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High touch for high-tech

Published on Thursday, 22 Mar 2012
Illustration: Bay Leung

In our continuing series on effective communication to avoid office conflict, we focus on technology and speech.

In today's era of electronic telecommunication and social media, far too many people are using e-mail, text and instant messaging as a substitute for face-to-face contact.

But e-mails can sometimes fail to convey fully what we mean, and they can never shelter you from the fall-out of people's emotions. Regular face-to-face contact builds rapport and trust. If you wish to bring the best out of your staff, you must be accessible and regularly meet with your people to discuss key concerns.

Body language Everyone seeks an audience to their speech, so be attentive by taking note of the following: establish eye contact, nod occasionally to acknowledge a strong point in the conversation, stand with hands clasped in front of you - never cross your arms (it shows disinterest), and never look at your watch, as it shows you want to run way.

Speech When speaking, be clear, concise and precise. Speak on crucial matters directly. Avoid unnecessary padding in your speech. Know your subject matter well and do some research to verify your facts before presenting your ideas. Clarity builds coherent thoughts and ideas.

Christine Sim, general manager, search and recruitment, Links Recruitment Singapore

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