How To Become An Effective Communicator

The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been recognised as the hallmark of an educated person since the beginning of recorded history. Systematic comment on communication goes back at least as far as The Precepts of Kagemni and Ptah-Hopte (3200-2800 B.C.) Under the label ‘rhetoric’, the study of the theory and practice of communication was a central concern of Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and early modern education. In the United States, rhetorical training has been a part of formal education since Harvard’s founding in 1636. It continues to be important.

Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another (Wikipedia).

Everything is Communication

Everything we do has something to do with communication. Often we think it is something that happens when we are talking or listening. We accept that the person hearing the information doesn’t necessarily need to be present (e.g. watching the television or listening on the radio) but we know that for communication to have taken place, something must have happened within the listener. It also has to do with understanding the intent of the person speaking and acceptance of that information or the meaning intended by the speaker.

But communication is more ubiquitous than that. Communication – the passing and receiving of information – happens within us as much as between speakers and listeners. The messages beliefs, values and stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, is also communication. Our self-concept, what we think we are capable of, the self-talk that fills a busy mind, is all communication. This internal stream of thoughts, particularly if unchecked, confounds our openness to possibilities for change with ourselves as much as with other people. This self-talk also colours our beliefs and expectations of other people. It inhibits our ability to remain open-minded and available to others so that we truly listen and make decisions based on deep understanding or a filtered version of what we anticipate another is saying. The quality of communication also depends on the ability of the speaker to galvanise their thoughts, access sufficient vocabulary, and adapt their message to suit the audience, convey feelings as well as content, and adopt sophisticated skills to investigate social dynamics and potential conflict. Communication is as much relationship building as it is conveying of information. Communication takes place within the context of relationships: relationships with ourselves, with others, with ideologies, with belief systems and in the case of politics, with a nation or globally. So whilst communication between audiences has something to do with understanding the intent of the person speaking and acceptance of that information and its meaning, the context of relationship must always be taken into account for what is not said is as powerful as what is said. It is however, more complex which the following examples indicates.

Communication Example

Two managers work in the same organisation. Brad, a senior planner has called a meeting with Helen, the marketing manager of a medium sized PR company. The purpose of the meeting set out in the email sent is to discuss the timeline needed to launch a new product to their existing customer base. The meeting begins and Brad shares his department’s progress in finalising the product and Helen listens avidly, nodding and adding the appropriate aha’s which Brad assumes indicates that she is impressed or at least understands what he is saying. We might assume from first glance that the outcome of the meeting will be considered a success with the product soon to be launched on the market. If we had the ability to read minds however, we might find that something else is being communicated. Imagine that Helen has a strong attraction to Brad but has never expressed it, believing that workplace romance is unprofessional and probably a recipe for disaster. But alone with Brad in this meeting she finds him irresistible and during his presentation she hasn’t heard a word about the project. She thinks he likes her because the more she nods and expresses understanding, he becomes more animated, laughing and clearly pleased to be in her company. Brad, on the other hand, has a girlfriend, a successful career woman who works long hours. Because he wants to start a family, he has developed an irritation with ambitious young women who even offer to work on the weekend to finish projects. Realising however, that his quarterly performance depends on launching this product, he hides his prejudice and works hard at impressing Helen with his skills – in the boardroom that is, not the bedroom.

This simple example highlights that what is intended is not always what is heard and understood. In order to be effective communicators, we must develop sophisticated skills to check this out. But this is only a part of what makes communication effective and this is why most communication skills training often fails to deliver beyond rudimentary skills development. We must become experts at communicating with ourselves – the intended messages from within that are often hidden and yet sabotage us effectively communicating and achieving the outcomes we want – in the boardroom or the bedroom, and everywhere in-between in fact. These two aspects – inner and outer communication – when refined, create what is known as Calm Communication. This highly sophisticated process of communication is the hallmark of effective leadership and is an essential ingredient in enjoyable and highly satisfying relationships.

The cost of poor communication We only have to look around us to see the fallout of poor communication. Misunderstandings and prejudice between people, broken relationships, divorce, conflict between neighbours, resistance to organisational change, team conflict and potential war between international leaders. The most challenging part is the fallout of people’s needs not being met when they find themselves misunderstood, their message judged or criticised and the overall quality of the interaction seriously compromised. The solution is to understand that effective communication is only possible when the filters are understood and replaced with ways to challenge what we believe we are seeing and hearing with what is actually seen and heard (or intended).

How to become an effective communicator

Learning to communicate is something that naturally happens within the context of our family and socialisation. Innumerable external influences affect the extent to which that process is successful to an individual learning to communicate effectively – with themselves and other people. However, it is as if becoming an effective communicator is left to chance. Apart from having to speak publicly in exams or assessments throughout the process of education, most people learn that their communication could be improved when their relationships fail, conflict occurs with their friends or clients and opportunities are lost. Forward looking organisations invest in communication training but the emphasis on skills training alone produces limited, long-term results. The reason for this is that the person hasn’t changed on the inside. How a person feels about themself and their abilities contributes enormously to their ability to communicate effectively. At a conscious level, they may work hard to improve their confidence, their rapport-making skills and even their ability to have difficult conversations. However, they often find that they attract similar people and the same situations that keep them trapped in similar outcomes and similar relationships. This is because of hidden, unconscious factors that must be addressed or else the same patterns will continue throughout the person’s life – often leaving them bewildered as to why they keep attracting the same outcomes. It is only when skills-training is combined with overcoming and changing their internal dialogue, that a person can truly connect with others and communicate effectively rather than sabotaging their speaking or listening.

Practical ways to improve communication

Whilst learning to be an effective communicator requires a depth of internal change coupled with skills training, there are some things that can be done to immediately improve communication – in the boardroom or the bedroom – and everywhere in-between. When used, these techniques will have a positive impact on all your relationships and go some way to you achieving the results you want in your work and personal life.

1. Keep Expectations in Check Expectations serve to focus our conversations to achieve satisfactory outcomes. When working with others to achieve a goal, they are essential. However, internal expectations of others regarding how they should, ought and must act because they are part of a particular social grouping, interfere with our communication, particularly if we don’t even realise they exist. Assumptions about different social groups, nationalities, Corporate Warriors in certain blue chip companies or generational groupings must constantly be challenged to preserve the uniqueness of individuals. A good rule of thumb is to question your expectations about any group to which a person might belong and remain open-minded to how the individual you are taking to might different from that stereotype.

