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Skills For Life

7 Things You Most Likely Didn’t Know About Communication Skill

Joel Osteen once said, ” You can change your world by changing your words.” He also said that death and life are in the power of our tongue. Well, He was very right about it. Because, we express our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions through gestures, signs, symbols and of course, with words mostly. A person who is an expert on using these elements of communication effectively always finds his way to the top.

Like any other skill, communication skill needs the practice and nursing to develop properly. As it is more of a combination of your words, body language, and feedback. If any of them missed out, the purpose of your words will fall flat. And sometimes you might find yourself in the garbage of words or in a bad relationship. There are some ways, you can improve your communication skills, just by being careful about these.

Improve Your Communication Skill:

1. Be a Good Listener

Listening is the most important part of communication. Just think, you are trying to convince or clarify or describe something to your friend, and he/she is interrupting in the middle of your conversation or showing no interest in your story, how would you feel then? Obviously, you will feel bad. So, when you are a listener, in a conversation, before you speak or comment on anything, listen carefully and attentively. Cause a good listener comes up with better ideas, thoughts, and solution to any problems. Even though you might know, what the speaker is going to ask or say or describe, don’t interrupt, let him/her finish the story first and then you go for your words. Cause interruption makes the listener convinced that you have no interest in it and it ruins the conversation.

2. Maintain Good Body Language

A good body language or gesture gives life to a conversation. Certain body movement or gesture helps to understand the words quicker and certain body movement are considered bad to a conversation. Like, crossing your arms means you are turned off by what’s going around you or the story isn’t surprising you anymore. Not keeping eye contact with the person while talking is considered misbehave or sometimes disrespect. Light handshake is considered weak promises or interest and tapping your hands or legs, biting your nails is the sign of pressure, impatience or nerviousness. You should not fake your smile too, cause people can easily catch that.

3. Keep Your Words Simple and Short

Long sentences don’t add any value to your messages. The shorter and simpler the sentences, the easier to understand it’s messages. Short and meaningful sentences are the signs of good communication skill and the confidence one have in his/her messages. Cause effective communication is all about the quality you put on your words. If you have problems with filler words such as, “Uhm…., Ah…., Uh….,” you need to avoid them too. One easy way to change the habit of using the filler words is giving full concentration one your speech. Just go slow when you are talking to someone.

4. Take Some Seconds

Don’t be hurry in replying. Take 2 or 3 seconds pause as it is considered as the classy thing to do in a good conversation. If you jump immediately replying to someone, you might be in risk of interrupting or misunderstanding the whole thing. Taking some seconds in replying, helps you to understand the person better, and he also become convinced that you have heard well and attentively.

5. Ask if Need Clarification

If you don’t understand or missed track for some valid reason, ask the person directly, don’t make up or assume the message by your own. Cause, when you ask for clarification, the person will try some different and understandable way of delivering the same messages.

6. Go Slow with a Storytelling

Talking slow is very effective in communication, as the listener gets the time to understand, and the speaker can express clearly at the same time. When you speak slowly, you can put more power on your voice to speak clearly and your words have the confidence and importance it needs.

In the mean time, Don’t just talk, deliver your words like stories. People will be interested in talking to you and be attentive to hear what you want to say. You can put real-life examples or a famous person’s story in it.

7. Stop Using Mobile Phone

When you are talking with someone, you have to give full attention to it. You shouldn’t look at your phone over and over again or start using it in the middle of the conversation. People want your full attention to them when they talk. And, so do you. Using the mobile phone in conversation is one of the annoying things to do that hampers the true purpose of the conversation. It is the sign that you have no interest on the conversation.


Writer: Muhammad Imran Shorif
Email: imranshorif@gmail.com

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Rezaul Haque

    August 7, 2019 at 11:56 AM

    Asalamualaykum brother how are you.
    I hope you are good by the grace of Allah
    after listening all your step i am trying to change myself from today .
    its really a good advice for everybody’s .
    thanks to changing myself.

  2. Fazlur Rahman

    June 26, 2020 at 9:36 PM

    This is really a very strong communication hack that helps me to interact with people properly.
    thank you !!

