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Use of Phrases in English

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Use of phrases in the English language is a very interesting and at times a hilarious affair. As Indians, we love to translate the entire sentence, word to word, from Hindi to English; therefore sometimes it becomes quite hilarious. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly used phrases in English which are incorrect.

 

“What’s your good name?”

There is no good or bad name. A name is just a name. So, instead of asking a person’s “good name” what we can ask instead is “May I know your name? or May I take your name?”. It sounds polite and is the correct way of knowing someone’s name.

“Where do you put up?”

Do we put down also!! Well! There is a proper way to ask where the person lives. You can simply ask “Where do you live or where do you reside?”

“Kindly revert back”

Another commonly used phrase is “Kindly revert back”. Revert itself means to reply back so we need not add an additional back with revert.

“Discuss About”

Next comes the humble “discuss about”. Now, you will ask what’s wrong with this phrase. Well! Discuss means to talk about things. Therefore, we again need not add an extra about to it.

“Today Itself”

Next in line is “I will do the work today itself”. Today means by end of the day. So we need not add itself to it

Similar to the above is “I came back today only”.. Again, if you have come today , then it means you are already here, so need not again put an extra only to it.

“Backside ”

Now comes the most amusing phrase used “My house is at the backside of the park”. Ahh!! Backside!! Well, we all know what it refers to!! Instead of saying the backside entrance, we can simply say “the rear of the park or the back of the park or entrance”.

“Out of Station”

We Indians love traveling. And it’s a common phrase to say “out of station”. Again, in earlier times when railway was the preferred mode of transport, this phrase could have still made sense as it referred to moving out of the railway station. But no longer is this phrase apt for today’s era. We can replace this phrase by simply saying “I was out of town”.

“Passed Out”

Next in line is “passed out”. Again a term very commonly used. Now, this means that a person has become unconscious or fainted. We never ever use this phrase to ask “When did you pass out from college?” It literally means “When did you faint in college?” The correct way to as is “When did you complete your college education?” or “When did you pass from college?”

“Giving Exams”

We are all scared of giving exams, isn’t it? There we go!!! Again an Indian phrase commonly used by all “Are you giving your board exams?” That’s completely incorrect. The suitable way of saying this is “Are you taking you board exams?”

“Real Brother / Sister”

As Indians, we love to talk incessantly about our family. And then comes another Indian phrase widely used by most of us; “My real brother/sister”. Come on!! Do we have a fake brother or sister too? No!!! So simply say “siblings”. Another error which we make while talking about our family is “cousin brother/sister”. Cousin is a cousin; you need not add a brother or sister to it.

“Hinglish”

Let’s talk about Hinglish now!! Adding a “Na” at the end of sentence. “You are coming for the movie, na?” Come to think of it!! You are literally asking that person to not come!! Just ask “Are you coming for the movie?” Let that person say a ‘haan’ or a ‘na’!!

“Himself /  Herself”

Another language fallacy is the use of “herself”, inappropriately. e.g. “She herself only completed the work”. Which means that she did the work on her own. A better and of course the correct way of saying this is “She did the work all by herself or she did the work on her own.”

“Back”

Back is back again!! This time wrongly used in a different concept. Ever heard people saying ­­“Two years back I was in China?” Well! Well! Well! No back here please!!! Usage of a small word here, will change the way you talk. Please replace “back” with “ago”. Hence, it’s “Two years ago, I was in China.”

“Overusing Present Continuous Tense ”

Last, but not the least is the over usage of the “Present Continuous Tense”. Words like having, liking, etc. How does this sentence sound – He’s is loving those shoes? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It should be “He loves those shoes”. Another common one is “Are you having your laptop with you?” Didn’t know we can eat laptops too!!! “Having is consuming”. Therefore, we cannot use having unless we are referring to an eatable item. Instead please say” Do you have your laptop with you?” “Have” indicates possession.

Hope, the above fantastic fifteen will be an eye opener and we stop using these phrases to make our English sound more refined.

Getting my point!! Ohhh!!! I mean, got my point?

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Importance of English in Career Growth

Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all

-Walt Whitman

 

 

Importance of English for Career Growth

 

 

Why do young professionals, be it a graduate or a post graduate (B.Tech, M.Tech, MBA, MCA etc) take up courses to polish their communication skills in English? Why are organizations these days engaged in training students and employees on effective communication skills in English? Why do parents leave no stone unturned to make sure that their children are sent to the best of schools? Years ago, the choice used to be between a good public school and a convent school. Today, the choices have extended to the international schools following IB curriculum. Whatever be the reasons for the different choices that parents make but importance of English cannot be denied.

