  3. Interact

These tips do not have to be completed in order, but it is much easier to understand the conversation if you do. Let’s break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying attention is the key to any conversation. This allows the sender and receiver the opportunity to feel each other out. It is also needed to retain pertinent information.
  • Open your mind to all ideas whether you feel like they are good or bad. You never know what someone else can bring to the table, not to mention we all fall short of knowing everything, so always be willing to learn something new.
  • Both the sender and the receiver should interact with each other. By doing this the other knows if the message sent is clear. Interaction could be as simple as eye contact or a nod of the head. The point is you are letting the other know you get it!

I have found in relationships with others in my life, communicating effectively is so important. Not understanding what someone is trying to tell you after they have said it over and over and you have heard it over and over is beyond frustrating. That is why during the communicating process, we must openly listen to each other and pay attention to the details in the message so that we can respond to effectively. Considering there are so many cultures that make up our country, some ways of getting a message across will vary. These steps might not work for every situation, but they can assist with the process.

As Grammar Goes, Verbs are the Spice of Life

Inexperienced writers often suck the very life out of their prose by taking energetic verbs and turning them into dull, lifeless nouns.  Consider the following:

Example:    Today’s stock price elicited a disappointed reaction among the shareholders.

Revision:    Today’s stock price disappointed the shareholders.

 Example:    It is our expectation that we will see productivity improvement when the new computer system comes online.

Revision:     We expect more productivity when the new computer system comes on line.

 When revising a business report, press release, employee newsletter or company-wide email, be sure to look specifically for those weak noun structures and replace them with vigorous, active verbs.  Not only will you gain clarity in the process, but your writing will be leaner too.

– Robin Fritz,  Adjunct Lecturer, Indiana University-Columbus

Junk Mail: Like It or Hate It

 Have you ever received junk mail for something and thought, “Why the HECK did I receive this? This is irrelevant for me and my family.” The definition of junk mail according to the Encarta World Dictionary is “unwanted mail: unsolicited mail, especially advertising material (Encarta World Dictionary, 2009).” You receive junk mail because you have given out some personal information to a business or have put some personal information on the internet. Junk mail is liable to get you when you give any personal information out. Remember that word travels fast.

Many companies use junk mail for advertising purposes. If you show any interest in something, such as clothing, that is the time for a business to pull you in and advertise to you other products they feel they can get you to buy. They try to keep you coming back to their business. You may also receive lots of junk mail that you have no interest in or is completely irrelevant to you. Companies try to get anyone and everyone to come to their specific business, due to competition in their market. Many companies also rent out their information lists to other companies. Renting lists is a big business for many companies (Privacy Right Clearinghouse, 1192-2011).

Junk mail comes in many shapes and forms:

• Mail: You may receive junk mail through the US postal services that is delivered to your house or business. This may include flyers, magazines and advertisements.

• Email: Due to technological advances, we also receive junk mail through email.

• Text: Many people that text receive forwards of long sayings. Some claim you need to send to a certain number of people or something will happen to you. This is also considered junk mail to me. It is unwanted and unnecessary.

• Newspaper: The inserts in the newspaper are also a form of junk mail. This is an easy way for companies to get their advertisements out to a large number of people.

• Internet: Internet even has some junk mail through blogs and other forms and comments.

• Landline/phone: Telemarketing phone calls are considered junk mail.

Many families may receive all of these in one day. According to Mike Volpe, “In five days we produce enough junk mail to reach the moon. Junk mail produces ONE BILLION pounds of landfill each year (Volpe, 2008).

I personally get extremely annoyed with junk mail. I have lost complete control of my email due to junk mail. I’ve got a ton of college junk mail. I have been in college for two years now. I have one on my email about tricking my brain to learn a language in ten days. Facebook has blown up my email as well.

Most junk mail serves no purpose but to take up more space in your trash can. Although there is not a lot of junk mail that is useful, I do receive junk mail that does serve a purpose for me. An example of useful junk mail for me is clothing stores that have coupons and some of their products that I may be interested in.

Junk mail can be fun to look through and sit and think, “What are they trying to tell me? Why did they choose me?” Just keep in mind that it was YOU that gave YOUR information out. Remember that word travels fast and businesses love to try to persuade you to buy their products. If junk mail really irritates you, there are many ways to get rid of the junk. You can contact different businesses by phoning or writing a letter to explain to them you do not want to receive junk mail. Next time you receive junk mail ask yourself, “Who all has my personal information?”

