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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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Tips to Improve Body Language

Englishmate- Tips for Improving Body Language

 

 

You might be preparing for an interview, a presentation and wondering if you are ready for that. While doing so, most of the people focus more on content, audience, technical know-how and what not. To be sure about the success of your presentation or leaving a good impression during your interview, you need to take care of other important aspects as well such as body language. Body language is a part of non-verbal communication and plays an important role while communicating with someone. Let’s have a look at some of the tips to improve our body language.

1.     Body Posture

Your body communicates what you may not be aware of or a message that you don’t want to communicate. It happens when you don’t have the right posture to convey the intended meaning. Make sure you are aware of the postures you use while having conversation with someone. Try to have a comfortable posture that is neither too relaxed nor too rigid. Having a right posture makes you feel confident and formal especially during those formal meetings.

2.     Proper Eye Contact

Eye contact occurs when two people look at each other’s eyes at the same time. In human beings, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior (Wikipedia). Speaking in front of an audience without making a proper eye contact makes your audience feel ignored or neglected. Experts are of the belief that proper eye contact helps in building trust and confidence during conversations.

3.     Don’t Fiddle with Anything

People tend to get nervous when they have to strike a conversation with someone or during formal meetings. It is normally witnessed in language classes that students get nervous and start fiddling with anything they have in their hands, a pen, key etc. when they have to face an audience. The students don’t seem to be aware of it but others can easily notice the restlessness. This problem can be overcome with practice and constant monitoring of one’s hand movements.

4.      Don’t Make Faces

Your facial expressions are crucial for a successful interaction be it an interview, presentation or a general day to day conversation. You might have a habit of making certain facial expressions that can put someone off and may even result in creating a negative image of yours. Try to practice making pleasing facial expressions and get used to doing so.

5.     Learn to Smile

Smile adds to your beauty and makes it a pleasing experience for the people involved in conversation. Smiling while talking to someone can be a welcoming sign and helps continue the conversation. A good smile doesn’t cost much but adds value to your face.

If we have the other things in place and keep the above mentioned points in mind as far as body language is concerned, it will definitely help in creating a lasting impression.

 

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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Use of Phrases in English

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The 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?”
  • Another commonly used phrase is “Kindly revert back”. Revert itself means to reply back so we need not add an additional back with revert.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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”.
  • 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”.
  • Next in line is “passed out”. Again a term very prevalently 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?”
  • 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?”
  • 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.
  • 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’!!
  • 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 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.”
  • 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 for us 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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English Speaking in Social Gatherings

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Anyone using English in social gatherings should refrain from an academic approach and strive to give it a living interest by keeping the attention of others on English as it is spoken today. The idea here is to communicate so avoid using jargons and difficult words.

Communication, a word of Latin origin, means sharing. In a social gathering, people interact with each other either to exchange pleasantries, share some information or good/bad experiences. We all know that the most common medium of communication is English language, especially in the gatherings where you get to interact with the upper middle or high class. Even the middle class doesn’t seem to remain unaffected by this trend.

Conversation in social gatherings should be highly confident yet speech should be highly courteous. The gestures used while conversing in English is a reflection of one’s involvement in the interaction. A few examples can be-smile, nod, wave our hands, etc. These non-linguistic symbols keep the attention of the other person on what we say.

In any social gathering, communication involves two parties who interact on a common topic.  Without a common background or interest there can be no effective communication. Here comes the most important factor to remember which is to be cooperative and be a patient listener while communicating. If we speak to someone in a social place without paying heed to the other person’s interest, then there is a possibility that he/she will get totally lost  in his own thoughts and in no time communication will stop.

English has developed as a common medium of communication in social functions also. Hence it is the right strategy to keep ourselves updated with the recent developments and changes in English language. English language used in a social circle can differ a lot from business communication. We need to be sensitive about using suitable gestures while addressing different people who might speak distinctly.

It is very important to respond appropriately when a sender transmits a message. The response should be immediate and favourable. This is important because the person in front of us will naturally be interested in knowing how his message has been received. Immediate feedback is possible very easily in a face to face interaction. An advantage of such communication is the adjustment of the length of communication. Knowledge and usage of correct English can reveal the inner strength, upbringing, nature and much more about a person’s personality.

English language has virtues which are unparalleled because greeting, thanking, apology, respect, farewell, etc. can be expressed very beautifully in English phrases. Correct English is always appreciated in social gatherings by the ones who are well versed in the usage of the language. In many cases the message may fail to receive the desired response because of a semantic gap between the people interacting. This failure occurs because the sender may not be clear about what is to be conveyed and may use inappropriate English to convey his ideas. It may also happen if the listener is not able to understand and interpret the meaning of the conversation. Therefore it is important to acquire and apply correct skills of English language in social gatherings.

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 To Write An Impressive Resume

Writing a resume is often the most arduous activity of the entire job application process and one which requires painstaking attention to detail. EnglishMate, English speaking institutes from Hindustan Times, lists a few points that one should consider while writing their resume.

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How long should a resume be?

Most recent graduates should confine their resumes to one page. If your resume goes to a second page, make sure your margins are not too wide (no more than 1” left and right and as little as ½” top and bottom). If the headings are on the left, stack the words (e.g. “TEACHING” with “EXPERIENCE” under it, rather than next to it).

What should one include?

