Essential Managers: Communicate Clearly (DK Essential Managers)
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Make sure your message is heard with this important guide to business communications.
Learn all you need to know about successful communication, from interpreting body language to writing letters, optimizing meetings, and speaking on the telephone. Communicate Clearly shows you how to hold an audience when making presentations and how to take notes or compile reports, and it also provides practical techniques for you to try in different settings. Power tips help you handle real-life situations and develop the first-class communication skills that are the key to a productive and informed workplace. The Essential Manager have sold more than 1.9 million copies worldwide! Experienced and novice managers alike can benefit from these compact guides that slip easily into a briefcase or a portfolio. The topics are relevant to every work environment, from large corporations to small businesses. Concise treatments of dozens of business techniques, skills, methods, and problems are presented with hundreds of photos, charts, and diagrams. It is the most exciting and accessible approach to business and self-improvement available.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #352924 in Books
- Published on: 1999-04
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .26" h x 4.98" w x 6.98" l, .27 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 72 pages
If you can learn to communicate as clearly and succinctly as this itsy-bitsy book will communicate its key points to you, you're in good shape. In this pocket-size handbook, you'll find practical techniques for holding an audience, briefing effectively, structuring a message, and giving verbal rewards--not to mention for improving your listening skills, reading more efficiently, chairing meetings, communicating to sell, negotiating to win, and much more, including using PR and advertising effectively. Along the way, clear text and illustrations cover every aspect of formal and informal communications, and simple checklists will help you become a more powerful communicator. Granted, if you're looking for very specific or in-depth guidance, you may find this book too cursory and general in its approach. But if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do you just fine.
It's worth mentioning that the book is also part of reference publisher Dorling Kindersley's Essential Managers series--20 itty-bitty li'l books on business and career topics ranging from communication, leadership, and decision making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the For Dummies book series's talent for breaking down a lot of information into bite-size bits and sidebars with Dorling Kindersley's signature design style of crisp, classy graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, they don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking and they don't necessarily reflect any unique individual perspective. Instead, it's as though someone collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages, studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand on the last few pages of each volume. Again, they're not for anyone looking for more in-depth or focused help on any of the subjects they cover, but they're perfect as a quickie general-interest reference... and let's face it, they're so damned cute and look so smart in a neat little stack or row that you'll probably want to buy a whole bunch to give as gifts to your entire staff or department. --Timothy Murphy
7Power tips can help you handle real-life situations and develop top verbal skills that are the key to a productive and informed workplace. -- Des Moines Register
About the Author
Robert Heller is a leading authority on management consulting. He was the founding editor of Management Today, and as editorial director of Haymarket Publishing Group, he supervised the launch of a number of highly successful magazines including Campaign and Computing. He is founder of the Working Words, a consulting firm specializing in business communications. He has been a contributor experienced and novice managers alike will be relevant to every work environment, from large corporations to small businesses.
Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
Some Useful Pointers, But More Needed
My first reaction when I read Robert Heller's Communicate Clearly was that the mini-text (only 72 pages) was extremely well laid out and designed: the 101 pointers are underscored in yellow boxes, pictures of people are used to demonstrate the learned skills, and diagrams abound.
However, when I began reading the content of Communicate Clearly, I felt that the content was extremely basic. For example, the first and second pointers highlighted in the book are "Encourage your company to improve all types of communication" and "Note that good communicators make better managers".
The reader may get turned off by such obvious platitudes, and feel that there is not much to be gained by Communicate Clearly. This would be a mistake for all but the veteran communicator. There are some true gems in the book. For example, the following are some of Heller's suggestions that I found useful:
(1) "Tilting your head slightly shows you are listening"
(2) Body language: "Hands on hips indicate determination and ablity to take control"
(3) "The first five seconds are more important than the next five minutes"
(4) "Take a slow deep breath to relax"
(5) Use Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) techniques to mirror an individual's verbal and physical expressions
(6) After studying, one should wait for a few minutes, review what was studied, then wait a much longer time period before another review
(7) Eliminate regressions because after re-reading text, one's comprehension is not significantly increased while reading time is almost doubled
(8) Read your notes when the context of the conversation is still remembered
(9) "The most effective meetings are small with only the vital people attending"
(10) In a negotiation the first person to name a price is at a disadvantage
(11) Work social events may be good opportunities to gather informal feedback
There are other useful communication tips, but the usefulness of these other techniques will depend on your workplace experience. If you are new to the workplace or are truly deficient in the art of communication, this book will be incredibly useful.
