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By communication, of course, we not only mean the rhetoric instrument. To be honest, one should not allow ones private communication behaviour to deviate too far from what is required in business-life. If one speaks indistinctly in ones leisure time, or always has a leaning towards sarcasm, one will, sooner or later, also use these characteristics at work. Although one does play various roles in society, one is never immune from carrying, particularly the bad habits, from one role to the other.

How it works

Let's remain for a moment with the comparison between private and professional. Someone who, in private life, or at home, has chaotic habits, will more than likely, also bring confusion into his place of employment. Certainly, one is allowed a certain amount of time to settle any domestic problems, and the result need also not be a complete congruence, but enormous differences should, in the end, be positively ironed out. A colleague who does not keep appointments, who has no concept of what he/she wants and seems more to flounder in his/her work, instead of having any clear idea at all, is a bad sign. A valid question in this context, is whether one is more useful through ones presence or through ones absence.

Rational working begins with communication. If psychology is to be believed, the first 30 seconds (or even less?) are decisive. It is not possible, that only what one says is important, rather the manner in which one behaves. A screwed up first impression (like in love-life) is very difficult to correct, and can be straightened out only with a great deal of effort. The best thing to do is, take every question/statement from a customer seriously, regardless of his/her manner and external appearance. One begins a possible dialogue openly, giving the impression that it could go on for longer. Only if expressly desired, does one offer more information than one receives. Should one have to interrupt the conversation for important reasons, one must inform the customer briefly and distinctly.

It does no harm if the customer service always thinks a little further ahead and is thus, more objective than the customer, of course without letting him/her notice it. However, the conception may, under no circumstances, be simply rattling off technical knowledge. Even though the employee is generally better informed - it is his/her duty, to memorise the information received, and at suitable point, without being pushy, make this clear to the customer. This concerns not only the customers name.

A conversation can be essentially in order, nevertheless, the atmosphere can be icy. There is always also at least one other level of communication. Signalling approval does not work well without believable facial expression. Also the tone in which a statement is spoken can possibly express the opposite of what was actually said. On the other hand the atmosphere can be so casual that the customer has the impression not being taken seriously and would rather have his/her problem solved by another company.

In this case, experiences from ones own leisure time can also be helpful. Does one have ones circle of friends only through habit? Has ones care and interest in others come to a dead-stop? Because as a rule, the private circle of friends is able to notice problems earlier and is also willing to answer questions about them, one should be be open for their reactions and not be offended. The fact that in some cases, the emotional partnership and the relationship to working life breaks down almost at the same time, is absolutely not a coincidence.

If the feedback is all together intact, one can work better on the external things. In the morning there is someone who notices, before one leaves home, someone is there to point out possible odd behaviour. If one provides for enough social control, and has one or more good relationships in ones private life, one can master the basic rules of communication like eye contact, friendliness and adequate behavior oneself. Learning in this way is superior, even over those who have been carefully trained, it simply appears more natural. 09/09               Top of page               Index
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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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