2. Question everything – yourself included Calm communicators have a default button that ensures they question everything on a regular basis – themselves included. They ask questions of other people to ensure that what they think they have heard is what is intended. They question their reactions and opinions on things to minimise blindspots or prejudices that filter. When they have strong reactions to what other people say, they examine themselves closely, aware that buttons may have been pushed for them. They don’t assume that their strong reactions to things are always because of strong values on a topic; new information may remind them of something or someone to whom they have a strong reaction to in the past. They become aware of their unconscious counter intentions that become apparent through interactions in everyday life and they work to remove them from their lives where they no longer serve them.

3. Share differences and set up regular times to communicate and question In both relationships and teams, a context can be set within which differences can regularly be discussed. If done in an exploratory way, it becomes an opportunity to share different perspectives and clarify misunderstandings. If we only wait until differences somehow interfere with achieving an outcome, then the conversation becomes a difficult one where the stakes are high, opinions differ and emotions are raised. Making time to discuss differences when each are not pressed to get an outcome right away, allows trust to develop in a relationship. Then when crucial conversations occur in the future, there is credit in the bank, allowing differences to be explored without conflict. When recruiting employees, attention is focused on what can or might be able to do. Great lengths are taken to correlate existing abilities and aptitudes against measures of future performance. Personality and team role types are also used to evaluate the likelihood of a person meeting the job requirements and working well within the team. However, cultural and social norms often only become apparent ‘on the job’. If a team culture is developed which encourage discussion of the meanings behind expressed and implicit values and norms, then opportunity exist for innovation and creative ways of solving problems. The same is true when recruiting a partner – becoming a calm communicator allows differences to be examined without threat, ridicule or antagonism.

4. Create new shared meanings – Anyone who has ever been in love experiences a culture of two, each person tuned to each other’s dog whistle that only the other person can hear. Alas, if the relationship ends in tears, those shared meanings somehow don’t seem to coincide. However, what was created in the union was an experience of perceived ‘we-ness’. The likelihood of the relationship continuing and being sustained over time, has a lot to do with the ability of the partners to tolerate differences that previously were not apparent in the honeymoon stage. They still might find their hearts moved by a shared song or mutually enjoyed movie, but for a healthy relationship to develop, each must realise their different identities. Likewise in organisations, the cohesiveness of a team depends on the extent to which the members uphold norms that are important to them as a group. Generational differences make team working challenging when people from different generations are trying to agree on how best to work together. These different expectations of work and life impact enormously on modern day organisational behaviour and together with high turnover and the reality of change and multiple careers over a lifetime, impact on the community which we call work. However, for all teams to work effectively there must develop a sense of ‘we’ which requires a leadership style that encouraged shared meanings that produce productive results and individual and collective satisfaction.

What Is Communication?

Communication is the currency with which we navigate our personal and professional relationships. The difference between good and bad communicators is not based on skills ability alone. When a person has a good relationship with themself and takes full responsibility for their part in creating their outer reality, they are empowered to change and improve their interactions.

By developing a self-questioning mindset that constantly asks ‘What is my part in creating what’s happening here?’ they are empowered to change something about themself rather than hope for circumstances to change or blame others for their experiences. The reason that a high level of self-awareness is essential in effective communication is that there are hidden, unconscious factors that influence our behaviour as much (if not more) than conscious ones.

This is evident when a person realises that they keep attracting similar outcomes in their life and where similar games, dances and dynamics keep playing out in their life which they feel powerless to change. Without changing one’s internal dialogue, challenging the inner saboteur and finding the source of one’s destructive, self-sabotaging behaviour, a person is doomed to get similar outcomes – regardless of whether those outcomes assist them in getting the results they want.

Becoming an effective communicator is only possible when skills-training is combined with a person developing an on-going ability to be self-reflective, take responsibility and in every conversation, see their part in creating the results they get. When these abilities are combined, they directly contribute to a person achieving the relationships they want as well as making them powerful communicators who have impact and influence on others.

Clare Mann is an Organisational Psychologist, Bestselling Author of numerous books and Existential Psychotherapist with extensive international experience facilitating individuals and organisations to create extraordinary results.

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Teaching English for Communicative Performance and Business Communication

It is a challenge to us English teachers to manage with our own widely differing linguistic competence the large classes of mixed ability students. Non-availability or high cost of books and instructional material are the challenges just as tests and exams seem to have become the only goal in themselves. In addition, lack of students’(and even teachers’) motivation, administrative apathy, inaccessibility to electronic media, journals and books, balance between the use of mother tongue and English to ensure acquisition of communication skills, or perhaps, a better teaching-learning situation in the mother tongue and other languages, and dissemination of best English Language Teaching (ELT) practices internationally, with an e-culture interface are the new problems teachers have to cope with.

As teachers we need to work on our own affirmative action programmes, despite constraints of our situation. In order to do something new, we may have to give up the old. As John Swales says, “We may need to recycle not only our projects and our programmes but also ourselves.” In fact a practical teacher should be able to operate within, what may be called, “here and now” state of affairs. It is with some sort of inbuilt flexibility and utilitarian purpose that one can practice ELT in the days ahead.

NEGOTIATING DIFFERENCES

With sensitivity for the language (to me, language use is more a matter of pleasure and beauty than of rules and structure), I would like to assert that the yardsticks of the British or American native speakers, or their standards as reflected in GRE, TOEFL or IELTS etc, or their kind of tongue twisting, are simply damaging to the interests of non-native speakers. We have to develop our own standards, instead of teaching to sound like Londoners or North Americans. Pronunciation must be intelligible and not detract from the understanding of a message. But for this nobody needs to speak the so called standardized English (that makes inter- and intra-national communication difficult). David Crystal too appreciates this reality and favours ‘local taste’ of English in India and elsewhere. The problems of teaching, say spoken English, relate to lack of intercultural communicative competence.

Many of the misunderstandings that occur in multicultural or multinational workplace are traceable to inter-group differences in how language is used in interpersonal communication rather than to lack of fluency in English. In fact native speakers need as much help as non-natives when using English to interact internationally and inter-culturally. It is understanding the how of negotiation, mediation, or interaction. We need to teach with positive attitude to intercultural communication, negotiating linguistic and cultural differences. The focus has to be on developing cultural and intercultural competence, tolerance (the spread and development of various Englishes is an instance of grammatical and lexical tolerance), and mutual understanding. Rules of language use are culturally determined. I doubt all those who talk about spoken English, or communication skills, care to teach or develop intercultural communicative abilities. This presupposes a good grasp of one’s own culture or way of communication, or the language etiquette, gestures and postures, space, silence, cultural influences, verbal style etc.

