Communication strategies to interact with and among institutions/ organisations

Aim & Outcomes: The training in this session will provide an opportunity to the SE consultant to acquire knowledge/ competencies in the sphere of communication, in particular to the communication strategies regarding the interaction with different public institutions or private organisations which can contribute to finding employment for persons with disabilities.

 

The communication is a complex process of interaction that occurs through unidirectional dissemination or through mutual exchange of messages in order to achieve a certain degree of mutual understanding between the participants.

The communication represents distribution or exchange of ideas, knowledge, feelings, moods, attitudes, positions, according to the interests and needs of participants in the communication process.

Basic principles of communication of the SE consultant with institutions/ organisations:

  • To be purposeful by adhering strictly to the fundamental objectives and the occupational profile of the SE consultant;
  • To be organized by clear objectives and targets;
  • To be implemented in short, medium and long- term plan according to the objectives of the SE consultant;
  • To be flexible with possibility for regular updates in response to changing conditions;
  • To be timely – to starts, before taking concrete steps;
  • To be pre- planned - the successive steps in the communication must be foreseen in advance and distributed in the most appropriate and effective way in time and space;
  • The results of the communication to be subject to analysis and evaluation;
  • Great importance for the implementation of effective communication has the “management of expectations”.
  • It is important for the successful communication not to create excessive expectations because their failure could bring greater harm. Better approach is to provide the information realistically, not to overstate the positive effect of one or another decision.

Stages of the communication process:

  1. Attract and retain attention. We could achieve this aim with a timely message and with attractively but also fairly presented information.
  2. Establishment of relations (communication is two- way process). To create such an attitude, we should be benevolent to the interlocutor, to know and recognize its professional view, expectations and needs, and also its position in the institution/ organisation.
  3. Excitation of attitude - causing a reaction from the interlocutor.
  4. Establishing of trust - from both sides.
  5. Inclusion and action.

 

Communication channels

To achieve the objectives of the communication, it is necessary to effectively use a variety of communication channels, taking into account their specificity according to the institution/ organisation, for which is intended the relevant information.

Official letter by registered post

Written communication is widely used channel of communication regarding the exchange of information between institutions. Official letters are much more formal channel of communication,

The SE consultant should try to write as simply and as clearly as possible, and not to make the letter longer than necessary. He/ she should not use informal language. The letter has the following compulsory elements:

- Addresses (of the SE consultant and of the person he/ she is writing to)

- Salutation or greeting (Dear Mr/ Ms…)

- Ending a letter (Yours Faithfully, Yours Sincerely…)

- Signature of the SE consultant

- Date

Phone calls

In answering a phone call it is extremely important that our tone be friendly and responsive. The intonation of the SE consultant is an essential part of communication and plays a significant role in building an impression. Emotions should not affect our tone, even when they are negative. When we make a call, it is always necessary to introduce ourselves, adding our position and the purpose of the call (searching appropriate job opportunities for PwD).

Meetings

If a SE consultant is looking for a meeting:

  • He/ she provides the date, time, place of the meeting. It is appropriate to be on “well- known territory” i.e. a place that is familiar to the consultant, but that is also convenient for the invited person.
  • When the SE consultant discusses a meeting on the phone he/ she should explains his/ her position, the reason for calling, the occasion of the meeting, the approximate duration of the meeting.
  • If the meeting is outside, the SE consultant bears the cost of it.
  • The SE consultant goes to the place of the meeting on time.

 

E-mail communication is the most frequently used tool in the modern business environment.

A few rules for communication via e-mail with different institutions/ organisations:

  • Check your e-mail at least three times a day
  • Try to answer within a day
  • Do not overdo your messages to institutions/ organisations with inscriptions and signs like "Urgent"
  • Do not distribute spam (junk mail)

DO:

  • Use a professional email
  • Include a brief, but descriptive subject line
  • Be sure to include a greeting in the email (“To whom it may concern”, “Dear Sir or Madame” etc.). The greeting that you use will vary depending on who will be reviewing your letter, which you will find out when researching job opportunities for the client
  • Treat the body of the email like a letter. Use complete sentences
  • State the purpose of the email (searching for appropriate job positions, thanking someone for meeting with you, trying to establish an initial contact or an initial meeting)
  • Be as concise as possible. The potential employers are busy people, and you want to respect their time
  • Be sure to thank the recipient of your email for their time and consideration
  • Include a closing
  • Include your contact information
  • Proof- read several times

 

DO NOT:

  • Use a casual e-mail address. Neglect the subject line
  • You should always treat an email with potential employers like a formal letter, not a casual conversation
  • Use emoticons
  • Write or send an email in haste
  • Make sure you put adequate time and thought into composing and reviewing your email
  • In this job market, email will most likely be how you make your initial impression