  • Name: Start with your NAME (we suggest upper case bold for name only), and complete contact information (address, phone and email address).
  • Certifications: List professional certifications and licenses with dates received. (Chronological Order)
  • Education: Summarize your education in reverse order, starting with your last degree or the one you are working on now. Include school name, city, state, degree, major, date degree was – or will be – conferred and honors.
  • Courses: To tailor your resume to a specific job, you may include a list of “relevant courses.”
  • Honors/Awards/Activities: Use one or more categories as appropriate, highlighting achievements such as scholarships, Dean’s List, leadership roles in clubs, campus/community organizations, sports or other accomplishments.
  • Research: If applicable, you may include special projects or research, highlighting significant relevant classroom learning experiences such as research projects, independent study, special presentations, and major papers.
  • Experience: Your experience, regardless of how you acquired it (full time or part time jobs, internships, and community or college service) is usually of chief interest to the reader. For each position, include: Job Title (followed by dates of employment), Employer, City, and State. Emphasize (put first) either employers or job titles, but be consistent! Describe responsibilities, duties and accomplishments, preferably using list format with bullets.
  • Skills: Of great interest to employers! Indicate computer hardware and software knowledge, fluency in foreign languages, or other technical skills. If you have several of each, use separate categories.
  • Interests: List interests only if you are really knowledgeable about something or very good at it.

How do you make your resume look professional?

  • Include no personal information: age, health, marital status, height, weight, religion.
  • Never use the first person “I.” Do not use full sentences. Eliminate all unnecessary words (a, the).
  • Never lie or exaggerate.
  • Add to the eye appeal of your resume by varying the typeface for emphasis: bold, underline, italic, UPPER CASE, etc. (Use italics for emphasis only – perhaps your job title – never for the entire resume.) Use an attractive legible typeface such as Times or Arial, not an old-fashioned font such as Courier.
  • Use “bullets” (•, ♦, *, −) for listing items under a heading description, such as experience.
  • Proofread carefully. Grammatical, content and typographical errors may eliminate you immediately from consideration for an interview. Ask others to proofread the resume as well.

What is the most important feature of a successful resume?

Here are some pointers:

  • Use action verbs to describe your duties and accomplishments, depicting yourself as someone who gets the job done: one who “created . . . published . . . solved” – not one who merely “participated in” or was “responsible for.” Avoid using “assisted” – say what you did. Vary the vocabulary. For present jobs, use present tense verbs and for past jobs, use past tense.
  • Emphasize skills and experience related to the job you want and to the employer’s needs.
  • When describing your experience, use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture of you as an individual (“Adapted lesson on dinosaurs to learning styles of autistic children”) rather than vague descriptions that make you sound like everyone else (“Followed the curriculum of cooperating teacher”).
  • Quantify accomplishments by citing numbers, percentages, etc., where appropriate.
  • Put the most related and impressive accomplishment first within each job description.

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Six Golden Rules To Ace A Group Discussion

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As each sport and game has its own rules and tips to help you navigate it successfully, the same goes for group discussions 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 GDs, 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 his 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 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 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 he pauses 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 his 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 discussions are 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.

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quantifiers

WHEN TO USE SOME AND ANY

The words Some and Any (Quantifiers that can be used with countable and uncountable nouns) are used to state the quantity or amount of something. Usually both ‘some’ and ‘any’ can only be used with plural countable nouns or uncountable nouns, but not usually with singular countable nouns.

 

Rules:

SOME:

  • Some is used in Positive statements (Affirmative). For e.g.:

 

  • She bought some
  • I want some
  • There are some exercise books on the floor.

 

  • Some is usually used in Offers.

 

  • Would you like some coffee?
  • Do you want some chocolates?

 

  • Some’ can be used in Requests.

 

  • Could I have some cheese, please?
  • Have you got some funny stickers that I could borrow?

 

  • Some is used with the plural form of countable nouns and it is also used with uncountable nouns.

 

  • I have some friends in Bangalore.
  • I need some water to drink.

ANY:

  • Any is used in negative statements. For e.g.:

 

  • My brother never ever does any
  • She didn’t buy any potatoes.
  • We haven’t got any

 

  • Any is usually used in Questions.

 

  • Is there any milk in the freezer?
  • Have you seen any good films recently?
  • Didn’t she buy any tomatoes?

 

  • Any is also used with the plural form of countable nouns and it is also used with uncountable nouns.

 

  • They didn’t sing any
  • There isn’t any water in the fridge.

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Any can be used in positive sentences having a negative feeling.

 

  • Neha left the house without any money
  • We hardly watch any television.

 

  • Some can be used in questions when we expect the answer to be ‘yes’.

 

  • Would you like some coffee?
  • Could you pass me some ice cubes?
  • Do you want some salad?
  • Any can be used in a positive sentence but the meaning changes .It means in the case where ‘it’s not important which one’. In this way it is most often used with singular countable nouns:

 

  • You can take any
  • Come over any Wednesday

 

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Who Vs Whom

A lot of speakers get confused when it comes to using who and whom, here’s the explanation:

Who

Who, an interrogative pronoun, refers to -what or which person or people and is used in place of the subject of a question

  • Who is in the team?
  • Who did this?

It is used to question a person’s character or authority.

Who is used in statements as well, in place of the subject of a clause.

  • Sameer is the one who wants to play.
  • Anyone who knows the motive should be able to help us.

Whom

‘Whom’ is also an interrogative pronoun, however, it is used in place of the object of a question- more so, in formal writing or speech.

  • Whom is this story about?
  • With whom are you going to the party?
  • Whom did they call?

Whom is used as object of a verb or a preceding preposition

  • to know for whom his heart beats.

 

It is also sometimes used as the object of a following preposition

  • the woman whom you wrote to.

 

And whom can also be used in statements, in place of the object of a clause.

  • This is the girl whom I was talking about.
  • Mani is the man whom we met at dinner last week.

 

Whom is always the correct choice after a preposition.

  • The students, some of whom are graduating this year, failed the test.
  • Jaspreet is the girl with whom I’m going to Nagaland.

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