Understanding and awareness of non-verbal behavior, cues and information is an integral part of interpersonal communication in many real-life situations, including business and commerce. Though research is needed to understand the role of visual support in our situations, it does seem relevant in making students aware of the context, discourse, paralinguistic features and culture. This can be advantageous in teaching soft skills which are basically life skills, or abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour, so necessary for successful living.

If one has to work abroad and use English with others there, one has to be sensitive to the culturally governed ways of speaking or talking to each other. The speech community’s (the language culture of the group of people) ways of communication cannot be taken for granted, when one seeks to learn or teach spoken English. People fail or suffer discomfort or embarrassment in negotiations in business or political affairs, or achievement of personal goals due to incompetence in persuasion, negotiation, mediation, or interaction. It is their performance, their intercultural interactional competence which matters; it lies in managing social interaction, and not just communication, in the narrow sense of the word, or use of right grammatical form, syntax, vocabulary, or even certain polite phrases. The goal is to enable one to express what one wishes to convey and make the impression that one wishes to make, using language with a sense of interaction and mutuality.

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

In the context of Business Communication, it is not without a sense of social business for creating value and better business outcome. One needs to demonstrate social insights, too, in the use of, say, (social) networking sites, smart phones, mobile, tablet PCs, voice mail, electronic mail, and other e-business instruments such as computer network, teleconferencing and video conferencing that are being integrated to enterprise design. This means one needs to be able to share information, discover expertise, capitalize on relationship, and be collaborative in creatively solving business challenges. One needs to demonstrate leadership and management traits, innovation, and decision-making; one needs to be able to identify oneself with the shared values and beliefs of the organization one is associated with; and more importantly, one needs to demonstrate intercultural and interactive abilities with sensitivity for change and adaptation, if one is working in a foreign country or in a multinational company.

In short, one’s personal communication, both oral or written, needs to be in tune with the communication philosophy — goals and values, aspirations and pledges, beliefs and policies– of the organization one is working for, just as one should be able to blend with the host culture.

When I mention intercultural interaction, I point to the need for adapting to differences in life style, language, business philosophy as well as problems with finances, government, cultural shock, housing, food, gender, family etc. Although many of the people sent on foreign assignment know their (foreign) market, they are often unable to accept another culture on that culture’s terms even for short periods. Sensitivity for intercultural business environment, or being aware of each culture’s symbols, how they are the same, and how they are different, is important.

COMMUNICATIVE PERFORMANCE

The staff development programme of this kind provides us with an opportunity to revisit the issues related to ‘communicative’ teaching, in general, and business communication, in particular. If communication is the aim of English (or any other language) teaching and ‘communicative’ syllabuses fail to develop what Dell Hymes called ‘communicative competence’ and Noam Chomsky mentioned as communicative performance, we need to reflect on our classroom practices, research and materials production from time to time. Chomsky’s focus was on the sentence-level grammatical competence of an ideal speaker-listener of a language, and Hymes, as a sociolinguist, was concerned with real speaker-listeners who interpret, express, and negotiate meaning in many different social settings; he brought into focus the view of language as a social phenomenon and reflected on its use as units of discourse. Socializing competence and performance, Dell Hymes also mentioned ‘appropriateness’, that is, “when to speak, when not, and as to what to talk about and with whom, when, where, in what manner.” This concept of “appropriate use” as ‘communicative competence’ was accepted by Chomsky and called “pragmatic competence” (i.e. rules of use). Thus, Dell Hymes ‘communicative’ is Chomsky’s ‘pragmatic’ and includes knowledge of sociolinguistic rules, or the appropriateness of an utterance, in addition to knowledge of grammar rules. The term has come to negotiate meaning, to successfully combine a knowledge of linguistic and sociolinguistic rules in communicative interaction, both oral and written.

Michael Canale and Merril Swain in various papers on communicative competence have referred to “appropriacy” in terms of ‘sociolinguistic competence’. In fact, they offer another term “strategic competence”, that is, the ability to use communication strategies like approximation (or paraphrase strategy, using, for example, ‘pipe’ for waterpipe or ‘flower’ for leaf to come close to the intended meanings), word-coinage, circumlocution (i.e. describing objects or ideas using “It looks like…”, “It’s made of…” etc when one temporarily forgets an exact word), borrowing including literal translation and language mix, appeal for assistance, ie. asking for information appropriately using “Excuse me,” “Could you…?” “What’s the word for…?” “I didn’t know how to say it,” etc). mime and all that. Their strategic competence(Canale and Swain) refers to the ability to enhance or repair conversations and means the same as Chomsky’s ‘pragmatic competence’ or Fluency. Brumfit and others too have used the term ‘pragmatic’ in the sense of fluency.

Thus, communicative competence consists of LINGUISTIC competence (ACCURACY), PRAGMATIC competence (FLUENCY), and SOCIOLINGUISTIC

competence (APPROPRIACY).

The Linguistic competence or Accuracy in communication is much broader than mere grammatical competence; it includes the linguistic domains of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation as well as the linguistic skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, spelling, discourse (particularly interconnections and interdependence of the sentences and paragraphs), and the ability to contrast with the mother tongue.

The pragmatic competence or Fluency in communication relates to ease and speed of expression, i.e. how to keep talking, how not to remain silent because one doesn’t know the word (the skill of paraphrasing), and other strategies of learning, including how to listen to oneself and so be able to self-correct and self-edit at once; that is, the ability to monitor immediately.

The sociolinguistic competence or Appropriacy includes varieties of text types (stories, dialogues, non-fiction passages etc) and functions of the language, different levels/degrees of formality or informality, or appropriacy and use of language in authentic situations.

I doubt if we follow such a communicative curriculum with understanding of communicative competence in terms of linguistic ability, pragmatic ability and sociolinguistic ability. But its adoption should help students become independent learners; it should equip them with linguistic forms, means, and strategies that would help them overcome communication difficulties both inside and outside the classroom. From this perspective, communicative competence should be thought of as communicative performance just as a communicative syllabus should be essentially performance-based, that is, increasing the learner’s proficiency.

To quote Brendan Carroll: “The use of a language is the objective, and the mastery of the formal patterns, or usage, of the language is a means to achieve this objective. The ultimate criterion of language mastery is therefore the learner’s effectiveness in communication for the settings he finds himself in.”

POOR COMMUNICATIVE PERFORMANCE

Work-related skills such as team work, cultural awareness, leadership, communication and I.T. skills are as vital as academic achievement for Business/Management students. It would be poor communicative performance if, for example, someone makes a multimedia presentation without knowing how to use the equipment and experiences technical difficulties, or “tries to liven up a dull topic merely by adding flashy graphics rather than by improving the content of the presentation. People who attend meetings unprepared waste others’ time. People with poor listening skills frustrate those who have to repeat information for them. Those who make inappropriate grammatical or vocabulary choices embarrass themselves and those around them. Incompetent communicators hurt the organization they represent. This has especially been the case with hastily sent emails composed in a moment of anger.”

