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Workshop in a Box: Communication Skills for IT Professionals

Book Description

Unlock the secrets of effective communication to transform the way you interact and solve problems with your team, and maximize the value of your IT skills

  • Develop versatile communication skills to express your ideas with clarity and to build strong professional relationships

  • Learn how communication can help manage the challenges of a world struggling with information overload

  • Transform the impact of your technical skills and knowledge through exceptional communication

  • In Detail

    Modern business is built on tech - an IT team that is able to deliver results to meet internal and customer demands is essential, and should not be underestimated. Yet while sharp technical knowledge is an integral component of a team’s talents, effective communication is paramount. The ability to understand and explain problems, issues and ideas is vital, and ensures that tech has a lasting impact and within your business.

    Become a better communicator with this self-learning guide, and find out how important effective communication is in a world that depends upon technology.

    Get to grips with a range of different methods of communication, and learn how to navigate the nuances of each. Find tips and exercises to help you develop strategies to deal with a range of different situations and issues, and explore how to create quality presentations, reports, business cases, and proposals.

    With everything from the fundamentals of day to day interaction with colleagues, customers and clients to communicating complex and business critical ideas and information covered, this book will help you become a better communicator – and will demonstrate how effective communication can help you get ahead in IT.

    About the Author

    Abhinav Kaiser works as a Consulting Manager for a leading consulting firm. He has more than 12 years of experience in IT management consulting, IT management training, business process consulting, project management, transition management, and IT service management, among others.

    He has helped organizations create value through IT, and has designed and implemented IT management solutions for smooth and efficient functioning of IT environments. He has trained thousands of IT professionals in soft skills and on management topics.

    Abhinav has earned the Project Management Professional (PMP), ITIL Expert, and COBIT certifications. He blogs on communication and management on his weblog at http://abhinavpmp.com. His articles also appear on Tech Republic and Pluralsight.

    He is from Bangalore, India and currently lives in Sydney, Australia. He is married and has a 5-year-old daughter.

    For more on Dr. Yager, or to read her blogs or excerpts from some of her writings, go to: http://www.drjanyager.com

