Art of Communication
Communication is the basic element of human civilisation. Our ability to think and communicate in order to go about our day-to-day life, be it professional or personal, sets us apart from rest of the animals.
Although we are born with the ability to communicate, that does not necessarily imply that we have good communication skills. For most of us communication is just a way of connecting with other people. But there are certain people for whom communication is not just that, it is an indispensable part of their job. They are the Public Relation Officers (PR) who are the spokesperson of the company.
It is the PR people who are best at communication skills. Arpan Sharma, Director of PR at Nepa-laya says, “ You should enjoy meeting people rather than taking it just as work. As a PR you cannot afford to avoid calls like other other people.”
Staying touch is one thing, but a PR person should also be good at communicating with others to achieve their goal. S/He should know the way to deal with all kinds of people. According to Sarad Upadhyay, who looked after the public relations at Soaltee Crowne Plaza for years, one needs to have a strong command over the language and one should also know everything about his job.
“You should be fluent and adapted to use the right words. This is possible only when you are confident in your job,” he says.
But it isn’t necessary that you convince people on the first go. Persuasion is another part of the game. Persuading people is no cakewalk as there is a very thin line between persuading and nagging.
So how does one convince people?
Both Sharma and Upadhyay vouch for patience in this matter. Upadhyay advises “be a good listener and give them explanation to make things clear. But having patience doesn’t mean being complacent. You should be aggressive while doing you part of the job.”
Sharma says, “You are not supposed to lose patience or get tired.”
Professionalism plays a vital role as one cannot choose the type of person one wants to communicate with, it comes with the job. And at times maintaining diplomacy isn’t enough. Putting your word forward has to be done in some other way keeping in mind the objective of the company. According to Sharma the basic skill to remember is politeness and use other ways of approach. He adds, “You have to convince people around the concerned person and take on a common platform.”
Upadhyay opines, “You should be concerned about the sentiments of others. But you should know when to put your foot down.”
Keeping a relation is vital in this job and a constant communication helps a lot in maintaining the relation. In today’s fast paced busy world, had it not been for the technological marvels like e-mails and mobile phones, being in touch would have been lot more difficult. But then can it be more effective that the oldest from of communication, which is talking face-to-face?
Upadhyay says they use the technology that are available in the market and also accessible to the target group. “A good mix of human touch and technology should be maintained. Although most of our working system is now assisted by technology, we still maintain relation with people by socialising. I believe technology lubricates the whole communication process.”
Sharma says, “Staying in touch with people has become so cheap and convenient, plus there is a personal access you can have with the new technology. But at certain places like the government offices, you should meet people personally as face-to-face interaction helps here.”
• Maintain a proper schedule. It helps to meet deadlines.
• Have patience while approaching people.
• Always keep looking to do things in a better way.
• Try to challenge the status quo by thinking out of the box.
• Keep up with the changes that happen to avoid being defunct with time.