A budding star of his company, Aakash Khatwani works in project management and business development. His job involves communicating with customers in crucial ways such as closing commercial aspects of his company’s sales and coordinating activities with third-party vendors.
Communication in Aakash’s job consists of around 70% writing and 30% speaking. About 40% of the communication in his average work week is face-to-face English speaking.
As an India-based professional who realizes the value of strong communication, Aakash shared with LearnEd a few scenarios in his workplace during which communication can determine success or failure. He also told us how the LearnEd training sessions he participated in through his company have helped him sharpen his communication in English.
When Aakash interacts with international colleagues within the company in writing, he keeps his text simple and precise while clarifying technical details so as to reduce the redundant necessity of back and forth emailing.
In his emails to entire departments or teams, Aaskash ensures that the same message is clear and well communicated to all. The ideal situation for this type of exchange would be an email with no errors, and a maximum of 4 or 5 emails in the thread; necessary information is given, timelines are decided, orders get released and project numbers are shared with the team.
Communication with Customers
In interacting with customers, Aakash makes it his goal to share all the required information in a single email of five or six lines. This email should be as precise and short as possible, and the points of information should be listed in order of priority.
Aakash explained what is lost in his business if this kind of communication fails to occur. Losses in time – which is tied to projects timelines and service to customers – can amount in severe quantities. For example, a delay in the delivery of an order causes loss of efficiency and a change in the terms that were initially agreed upon by the customer and the supplier. Though this is no measurable monetary loss, a snowball effect caused by poor communication could lead to the loss of customers. Simple mistakes like not copying the concerned person of action in an email could set this chain of events in motion.
One single order may not make a big difference on paper. However, if communication falls through and employees fail to deliver, the resulting damage can be massive. Instances of such communication breakdowns can be reduced to avoid delays and to attain smoother, more efficient project execution.
Aakash believes that everyone should be able to communicate interculturally, regardless of the proficiency of the recipient’s level of English. He says that language should be clear and precise.
Goal setting is an important part of communication to Aakash – how many projects are accomplished within a set target of say 3 months? How many emails are sent back and forth to communicate what had to be communicated? Consciously evaluating the execution of communication within the company is an integral part of improvement. By identifying personal errors and working on them, one can reduce turnaround time and increase efficiency. Often, receiving feedback from customers is difficult. In such cases, each worker needs to identify his own speech and writing issues and commit to bettering them.
Aakash believes in polishing writing and speaking skills in a number of ways, whether it be improving presentation abilities or learning to write more precise emails.
Through his company, Aakash participated in two LearnEd programs over a period of three years. With the practical, situation-based and needs-based approach to our training, he was able to make connections between what he learned in the first training session and how he could apply the knowledge to real-life situations during the gap between the two sessions. While impromptu speaking was a challenge in the first round of training, it came more naturally to Aakash in the second.
What Aakash found most valuable about LearnEd’s training program was the amount of systematic practice that was done collaboratively in a class environment. He benefited from the frequent presentations and impromptu speeches he had to make in class.
Aakash has come a long way and wants to continue improving, specifically in the art of engaging and succinct presentations.