Communication Style

Are you a watchmaker or a tell-timer? You know which you are when you think about your answer to the question, what is the time? A tell-timer would simply look at their watch and answer the question directly whereas a watchmaker will want to tell you how the watch works before getting round to telling you the time. Does that story strike a chord with you? If so, then you understand this particular dimension of communication style i.e. verbosity.

Some people are much more verbose than others. Such people, when you meet them in the morning and ask them how they are will give you such a lengthy story that, about fifteen minutes later, you are truly sorry you asked. Their communication style is what Linda McCallister refers to, in her book Say What You Mean, Get What You Want, as ‘Socratic’ after Socrates, of course, a lover of dialogue and, as we all know, a star of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

You will probably be able to bring to mind examples; people who you know who use this wordy communication style. The difficulty for them is that the devil is always in the detail. They want to answer your questions, but they are often tempted to provide additional detail as background and context in order that you might understand their eventual answer.

Contrast that style with those who, when you greet them in the morning, barely look up from their work, grunt and then get back to what they were doing. Such people – Linda likes to call their style ‘noble’ (after Rousseau’s Noble Savage) – have a direct and blunt communication style. In many respects their style is a direct opposite of the Socratic style; not just in terms of verbosity, but also in the overall approach to the discussion of any particular topic.

With nobles, the approach is top-down, preferring to stay at an overview level and drilling down into detail only when and where it is required. This is exactly the opposite of the Socratic style which revels in the detail and generally wants to tell, and hear, the entire story beginning at the beginning and ending at the end, no matter how long it takes.

A third extreme of communication style is known as the ‘reflective’ style. These are the people who are asking how you are in the first place. They are the people who say good morning, good evening, have a nice weekend and so on. They are social animals, unable to walk past each other on the stairs without nodding and saying ‘hi’. For reflectors, the important thing about communicating is the human aspects. They observe the rules of social interaction, they say please and thank you, they are courteous and they expect the same from others.

When dealing with reflectors, introductions are very important and so too is chit-chat. For them, getting right down to business after saying hello is simply too abrupt a transition. They prefer some social interaction in between the introduction and the information exchange which forms the body of the communication.

In her book, Linda describes three other styles, which are simply combinations of the three we have just discussed: she calls them the ‘magistrate’, the’ candidate’ and the ‘senator’. The magistrate style is a blended style, the combination of noble and Socratic. The candidate is a blend of the Reflective and Socratic styles. The Senator, however, is a dual style (rather than a blend) which switches between noble and reflective styles according to context.

Since the latter three styles are simply blends or combinations of the three pure styles, we only need to concern ourselves with understanding these first three i.e. noble, Socratic and reflective because your own style will be some combination of these three influences. It is very unlikely that you will be an extreme of one style or another.

Now it is important to note that each of these groups get along best with individuals who use their preferred styles, so a key principle in learning how to communicate effectively is understanding how to adjust our own style to cater for the preferences of the person we are addressing. In other words, if we are speaking with a noble – someone who calls a spade a spade – we need to adopt a straight-forward approach to communication. We need to answer questions directly, even if we feel the person might not understand the answer. And that’s exactly how nobles like to be dealt with; if they need anything clarifying, they will prefer to ask.

If we are dealing with a reflective, we need to ensure that we are polite, that we introduce ourselves properly, that we show some interest in them personally and conform to the social dimensions of the interaction. Simply getting involved in a little pre-amble or social chit-chat before getting down to talking turkey is all it takes to make a significant improvement in our ability to deal with this group.

With Socratic communicators, there is always the difficulty of time, especially in the workplace where time is usually at a premium. But remember that the detail that is being offered is generally not irrelevant. Socratic communicators are usually not off-topic, like reflectors. They are providing background and context that is relevant, so we need to make a mental effort to give them our full attention.

Remember that none of these pure styles or their derivatives (magistrate, senator and candidate) are right as such, although each of them thinks their way is right. Nobles think that communication should be top-down, talking at an overview level and drilling into detail only where necessary. Socratics think that all avenues of a topic need to be fully explored before making decisions. And reflectors believe that the most important part of the interaction is the social part.

So part of the art of communicating well is learning to listen not only to what is being said, but to how it is being said. Listen for verbosity and social content; just those two things, and you will be able to figure out the other person’s bias toward one of these styles. Once you understand that, simply give them what they want.

If you can practice this simple method of adjusting your own communication style, despite your own biases and preferences, you will begin to get on with people you previously found difficult. They won’t know what you are doing. They will know you are doing something different but, generally, they will be unable to put their finger on what it is. They will just know that they are getting along with you a lot easier.