POSITIVE ATTITUDE NEEDED

Academic or professional communication skills, both written and oral, have to be imparted in such a way that students in their contexts are able to identify their own language learning needs and to set their own language learning goals. At college and university level, teachers may act as facilitators, just as they would need to teach with positive attitude for inter- and intra-cultural communication, the skills of negotiating linguistic and cultural differences.

It is with this sensibility for English language and its teaching in various contexts that I speak to you. Yet, as I say all this, I keep in mind the ground reality: that is, poor literacy skills, fluency, and even comprehension; poor communicative ability, with limited experiences in writing, speaking and listening unless, of course, teaching of English as a Second, or additional language improves from school level and need for a supportive classroom climate and positive student attitudes towards learning at post secondary level is recognized. Also, both teachers and students need to be aware of what to do, how to do it, and when and why to do it, as part of practicing self-regulation strategies.

The English Language Teaching community as also the other stake holders in the country should, therefore, revise and reformulate appropriate strategies and policies, with tolerance and multilingualism at the core, to remain relevant in the coming decades. The objective of looking back is to move forward with a reasoned perspective for taking measures to develop communication abilities and higher discourse competence, with a broadened inter- and cross-disciplinary bases, for learning to understand (rather than memorize) and apply in one’s own contexts.

COMMUNICATION IN BUSINESS

The digression apart, let me now come back to teaching communication in business. In terms of ESP, we should be aware of the ‘specific purposes’ of what we do in the classroom, just as we should do it in terms of students’ specific needs. For example, if we teach written communication, we teach it in the specific context of Business, maybe, where applicable, in terms of ‘rhetorical functions’, with a sense of logical organization of knowledge or information, as noticed in actual use. Students need to be exposed to range of authentic report material from business, commerce, finance, administration, marketing, production, personnel etc. They need to understand the logical steps in writing a report, from ‘collecting the information’ through to ‘summarizing’ and ‘appendix’. In short, they need to be presented with task-oriented activities that are both challenging and authentic in the field of business: they need to be forced to read and think about the content of the report; they need to be made to think about the structure and organization of the report; they need to think about the language used to express the content; and they have to be made to apply this knowledge to the skill of writing a report. The variety of writing exercises may include paragraph writing, expansion of notes, completion of paragraphs, sequencing of sentences into paragraph, and using the right punctuation marks, connectives, sub-headings, presentation of non-verbal information or transfer of information from text to diagram (graph, chart, table, outline etc); linking findings, conclusions and recommendations, extracting main points for making descriptive and evaluative summaries etc. We teach all this in terms of what the students already know and what they need to know. They unlearn, learn, and re-learn, both formal and informal expressions, within the conventions of the discipline they belong to.

As I already said, their career success depends on good writing and speaking skills, along with proper etiquette and listening skills and understanding skills. Skills that need particular attention are informational and analytical report writing, proposal writing, memo writing, letter writing, oral presentation, and a sense of grammar, punctuation, word, sentence and paragraph.

The methodology should encourage students to learn from each other via activities both of a productive kind and of a receptive nature. We may exploit developments in the case study approach, use role plays and simulations that place the students in realistic and stimulating situations to create spontaneous personal interaction and creative use of the language in a business context.

A mix of the task based approach, group work, and simulations should help the future business people develop the skills for meeting and negotiating as also for the necessary mastery of English for functioning autonomously in the field. The challenge is not to teach a descriptive course on discourse, but to provide for a pragmatic and custom-tailored input, ready for processing by the learners in an authentic learning environment.

In other words, in stead of mere ‘business communication’, the emphasis has to be on, what I already mentioned, ‘interaction in business context’. It is not merely the language of business, but also the cultural conventions of meetings and negotiations in an intercultural setting that one has to be aware of, and learn. As far as teaching is concerned, it is rather helping students with learning how to learn, how to create the learning opportunities for themselves, and understanding the ways in which language and business strategies interact. If we follow a learner-centred approach, a three-step procedure could be: first, to illustrate (=a good model), then, to induce (=induction for effective learning by the learner), and finally, to interact (=the outcome).

I would like to quote Christopher Brumfit from his opening speech to SPEAQ Convention in Quebec City (in June 1982): “…Being communicative is as much or more a matter of methodology as of syllabus or materials, and methodology is something that teachers are uniquely qualified to contribute to. We should therefore be willing to use our expertise, to innovate, to improve, to inform each other, and to criticize.” What we are doing here, friends, is just to make a beginning, the beginning of a process of communicating, of understanding, that we can start but cannot finish.

ECLECTIC APPROACH

I am aware that there is no universal teaching method or ideal teaching material suited to many contexts of language teaching. Whatever didactic techniques one knows without excluding the behaviouristic drills, and practice and use of mother tongue, where appropriate, are all valid at different points in the teaching process. I stand for an eclectic approach as different methods for different students have always worked and there has not been one best method any time. With our freedom to choose and adopt any notion that serves our teaching ends, with a reasonable degree of historical sense, flexibility and adaptability that allows us to select among a variety of approaches, methods and techniques, we can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I see teaching communicatively essentially consisting of an eclectic methodology which incorporates what is valuable in any system or method of teaching and refuses to recognize bad teaching or defective learning. In any educational setting, sensitive and sensible application and continuing evaluation of the chosen practices should be inbuilt.

English has been practised in a social, economic, political, educational and philosophical “hot-house”, to use Peter Strevens’ expression, and the hot-house in India differs in quality from state to state. It is necessary to create an enabling environment – managerial, administrative, institutional, academic, and curricular-to promote not only quality education and effective learning with exposure to lots of natural, meaningful and understandable language, but also genuine communication. This means learners should read and listen to live language; they should speak and write it in ways that can be understood by educated speakers everywhere. Moreover, they should eventually be able to produce and comprehend culturally appropriate natural discourse.

SUMMING UP

To sum up, we as teachers need to recognize the changes that have shaken all human conditions with new technology, new social structures, new values, new human relations, new functions. As Young Yun Kim notes: “The complexity, diversity, and rapid pace of change makes us ‘strangers’ in our own society.” The challenge is, to understand the “sameness in differences” for international/intercultural exchanges, or learning business negotiations and written communication. Language teaching alone may not develop communicative abilities in business English unless we realize that learning the language implies learning the culture also-one’s own culture and other’s culture. It is language and culture teaching together and sharing the “us” and “them” differences to reflect on one’s own culture from the viewpoint of an outsider, and thus, become less ethnocentric and more tolerant of the values of the foreign people and their ways.

