Tushnaa’s Business Communication Workshop

I spent some much-needed time catching up on my Linkedin stories Friday afternoon when I stumbled upon someone inspiring to me, Yujun Liang. Mr. Yujun has spent the most recent years of his life dedicated to collecting certifications in the cloud space and moving between some of the most impressive companies to work for during that same time. It was no surprise for me to read through three of his posts in a day, typically a beautiful shot of him walking around his Texas neighborhood in the morning while walking his dog during sunrise, a friendly reminder about where he is with his certification track and more recently, a poll. Well, on Friday Yujun also posted about attending a Saturday workshop with Tushnaa, the executive coach, on Business Communication.

I didn’t hesitate to join in knowing that nobody is perfect at communication and that I can always use the opportunity to learn or advance my soft skills. As it stands, IT professionals don’t have the best track record for communicating well.

Saturday morning rolls around, I jump out of bed at 6:30 AM, grab a coffee, pop some biscuits and sausage in the air cooker, and start prepping to join the Business Communication Workshop. The weather was cool and slightly breezy, so I took everything outside on my back patio to enjoy the morning sounds.

7:30 AM rolls around, the session starts and Tushnaa, having used Linkedin Live for her first time didn’t miss a beat working out kinks, answering questions by the viewers, and pivoting when she realized that screen sharing, chat and video were not options on Linkedin Live.

Here’s the breakdown (my personal notes) of what we learned during our two-hour workshop:

  1. General / Casual Communication – this is meant for friends and family.
  2. Business Communication – must be used in the business setting, don’t blend casual communication if you can help it.
    • Use Effective Listening
      • Let the customer speak while you actively listen and consume what they are trying to convey.
  3. Structured Communications
    • Greeting (Building Rapport)
      • “Hello John,” with a point of reference on the personal level: “I hope your wife is doing well”, or “I heard your child won last week’s game, congratulations”.
    • Statement (Stating the issue)
      • “I know my presence is required in the office, …”
    • Confidence
      • Initiate the tough conversations. If you know there’s a conflict or a potential glooming issue, address that person directly and request a meeting to sort through things amicably. Always be kind and gentle, but assertive. Address the issue.
    • Acknowledge
      • Make sure you’re acknowledging. “Yes, I understand” and repeat what they just said in your terms, or tell them you understand and that you will circle back after some more research.
    • Details
      • Make sure you’re focusing on the details and metrics, not the language semantics, nuances, slang, etc… When there are language barriers and cultural differences, it’s always better to focus on the scope details.
      • If you cannot understand each other, ask the other party to write what they are saying in chat or in a follow-up email for ultimate communication.
    • Closing
      • “I look forward to hearing from you”
      • “Please revert back if you have a query”
      • (Resolution Statement) If you’re unable to resolve their issue:
        • “I regret that I cannot, but here’s a <insert resource>, or I will refer to XYZ for response”
        • You will still use the above statements combined with the resolution statement.
    • Subject Line
      • Make your subject extremely precise and crisp. It must embody what you have written. I like to refer to this as an executive summary as a one-liner.
        • Professional Business Communication with Tushnaa – Super Star Exec Coach” is how I would subject this post!

I hope you had an opportunity to learn something, as I did.

Tushnaa, thank you again for taking the time to teach all of those that joined your weekend seminar!

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