Eventually, if you continue to practice this method, you will get better at it and, eventually, you will no longer even have to think about it because the whole approach will become a natural part of you. Try it out for a month and watch the results. You can have a great deal of fun working with the idea and, in addition, you will be significantly improving your ability to communicate.

The Role of Internet in Business

The internet plays a major role in every aspect of our modern life. Internet technologies play a major role in business. As a business owner, knowing the role of internet in business will help you take advantage of the powerful opportunities it offers to grow you business and make operations more effective.

Here are different ways in which the internet has contributed to the success and growth of businesses.

Communication: The internet makes communication fast and cost efficient. Businesses use internet technologies such as Skype internet and video calls, email and video conferencing to make communication virtually instant.

Growth: The internet plays a big role in the growth of businesses. It gives businesses an opportunity to reach a wider global audience. Promoting through the internet is also a way to increase sales and reach the desired growth level. Business can also expand by having an online division.

Marketing: One of the role of internet in business involves marketing and advertising. Most businesses are taking advantage of the internet to market their products and services to a global audience. The most notable internet technologies here include search engines such as Google.

Networking and Recruiting: Social networking websites play a role in business networking by connecting like-minded professionals. Through the internet, people have found business partners and great employees.

Outsourcing services:The internet has helped cut costs by outsourcing services to countries where it is cheaper to provide these services. Apart from the cost reduction through the outsourcing role of internet in business, outsourcing enables businesses to concentrate on their core services and become more efficient.

Online Shopping Role: One role of internet in business is the birth of ecommerce websites and online payment solutions that allow people to shop online from the comfort of their own homes.

New Opportunities: The internet has opened up new business opportunities and giving rise to a group of successful online business owners. This is a powerful role as anyone can now start an online business.

The role of internet in business cannot be overstated. New businesses are taking advantage of the powerful role the internet plays in business to grow and succeed at a faster rate than was previously possible. Traditional businesses are also not being left behind as they are creating online divisions. A business owner can only ignore the role the internet plays in business at the peril of his or her business.

Sun Tzu Art of War – Communication Tools

According to the Book on Military Administration, "In battles, as verbal communication can not be heard clearly, cymbals and drums are used as commands" As visual communication and eye contact are hampered, banners and flags are used as signals. Now the purpose of using cymbals, drums, flags and banners is to draw attention of the troops and focus them for combat under the direction of the commander. Once the troops are united as one body, the courageous ones will not advance forward by themselves and the cowardly ones will not retreat by themselves. This is the art of directing larges forces in battles. - Chapter Seven, Sun Tzu Art of War

For battles at night, use more torches and drums. For battles in the day, use more banners and flags. These different means of communication can be designed to influence the judgment of the enemy. – Chapter Seven, Sun Tzu Art of War

As mentioned above, during day operations more banners and flags should be used for communication and during night operations, drums and torches should be used instead. From here we can see how observant Sun Tzu is. He even noted down what type of communication we should use during each battle, but of course the list of tools mentioned is not exhaustive, communication channels should depend on the terrain as well. For example, if you are in a flat terrain, a larger banner (daytime) or fireworks (night) should be used for communication because they can convey accurate messages, if you have explained accurately what each signals mean. But note here is that your signals, not tools, should be like your strategy, it should change with every battle. If you have a fixed form of communication signals, sooner or later, your enemy will be able to decipher them and that that would likely be the result of your defeat. This explains why Sun Tzu said the means of communication can be used to influence the enemy.

Business Application

Communication is very important in business. Communication breakdown can be detrimental to a business, like losing a big client or slow reaction to a rival's move. With a strong understanding of each communication tools weakness and strength would you then be able to use it to your advantage. Good communication system can grant a company great flexibility, shorter reaction time and faster response. It is similar to an irrigation system. With good proper control system of the flow, accurate amount of water, water flowing to the right place, the fields will flourish because of it. These are capabilities that are extremely valuable in this dynamic business environment. Some forms of communication channels are e-mail, letters, internet messenger, telephone, internet telephony or video conferencing and face to face. I will talk about their usage within the company. Please take note that having the proper communication tools is only one aspect of a good communication system though.


