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

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.

Letter

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.

Telephone

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.

Top Ten Signs of Poor Customer Service

Here it is – The Top Ten Signs of Poor Customer Service!

Drum roll please.

Number 10

An Us vs Them Mindset. This person thinks that Customers are out to get him or her. They feel the customer decided to wake up that day and "mess with me for no reason." This also includes the "Poor me" and the "I hate my _____" (insert job, life, spouse, etc) person who feels that everyone is out to get them.

Number 9

Poorly trained staff. Yep. It seems to be everywhere. And I hear the same things all the time. "I do not have time to train" or "I train them and they quit" or "I want to try them out for awhile before I train them." These are poor excuses. Heck, I've even used the "try for awhile" one myself. You know what? There is no excuse for poorly trained staff. If you are the person responsible, you need to take a look at your paycheck. It represents payment for services rendered as a Professional! Not an amateur.

Number 8

Stiff, forced or awkward answers. When they speak it sounds like a teenager trying to explain why they came home late. ("Uhhh, you will not believe it man.") This is a lack of confidence in the product, poor training (see above), lack of skill or lack of aptitude. You can fix the confidence by learning the product, fix the skills with practice (role play, scripting) and conduct ongoing training. You can not fix the aptitude. There are some people who do not have the inner social, educational or people skills needed to work in the field of Customer Service.

Number 7

Uncommitted to the field of Customer Service or to the Customer. Very obviously especially when you ask them how long have they been there and they say something like "3 years" and yet the skill set they have belongs to a "day one never been in Customer Service" employee. That tells you something about them. I mean, you gotta figure they have about as much interest in becoming professional Customer Service people as a fish learning to fly. If they have not asked about training, company plans and their role in the big picture, they are telling you one of two things.

1. The place you work is sending a signal that everyone will work here will never progress beyond where they are now, so why bother.

2. They do not care to invest in themselves to become better at what they do.

And not committing themselves to the Customer by working to resolve situations is a big signal as well. These people throw their hands up at the first sign of trouble and say things like "I can not deal with this person" or "Why is everyone rude?" Some reasons for this behavior could be they feel as if they do not have the support or tools necessary, or they do not see the results that they expected from previous situations.

Number 6

Personnel are not Customer focused. They are instead focused on preservation. They want to preserve their status, position, seniority, etc. They very rarely extend themselves or reach out to customers.
It is a naturally occurring growth. Unfortunately, it's a cancerous growth. And you may need to remove it. Help them see that by continuing to perform in this manner that they are actually limiting them and not keeping anything. In fact, when there are rough waters, these are the first people you jettison as "dead weight."

Number 5

Customers have to ask for action to take place. It's called cattle prod Customer Service. They have to prod the personnel to get any action. And even then, may not get anything at all. In fact, they could possibly start a stampede! Anytime your customers are pushing your staff to get something done, something is wrong. And it's not the Customer!

Number 4

Frequent interruptions. Telephones, other employees, customer after customer, too many duties, not enough time, oh there are so many causes of interruptions. It is a symptom of our times. Just because computers and email and texting work fast, with no complaints, we expect our Customer Service to be the same way. Folks, it just is not so. No matter how many computers you have that hum, phones that ring and texting that flashes, if you do not have the human element in place, it's not going to work.
People need the human touch. It's that little warm feeling that comes from interacting with someone face to face.
What I am really trying to say is this.

HAVE ENOUGH STAFF! Not just enough, I mean enough.
Enough means no extra waiting, no wandering Customers, no standing in extra long lines, no "can not answer that question because I do not have time" and many other examples of being understaffed or "just enough" staff. Then have the processes and systems in place to back up your staff. And train them.

Number 3

In tense situations we raise our voices, flail our arms sometimes and generally have an effect on an entire area. Not moving the parties involved to another area is a sign of poor Customer Service. People know when something is not quite right. We sense it. It spreads from person to person without the need for speaking. It is obvious when we see it. In many cases, we feel there is a need to "stand your ground" with the Customer. Does that include include doing it at the front counter, reception area, parking lot, etc …? Why not move the Customer and you to an area that has some semblance of privacy and you can then air out your differences? It would definitely improve your image and other Customers perceptions.

Number 2

Unhappy people. That's right, unhappy people in your Customer Service department. They are there. And for whatever reason they are unhappy. Spouse, family situations, medical, you name it. And it bleeds over into their performance and to your Customer. If you are unhappy, do something about it. Talk to someone, get help! We already know you are unhappy! Let's work this out together so that we can conduct our business as Professionals! If you are unhappy because you are in Customer Service, then get out of it. Find a career you can be happy in. We'll manage without you. (In some cases, way better without you)

Number 1

Poor Attitude. What can I say? It's an internal thing. You can not fix it from the outside. People have to see it for themselves, change it for themselves. You wish you could push their attitude adjustment button; it just does not work that way.

If you are the person with the poor attitude, then do something about it. The rest of us are tired of it.

There they are! The Top Ten! If any of these fit you, your department or your life, Get After It!

Communication: Is It Important To Respect Other People’s Personal Space?

During those moments when one is in a crowded place, it is not going to be possible for them to maintain their personal space. The space that they need in order to feel comfortable is not going to exist.

This could be something that one experiences everyday or it could be something that takes place every now and then. If one lived or worked in a city, for instance, this is going to be something that they are used to.