The ESP of business communication seems highly culturally biased and value based, even as Western ethno-centricism, including the North American, may not be the answer to our communicative difficulties. But we have to be OPEN to all local peculiarities to communication and interaction. If we view English as the lingua franca for business negotiations, we should also not forget that it is NOT the mother tongue of any or most of the negotiators. To that extent, the English used is commonly a variety in which the mother tongue interferes not only phonetically and phonologically, but also in the cultural norms and attitudes expressed by the speakers. To quote Susanne Neimeir, “Their non-verbal behavior, for example, does not automatically switch to an ‘Englishized’ non-verbal behavior but normally stays rooted in their home culture. Thus, even when they think the negotiation partner should have understood (verbal and non-verbal) signs they are using, misunderstandings still occur because signs may be differently encoded-and decoded-on the other’s cultures or may not be noticed to be signs at all.”

Therefore, we need to sensitize students to cultural richness and cultural diversity for developing mutual understanding and using individual and group knowledge constructively, and not stereotypically, in learning skills of business communication, both oral and written. It also seems imperative to integrate discourse analysis, decision-making and generic patterns of meetings and effective conversation and the role of cultural influences for success in actual business situations. In fact, it is significant to provide professional students with opportunities to experience what it means to communicate and to do business with different people who obviously are alike in several basic ways.

In today’s globalized business context, while teachers of business English have to be aware of various analytical and practical approaches to business communication, especially as intercultural understanding and strategies of flexibility, adaptability and tolerance are some of the keys to make the best of economic opportunities, students of Business communication have to learn to find their own strategies, or use of structural and stylistic devices for successful business interaction. Their verbal communication in the ‘ESL’ context, to my mind, would be largely ‘EIL’ to be able to work together, using English as the common language.

I hope at the end of the programme, having shared with each other what some of you have done and how, we will emerge more enlightened and aware about what more we need to do to succeed in the days ahead. Mutual interaction should help us envision a possible policy framework required to support teaching for economically valuable language skills at tertiary and/or professional level.

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How to Choose the Right Communication Services Provider for You

Today it’s often the communications budget that’s the first to be slashed when company leaders are looking for ways to reduce costs. Communication teams are often looked at as an expense rather than as an investment. They’re expendable in a corporate re-organization. In many companies, communication teams today are expected to do more with less.

The problem is, today, communicating regularly with your audiences is vital. As they say, “content is king.” Effective, appropriate communication becomes even more essential if your company has a crisis that affects your customers or clients, or the public at large. Communicating effectively is also essential when you’re launching a new product or service, or even when you’re holding a special event. Your brand is everything you do and how you do it-and communication is a vital part of your brand.

Facing the communication conundrum

Most large corporations have in-house communication teams. Many medium, and especially smaller businesses, do not. Neither do many non-profit organizations or associations. And this can leave SMEs and non-profits, more so than larger organizations, in a communication conundrum.

Let’s say you’re an SME with an innovative new product that could change your industry. You’ve got to get the word out. But you’re the product expert, not a communication expert. And you don’t have a communication staff. What to do? A haphazard approach to your new-product launch could have disastrous rather stellar results. You should have a communication plan for every crisis; for every new product launch; for every event. And that requires the right expertise. So does writing your blog posts, news releases, website copy, and a whole lot more. Writing your company’s B2B or B2C communications is not a job to just hand off to the executive assistant. Nor to the sales team.

To hire, or outsource

Hiring a full-time communication person is costly. There’s a salary and benefits package; there’s time and cost invested in recruitment. It can be difficult to find the right person for your organization. And what if the person you eventually hire quits within the first few months, or a year or two? You’ve invested thousands of dollars in the hiring process, and now you have to do it all over again.

More and more organizations today are outsourcing their communication needs. It’s a very viable option for SMEs and non-profits that don’t need a full in-house communications team, or that can’t afford to have a person on staff. And it’s a great option for larger corporations whose teams are overloaded, or that are looking to control costs. Developing a trusted, excellent working relationship with an external communications ally can make it seem as though they’re part of your internal team.

Establish an outsource budget

The first thing you should do is establish a communication budget if you don’t have one already. If you’re hiring an outsource resource on a project basis, for example, it’s likely the first question they’ll ask is, “What’s the budget for this project?”

You don’t want to be saying, “Well, I need this done but I don’t really have a budget for it.” That can lead to a bad situation when you get the invoice. It will also leave your provider with the feeling from the first conversation that you’re not really serious about communication-that it’s an afterthought. They’ll be wary of doing business with you. That’s not a good way to start off when the aim should be to develop a long-term, trusted relationship. For the same reasons, don’t make the first question you ask, “How much do you charge for this?”, or “What’s your hourly rate?” Some communication providers may refuse to even consider doing business with you if the first thing you’re interested in is the cost. That’s because their main interest is in adding value for you, and helping you achieve your communication and business objectives. They don’t want to deal with difficult clients who are more concerned with how much they’re spending rather than the investment that’s being made in helping them.

Outsource options

If you’re looking at outsourcing for your communication needs, there are several options to consider. You can engage a:

big agency
smaller, or boutique agency
“virtual” team
professional independent communicator

It really depends on three things: your budget, your needs and your trust level.

Large agencies usually have a lot of staff (and salaries and overhead to pay), so their fees are often much higher, and perhaps unaffordable for your communication budget. Think about your needs, and whether you really need a big agency partner to handle them.

Smaller or boutique agencies usually have a small staff (often anywhere from five to 25 people) and usually focus on a few specific account-industry-areas. This makes them more specialized (more on this in a moment), which can be beneficial for you. Often, smaller agencies focus on working with smaller companies.

Perhaps you’ll want to look at engaging a “virtual team.” It’s common today for professional independent communicators with different expertise-for example, a writer, a graphic designer, a media relations expert and a web designer-to band together as a “virtual agency” on a project basis. You liaise with one person, and everything comes together in the background. Quite often, these independent communicators work from home offices. Choosing a “virtual team” can be very cost effective.

If you have minimal or only very occasional communication needs, then you may want to consider a solo professional independent communicator (PIC). If for example, you only need blog posts written regularly, then this makes sense.

Dealing with multiple suppliers

Some companies when they’re outsourcing hire different providers for different services-a writer for this, and a graphic designer for that, for example. But it means you’re managing a host of different suppliers, and dealing with numerous invoices. Sometimes it just makes sense to go “one-stop” and engage either a “virtual team” or a smaller, boutique agency that can provide all the services you need. They may sub-out certain parts of the project, but ultimately you’re dealing with a single supplier and building a relationship with them.