  3. Fazlur

    October 20, 2020 at 7:19 PM

    Amazing .. the information above is highly informative to the people of all sectors

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Skills For Life

Top 12 Productivity Apps to Get More Done

In this very competitive and busy world, just hard working doesn’t always bring a fruitful result for us. Fact is we need to work smarter, not just harder. And ultimately be more and more productive for staying top on every task. Productivity is a measure of efficiency or simply how efficiently you can complete your task. It’s actually getting desired results with less time and effort.

Today, every successful person, institute or company is obsessed with productivity. The exciting technologies of present time always try to give very easy and effective solutions to almost all of our problems, small to big ones. As a result, there’s an excellent range of productivity apps available for making our day-to-day tasks easier and more effective. These apps can help you to complete your professional and personal tasks in a lot more efficient way. You can have many of these apps for free or go for the premium ones to get more featured functions.

Here are 12 popular and widely-used productivity apps that can immensely boost your productivity:

Todoist (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari, Firefox)

Source: Todoist

  • To-Do lists
  • Task Management

Free, Premium: $3/Month

Todoist is one of the top-ranked productivity apps that helps millions of people organize work and life. It keeps track of all the tasks, projects, and goals of the user in one  simple place. It also syncs across devices and integrates with necessary apps. The free version allows collaboration with five people per project and managing 80 projects at a time. Upgrading to premium provides options like reminders, labels, filters, templates, activity log, add tasks via email, comments & file uploads, calendar feeds, themes and automatic backups.

Evernote (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)

Source: Evernote

  • Notepad
  • Organizer & Planner App

Free, Premium: $7.99/Month, Business: $14.99/User/Month

When it comes to organizing thoughts and ideas, Evernote will probably be at the top. Evernote is one of most widely used note taking app with a variety of features. Users can take & store text, audio, drawings, pictures, PDFs, web contents and other attachments as notes. It also gives reminders, email alerts, multi-device syncing and sharing options. The premium version has powerful organizer and planner functionalities. Its business plan allows collaboration and team projects.

Any.do (Web, Android, iOS)

Source: Any.do

  • Task Management
  • To-Do lists, Calendar, Reminders, Daily Planner

Free, Premium: $5.99/Month

Any.do is a great option for organizing our busy life. This is the all in one app featuring calendar, lists, planner, reminders, virtual assistant, voice-entry feature and more. It provides cross-platform syncing among phone, laptop, computer, web and even smart-watch. Any.do premium version comes with prioritized tasks, location based reminders, unlimited attachments, unlimited collaboration and some other options.

Asana (Android, iOS, Web)

Source: Asana

  • Project & Task Management
  • Collaboration & Integrations Tool

Free, Premium: $13.49/User/Month

Beyond from to-do lists, Asana is one of the very first workplace apps for collaboration, integration and communication within teams. It’s a highly featured project management tool. Users can create to-do lists, projects, assign tasks to team members, keep track of ongoing works, set reminders & deadlines, send requests, make comments and much more. It’s a great option for remote work and team management. The basic/free version of Asana allows collaborating with up to 15 teammates. Upgrading to premium increases this capacity and unblocks more features. Asana also gives business and enterprise (custom) plans. Companies like TED, Pinterest, Uber, Deloitte, Voxmedia, Comcast — use this app for productive communications.

Trello (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web)

Source: Trello

  • Work/Task Management
  • Collaboration & Integrations Tool

Free, Premium: $12.50/User/Month

Another popular and very efficient workplace collaboration tool is Trello. It’s a highly customizable and flexible task management app. Users can create, share, manage or organize anything from simple to-do lists or tasks to complex projects very easily. The app works in Kanban style, a visual layout originates from Japan. Here tasks are added as cards with deadlines, attachments, assigned members and with “to-do,” “going” and “done” statuses. These  cards are grouped into boards, called Trello boards. So teams can visualize their workflow and keep track of work progress easily. Trello ensures instant messaging within teammates, multi-device syncing and integration of many third-party services. Its free version is limited with 10 team boards, although the business plan (premium) gives unlimited boards.