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Workshop in a Box: Communication Skills for IT Professionals
      1. Workshop in a Box: Communication Skills for IT Professionals
      2. Credits
      3. About the Author
      4. About the Reviewer
      5. Preface
        1. What you will learn in this book
          1. Who this book is for
          2. Conventions
          3. Reader feedback
          4. Customer support
          5. Errata
          6. Piracy
          7. Questions
      6. 1. Communication Training
        1. How to use this communication training guide
        2. Strategy for trainers
        3. Quality in communication
        4. The PDCA circle
        5. Summary
      7. 2. From Governance to Communication
        1. Communication and organizational structure
        2. Communication and governance
          1. Communication policy
          2. Sample communication policy
        3. The communication process
          1. How does a process help in the development of communication?
          2. Sample communication process
        4. Basics of communication
          1. 7 Cs of effective communication
            1. Completeness
            2. Conciseness
            3. Consideration
            4. Concreteness
            5. Courtesy
            6. Clearness
            7. Correctness
          2. Types of communication
          3. Different communication styles
            1. Dominance
            2. Influence
            3. Steadiness
            4. Compliance
          4. Cross-cultural communication
          5. Rapport and relationship for effective communication
        5. Summary
      8. 3. Written Communication
        1. Forms of written communication
          1. Action-focused communication
          2. Influential communication
          3. Negative communication
          4. Communicating information
        2. Jargon
        3. Project updates
          1. Peer-to-peer communication
          2. Customer communication
        4. E-mails
          1. E-mail policy
          2. E-mail etiquette
          3. E-mail templates
        5. Visual communication
          1. Flowcharts
            1. What are flowcharts?
            2. Hierarchical flowcharts
          2. Tables and graphs
            1. What are tables?
          3. Imagination is key
        6. Business instant messaging
          1. Business instant messaging etiquette
        7. Social media communication
        8. Summary
      9. 4. Listening and Questioning for Effective Communication
        1. Listening – core of communication
          1. Hindrances to good listening
          2. Physical distractions
            1. The solution
          3. Mental distractions
            1. The solution
          4. Preconceived notions
            1. The solution
          5. Opinions
            1. The solution
          6. Language and culture
            1. The solution
          7. Multitasking
            1. The solution
          8. Tips for improving your listening skills
        2. Power of questioning
          1. Benefits of asking questions
          2. Various questioning techniques
            1. Probing technique
            2. Open-ended questions
            3. Closed questions
            4. Leading questions
        3. Summary
      10. 5. Telephone Communication
        1. Telephonic communication
          1. #1: When you make a call, be prepared
          2. #2: Professional yet friendly
          3. #3: Stay positive
          4. Employee-employee telephonic communication
            1. Work handover
            2. Support request
            3. Telephonic meetings
          5. Employee-customer telephonic communication
            1. Understand the customer's needs
            2. No jargon please
            3. Meeting the requirements
        2. Telephony etiquette for effective communication
        3. Summary
      11. 6. Face-to-face Communication
        1. When to employ face-to-face communication
        2. Other benefits of face-to-face communication
        3. Types of face-to-face communication opportunities
        4. Meetings
          1. Preparation
          2. The actual meeting
            1. The opening
            2. The discussions
            3. Closure
          3. Post-meeting
        5. Nonverbal communication – body language
          1. Breathing
            1. The science behind breathing
            2. Breathing right
          2. Posture
            1. The communication posture
          3. Proxemics
          4. The handshake
        6. Facial expressions
          1. Facial expressions
          2. It all begins with the lips
          3. Show interest
        7. Conflict management
          1. Conflicts arising out of communication
          2. Medium for conflict resolution
          3. Conflicts owing to communication styles
          4. Think objectively and not subjectively
          5. Open communication for resolving and avoiding conflicts
        8. Controlling face-to-face Interactions
          1. Step 1 – Pacing
          2. Step 2 – Locking
          3. Step 3 – Leading
        9. Summary
      12. 7. Showcasing and Presentation
        1. Importance of presentations for employees
        2. Four types of presentation
        3. Four pillars of presentation
        4. Pillar 1 – understanding the objective of the presentation
          1. Technique – pen on paper
        5. Pillar 2 – analyzing the audience for the presentation
        6. Pillar 3 – slide preparation
          1. The three-step approach
            1. Step 1 – Objective to be achieved
            2. Step 2 – Draft presentation material
            3. Step 3 – Organizing presentation material
        7. Pillar 4 – presentation delivery
          1. The secret behind good speakers
          2. Controlling nerves
          3. Get familiar with technology
        8. Creating content for effective presentations
          1. Traditional content
          2. Cognitive content
            1. Step 1 – Provide reasons why the presentation is worth the time and effort
            2. Step 2 – Getting into the crux of the subject matter
            3. Step 3 – Application of subject matter to work life
            4. Step 4 – Q&A, summary, and conclusion
        9. Delivering effective and efficient presentations
        10. Summary
      13. 8. Reports, Proposals, and Business Cases
        1. Reports
          1. Importance of reports
          2. Process for reporting
            1. Step 1 – Obtain objectives
            2. Step 2 – Identify data points
            3. Step 3 – Capture data
            4. Step 4 – Verify and collate data
            5. Step 5 – Analysis and conclusion
        2. Business proposals
          1. Importance of business proposals
          2. The language
          3. Save the best for the first
          4. The proposal preparation
          5. The proposal format
          6. Sample business proposal
        3. Business cases
          1. Elements of a business case
            1. Problem statement
            2. Problem analysis
            3. Assumptions
            4. Solution
            5. Cost-benefit analysis
            6. Recommendations
          2. Business case template
          3. Sample business case
        4. Summary