Dealing with multiple suppliers can affect your brand. Let’s take a writer, for example. If you’re outsourcing to more than one writer, it’s essential that they all have a copy of your company style guide. And that they all follow your corporate style. This is because all your communications need to have the same look, feel and tone. If you’re using some really good, experienced writers while others are more junior and the quality of their work isn’t the greatest, it’s going to show. Disjointed communications can affect your brand reputation and perception. Then there’s your frustration factor in having to micro-manage, and polish or rewrite when you shouldn’t be having to do that. You should be able to focus on the operational aspects of your business while your trusted communication ally focuses on that aspect.

Consider these questions

There are some questions to consider when you’re looking at outsourcing for your communication needs:

How do I find the right outsource expertise?
Should I engage a “specialist”, or a “generalist”?
Should I engage a more experienced professional, or someone more junior?

Let’s tackle the first question. The best place to start is by asking people in your network if they can refer you to a communication provider. Take advantage of LinkedIn for this. It’s well known that people are most comfortable doing business with either someone they know, or with someone to whom they’ve been referred because there’s an inherent level of trust in a referral. You can also tap into your local or the nearest chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. The Toronto chapter (the largest IABC chapter in the world), for example, has an online marketplace where members advertise their services.

Specialists versus generalists

Should you engage a specialist, or a generalist?

Communication generalists usually have diverse experience that may be across a range of industries. A really good generalist who knows how to write effectively for a variety of audiences can easily adapt to writing for your industry audience, in the right tone. If you’re comfortable engaging a generalist, then do it.

But you may want to consider a specialist. The main advantage is that a communication “specialist” with experience in your industry understands it, and the audience. They’ll instinctively know how to write engaging copy for your audience. They’ll also understand the nuances and terminologies of your industry. They can comfortably jump right into your project. A generalist may have to spend more time getting up to speed to learn about your business. With a specialist, you can more confidently “let them run with the ball” once you’ve said, “This is what I need.” You may find yourself spending more time managing and educating your supplier if that person is a communication generalist.

As for experience, it’s the old, “you get what you pay for.” If you’re hiring a virtual team of senior communicators, their project fees will definitely be higher than those of someone just starting out or only a few years into their career. But the advantage of hiring a more experienced virtual team is that you’re hiring their years of experience and expertise, which translates into more value and benefit to you.

Check them out

Once you’ve found the outsource ally with whom you think you want to work, there are a few things you should do before engaging them:

Visit their website to learn more about them. If you’re about to engage a writer/content creator and he or she has a “samples” page, download a few writing samples to review them.
If they have testimonials on their website, get in touch with three of those people and ask a bit more about how satisfied they were with the provider.
Have an initial phone conversation. If you need case studies written, for example, and they involve interviewing a lot of people, ask the person about the kinds of people they’ve interviewed, and their interviewing style.

A word about fees

There are three ways communication providers usually charge:

project-fee basis
retainer
hourly rate

Project-fee basis: Personally, I prefer this. It means everyone knows up front the scope of the project; how much they’re going to receive; and what the invoice amount will be. A supplier who charges by the project may have a fee policy stipulating the project fee basis and what the fee includes, and anything outside that scope will be charged extra and accordingly. If you’re looking at developing a long-term relationship with an outsource communication ally, you can still engage them on a project basis rather than a retainer-fee basis.

Retainer: It may make sense to negotiate a retainer fee if you have constant, ongoing needs. But you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re paying a monthly retainer fee that’s going to budget waste because you’re not taking full advantage of your supplier’s capabilities and services for whatever reason.

Hourly rate: Engaging someone who charges by the hour can really add up and create a shock factor when you receive the invoice. Hourly rates are a hassle for both you and your provider. They have to track every hour spent on your project. You have to pay for every hour spent on it. If a project takes more time than expected, you’re paying for that time. No one knows how much the invoice is going to be until it’s presented. The hourly rate scenario can lead to disputes, which is not good for developing a good, long-term working relationship.

Tying it all together

Probably the most important thing in engaging an outsource ally is, make sure you have a written contract or letter of agreement outlining what’s to be done and by when, and the fees. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts. Those can end what could’ve been a great long-term relationship before it even gets off the ground.

Outsourcing for your communication needs has a lot of advantages and benefits that can create a win-win for all parties involved. It can help you ramp-up your communications while keeping things cost effective. For communication providers, adding value for you starts with building a great relationship. The right outsource ally will help you achieve your goals to drive your business forward, and be in it for the long-haul with you. They’ll help you survive crises and bumps along the road, and they’ll help you celebrate your successes, too. When you’ve found the right ally, you’ll instinctively know it.

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Growing Your Online Social Community Effectively

Social communities are all around you and the chances are very good that you are a part of at least a few online social communities for your business. However, did you ever think about building your own online community and populating it with the people who you feel will be most effective? There are easy ways to accomplish that and before you know it, you will have created an amazing online social community of your own.

Choosing the right theme and the right people
When it comes to growing a social community online, there are certain important things that you will want to consider so that your community is really effective and it really accomplishes the goals that you have set up to accomplish over time.

Once you have been able to build your social community, you will need to grow that community and continue to populate it with the most appropriate people so that the discussions that occur help the community to flourish. That means that you not only need to work the community once you have attracted the initial number of people but that you also need to continue to attract the right kind of people so that your community can grow and grow in the right way.

At this point, you are probably wondering exactly you should go about establishing and growing your social community and you should understand that it is not as intimidating or difficult as you may think it is.

Recognize that establishing and growing your online social community is a really good thing: There are several positive aspects of this. First of all, if the community belongs to you, you have control over who you admit and who you don’t admit. You can choose to put limits on the types of discussions that occur or to let the people who are interacting to have a tremendous amount of freedom with the discussions that they are having. It is totally your call. Of course, the other people have free will. They can choose to be a part of your community or not. If they choose to leave, so be it. On the other hand, if they find your community to be valuable and to support their values and what they are trying to accomplish with their own businesses, they will probably be with you for quite a while. Another thing that is totally under your control is the types of people you want to have in your community. You can promote the community in different ways and you can customize your promotion to appeal to the people you want to have around you. You should remember that if you populate your community with the right people, the quality of the interactions that you share with the community members will be very high.

