UNIT 2 Computer systems

UNIT 2 Computer systems

|P2 P3 M1| Principles of effective communication
General Skills

Cultural Differences:

Cultural differences are present wherever you travel to, you will come across cultural differences, and these can vary quite a bit, such as the language people use e.g. English people say "Chips" compared to Americans who say "Fries”. A businessman may find himself in the middle of cultural differences quite often and thus, will have to devise methods as to how to make sure no one is offended or that he is fully understood. Certain methods he would use to overcome such issues are greeting people on a last name basis. Also refraining on using most signed gestures, as they can vary in meaning quite greatly, for example, the English gesture to say something is ok (Generally a circle made with the thumb and index finger) is the equivalent of a swear in Greece. Most of the time a little bit of research about the culture you will interact with can prevent such mishaps.

Adapting to suit an audience:

Some audiences react differently based on the way you communicate with them. For example a younger audience won’t respond well to board-meeting like presentations with graphs and charts. They just won’t be able to understand and interpret the terminology and data provided. So you would have to adapt and change to a style that suits them so they can understand it.

Once you have successfully adapted to the audience in question, you must now capture and retain the attention of the audience. Some people feel that they need to make up information and facts to win the hearts of the selected audience. For example a politician making up affair stories about another, rival politician to win votes. However, it is highly advised not to do this as if you are found out all your current and future credibility is lost. Only facts should be used to convey messages as evidence. The difference between facts and opinions should be present and clear, also having strong and informative details to back up your opinion is advised as it could make you seem close minded and arrogant. Engaging the Audience:

When speaking or presenting something to an audience, keeping them engaged, aware and awake is crucial! There are many different techniques available for an author or speaker to use. For example, monitoring the tone of your voice. A dull, monotone voice will quickly render any listener asleep, so changing pitch along your sentence can help defeat this issue. Also, adding in rhetorical questions can be used to make the listener or reader think on their own accord thus increasing their levels of interest. For an author the techniques are slightly different but have the same purpose e.g. Making some sentences short, so not to drag on for too long and erode the readers concentration.

Question and Answer:
After a person makes and shows his/her presentations they can host Q&A sessions. These are very useful in many ways. One of these useful points are that the person presenting can better identify how many people understood and correctly interpreted what they wanted to present. Another point is that they can then use the feedback to possibly improve the presentation for the next time around. Interpersonal skill:

Many different forms of communication is used to express something or express an emotion to someone else. In terms of verbally speaking, one can alter their voice to express how they feel about something. For example, raising the volume of your voice can signify that you are angry or you could be feeling another form of aggressive emotion, such as impatience. A lowered voice could indicate that someone is uncomfortable or shy. It could also be used in a calming manner, maybe to soothe someone who is worked up or even just to express passiveness. Techniques and Cues:

Other than that, there are forms of communication, other than voice and speech.. One of these forms of communication is known as body language. One's body language can express nearly everything they are feeling (even if they don't want to). e.g. if someone is lying, they can often be called out on it due to certain cues such as scratching or excessive facial expressions. There is also a technique that can be used to speak to deaf people called signing. A person can maintain a full conversation with someone who cannot hear by using their hands to sign words and letters. Positive language:

These forms of communications can all be conveyed as either 'positive' or 'negative' For example. maintaining eye contact and smiling could be considered positive language as they show that you are interested, happy and non-threatening. Also, a higher pitched voice tone can express enthusiasm and willingness.

Negative Language:
Negative language can also be used to express emotions opposite to those described for positive language. Where maintaining eye contact and smiling show enthusiasm, interest and kindness, not maintaining could show a complete disinterest, being bored and rudeness. Frowning is another form as negative communication as it shows negative emotions such as confusion and anger. There are also type of negative body language such as crossing your arms and your general stance. Crossing your arms could be seen and obstructive and indifferent and expressing that type of negative body language will likely impact and effect the flow of conversation and possibly upset/anger those around. Active Engagement:

Whilst in conversations, we can determine the feelings and interest level of the other person by their facial expressions and their replying gestures. This is known as Active Engagement. By making gestures such as nodding, you can express to the person talking to you that you agree and/or understand what they are saying. Even shrugging could be considered as it is a reaction to what someone is saying (It could convey confusion perhaps). A technique to show your current understanding of the topic is to summarise, by summing up all the important points and keywords etc, we can identify how much is understood. And if two people agree, they can paraphrase, by repeating what was already said, just with different words.