When this isn’t the case, one could experience it when they travel to a city for work or if they were to go there on holiday. As a result of this, it will be something that most people have experienced at one point or another.

A Difference

If one has lived in a city their whole life, there is the chance that they will have adapted to this kind of environment. Yet, if one has lived in the country or in an area that is not built-up, they are likely to have a greater need for space.

The first person could move somewhere quieter and while they might enjoy having more space, they may begin to feel disconnected. On the other hand, if one was to move to a city they would no longer have as much personal space and this could cause them to feel overwhelmed.

Distance

However, even if one is used to being extremely close to people they don’t know, that doesn’t mean they will be happy to accept this in other contexts. They will need their space just like the people who live in areas where they don’t need to get as close to people.

How much space they need will depend upon who someone is and how they behave towards them. For example, if one was around a friend, family member or a lover, they are not going to expect them to keep their distance.

Closer

They will feel more at ease with them being closer; unless they have had some kind of disagreement or fall out. This level of comfort is likely to have been something that has developed over time.

If it has happened without a short period of time (as it can if one has only just become friends with someone or if they have allowed a family member back into their life), it will come down to how the other person has behaved. The other person’s behaviour will have caused one to gradually trust them.

Strangers

When one meets someone for the first time, they are usually going to feel the need to maintain a certain distance. If the other person was to get as close to them as a friend or a family member does, there is a strong chance that they will feel uncomfortable.

Just as if one was to get too close to the other person, they would also start to feel uncomfortable. Yet, as each person gets to know the other, they might no longer feel the need to maintain their distance.

Context

If one was meet someone who they were attracted to, they may feel the need to get close to them straight away. It would be easy to say this is the wrong approach, but it could be the right approach.

What it could come down to is what their intentions are; as if one wanted to have a relationship with them, it might not be the best option. But if this was not what they wanted and as long as the other person doesn’t feel uncomfortable, it might not be a problem.

Violation

Yet, this is generally not going to be the best approach when it comes to everyday life. In these cases, coming on strong and ignoring the other person’s personal space is likely to have a negative effect.

For one thing, one is going to come across as though they don’t respect the other person. They are also going to feel violated, and as they don’t feel safe in their presence, it is not going to be possible for them to trust them.

First Impressions

If one comes across in this way the first time they meet someone, it could end up being the last time they meet them. What this shows is how important first impressions are; as once one has formed an idea of someone in their mind, it usually stays with them.

Action

Certain distances have been recommended when it comes to how close one should get to another, and these will depend on the context. One way to approach this is to pay attention to how other people respond.

Through focusing on the other person and observing their body language and facial expressions, one will be able to see if they are too close. Another way of doing it will be for one to empathise with the other person and to imagine how they would feel if they were in the others person’s shoes.

Advantage of Face Recognition Security System in Door Access Control

It is not just necessity but it is must requirement. It doesn’t need to say that what I am talking about. I am talking about security. Today, attacks by terrorism organization happen more often. Once you lost then no one would be able to help, even police. But, according to me it is better to take prior steps to prevent.

Today, there are many security systems available in the market. They work on different technologies. Take different factors in concern to authenticate the person. For example, log cards require scanning barcode to give the access to any person and biometric access control require scanning of real human features like finger prints, eye retina, voice and face itself. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage. According to these systems the cost varies as per the security level they provide.

Biometric access control is the new technology which depends on the factors like eye retina, finger prints, voice and signature. So person who wants to access the system require these factors as an authentication. Biometric access control require scanner to scan real human features and convert it to digital format which can be stored.

I want to talk about Face recognition system and its advantages over others. It is one type of system which is based on biometric technology. Face recognition system scans whole face of the person. It includes shapes of face, stains on face, distance between two eyes, distance between eye and nose, retina scan and others. Let me explain the advantages of face recognition system in detail in next paragraph.

Whole face, itself is an advantage

In movies, you might have seen that the thief makes lenses and passes it and access the restricted thing or get entry in restricted region. By this example, you might understand that only one parameter is not sufficient to give full security. It is better that takes full face into scan and concern more than one factor. Same is the case in finger print scan. It is possible to break the security. Again Face recognition has added advantage.

Speed of scan

It is really time consuming to scan the eye. Put your eye against the system. It does require perfect placement of face. Suppose hundreds of persons authenticate themselves takes a lot time. While face recognition system starts scan from the front and until you reach near the gate system opens it for you. In fact, today the systems can scan 100,000 faces per second. It is really good at Door Access Control where thousands of people pass through every day.

Maintenance free system

Biometric access control system is one time cost system. Once you have installed then after you have to maintain a simple database. You can add or remove authorized persons easily and without any cost. On other side, if you use identity card then you have to issue identity card of every authorized person. It leads to more cost. There is also a threat of lost of identity card.

Automatic Continuous scanning

Let me explain, what is it? In other systems, once authenticated, the door stays open for some time. Through that time non restricted person can get entry. Suppose in finger print scanning system, once authorized person put finger door opens. After that two persons can get entry if they are quick. Same case is not possible in face recognition system. The whole door area stays under full security. If one has authenticated and opens the door, and a second person tries to enter without authentication the system detects it and alarms the threat. It means any person without authentication can’t get entry.

So, as I have stated that security is the area where cost is not important. One time cost can hesitate to you but I am sure you will get the reward for sure. My suggestion is, always go for biometric access control and in particular face recognition system. I hope after reading my article you have got clear picture in your mind.