Do it for the right reasons: If you are going to go through the effort and time to establish your community and then to populate it with cherry-picked members, you need to make sure that the commitment that you are making to the community is for the right reasons. Your community is a reflection of you and of the members of your community. That means that you will express your values and anyone who is involved with your community will understand your position on a whole bunch of issues, not to mention that your core values and your mission will be apparent as well. Just as is the case with the other communities (belonging to other people) of which you are a member, you will need to revolve around top-quality, relevant, valuable content that allows the community to grow in the right direction. It is important to remain well aware of the fact that your community is made up of human beings. That means that you all interact on an emotional level. That fact alone will allow you to grow the groups successfully because the relationships that you share with the other group members will become deeper and more meaningful over time.

Choose the right members: In addition to establishing your social community for the right reasons, you also need to choose the right people with whom to populate your community. Without them, your community will not be successful. You will want to be very careful about the demographics that you choose. Considering that it is an online community, geography may not play an extremely important role. However, each community is different and your community may end up being a combination of online and in-person. That is entirely up to you. Whatever demographic aspects you choose, you will want to make sure that the people who possess those features actually enhance your community.

Ensure that your community experience is valuable to your members: The truth is that there is a lot of information out there and, let’s be honest, a lot of garbage out there as well. The fact is that, once you establish your community, you have a responsibility to the members of that community. You should make certain decisions right at the beginning, as you are building the foundation of your community. It is important to remember that your social community is not just for your benefit. The members of the community deserve just as much as you do. The only difference between you is that you are in a position in which you can make decisions. In your quest to attract the most appropriate people, you will need to make a tremendous effort to let those people know that not only is your community worthwhile for them but that you will also do your best to make them want to stick around for a long time. Smoke and mirrors can be very impressive; however, if you have not substance or real meaning to your community, what is the point?

The people are what is important: The reality is that you will need to tell the right people about your community; however, the promotion of the community is not nearly as important as the people themselves. Your community is a democracy (to a great extent). That means that your members have opinions, thoughts, and feelings that matter to you and that matter to the community as a whole. You must always make the community members understand that you are not in it by yourself. Without them, there would be no community. Human beings love to be valued and they love to feel that there needs and want are important.

Conclusion
Your online social community can really do a lot of great work. Your online social community will increase your business’ visibility and your credibility will increase. The people in your community will take you a very long way if you choose them appropriately. For that reason, you will want to take your time and choose them carefully. If you combine the right people (who have all sorts of amazing ideas) with the right information (content that is on target and extremely effective), you have a winning combination that will be a raging success.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

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Chiropractor – A Health Care Invention

A chiropractor is defined as a health care device with a professional touch for the diagnosis and intensive treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Their emphasis is on neuromuscular disorders, especially spine.

Most of the chiropractors are used as a pain reliever for the patients. That is why it has been given the title of being an alternative medicine to the subjected treatment.

Chiropractors firmly and honestly believe in the kind of relationship that developed between our nervous system and spine, this does not come as a surprise as we have already mentioned that the major area of focus for the chiropractor is the spine.

Here is the listing of few of the benefits received from Chiropractic health care

1. A great boost for stress reliever

It is a well known fact that too much of stress will always result in a bad outcome. Neither is it good for health nor is it good for our well being. When our nervous system moves out a bit from the track and our skeletal system seems to have shaken off from their proper position, there are very high possibilities that your entire body will feel out of balance as well. This is what will lead to stress in your entire functioning of the body. Here is when the functioning of a Chiropractor comes into use. It helps in balancing that stress and your body is immediately made to come back to its normal balance. Once you are made to adjust to this functioning you will feel much more equipped to manage this stress if it happens to arise again.

2. Posture perfection by Chiropractor usage

By using this chiropractor over a considerable period of time, these chiropractor adjustments can help in the alignments of the spine and brings a noticeable change in your posture. This is distinctly helpful when it comes to aligning the curve on your neck. As soon as you get into your working in an office phase, you have to spend hours after hours in front of a computer. Due to this from a very young age, people are seen to be having neck issues. If you continue a regular and dutifully maintained use of the chiropractor, you can improve your body posture in no time.

3. Moods are taken care of automatically

When with time your body gets adjusted with the working procedure of the chiropractor, your entire body gets balanced. The entire chemistry of the body is brought back on track. A lot of people who have not had the best of luck in chemical balance gain a lot from the chiropractic care. Depression which is a very serious mental condition also sees an immense improvement in the moods of the sufferer. So you see how a chiropractor is creating wonders in your mood related cases as well which are in a way related to the functioning of your entire body.

Thus we provide you with a gist of all that you can mainly expect from the usage of a chiropractor. It is efficient and it is useful and it is interlinked with many a thing’s improvement.

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Calamine Lotion Benefits

Calamine lotion has been around for a long time and was always used in the medical environment. Obviously, it isn’t as strong as most antiseptic chemicals but it is a lotion that prevents itching.

Calamine lotion can be used for various treatments which include damaged and itchy skin. When skin gets damaged it will get itchy because the cells are breaking and tearing apart. It may sound painful but the itch is what really gets to you. And who can resist scratching an itch?

Coming into contact with poisonous plants is common when camping or spending the day in a garden. These are plants that use poison as a self defence mechanism to save themselves from being cut or eaten. It’s also important to know your allergies as some people may have allergic reactions to certain plants. The calamine lotion can help to soothe the burning feeling and prevents any breakouts at the same time. This will help heal the rash and infection quicker in a painless way.

Baby skin is very sensitive to most surfaces including their nappies. The calamine lotion can help to heal the nappy rash or anything of the sort without burning your child’s skin. Keeping the rash as soothed as possible will make your child more comfortable.

Insect bites are common in any area of the world. These bites could also be slightly poisonous (in certain cases) which causes itching and inflation on the skin. Applying calamine lotion to the bite will soothe the wound and assist with the process of ridding the body of the harmless poison. Please remember that certain insects can also be dangerously poisonous and you should be aware of which insects and spiders can harm you greatly. Most insects that have many bright colours are often associated with high toxic levels.

Calamine lotion also assists with stretch marks and broken skin that occurs during pregnancy. There is nothing worse than having discomfort during pregnancy especially if it could be treated or prevented. Adding calamine lotion to your broken and itchy skin relieves the surface of the discomfort.

You can also apply it to other skin problems such as acne, dryness, eczema, psoriasis and as a normal moisturiser to improve complexion and quality of skin.

Calamine lotion can be found in most stores or in bulk quantities at cash and carry wholesale stores. If skin problems continue after the use of any treatments, there is a chance that your body is unable to cure itself of the infection. In such cases you would need to consult a dermatologist to find out the cause of the problem.