Barriers to communication:
When communicating with others, it is important to remove any barriers that will hinder the effectiveness of your communication. Making sure your posture and voice volume/tone is correct and loud enough is important as this can determine whether or not the other person can hear and read you properly. Other barriers to communication could be other factors, not related to you, but produced by the environment around you. For example, background sound should be removed as even small, droning hums can greatly distract others from properly paying attention, thus lowering the effectiveness of your communication with another. This is the reason that you are often told to turn your phones off at conferences or meetings. Distractions such as a phone call or a text message tone can quickly cut the attention and concentration of everyone around making them lose focus and possibly forget what is being said. Concentration levels are also important to keep high. this is done so by monitoring the length of the conversation. By speaking for too long, you can exceed someone's concentration span and end up making them too tired to pay attention.

Types of question:
In communication, there has to be a link between the people speaking for effective communication. Asking question could provide such a link. There are 2 main types of question that can be asked and these are 'open' or 'closed'. An open question is a question of which the responses are pretty much limitless and entirely up the person answering, e.g. 'How are you doing?' or 'What do you think about this?'. These leave the person answering to reply with anything they can that can correspond to the asker. However, a closed question is a question that limits the responses the person replying has. For example we could use 'Would you like to go out?' could be considered a closed question, as the person replying can pretty much only reply with a yes or a no. To find out any more, for example if they said yes, you would need to ask 'Where would you like to go?'

Communicate in writing:

In day-to-day work. There are guidelines that we are given and are expected to abide by. An employee in the workplace is given everything they need to work with e.g. an office to work in and attend to from a specific time, an e-mail and work schedules etc. Guidelines can even be used as rules, for example you may be given a computer with internet access, but your browsing activity is limited to company standards for optimal work. Guidelines can also be in the form of templates. Sometimes, you are needed to write something in a certain way, so you are given a template of which you are meant to fill out based on its style and layout. Smileys or Emoticons:

Smileys (emoticons) are used in a more social and friendly environment to express how you feel at that time about something. You'll only usually find smileys on social websites/interactions e.g. forums, Facebook and Skype. However, they are deemed as quite unprofessional and their use is looked down upon in a serious work environment.

Key Messages:
Whenever you are reading a piece of information that is trying to tell you of something there is always a 'key message'. The key message can be represented and identified as a header beneath the greeting or even in the subject field. Grammar and Spelling.

The body of a letter is usually an elaborated version of the key message. In a formal environment it is important to make sure that the grammar and spelling is correct. Failure to do this could result in a complete misinterpretation of the message. A way to avoid this is by using tools such as the spell check system implemented is most document creating software. Structure

When writing a formal document, it is important that the framework of the document has been well thought out and in order. The document needs to be easy for the user to read and in chronological order. By using paragraphs, bullets and even simple headers and subjects we can help readers have an easy time reading the document Identifying relevance

When writing a document there are several techniques to highlight certain, important information. By making some words bold or even italic you can highlight important to assist and cater to skim readers. It is important to keep the size of the document as small as possible to encourage concentrated reading. Proofreading

When a written document has been completed it needs to be proofread before it is submitted. This is because it is very easy to make silly grammatical and spelling errors that the spell check system did not pick up. It is also a good idea to get someone other than the author of the document to proofread the document. This is because the brain that came up with the words that are written is then accustomed to what the author intended to write, therefore making up for the mistakes by overlooking them and compensating for missing letters etc. A new set of eyes should be able to identify most mistakes. Alternative viewpoints

When writing a document of any kind it is also important to separate different viewpoints. Readers may easily become confused by reading two different viewpoints if they are not properly separated. This can be achieved by making use of paragraphs, indenting and even just simply stating where one viewpoint ends and where one begins. Taking notes

It has been scientifically proven that taking notes on large amounts of data, be it a document of even lectures can be easily summed up by taking notes to work as cues. Notes can be taken physically on a piece of paper and also electronically. You can also annotate the document itself. Capitalisation

Capital letters need to be used correctly in any formal document. Grammar dictates that they must be used at the start of sentences and proper nouns. They must also be used for each individual letter of acronyms and abbreviations. Capitalisation in informal environments such as instant messaging or social networking is much less commonly used correctly. It is sometimes used to express anger or shouting by capitalising everything. P3: Potential barriers to effective communication