E-mail could be formal or informal, nowdays because of the corporate frauds that happened in US, companies are now required to keep a copy of all the e-mails that are sent out to within and outside the company. E-mails does not solicit fast response from the recipients. It can be secure if the security system's guideline and usage is strictly adhere to. E-mail is a cheap way of sending information and documents within the company and these information can be stored electronically so cost savings align from these characteristic. But one downfall of communication is emotions are not properly delivered out. E-mails would be suitable for clear cut instructions or information that does not require immediate attention and preferably within a department. Cheap because can transfer with least costs through company even if overseas. It is sooner to technology risks.


What is described here are paper letters sent from one department to another. It is only needed when you want to formalize a request or a work order. But this kind of communication is slowly being taken over by e-mail. Letters are more concrete than e-mail because electronic files are typically subordinated to suspicion of editing or changing. Letter has the same characteristics as that of the e-mail but since it is tangible, it is not like e-mail where you can deny you have received it .. Security wise, it could be better or worse than e-mail depending on situations. It could be cost if you need to send it overseas. It is more reliable than electronic mode of communication.

Internet Messenger (Instant Messaging)

With the popular use of internet, internet messenger like ICQ, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are being popularized, it allows fast relay of information and nowadays these messengers have the capabilities to help you know whenever the person on the other end is around or not. But again, it lacks the transfer of emotions. The voice and tone of your message can not be sent out through the messenger, even with emoticons, misunderstanding can still occur. What you sent out could have been in a tone of offering help like "What do you want me to do?" But others after reading the message may interpret, you are angry with him for doing something. But Internet messenger has its pros as well, it could have been used as a channel for informal discussion within the company because some of these messengers can allow multiple users in a single chat windows. And it is cheap since most of them are free and information can be transferred overseas cheaply. It is sooner to technology risks.


Compare to the other modes that are mentioned, it is a reliably better channel of communication. Because your tonality, voice qualities are also transmitted reducing the chance of your message being misunderstood. But it lacks another communication characteristic that is important and that is body language. It definitely solits fast response because you can only communicate when the receiver is on the other side at the same time. But it can be very expensive if you need to communicate overseas. And reliability should be better than any electronic channel since this industry has been around for a very long time.

Internet Telephony & Video Conferencing

Internet telephony is slowly becoming very popular because SMEs and MNCs can make overseas call cheaply. This also includes video conferencing, which is made more popular with the prevalence of broadband. It has all the characteristics of telephone, with video conferencing being better because body language, to some extent, can be conveyed as well. But reliability could be a problem depending on the infrastructure and service provider available on both sides. Setting it up is cheap with a web camera and broadband connection.

Face to Face

Up till now, this is the best form of communication, the only downside is you despite you can observe and receive the full signals from your conversation party, the same thing can be said for the other party as well.

So choose the proper communication tools to effectively bring your message across. The correct communication tools can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your communication system thus improving your business process.

The Best ITEC Anatomy and Physiology Questions

ITEC Anatomy and Physiology is broken down into 12 body systems. These are as follows:

The Cell
The Skin
Skeletal System
Muscular System
Cardiovascular System
Lymphatic System
Nervous System
Endocrine System
Reproductive System
Respiratory System
Digestive System
Urinary System

For anyone looking to enter the complementary or beauty field, having an accredited Anatomy and Physiology qualification is vital.

There is so much information to learn with this subject, you have to memorise a lot of terms including muscle name, bones, glands, disease and disorders. As a result it is very important that you have Anatomy and Physiology questions to test your knowledge throughout your studies.

An example of some sample questions are:

1. Which hormone does the adrenal medulla secrete?
a) Glucocorticoids
b) Adrenaline – Answer
c) Insulin
d) Testosterone

2. Which part of the brain is the relay station?
a) The cerebrum
b) The medulla oblongata
c) The midbrain – Answer
d) The pons varolii

3. Where does fertilization take place in the female reproductive system?
a) Uterus
b) Fallopian tubes – Answer
c) Uterus
d) Ovaries

4. What is the function of the pleural cavity?
a) To prevent friction between the layers of the lungs – Answer
b) To exchange gases between the layers of the lungs
c) To prevent a backflow of air between the layers of the lungs
d) To moisten the layers of the lungs

5. What is the function of antidiuretic hormone?
a) Stimulates basic metabolic rate
b) Increases water reabsorption in kidneys – Answer
c) Maintains calcium levels in bones
d) Contracts the uterus during labour

The best ITEC Anatomy and Physiology questions are in multiple choice format. I recommend that you break down each body system and learn one at a time. Write out your revision questions, preferably about 20 per day, memorize these and then test yourself at the end of each week. Once you learn one body system, move onto the next and so on. The key is to be consistent. You will be amazed at how much knowledge you gain learning this way.