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Staying Safe While Behind The Wheel

There is nothing quite like being able to hit the road and experience a level of freedom in your own vehicle. While your car can offer you a chance to escape from the monotonous routine of your daily life, it is also important to keep basic maintenance in the forefront of your mind. When something goes wrong with your ride, it can lead to some serious financial problems and general frustration. In fact, you might discover that some aspects of maintenance are less obvious than others. This is especially true of areas like windshield glare.

When you are driving on a particularly sunny day, you might not be able to see the road in front of you. The sun can be harsh and unforgiving, and this can have a huge impact on your ability to see clearly while you’re driving. Instead of chalking this up to the way that it is, you might want to take action and discover the right solutions with Crystal Fusion Technologies. Explore the different ways to improve your driving experience and learn how to stay safe while you’re behind the wheel.

A Frustrating Glare

Sunlight on the windshield can be a serious threat. A sunny day is perfect for going to the beach, having a lazy picnic in the park, or simply soaking up some rays. Unfortunately, the sun is also incredibly bright at certain times during the year. When light bounces off or gets filtered through the glass on your windshield, it creates an obstruction that cannot be easily remedied. While you might try and put on some shades, you’ll discover that this solution only gets you so far. A real remedy is in order for a lasting fix.

Companies like Crystal Fusion Technologies have put a lot of time and energy into crafting solutions that aim to improve this situation. Cutting the glare on your windshield is not an easy task and you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to see improved results. With the assistance of the best products on the market, you can use cutting edge technology to divert the rays of the sun in a way that does not upset your driving in the slightest. Research your options to discover the perfect fit.

Driving On

Staying safe while on the road is important for many reasons. People tend to go through routine maintenance for their vehicles to ensure that no unforeseen issues arise while behind the wheel. This usually takes care of areas like oil changes, tire rotations, and other important areas. Still, maintenance neglects issues that are inherent by design. Windshield glare cannot be fixed with regular maintenance. You need to go above and beyond to protect yourself when you’re on the road so be sure to look over your options.

There are many ways to protect yourself when you’re out driving in your car. When you are paying attention to all angles of your experience, it can be a lot easier for you to spot a problem in advance. Learn about how products by Crystal Fusion Technologies might be able to improve your experience by using windshield protective coating regards to windshield glare. Explore your options and you can find the best solution for your troubles.

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Various Health Benefits of Meditation

The ancient practice of meditation is gaining popularity again in modern times. As this practice goes main stream, more and more people are enjoying its benefits. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyana’ meditation means attention and contemplation. It is a practice to help focusing the attention away from everything to achieve a relaxed state of peace and balance. This practice is designed to promote relaxation, develop love, patience and compassion and build internal energy to overcome stressful situations.

One of the reasons for growing popularity of meditation is the scientific research proving its amazing range of benefits and healing properties. It helps a person increase his focus, eliminate negative thoughts and anxiety. Here are some of the popular health benefits of meditation:

- Reduces Stress – Stress is the most common problem of people in present times. Meditation induces a state of relaxation which is helpful in reducing stress and anxiety levels. It restores the emotional balance which will help in enhancing self-esteem, increase awareness and optimism.

- Deals with Chronic Pain – Meditation helps in reducing pain of patients suffering from chronic pain.

- Improves Sleep – It helps in improving sleep quality and cures the symptoms of amnesia.

- Improves Immunity – When the body is relaxed and stress free, the immune system is able to prepare itself to fight against various diseases.

- Provides relief from Blood Pressure and Heart Ailments – Simple daily practice of meditation can help in lowering blood pressure which will reduce the risk of hypertension. Over the time, the heart rate can also be lowered, improving the cardiovascular system. Research has proved that it has helped in managing heart diseases in many patients.

- Improves Concentration – It helps in increasing the strength and focus of your attention. It can help you think better and generate more new ideas.

- Generates Compassion – It can help to increase positive feelings and actions towards others. By practicing meditation, people learn to extend kindness and develop forgiveness.

- Helps in Fighting Addictions – The discipline developed through meditation helps in increasing self control, awareness and breaking dependencies. Research has shown that it helps people in redirecting attention, increase willpower and control impulses. It helps in developing discipline to avoid triggers for unwanted things and fight and recover from addiction.

The importance of meditation can be felt never like before in present times. With routines getting busier and more and more stressful, meditation is a good driving force that can help people cope up with the intricacies of modern lifestyle.

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Remove Unwanted Facial And Body Hair Using Laser Treatment

Removing unwanted hair is time-consuming and repetitive no matter what your preferred hair removal technique is, and whether you shave, pluck, wax, thread or use depilatory creams, the hair will always grow back. You’ll find the skin on your face is sensitive, and constantly using harsh hair removal treatments can cause a great deal of skin irritation.

All women have hair on the face, usually it’s fair and fine and is difficult to see, but those with darker hair are not so lucky. You will find that most of your female friends have the same issues when it comes to unwanted facial hair. The hair on the upper lip, chin, cheeks and sideburns can all be very embarrassing and cause you a great deal of insecurity. It seems that every time you think you’ve disposed of unwanted hair, you’ll find more of it sprouting up somewhere else, and even after you get rid of the hairs, they just grow back.

You can cover up your excess hair in areas that aren’t constantly exposed, but the hair on your face is always on display, and it can seem as though everyone is always looking at the hairs on your upper lip, chin or sideburns. A good way to get rid of unwanted hair is with laser hair removal.

Benefits of laser hair removal:

It permanently reduces hair safely
It’s a fast treatment time
The results will boost your self-confidence
Prevents razor bumps and irritation
Laser treatment causes only minimal discomfort
Laser energy gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle, and this laser energy is then converted to heat, causing thermal damage to the follicle without harming the surrounding skin. This results in hair growth being stopped in the damaged follicle.
Generally for white skin you’ll need around 6 treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, and this usually results in 80% of hair removal. Darker or black skin may need around 8 treatments, resulting again in 80% of hair removed.

Most clients experience minimal discomfort; some may experience a minor stinging or pinching sensation on the skin as we deliver the laser pulses, but we can offer topical anaesthetic cream to make treatments more comfortable.

Although we can perform laser hair removal treatment on white or black skin, lasers only work on hair which has pigment, because it absorbs the laser light and allows the heat to build up and diffuse throughout the follicle to destroy it. Therefore it’s not possible to treat white, grey, and blond hair by laser.

If you need help choosing a cosmetic procedure, we provide an extensive range of cosmetic procedures for the face and body: Botox, Vaser Lipo, Lip Augmentation, Dermal Fillers and many more treatments, to help create a younger, slimmer, more youthful looking you!

The Selston Cosmetic Clinic is located in Selston, Nottingham, where we offer a bespoke service with a personalised touch and deliver high client satisfaction. We have been involved in the cosmetic industry for over 10 years

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