Ever wondered why? Well, one need not wonder because the answer seems quite obvious. Good command over English opens up various avenues for a bright career.

You may ask “Why English?”

 

People have been moving to different countries for better job opportunities. One of the most important aspects in getting a good job abroad is the command over English. TOFEL/ IELTS/PTE must be cleared in order to get good opportunities overseas. More than 2 billion people all over the world use English to communicate on a regular basis. Research shows that English is the business language across the globe. With globalization, all cross-border business communication is usually done in English. It’s presence in the global market place cannot be underestimated.

English is spoken across the globe due to Great Britain’s expansion during the colonial age. People in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and parts of Africa, India, and many small island nations speak English. English is the commonly adopted second language in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Moreover,  most of the content produced on the internet is in English, many of the world’s top films, books and music are also published and produced in English.

 

So knowing English will allow you access to an incredible amount of information which may not be otherwise available. Research shows that English speakers in the world earn more money than non-English speakers. Being a comfortable communicator in English can help you land that first job in your new career and ensure a positive future. It can also make you better than other applicants and help you be a more effective employee. In fact, English serves as a stepping stone to leadership responsibilities and career advancement.

As the saying goes, ‘Whatever you are, be a good one.

 

If you can communicate well in English you can explain your ideas to others in ways that make sense and are easy to understand. You’ll be able to tell your supervisor what you need to do your job well. You’ll also be able to talk with co-workers to make sure you’re all working together for the benefit of the company and its customers. English is required for communicating in a variety of professional fields including: business, information technology, science, medicine, aviation, entertainment, radio, diplomacy and more.

So, if you have a good command over English, your opportunities for a well-paid and interesting career increase manifold. You’ll be able to work for, or deal with, international companies and organizations around the globe, which in turn may lead to opportunities to travel and broaden your outlook. English, when spoken with confidence and finesse, not only adds to the charisma, but also helps one accomplish their personal professional goals.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Six Golden Rules To Ace A Group Discussion

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance. Robert Quillen

Six ways to ace group discussion

 

 

As each sport and game has its own rules and tips to help you navigate it successfully, the same goes for group discussion too. The general tip is that you follow the rules, gauge your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, work around their strengths, tap into their weaknesses and you can sail through with the perfect image in group discussions.

Rule 1: Prepare

 

Work begins long before you sit for the group discussion. Your performance is as good as your preparation. Half the preparation is about knowledge. If you think you can wing it with aggression, you are mistaken. Find out the kind of topics that are given at the institution or company you are applying for.

Prepare well in time on as many topics as you can, not just the ones given in the past, but related ones too. You never know when the subject would be changed. Get into the habit of active reading. It’s different from passive reading. Passive reading is where you read merely to understand the subject. Active reading is where you not only understand the subject, but also begin to raise questions and voice your opinion – positive, negative or neutral about the subject. This is critical in the group discussion to counter or support others’ points of view.

The next part of rule 1 is to have mock group discussion, preferably with differing groups of friends. The point is to train your mind to think of any given topic’s pros and cons in a dynamic situation where you can’t predict the person’s response. More importantly, it is about looking at all the possible angles to the topic. This shows your logical mind, creativity and also your ability to think on your feet which comes with preparation.

Rule 2: Know the Participants

 

Carry a notepad and pen to note down your discussion points as soon as the topic is given. Most people who attend GDs are as focused on their performance as they tend to be. Take a deep breath and when the team introduces itself, note down the participants’ names.

In the heat of the discussion, calling out the person’s name is a good way to get their attention. All of us respond instinctively when our name is called out, so use this technique. Not only does it get you their attention, it also shows your people skills and presence of mind.

Rule 3: Take Care of your Posture

 

Your body posture reveals your state of mind. At the same time, it conditions you to a particular way of thinking. Don’t lean back or lean forward. Find the balance.

Let your body posture be of polite intensity so that you come across as a balanced individual with plenty of energy. This also shows empathy and respect to others when they speak and is an asset that brings you additional points.

Rule 4: Take Charge

 

Take charge of the group discussion right in the beginning. It shows your leadership capability. Introduce the topic by setting the framework for the ensuing discussion and state your opening point before leaving it to the group. Further, when it comes to conclusions, many GDs fall through and participants don’t make good use of it although it brings points.

Conclude the discussion by summing up if you can. To do this, listen actively throughout the discussion and note down the key highlights – say, in columns of negative and positive points on your notepad or any other format that suits the discussion.