Works Cited

Privacy Right Clearinghouse. (1192-2011). Retrieved 11 5, 2011, from Junk Mail: https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm

Encarta World Dictionary. (2009). Retrieved 11 5, 2011, from Junk Mail: http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+junk+mail&qpvt=what+does+junk+mail+mean&FORM=DTPDIA

Volpe, M. (2008, 4 21). Hubspot. Retrieved 11 5, 2011, from 5 Shocking Statistics- How Junk Mail Marketing Damages the Environment.

By Danielle Trenkamp, Business Major at IUPUC

The future of email-is there one? And, if not, what will fill the void?

In my opinion I think that email is surviving because of the business world. The future of email is slowly starting to diminish because of all the other ways that we as humans can communicate. Since facebook, and twitter has come along email is taking a back seat to these new and improved ways to communicate. With the formation of technology that we will see in the near future email will slowly disappear, and I think in as few as ten years will be non existent.
Since we have so many people working in the widely varied business world, some of the older people aren’t up to the new technology as the we the younger generation is. They are used to using email because it is really the only way they have ever communicated. The newer, and younger generation know what email is but are given many other ways to communicate in a fast way. Facts show teens between 18-24 share 76% of there content via facebook. The same age group only 70% share there content by using email.
As I stated before the older the age group the more that generation still uses email. The same chart shows that people that are ages 65 and older use email 97% of the time, and facebook only 24% of the time. The good thing about email is that your content is a lot more private that if you post something on facebook. If you post something on facebook you are more likely to say something wrong, and pay the price for it. In the same aspect when writing an email to someone the only person that knows what you said is you and that person, not the whole world.
I think that email will survive for a few more years than facebook, and twitter will eventually take up the internet. Why I say facebook is going to fill the void is because of how huge it has become in just the few years it has been available. Facebook has become so huge and is involved with everything we do. Technology is going to keep changing, and new ways of communicating are going to keep being available for humans. Email was the start of something good that has now changed the new ways we can communicate. If it wasn’t for email I don’t know where we would be today, but facebook is the new communication tool, and the future of communication for a long time to come.

Written By: Kyle Martin

When to Sign a Memo

The following is an article written by X204 Business Communication Adjunct Lecturer Robin Fritz for eHow.com’s Money section:

To sign or not to sign?  That is the question that often arises when busy managers set out to write a memo.  Unlike business letters – which clearly require a signature – memos are a different animal altogether, and whether or not to sign them isn’t clear to many young managers just starting out in the business world.  The following tips, however, will help shed some light on whether to sign or not to sign. 

Know the difference between a memo and a letter.  Letters written on company letterhead are external documents – they tend to go to smaller outside audiences, such as clients, suppliers, industry regulators, etc. – making a signature a required element.  Memos, however, are internal and usually go to a company’s employees – which may include hundreds of people.  In practice, memos DON’T include a signature.  But sometimes managers are wise to include their initials next to their name in the header.  The real trick is knowing when and if to do so.

Know the purpose of a memo.  Second to email, memos are a primary tool used by managers to share information with employees, whether it be simple announcements or key information regarding changes in policies.  In short, some memos tend to be more sensitive in nature than others.

How sensitive is the information?  Routine memos – those that deal with non-controversial topics – make up the bulk of memos sent by managers.  These types of memos rarely require follow up and tend to be taken at face value.  Other topics, such as corporate downsizing measures, reduced health benefits, etc., can be difficult for employees to hear and, as a result, their validity may be challenged.  When the topic is sensitive, the memo writer may initial the memo to add validity to the contents.  But even then, initials are NOT required.

How many people will receive the memo?  Again, memos sometimes go to hundreds of people and even initialing them may be a time consuming task.  In the business world, time is money – and adding even initials may be a large undertaking.  When deciding whether or not to initial a memo, ask, what value is being added with this task?  If none, skip it.

Tip: Signature blocks signal to readers that they’ve reached the end of a letter.  With memos, however, telegraph the ending by using transitional expressions highlighting the conclusion, such as “In closing” or “Lastly.”

Warning: Remember, whether you’re writing a memo or a letter, with or without a signature, the content can be a legally binding document.  Never dash off any correspondence in haste – you could get yourself, and your company, in hot water.

 http://www.ehow.com/how_6110660_sign-business-memo.html