Slack (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web)

Source: Slack

  • Team Communication & Collaboration
  • Remote Working

Free, Premium: $8/User/Month (Standard), $15/User/Month (Plus)

Slack is a channel-based group messaging platform, specially designed for remote workers. This widely used business communication tool offers IRC-style features like persistent chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Users can have group discussions, 1 to 1 conversations, audio calls or video calls. In Slack, teamwork and conversations are organized into dedicated channels. A channel is a single place for teammates to share messages, files or other attachments. Slack ensures real-time messaging by syncing across devices and also integrates with some third-party services. Along with the free version, Slack offers ‘Standard plan’ for small and medium-sized businesses and ‘Plus plan’ for larger businesses.

TeamViewer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, BlackBerry OS)

Source: TeamViewer

  • Remote Administration
  • Collaboration Tool

Free, Premium: starts from $49/Month

TeamViewer is a remote access, remote control and remote support tool that works with almost every desktop and mobile platform. It’s a very powerful software for working closely with remote team members. By using TeamViewer, you can have access to devices located anywhere and control them remotely. For businesses, it enables users to connect with multiple workstations remotely and they can share any files or tools, collaborate with a number of people. Service providers can provide remote supports with it. Although the free version is available only for personal users and non-commercial uses, TeamViewer has business/premium plans for more featured options.

Toggl (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Web)

Source: Toggl

  • Time Tracking
  • Timesheet Management

Free, Premium: $9/User/Month

Toggl is a simple but powerful time tracker for hassle-free time tracking, that helps to identify how much your time is worth. With its timer, reminders and idle detection, users can keep track of how much time they spend on different tasks. Again its detailed reporting can help anyone to be more productive. It’s a very flexible and customizable app with a lot of functions like automatic timer, timesheet management, reminders, email reporting, bulk editing, pomodoro timer, project dashboard, PDF & CSV file imports, multi-device synchronization, third-party apps integrations, etc. However, the free version of Toggl offers five-person team limits along with some limited options. Its premium plan unblocks all the features.

IFTTT (Android, iOS, Web)

Source: IFTTT

  • Task Automation
  • Conditional Statement Creator

Free, Premium: starts from $5 or $15 /User/Month

“If This, Then That” or simply known as IFTTT, is an interesting and very interactive productivity tool. It allows users to create any conditional statement that commands a particular app to do certain things at a certain time. For example, you want all your gmail attachments uploaded to the cloud drive. So you can make a sequence like, “If any of my gmail contains attachments, then upload those fills to Google drive” and IFTTT does the rest. By automating the tasks in this way, anyone can save more time and increase productivity. In IFTTT, a chain of conditional sequences is called ‘Applets’. There exist a number of pre-built applets in the app and users can create more custom sequences to automate their tasks. Also it has 300+ apps integration.

Zapier (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web)

Source: Zapier

  • Apps Integration
  • Automation Tool

Free, Premium: $24.99/Month (Starter), $61.25/Month (Professional), $373.75/Month (Team), $748.75/Month (Company)

Another powerful integration and automation tool is Zapier. This one is more focused on business and other productivity apps, though you can integrate with over 1500 apps and services to share data and automate any task between them. Moreover, making autonomous workflows  is very easy in Zapier — point, click & automate. Here an automated workflow between the apps is called ‘Zap’. For example you can have a zap that saves your email attachments to a Dropbox folder and gives a Slack notification every time. In the free version of Zapier, you can have 5 zaps and 100 tasks/month. Users of Starter plan and Professional plan can have 750 and 2,000 tasks per month respectively. Team and Company plan allow creating 50,000 and 100,000 tasks per month respectively.

Microsoft Office 365 (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)

Source: Office 365

  • Office Productivity Suites

Premium: Personal – $6.99/Month (1 user), Family – $9.99/Month (6 users), Business – $15.00/Month

Whenever we think of any office software suite, the first thing that came up in our mind is Microsoft Office. Still it’s the world’s most widely-used office suite which is now increasing its popularity with the latest full featured incarnation – Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 is a line of productivity apps encompassing Microsoft’s all office software suite along with the premium ones and cloud support. You can get all the premium and rich features of Microsoft’s productivity apps including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint and more in one place. And you can easily sync all of this with any of your devices.