Rule 5: Retain Your Balance

 

During the group discussion itself, give your logical counterpoint without aggression when there is a disagreement. You are not there to prove that your stand is right, but to show your maturity and logical thinking. When the discussion drags over a point, it is time for you to interject and turn the discussion in a new direction, either with a related point or with an opposite view.

Be to the point and intervene when another candidate is taking all the airtime. When they pause for breath, it is the right time to take your chance, state your point and then, pass the chance to someone who hasn’t had their say.

Rule 6: Follow your Domain

 

Keep the domain in mind while projecting your image. Let’s suppose you are facing a group discussion for a sales function, you may have to take a more aggressive approach whereas a marketing function could veer towards the creative and the practical approach in assessment.

Group discussion is as much about your knowledge and point-of-view as about how you handle yourself and others. Do these right and you will have projected the right image.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Mastering Extempore

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“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” –Dale Carnegie

Extempore

 

Extempore speaking is the term used for a non-formally prepared speech. Every time you speak you are preparing for extempore speaking. You probably prepare without even knowing it. You have to read to learn new things for this type of speaking. When doing extempore speaking, you need to use the knowledge that you have and use a strong delivery.

 

The key to extempore speaking is that the words spoken are chosen as we speak them, and what is delivered is a stream of consciousness that is fluent, erudite and articulate, while being unscripted. Historically, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) (a top notch business school affiliated to Delhi University) has been known for conducting an extempore session along with the GD/PI rounds in its selection process.

 

Extempore tests the candidates on the following:-

  • Ability to think on the feet
  • Ability to connect with the panel
  • Ability to think outside the box
  • Analysis of the topic and identification of the issue to be addressed
  • Ideation
  • Prioritization and sequencing displaying logical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Overall presentation skills-body language, confidence, poise, composure etc.

 

For effective extempore speaking – candidates must be fluent and well read.

  • Be mentally ready: Know what to speak beforehand. Ponder over the topic for some time and prepare the flow of delivery. Your previous extempore practice sessions would surely be a booster here. Understanding the audience, the direction they are most likely to accept, helps in framing the flow of speech & also helps to connect with the audience.
  • Keep a check on your rate of speech: The key is; neither to go too fast nor too slow. Do not start really fast, as you are likely to end much earlier than the given time.
  • Confidence is the key: It’s not what you say but how you say it” that makes the difference, too. Confidence, along with knowledge, always helps, even in abstract topics where you are tested on presence of mind, spontaneity and analytical skills.
  • Handle mental blocks smartly: Remember the famous quote? “If plan “A” doesn’t work there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.” At times, when you get stuck, try to maneuver yourself out of the situation gracefully by avoiding being nervous. For such situations it is better to have back up plans.
  • Don’t get carried away:  Don’t get emotional about the topic, avoid getting too personal on sensitive matters, don’t deviate from the topic and talk about irrelevant stuff.
  • The darker and brighter sides- In case of controversial topics (e.g. Should actors from Pakistan be given an opportunity in Bollywood?), you may choose to explore both sides, a stand which becomes difficult to take in case of GDs due to challenges of group dynamics. In an extempore, since you are the only person speaking, it becomes possible for a smart, strategic speaker to discuss both aspects of the controversial topic. However, one has to be on his/her toes about the time constraints while taking this stand.
  • Competence, Enthusiasm & Adaptability is the key: Work on yourself & your competitive advantage which could be excellent vocabulary, being good at idioms & expressions, some good proverbs & quotes, good general knowledge, etc. Stay calm & put your best foot forward.
  • Mind your Ps & Qs- Last but not the least; do ensure that you sound polite & don’t end up hurting anyone by commenting on a specific caste, religion or sex. You must have heard-“Words are free, it’s how you use them that may cost you”

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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A Complete Guide to Writing Effective Essay

Writing Essay

 

“The pen is mightier than the sword”

 

This axiom by Shakespeare holds the verity and relevance when compared to a sword. On the contrary, delving deep into the nuances of writing; the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer. Although most of us may envision ourselves as the budding writers (no less than Shakespeare) but brainwave alone is not the key to effective writing essay.

Here’s a complete guide to writing essay:

The Five Paragraph Essay

Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Body 1
Paragraph 3: Body 2
Paragraph 4: Body 3
Paragraph 5: Conclusion

 

The Introduction

The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your “thesis” on the topic. The essay should begin with a “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. Hence we start with a general idea about the topic and subsequently arrive to the main idea. The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position in an unambiguous manner .Following the thesis, a mini-outline is proffered which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.

