The Top 10 Ways for Managers to Build Rapport through Listening (and stuff!)Written by Martin Haworth
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Build trust by following through with commitments.
Create an environment where as you listen, you make commitments and agreements which you follow through and deliver. This creates your 'emotional bank account' credits (as Steven Covey says in 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'). If person you are listening to knows you will deliver what you say, you are well ahead in their credit rating.Seek clarification if you are not sure - don't assume.
As you listen, there may be things which are unclear. Don't be shy, be honest and ask for clarity. It is far worse to make incorrect assumptions and get it wrong, than to admit that you didn't quite understand what they meant. It will also make you human and real - well, at least slightly more so!Use other body language to show you are listening.
While you are listening you can show all sorts of encouraging signs that speaker will take positively. Apart from loads of facial gestures (raised eyebrows, smiles, frowns, nods of head etc.), other parts of your body show you are listening closely too. A shrug of shoulders, arm and hand gestures and even an open body posture (arms NOT folded!) can all make a difference to your speaker. (A soft-shoe shuffle of excitement can work too - when you know folk a little better!)Put off interruptions.
When listening to someone, maintain full attention by switching off cell-phones, pagers and PA announcements for you. If someone else asks for your attention, don't flip from your original speaker to them. Every time you are interrupted, your rapport build has to start again. And at end of day any interaction, when positive, supportive, encouraging and fun, is going to make a big, big difference.
© 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com. (Note to editors. Feel free to use this article, wherever you think it might be of value - with a live link if you can).
Is It Worth to Outsource? How one can outsource wiselyWritten by Alex Polonski
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When you have decided to contact several, as you think, most reliable companies, you shouldnít provide them with complete info regarding your project at once. Keep a little intrigue and give info partially. That will make you aware about professionalism of companiesí project managers as well as about their communication policy. Communication is what you will appreciate during whole projectís development. Therefore, it is better to find out whether they are communicative enough before you sign contract.
Ask for references/samples
Although offshore developers cannot disclosure their recent contracts, anyway, they have several clients that can provide you with references whether they are bad or good. If there are no references at all, ask for some software company has developed. See and try each example of their work you can. That will make you aware about quality of their services.
Phone or visit them
The best way to test company, which you would like to outsource to, is contact them directly. Emails are good, but you can find out more info about possible partners if you phone them. At least you will know about their command of English (donít forget, you are going to outsource abroad) and their real interest. Additionally, you can make them relax a little, so they will be less defended against your research of true situation. If you visit them personally youíll see exactly who and where will work for you. At least, if company doesnít mind you visit them, that can mean that they are open enough for collaboration and they have provided you with more or less true info.
If you can do at least three of these five steps, there will be little chances for you to be cheated by an unreliable company thousands miles away. Youíll be able to experience that kind of wise outsourcing that can give you required competitive ability. Each time you are going to give some project for offshore development, take into account that you should be an initiator and wise decisions maker. Research, consult, and communicate. Thatís motto of any company that is successful in outsourcing. Itís not too complicated, is it?
Alex Polonski is a Senior Sales Manager in XITEX Software Company (http://www.xitexsoftware.com/), Ukraine. The company works in offshore software development market since 1999 having fair expertise in J2EE and .NET technologies. Among companyís own-developed and marketed solutions, one can see a J2EE content management system, Xitex WebContent M1 (http://webcontent-m1.com/).