G Suite

Source: G suite

  • Online Office Suite

Premium: $6/User/Month (Basic), $12/User/Month (Business), $25/User/Month (Enterprise)

Google’s office productivity suite (Docs,, Sheets, Slides, Drive) has earned much popularity in a very short time. Specially, these productivity apps are widely used in mobile devices. It’s also very reputed for its cloud supports. G suite is the business-grade version of Google’s office suite. It’s a cloud-based productivity, collaboration and communication tools series that includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Forms, Sites, Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Hangouts, Currents, Meet and Jamboard. So it can provide you a comprehensive productive service in just one place. G Suite also gives additional supports depending on the package (business/enterprise). Again, Google offers a free Education plan of G suite available only for educational institutions.

Apart from the apps listed here, you can find a lot of other apps with various options for increasing productivity. All these apps will help you in many ways in your struggle for being productive every day. One thing is sure, more productivity means more time and more money. So, why not be more organized and get more done?

Written By

Anaet Ullah Biswas
Student | Department of Business Administration
Mawlana Bhashani Science & Technology University.

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Skills For Life

5 Shocking Effect Of Stress in the Workplace/Life

Shocking Fact About Stress

Our lives are surrounded by people, places & work! There is no escape from it. We start our work, get used to it, make our comfort zone, develop through professional set up & then there is a change! It comes either from the work pattern or from the target group of people or from the surrounding forces in the macro-environment. People are generally reluctant to accept changes & this non-adaptive tendency brings stress for them. Then, with the passage of time, work-loads increase, responsibility doubles both in the workplace & in the family. Life is a balancing act; we came to know but sometimes this balancing act is a difficult one & people start to worry. Sometimes many learned & experienced employees can’t accept any deviation in their planned life & so they become vulnerable psychologically & here are some examples of how this stress makes someone a low performer.

Most Common Sources of StressPercentage
Future of our nation63%
Money62%
Work61%
Political climate57%
Violence/crime51%
Source: American Psychological Association

1. Destroys confidence

When a person is in stress, it makes him or her naive which diminishes self-confidence. A person without self-confidence is not something welcomed at all. He or she becomes an object of mockery & in that state of mind it is not possible to work productively. So, the trepidation of facing uncertainty does take a toll. This stress can come from any source, be it personal or professional, can be potential or result of hyper-thinking about something.

2. Makes you afraid of all

Prolonged stress at the workplace at first destroys the confidence of an employee & then creates a sense of fear deep in the mind. If there is a change in the authority for example & the new boss gives a threatening vibe to some employees, especially to the senior ones, it can create a tension regarding job security which will just grow with time & while many will cope with this by applying their self-defense mechanisms, some will be there who will just get afraid of the whole thing in the workplace becoming a weak person.

3. You become sick frequently

Sometimes, this feeling of stress is so deeply etched in the psyche of a person that the hormonal balance is hampered & the stressed person falls sick quite often. As we know, psyche influences physical condition, holding stress or stress over some issues for a long time results in physical discomfort which hinders the working process. It has been found that fatigue, quick exhaustion, insomnia become regular that slow down the work spirit of the person.

4. Failure to see the bright side

When a person is in chronic stress, life seems black & the light of hope seems missing. The true fact is life has all the lights & darkness at the same time. If there is a tension or stress about rejection for a post, life does not end here, it rather has a motivating power to identify the probable shortcomings within the candidate & become a better candidate by rectifying those mistakes. But many people after facing rejection for a post whether it is a new job or a promotion fall into depression & view things as the only black. They just fail to see any hope & positive side effect & thus lose energy to work hard.

5. Skills take a backseat

The worried person forgets that he or she had remarkable skills for which there used to be genuine appreciation from every corner in the office. When there is too much worrying over an issue in the workplace, the desire to show supremacy is lost. Stressing at first does not help to acquire anything productive & then it takes away the zeal & skill of a person.

So these are some ways through which a previously productive person can lose it to the dark state of stress. It has to be remembered that things will not always be favorable in the workplace, there will be a tough time, and certain people will be arrogant, disrespecting towards your ideology, still, there should be stronghold over yourself not to let these things put you into stress. You just have to keep in mind that, things will not go according to my will always & it is absolutely fine to learn to work & be happy in a situation that is not in my favor because that is how we grow.

Author:  Abu Md. Abdullah 
Assistant Professor 
Faculty of Business Administration 
Eastern University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Email: abdullah@easternuni.edu.bd

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