 

The Body Paragraphs

The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs supporting the main purpose of spelling out in detail the examples that support the thesis.

For body paragraph 1: The strongest argument or most significant example ought to be used at this juncture. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph. Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The topic sentence should be ornate with a transitional word and have a common thread to bind the other body paragraphs.

 

The Conclusion

As the final paragraph represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format. One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features. Effective conclusions open with a concluding transition (“in conclusion,” “in the end,” etc.) and an allusion to the “hook” used in the introductory paragraph.

 

Introduction Paragraph

  • Attention grabbing hook
  • A thesis statement
  • A preview of the three subtopics you will discuss in the subsequent body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Body Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence with the subtopic coupled with a transition word
  • Supporting details with relevant examples
  • An explanation how the example supports the thesis.

Conclusion

  • Concluding transition, reverse hook and reinstatement of thesis
  • Global Statement or call to action

 

Tips to make your essays shine:

  1. Plan and make a framework of your essay
  2. Include variety of expressions (ideas)
  3. Use transition words
  4. Use varied lexical range
  5. Engage in the art of paraphrasing
  6. Give your thoughts a structured approach
  7. Practice makes a man perfect

Hope these tips and techniques are useful and that they help you take your writing essays to new heights.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter. 

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Importance of Intonation

“I would spend hours absorbing every intonation, every inflection – how the singer would convey a sentiment and how it would sound coming out of their head”
 -Kat Edmonson

 

Intonation

 

From the vernacular Chaucer, tragic Shakespeare, classic Eliot, romantic Keats to the likes of fictional Bhagat, it cannot be denied that English has evolved over centuries; every language does!

 

Acronyms have replaced the large stash of words and oral conversations have been substituted by texts leading to misunderstandings and conflicts among the peers. Everything might change but there is only one aspect of a language that hasn’t lost its ground — intonation.

 

In common words, Intonation refers to the rise and fall of pitch and tone of a speaker to give stress to the relevant words in order to make his speech more effective.

Many of us have stopped giving attention to the tone altogether whereas others have actually taken time out to ponder over it a bit. Simply because no matter what is the mode of communication, importance of intonation is hard to be overlooked. Hence, there is only one solution left to this, a conversation for real.

What exactly is Intonation and how is it crucial in spoken English?

 

Without intonation, our voices are flat and monotone. There is little interest generated in the audience. As a listener, the voice is bland to listen to. You tune it out. You may even fall asleep. Even if the speaker has great content, there is little desire to listen or to get passionate about the speaker’s message.

 

Without intonation, you cannot understand the speaker’s feelings and the speaker’s attitudes. Are they really happy or are they very angry? Is there something exciting happening or perhaps a surprise of some sort? Is the person confident in what they think or say, or are they unsure of what they are thinking or saying?

 

When talking over the phone, we can express emotion and intention as much through the tone of our voice as through the contents of our conversation. While most of the time we do this without even thinking, a little consideration of how we do it can help us avoid misunderstandings and improve those all-important first impressions made over the phone. Here are few things that are to be kept in mind during a conversation:

Pitch

While some people naturally have higher voices than others, and women tend to speak in a higher pitch than men, we do tend to alter our pitch to convey emotions.

Pace

This is how fast or slow your speech is. While rapid speech may indicate that the speaker is nervous or excited, a steady pace shows confidence, or reflects a topic of a more serious nature.

Power

This refers to where you place the stress in a sentence, and can change the meaning of your speech almost entirely. For example, take the sentence “I didn’t say your cooking was bad!” Depending on where you place the stress in this sentence, you can elicit an entirely different response.

Tone

Tone is the easiest giveaway when it comes to emotion. We often think of vocal tones as being warm or cold. For example, the phrase “see you later” spoken in a warm tone implies excitement at the impending reunion, whereas spoken in a cold tone it could be a clue that the speaker isn’t particularly keen on seeing you after all!

 

Whether you watch news/ movie/ documentary on TV or merely listen to a conversation on FM you can observe the intonation in people’s voice and decide for yourself whether it really makes a difference or not. It is easy for all of us to relate to the fact that almost all of us know someone who makes us laugh just because of the way he/she says something funny (intonation- getting used to the fullest) and on the other hand the funniest of jokes can’t get us to even smile (No intonation or improper use).

 

So gear up friends, practice intonation and experience the difference.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips For Writing Effective Emails

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Email is the most popular form of written business communication. It is essential that it should be well written with a professional touch.