Oddly enough, I found that the most useful techniques in the book were those on note taking and speed reading, rather than those on communication skills.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
A Little Bit About Everything for New Managers
By Donald Mitchell
Lack of effective communications differentiates the most least successful organizations and managers from successful ones more than anything else. It doesn't matter how good your ideas and effort are if no one else is able to coordinate with you!
Handling this important a subject in these few, small pages is a very daunting task! I'm glad that I was not asked to author this volume. I admire Mr. Heller's courage very much in taking this on.
Mr. Heller has packed far more into this book than I would have thought possible. As a result, the book becomes a great check list for thinking through a communications task before you start. Whether you are about to meet with a prospect, hold a staff meeting, write a proposal, or handle a reporter's question, this book has valuable material for you. Because it covers so much territory, it will be especially valuable to CEOs of small companies. Brand-new managers will find this volume can help them avoid terrible mistakes.
The advice touches on all of the better sources of information about communication that I am aware of, whether it be framing your body language, how to generate and benefit from public relations, use neuro-linguistic programming, or write a concise one-page letter.
I would particularly like to praise the effective use of photographs and examples in the book. These pictures are worth more than the proverbial thousand words each to make the advice practical, specific, and memorable.
If I were grading this book solely on its breadth and for being up-to-date on the subject, it would clearly be about a 6 star book or so.
But I did discern some weaknesses that caused me to grade the book down somewhat.
First, the most important lesson I have found about communication is to ask the person or people you are communicating with to you tell you or write to you what they have read or heard just as soon as you have made the initial communication. Then, you can keep repeating this checking until the information has gotten through. Elements of this approach show up here and there in the book, but not nearly strongly enough. If you only did this, you might not be an elegant communicator . . . but you would communicate clearly.
Second, the next most important lesson I have learned is that messages don't begin to be absorbed and internalized until after the 30th repetition. And the more frequently and consistently repeated, the better absorbed and understood is the message. The book doesn't say enough about repetition, and how to pursue it.
Third, the other important point is to have very few things to communicate about. Set up information flows so that people can ask and answer their own questions to achieve their own objectives (see E-Business Intelligence). Keep everything else to 3 ideas or less.
Beyond those points, in most of these subjects a manager will need more depth. The book would have been enormously more valuable if the best book in each of 10 or so major areas had been referenced for those who want more. That would have taken less than half a page in total, and more than doubled the value of the book. Clearly, a lot of these ideas came from reading other peoples' work, and citations were noticeably missing. That's poor communication in my view, by failing to give credit due to others.
After you have begun to benefit from this fine summary handbook, I suggest that you try to identify patterns of when your communications are working well and when they are not. Then, be sure you vary what you are doing until your effectiveness improves in both types of situations. Remember, the burden is on you to get the message across . . . as well as to be sure you receive the messages aimed for you.
Treat communications as precious and worthy gifts to give . . . and receive!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Key to Success
By Ilaxi S. Patel
Communication is the key to success! Universal truth yet this book gives lessons to better communicating using methods for sure results. Various methods combined together works. The five groups mentioned in this book are:
1. written word
2. spoken word
3. Symbolic gestures
4. Visual Images
Interesting is a comment here that Americans like communicating via rallies and slogans with strong use of visuals. (Pg.8) Learning to listen techniques are vital and using Listening skills is well explained in the book with Empathizing, analyzing and synthesizing. Reading, Taking Notes,using phone, writing letters & proposals, using technology, chairing meetings, reaching audience, communicating to sell, etc. are the major parts covered up which makes the book, a thorough handy guide for Key to Success. Sometimes, it is getting ready to Negotiate to win, mastering the techniques and be prepared for 'Talks' - This is exactly we do 'Talk' but when it comes to negotiating and passing the word/message through, we fail most of the time due to lack of many supported things. This book ultimately helps to overcome our weaker traits while communication spells disaster if right techniques aren't mastered properly. A good Pick.