- P1: Explain the personal attributes valued by employers
- P2: Explain the principles of effective communication
- P3: Discuss potential barriers to effective communication
- M1: Explain mechanisms that can reduce the impact of communication barriers
The importance of attributes
People have job specific and general attributes. Job specific would only really be useful in on job area whereas general could be used across many jobs. An example of a job specific attribute would be knowledge in computer engineering; it wouldn't be useful in a job such as hair dressing however communication skills (a general attribute) would be good for talking to customers in both jobs. Personal attributes are what separates one worker from another, they are the things which contribute to a person and why they would be good for a certain job.Specific Attributes
Specific attributes are usually only useful in one field of work or one job depending on how specific the attribute is. Most qualifications give people specific attributes. Health and Safety changes from job to job so different procedures will need to be learned for different jobs. Security is another specific attribute, having the knowledge on why security is important and remembering to lock doors and carry a security pass, you could also inform your employer on things that they could do better for security. Technical knowledge won't be useful in jobs which don't use technology, having knowledge in computer engineering won't help if you are a farmer whereas a general attribute such as time management will.General Attributes
These are the attributes which can be used across all jobs and work sectors. Planning & Organization skills is a general attribute as it can be used everywhere in life, planning can help manage time, set goals which leads to work getting done. Organizing things can make them easier to find again such as files on a computer, equipment for hairdressing, item's in a shop and many other job. Being able to work as a team well is another important general attribute, employers would value it as tasks can be completed when working as a team. An example in software development is when creating a program and the code is created as a team with different people working on different parts, being able to work as a team ensures the job gets done. Creativity shows that they can think outside of the box and come up with new ideas. An employer will value this as it separates you from everyone else and plays a role in being initiative.Attitudes
Self-esteem is how well you like yourself, being happy with who you are can improve confidence and the image of a business.
Confidence means how sure you are of yourself. Being confident usually shows strength and understanding.
Attitude means your feelings about things like work, yourself and others. You can generally have a positive or negative attitude.
Dependability means being reliable.
Habits are things you do all the time.
Attendance means to be present.
Relationship means able to work well with others.
Cooperative means people getting along with one another.
Top 5 characteristics most valued by employers
- Strong Work Ethic - Having this will show that you understand why you should work hard and that you won't be lazy. Employers value people with a strong work ethic as they will work hard and be productive (what the employer wants).
- Dependability and Responsibility - Being able to depend on your employees to do the job properly without being under constant supervision and check-ups will mean that the employer can spend more time doing other things.
- Possessing a Positive Attitude - Being positive will show that you want to work and will do the job properly, studies show that happy/positive workers are more productive. Being positive can also spread so having a generally positive attitude can spread to co-workers and improve the attitude at work overall.
- Adaptability - being able to change under different situations is valued in case someone else is off work ill. Having the ability to deal with unexpected situations will mean that the business will still be able to run smoothly. It also is something which is hard for robots/machines to do.
- Honesty and Integrity - being able to trust employees is valuable as they don't have to be watched and checked on as often. This means that you can leave early and trust them to lock-up and trust them to come forward if they have any issues to ensure that the right thing is always done.
There are many principles which make up good communication, some of the basics are listening, using basic terms and relating to other things.General skills
These are the common skills used in communication such as; listening skills, verbal communication, assertiveness and negotiation. Everyone learns general skills as everybody communicates. Even when you're facing someone who doesn't speak your language you can still point and use body language, this is a very basic communication skill which is often overlooked. Even babies have communication skills by crying when they need or want something. Some principles that make good general communication are; being able to adapt to suit cultural differences, accuracy and use of terminology. Some of the things involved in adapting to suit cultural differenced are speaking clearly, this can be through talking slower than usual and opening your mouth more so that they can see the different words. Modulating the tone of your voice can also help to get your point across and will put across your attitude. Accuracy is making sure that what you are saying is correct, making sure that opinions are stated and not put across as facts. It is also being fairly direct in what you are saying and not blabbing about what you are trying to say without doing it. Terminology is the words you use to explain things, adapting the words you use will help improve effective communication. When talking to someone who doesn't understand complex words on a certain topic, for example computers and you are trying to explain how their latency is high. Being aware that the person may not understand the word latency and explaining it makes effective communication.Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are knowing how to use general skills to communicate effectively. It is also knowing the best way to communicate in different situations, some people don't like to receive disappointing/upsetting news by text and would much rather hear it from a person vocally face to face (no webcam). Interpersonal skills are also knowing how to use body language and all the other skills in order to communicate effectively, this means that the person you are trying to communicate with will understand you and think about what you want them to and actually remember what you said. Some of the interpersonal principles of effective communication are; positive language, active engagement and barriers. Happy workers are usually effective workers so it is important to use positive language. Using when appropriate can motivate colleagues and staff. An example of positive language when talking to a child is ‘Please walk' rather than ‘don't run'.
Active engagement is showing that you have interest in what they are saying, this can be done through facial expressions and nodding. You can nod to show that you understand and look confused when you don't understand. When you are the one talking you can summarise topics so that you don't bore them. If they are bored then they won't be listening fully and your communication will be ineffective. Finally barriers are things that prevent your communication; you want to remove barriers so that your communication can be the most effective. Barriers include, background noise, distractions (such as a television) or windows with people playing sports outside). Without these distractions people will be more likely to focus and take in more information.Written communication skills
Written communication should change depending on who you are talking to, you should take note of your grammar and change your choice of words when talking with close friends and family compared to strangers or acquaintances. When writing formally you may have to change how you address someone and the format you write in, for example a letter. Spelling and proofreading are both important written communication skills, especially when applying for a job as poor spelling and grammatical errors can give a bad impression. You should also change your structure depending on the type of written communication, a letter should have a different structure to a report, essay and text message. Knowing how to structure your written communication can improve the effectiveness and the recipient will be able to take in sections of information better.How can we get around communication barriers? Language barriers
Speak loudly and slowly for people who don't speak the language, use a translator, use body language if relevant. If someone didn't speak the language fluently they would find it too hard to understand when someone is talking fast as all the words will seem to mix together and they would not be able to pick up individual words. Speaking loudly and slowly makes the words clear and defined. Body language helps as you can hold and point at things you are talking about.Cultural barriers
Some cultures find some body and sign language offensive which are friendly or don't mean anything in others. If someone did not know these differences they could offend others and then they may not listen. To get around these barriers each culture could accept that other cultures may not know about their culture and may not mean to offend them. They could also try and research the others culture if they are arranging to meet or know they are from a different culture beforehand.Accuracy/terminology
Some cultures use slang terms which are unique and others who speak the language may not understand, this can lead to confusion when talking and sometimes may be seen as rude or offensive. Some people may also be inaccurate when communicating; they may say false facts or use the wrong the wrong terminology. They may do this because of nerves or being unprepared or because they has been told facts wrong and believed them without checking or doing research. Being inaccurate will over time lead to people not trusting things that you say which can cause a big barrier as they will need to hear from other people as well as you or may need to double check things which is unnecessary when someone else could get things right more than you as they have done more research and preparation.