Background noise:
Having a loud background sound during any sort of speaking environment could be considered as a huge barrier to communication. For example, if you a speaking to a group of students outside where there are roadworks, the loud sounds and droning buzz of engines would greatly distract both student and speaker. The speaker would have to strain and attempt to speak much louder than his comfort level and he may also have to repeat himself often. The students may also not hear and fully understand a lot of the speech. Even trying to read in such noisy circumstances is difficult as your mind would keep focusing in on the loud sounds, therefore losing your place on the document you were reading. Distractions:

Distractions can also be a problem and disrupt concentration levels resulting in the listener will often be lost. This can end up meaning that the listeners did not pick up a lot of the information and the speakers message won’t be sent properly. For example, if you were watching a show and a climatic ending was just about to happen and then someone calls your name abruptly and shouts at you, the effect of the show will be heavily dampened.

Lack of concentration
If any of the listeners have any sort of reason to have deficient concentration levels, this could mean that they are frequently losing focus on what you are trying to say. Due to this, the message and effectiveness of your communication will not be of a good standard and could prove to be a problem as they won’t absorb any information. This would mean that they won’t remember much of what they were told. Lack of concentration could be caused by badly structured documents. If a document is in a non-chronological order, doesn’t have enough spacing or paragraphs or even just being too detailed and lengthy, this can cause someone’s concentration levels to drop exponentially. Lack of concentration can also be caused by unsuitable content. For example, if a math professor was trying to explain complex equations and algorithms to a history student, the student would likely lose interest fast as they won’t understand and won’t want to understand, therefore they will lose their concentration.

M1: Mechanisms to reduce the impact of barriers
During any type or form of communication, be it written or verbal, there are barriers that exist that reduce the effectiveness of communication. This means that by breaking and overcoming as many of these barriers as possible, we can enhance our communication. Background noise:

When thinking of how to prevent and overcome barriers in communication we need to be able to properly identify them first. In written and verbal communication, background noise can serve as a massive barrier. If you are trying to tell someone something important and you are outside a football stadium, it would not be possible for you to tell the stadium to be quiet. So, the only reasonable solution is to move to a different, quieter location. If we focus on background noise as a barrier to written communication, you can use products such as headphones or earplugs to reduce the noise levels around you. A problem with this, however is that if you are in a situation of which you may be called on by someone, this is not a good solution. If you are giving a speech in a crowded environment such as an assembly hall, there is likely to be a lot of chatter amongst the audience crowd. This sort of background noise can be reduced simply by asking for quiet during your speech.

During all type of communication there always a possible risk of being distracted. For example, if you are in a formal staged venue it is possible that an audience member’s phone could go off, disrupting the speech for a brief moment. This is often quite bad, as it could make the speaker lose his place and having to repeat himself. A good way to overcome this problem is by asking the audience to pre-emptively turn of their phones to prepare for the circumstance of a possible phone call or text message. Although every attempt could be made to prevent such distractions in a speech, it is not a sure-fire way or preventing it. Someone people don’t pay attention or even just simply ignore the request to turn off their phones. Also, in informal situations where the request isn’t asked or prompted at the start, it is easy to fall victim to a phone call as it is impossible to predict.

Lack of concentration

It is important to not let one point go on for too long. This can result in the listener becoming extremely bored and tired. It can also reduce the effect of the overall message of the point you are trying to make. For example, if you tell someone

For example, if you tell someone that they cannot leave the storeroom unlocked because unauthorised personnel will be able to access it, your point will be clear and the listener will know what to do and why. However, if you spend ten minutes lecturing them on who is unauthorised and details of possible consequences, you may lose their attention and ultimately, they might lose the key message. It could also help to make your speech more interesting and direct. For example, directing your speech at the listener by speaking directly into the mouthpiece when on the phone or by facing them when speaking in person, helps the listener to focus their attention on you as you are being clear and direct. Making use of effective communication principles such as suitable intonation and body language can make your communication more engaging. This helps add depth and emotional meaning to what you say and helps appeal to the listener for their attention. You can also use emphasis or speak a bit louder if you can sense that your audience is losing focus or if you have realised that some content in part of your communication is less likely to appeal. Make yourself heard problem by speaking at a suitable volume or using a microphone if you are speaking to a large audience from a stage. This can help you to speak over background noise and other distractions. In written communication, good structure will help the reader get through it. If there is danger of reduced concentration, well ordered and well displayed information is more likely to keep the attention of the reader and they are less likely to lose details while they process it.