But there's nothing quite as effective as seeing yourself the same way that others see you. It's a painful experience at first, but people tell us all the time that it was incredibly helpful.
York, PA (PRWEB) July 23, 2008
Companies looking to create a competitive advantage in today's tight market should look no further than their own people. So notes Lynne Breil, president of The Professional Edge, a firm dedicated to improving the speaking, presenting and communication skills for business executives, managers and employees.
"Your people are really the face of your business," says Breil. "The experience your customers and prospects have with your people make or break the sale and the on-going relationship."
Breil states that training your people in these skill sets is one of the most powerful ways to create a competitive edge.
"By increasing the mastery of your people you are showing the marketplace that you value the relationships with them. You are also showing your employees that they are a true asset to your company."
Breil presents several workshops and training sessions for corporations that are looking for a valuable competitive edge. The training sessions she offers include: Speak Easy: The Presentation Skills Boot Camp; Act Your Wage: The Advantage of Etiquette in Business; Dine for Dollars: Building Relationships with the Business Meal; and Master Your Message: Workplace Communication Strategies for Executives.
"Presentations and public speaking are still a big fear factor for most managers and employees," says Breil. "They usually don't have experience in these areas and so they need basic tools to give them a framework for their content and confidence in this skill set."
Breil notes that she can see tremendous progress with people in just a one-day training session. In addition to the lectures and content, Breil's sessions are very interactive and include videotaped practice sessions, which the participants can have when they leave the session.
"Sometimes it's a brutal experience for people to see themselves on camera," notes Breil. "But there's nothing quite as effective as seeing yourself the same way that others see you. It's a painful experience at first, but people tell us all the time that it was incredibly helpful."
In addition to the presentation skills training, Breil has tapped an enormous need for business executives to understand acceptable and appropriate business etiquette.
"We have had so many shifts in our culture that people really don't know what they can do that's acceptable and appropriate in terms of business behavior," says Breil. "Apart from the obvious skills of meeting and greeting people, there's been such a lack of knowledge about how to handle technology. Cell phones, blackberries, texting and all of the new applications have blurred the lines of what constitutes good business etiquette."
All of which is complicated by a digital generational divide.
"Our capability to spell is challenged by texting and the shortcuts that are needed for ease of communications," says Breil. "But that doesn't change the fact that rude behavior is never acceptable. For example, it's still a good business practice to turn off your phone or PDA when you're in a meeting or taking a client to lunch. Even though some of the rules of etiquette have changed, being rude has never been a good relationship builder."
One of the most impactful programs that Breil leads is the communications workshop developed for top-level executives. Lack of good communication skills is often the cause of misunderstandings that lead to project delays and failures. Breil's workshop focuses on the key skills that executives need to master to be able to communicate clearly and concisely and avoid the downtime that poor communication causes.
Executives who participate in this workshop begin to master this core leadership skill and are able to increase their value to the company and build a foundational level of competitive advantage.
"The sign of a good leader is his ability to communicate to his people in such a manner that they get the message, but that they are inspired and motivated to act on the message and to give more of themselves because they have been communicated with in a meaningful way." Breil adds that she has never seen an executive with poor communication skills be able to maintain his position and to move up the executive ladder.
"Poor communication skills hold people back more than any other thing," says Breil. "And most people don't know how bad they are. But, trust me, their employees know!"
The Professional Edge, Inc. provides workshops, consultation and coaching on Business Etiquette (including International Business Etiquette), Presentation Skills, Communication Mastery for Managers and Executives and Sales Communication Skills. Lynne Breil is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), as designated by the National Speakers Association, and is a national keynote speaker. The company is located in York, Pa and more information is available at http://www.theprofessionaledgeinc.com or at (717) 755-3333. Breil's blog can be found at http://botched.wordpress.com.
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