Writing Formal Mails

1.Begin with a greeting

Always begin your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Henry”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (e.g. “Dear Mrs. Wright”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Name”. If you are not sure about the recipient’s identity, you can write Dear Sir/ Ma’am.

2.Subject line:

The mail should have a subject line summarizing briefly and evidently the contents of the message. It should state the purpose or objective of writing the mail. Use the subject line to grab reader’s attention.

3.Use simplified language

Do not clutter the email with too many technical terms. The mail should not have long sentences and complex structures. Keep your message short and clear. Try and follow the KISS technique (Keep it Short and Simple)

4.The recipient should be kept in the mind while writing emails

The tone of the email plays an important role. Usually it is observed that upward communication has an element of humility. On the contrary, the downward communication is laced with arrogance. It is recommended to keep the tone neutral while writing the emails.

5.Use Passive Voice

While writing emails, it is recommended to use Passive Voice. Using passive voice makes the language subtle and less direct.

6.Ascertain following the rules of Punctuation, basic grammar and spellings.

In this era of extensive texting, the basic principles of grammar have lost their sheen. People have become oblivious to punctuation and spellings. Since emails are formal communication, we ought to follow the punctuation rules meticulously. Do not type the entire mail in the Upper or lower case.

7.Try to use positive words

The writer should use positive words as it reflects on his / her attitude towards life.

8.Add your closing remarks

Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.

9.End with a closing

The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.

10.Proof read the mail

It is recommended to proof read and edit the mail before pressing the send button.

 

Format of a Formal Email

1. Background

The default white background should be used for all emails. Colored backgrounds or scroll designs are deemed unprofessional and distracting.

2. Font

Preferred fonts are Times New Roman or Arial, font size-12.

3. Font Color

Font should be navy blue or black only.

4. Contact Details

Official contact information like name, designation, email id, contact number, company logo, and address of correspondence should be mentioned in the signature area. Personal statements are best avoided.

5. First Name and Surname

They should be mentioned in the same font as used in the body of the email, only two font sizes larger. Cursive fonts are not recommended.

6. Signature

The following information should be supplied in the same font and size as the body of the email.

  • Designation
  • Company Name & Address
  • Contact Number

 

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The Art of Effective Communication

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“Communication – the human connection, is the key to personal and career success.”….Paul J. Meyer

Effective Communication

Communication is considered to be effective if the audience reaches the goal intuitively, effortlessly. In simpler terms, it means that when they are absorbing your communication, they don’t have to think about the method being used but think only about the message. On the larger canvas, it seems like a Herculean task. Delving into the intricacies of communication, the key is perception of situation.

When to make sure you communicate effectively?

Most of the communication we do in our everyday lives is quite successful. We know how to modify our behaviour and vary our approach if we start to see we aren’t getting our messages through. It may not be efficient to plan and polish all our daily communication, however, the need of effective communication is the most while dealing with business and professional relationships.

Every time we want to communicate meaningfully, consider the two important elements: the audience and the goal. One should clearly define both within the context of communication. The reason is that different audiences require different approaches in order to get them to the desired goals. If one manages to bring the audience to the desired goal, it can be inferred that the communication was successful and effective.

Effective Communication Skills

1.Be an Enthusiastic and Good listener

Although people think that they are listening when the other person is talking, the time, actually is being utilized in planning what to reply.

Therefore, an extra effort is required to listen to what the other person says and then come up with the desired response. This is an attribute of a good and keen listener.

2. Understanding Others’ Point of View

In most of the communication, we desire ourselves to be heard and understood.  If an effort is sincerely put to see through the other party’s point of view, ours can also be explained in a lucid and relevant manner.

3.Use Mirror and Match technique

Adapt to their body language and feelings. Pay special attention to their nonverbal communication. Observe the body language and posture, inflection and choice of words. Now, customize your words, body language, and voice tone to match what has been observed.

4.Use the right lexical resources

Use words like “we, us, we’re, our, and ourselves” to instantly build a bond. These words foster a common goal or concern.

5. Compromise if necessary

With a trait to win arguments, we aim to win. Communication is not about winning, it’s about getting things done.

6. Take Time-Out if Necessary

Sometimes, we need to take a break in the middle of the discussion. If the communication is intensive, ineffective communication pattern can surface. On noticing such patterns, take a break and then continue constructively.

