Excellent business communication skills are especially important for information management professionals, particularly records managers, who have to communicate a complex idea: how an effective program can help the organization be better prepared for litigation, and do it in a way that is persuasive in order to win records program support and budget. Six Key Communication Skills for Records and Information Managers explores those skills that enable records and information to have a better chance of advancing their programs and their careers. Following an introduction from the author, this book will focus on six key communication skills: be brief, be clear, be receptive, be strategic, be credible and be persuasive. Honing these skills will enable readers to more effectively obtain support for strategic programs, communicate more effectively with senior management, IT personnel and staff, and master key forms of business communication including written, verbal and formal presentations. The final chapter will highlight one of the most practical applications of applying the skills for records and information managers: the business case. Based on real events, the business cases spotlighted involve executives who persuaded organizations to adopt new programs. These case histories bring to life many of the six keys to effective communication.
Kenneth Neal is a certified enterprise content management practitioner (ecmP) with over 20 years of corporate communications experience implementing programs for companies such as IBM, BearingPoint, Fujitsu Consulting and Canon Business Process Services. Ken has published articles on document management topics in such publications as US Business Review, The Information Management Journal, Globalization Today and Business Solutions. He has also presented seminars at the New York Real Estate Institute, National Council on Economic Education, and ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators). Ken's presentations at ARMA conventions have focused on mastering key forms of business communication including written, verbal and formal presentations.
Dedication List of tables List of abbreviations Acknowledgements About the author Introduction: why communication skills for records and information managers? Communication drives success Effectively communicating is more challenging than ever The solution: six simple skills The business case Meeting the challenge 1: Be brief: how brief? Abstract Guidelines for brevity It's not easy being brief Make your writing more readable Three best practices for being brief 2: Be clear: is my proposal full of jargon? Abstract The fuzziness of language A sea of acronyms and jargon Straight talk and likability Retaining a sense of humanity A campaign for plain English Your job has been "demised" Put cliches in the delete folder Avoid focusing on yourself 3: Be receptive: am I asking questions and listening? Abstract They didn't even listen The one-two punch A records management nightmare Why we don't ask more questions Questions encourage answers Every word counts Quality questions get quality answers Communicating with upper management The second advantage of questions Be an investigative reporter Obstacles to getting information The third advantage of questions Out of your right mind Ineffective questions The better approach Back to the one-two punch Challenges to listening What you don't hear can hurt you What you do hear can help you The persuasion factor Give them psychological air Keys to better listening Taking it to a whole new level 4: Be strategic: what am I trying to achieve? Abstract The principle of creating things twice Keeping the end in mind Strategic versus expressive communication Avoid being a "yelling coach" The biggest communication mistake The relationship factor The credibility factor The connection factor The core beliefs factor The personal needs factor Meeting the challenge Strategic communication par excellence A question of style Grove swings the bat Rockefeller calls their bluff It begins with solutions Lack of accountability A creative solution Executive-level buy-in Tangible business benefits Work your network A lesson from Mandela Six months and 18 people Nothing convinces like conviction 5: Be credible: why should you believe me? Abstract Taking the time to understand Two actions that counted "I've heard enough!" Communicate honestly What do you see? Taking it too far Deactivate your invisible fence Tips for being honest and authentic Knowing your stuff The key word: "perceived" What if you're not competent? Get competent Team competence Show respect My wallet was stolen, not my bus pass The waiter rule Who cleans your dorm? Continue to grow How to get better Being credible is critical 6: Be persuasive: are you persuaded yet? Abstract Saga of the sonic jacket The experience is the message My 15 minutes of fame The power of persuasion The experience factor Generate an experience Let's sell some software Are you congruent? Are you presenting by rote? The Jobs' formula Set the theme Follow the rule of three Create an unforgettable experience Express feelings Tell stories Build a memorable closing The story factor Give them a new story People are not rational The real estate executive story The cheap video story The locked-in-a-boxcar story Three stories you should know how to tell As long as I'm still standing This is who I am This is why I am here The confidence factor What really creates expertise? What exactly is an expert? Are you ready for deliberate practice? Tennis anyone? From tennis to records management Deliberate practice in public speaking A personal best A prescription for anxiety The only way Bringing the six key skills to life 7: Case histories: why should you adopt my business case? Abstract Competing for a slice of the pie The story of "The Principles" Using key communication skills Asking questions and listening pays off Never letting go Presenting to the board Being strategic and persuasive The story of "the paper chase" A credibility challenge The interview strategy The presentation Winning the business; getting to work What better way to end the story Conclusion: communicate as well as you can My passion for communicating It stays with you To be or not to be Paying tribute References Index