Successful Business Communications, Case Studies and Member Showcase

Reflecting the professionalism of ICAE, significant time was devoted to enhancing professional growth at the 2015 Exchange. In the business communications segment, a communication expert led us through strategies to enhance our business communication style in both interpersonal and written formats (and, if you want to use the tips on a personal level—that’s OK too).

Then, the annual case studies workshop provided participants the opportunity to work through actual cases with a regulator in each group to provide instant feedback on how a regulator would view the same case and how different companies would handle different scenarios.

Finally, the annual member showcase featured a unique perspective on best practices for complaint handling.
Take a look…

Al Borowski, chief excitement officer, Priority Communication Skills, Inc., led participants through the adventure of better communications–aimed at increasing the groups’ creative capital and productivity.
Al Borowski, chief excitement officer, Priority Communication Skills, Inc., led participants through the adventure of better communications–aimed at increasing the groups’ creative capital and productivity.

Successful Business Communications

First, on the interpersonal side, we learned the five laws of communication, each an important nugget for consumer affairs specialists.  According to Borowski:

  • In business and in life, you cannot NOT communicate—too many items will force you to communicate;
  • People can and will succeed with clear, correct, complete, conversational information;
  • Successful communication involves both intellectual and emotional triggers
  • Communicators need to focus on the other person; and
  • Everyone wants and needs to be listened to

Next, the group learned Borowski’s three rules of communication to help ensure communication success with all consumers and, well, everybody.  Those rules: Assume nothing. Meet people where they are. Make people feel special.

Why the rules?  Well, Borowski noted that good communication means caring and sharing—or the heart of communication (UNI).  Pause and figure this out, we’ll wait.  We learned the UNI is the attitude that must be first and foremost whenever a communication takes place to be successful.

Communication in real life
In business, we deal with different types of people:  amiable, angry, argumentative, and apathetic, to name a few and all have to be dealt with. Each type of person has different expected outcomes. Therefore, consumer affairs specialists must have the ability to determine what’s needed by type and adapt each consumer interaction to provide the expected outcome—to make the individual feel recognized and answered. Borowski encouraged the group to use every communication vehicle available—from good eye contact and gestures to a facial expression consistent with the message. Only then will communication be successful.

But wait, there’s more—written communication workshop
Borowski then jumped into providing participants with tips on better business writing, starting with the query of why is business writing important?  Simply put:
•    Decisions are made based on business writing.
•    Personal and corporate professionalism at stake every time a document is sent.
•    Those who communicate best are generally promoted faster and make more money.
Participants were encouraged to release academic ghosts and embrace business writing techniques to improve writing skills.  Those skills include:
•    Use common language,
•    Think about the message before creating,
•    Write using simple concise sentences, and
•    Connect your dots to ensure sensibility for the audience.
And, of course, he encouraged all to be mindful of the common errors that destroy communication—those include:
•    Pointless prepositions
•    Weak verbs
•    Passive voice
•    Use of distancing subjects (there, it) rather than inclusive subjects (we, you)
•    Use of words with suffixes ending in ion, tion, al, ment, sis or ive
•    Ensuring pronouns and nouns match
All good guidelines to take participants further into the realm of graceful written and interpersonal communication.

PRESENTATION (Please login to access this link) to view Borowski’s presentation
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