Become a skilled communicator

If we take the time to work on our communication skills by focusing on some of the points mentioned above, we can definitely improve our ability to connect with people from all walks of life, at work and in social circles. Choose the techniques that fit best with our personality and our motives, when we interact with people.

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” ~Lee Iacocca

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

 

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Saying the Dreadful “NO” Effectively

EnglishMate: How to say NO effectively

 

It seems to be a cumbersome task to say no to any person. Most of us face trouble while saying “No”, especially to our seniors. There may be cultural, gender, social, religious, or institutional pressure to conform and please. Often there’s a fear of rejection, a desire to avoid confrontation, or guilt over hurting others’ feelings. However, it’s important to say “no” when necessary, in order to protect our boundaries and maintain one’s own priorities. Saying ‘no’ may sound rude, like you’re rejecting the person. There’s a negative connotation to it or they may even feel they won’t be liked or will be perceived as uncaring and unhelpful. As a result, people usually go the path of least potential conflict and comply with others. If people do say ‘no’, they usually do it in ineffective ways that come with an excuse. To be effective in saying ‘no’, the first step in learning the dynamics involved in it.

1. Say It

Don’t beat around the bush or offer weak excuses or hem and haw. Don’t delay or stall either. Provide a brief explanation .The less said the better- This is the best possible way.

2. Be Assertive and Courteous

You might say, “I’m sorry I can’t right now but will let you know when and if I can.” This approach is polite, and puts you in a position of power by changing the dynamic. You’re taking charge, telling people you’ll let them know when and if you can.

3. Understanding Tactics

Many people and organizations use manipulation techniques, do not get intimidated by their manipulative ways. Be prudent in understanding people’s tactics and not to give into social pressure.

4. Set Boundaries

We need to evaluate our relationships and understand our role within the relationship dynamics. After understanding the concept of relationship dynamics, we usually acquire a position of authority and confidently say “No”.

5. Be Selfish

Put your needs first. If you prioritize that person’s needs over yours, you’ll find your productivity will suffer and resentment will mount. An unhappy you would turn unproductive and cranky.

 

Simple “no” scripts that you can tweak into your bit of conversation

1. “Let me think about it.”

2. “The idea sounds great! It’s just that … “

3. “I can’t today. How about [insert new schedule]?”

4. “I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

5. I ‘m going to say no for now. I would let you if there is a change….

6. I ‘m not able to commit to that right now…..

One should not hold back from saying ‘no’ as we have to be true to ourselves, our convictions, and our priorities. So saying ‘no’ is perfectly fine…..

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter

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Preparing for Job Interview / Campus Placement

Preparing for job interview

“How do you stand out from the competition? Well, the answer is simple –Have something that others don’t”

 

Getting through a job interview or campus placement is an uphill task. It requires preparation and practice to outshine other candidates. These tips below will ease your process of preparing for job interviews / campus placement.

 

1. Go Back to The Scratch

A lot of candidates tend to ignore this, but the most important thing in your selection process is going to be your knowledge of topics – that you’ve studied over the last 2-3 years. All your efforts will unfortunately end up in smoke if you lack the basic knowledge of the subjects.

 

2. Aptitude Test

This is where the first elimination will begin – the aptitude test. Lots of students fear the aptitude test. Don’t worry because it’s a piece of cake to crack an aptitude test-  all it takes is practice!  Just keep practicing and increase your chances of moving on to the next step.

 

3. Written & Spoken English

Like it or not, but the Indian job markets demand people who can speak and write correct English. Unfortunately – very few people pay attention to their communication skills. If you think you need to sharpen your English speaking/writing skills; then NOW is the time to do it. It’s going to help you in your entire career. The bitter truth is that a lot of people get rejected because they can’t communicate or express themselves.

 

4. Interview (HR)

If you think that clearing aptitude and technical rounds ensures that you’re selected, then wait a minute – many times, overconfident candidates get rejected in HR interviews. So take HR interviews seriously!

But that doesn’t mean you should have a serious expression on your face. All you’re expected in an HR interview is to be yourself, have a smiling face, don’t be overconfident or super excited about the things. Don’t overdo anything!

 

5. Pick Your Favorite Subject / Topic

Interviewers make their job easier by asking you to talk about your favorite subject. Now, you should really be very well prepared to handle interview question. Once you tell the interviewers your favorite topic/ subject; expect a few questions related to it.

 

6. Come up with your Showcase Portfolio

How do you stand out from the competition? Well, the answer is simple –“Have something that others don’t” If you are looking for an IT job; why not work on a few pet software development projects on your own and list them on your resume?

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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