P1- Explain the personal attributes valued by employers Technical Knowledge – Technical Knowledge is valued by employers because it shows them that you understand the difference between hardware and software you are using. This is very important because if you specialize in using windows and java, but the software and hardware you are using is Linux and visual basic, you will not be able to use it to your fullest. It is also useful if you understand how to use a wide variety of software and hardware, as this will make you a more valued employee. Time Management – Time Management is valued by employers because it shows them that you have the skills to manage your time effectively. This is important because if you were required to complete a piece of software before a certain deadline, you would be able to manage your time to that set date, so you do not go over your deadline. If you were to go over your deadline for the software it would cost the company a large amount of money, so you need to manage your time so that it does not happen. It is also important to have time management skills, so that you can be trusted to arrive on time to work every day. Team Working – Team Working is valued by employers because it shows them that you are able to work well in a team. This is important because you will be asked to work with other people, and in these situations, it is key to be able to collaborate. If you are not a team worker, you will most likely not be able to complete the work you are assigned in the group, thus making the team fall behind. Communication is also needed when working with a team, as you will need to be able to get your point across to other group members. Self-Motivation – Self-Motivation is valued by employers because it shows that you can motivate yourself to complete your work. This is important because if you cannot motivate yourself to do the work you are assigned; you will not be able to complete it and will not be a useful employee. If you can self-motivate yourself you will be able to complete the work, and continue contributing as a valued employee. This also shows that you are reliable because if you can complete work without much motivation from others, you can be relied upon to finish it. Confidence – Confidence is valued by employers because it shows that you are confident in the work you are doing and will complete it. This is important because if you have confidence, you will not be worried that you will be unable to complete the work. This shows that you are a valued employee because if you can complete the work you are assigned with confidence, you will also be reliable. It is also important to be confident because it shows that you are able to perform confidently in front of a group of people when presenting work. This is important because you will sometimes be asked to do a presentation in front of a group of people, and having the confidence to do so will allow you to present it calmly and clearly. Leadership – Leadership is valued by employers because it shows you are able to confidently keep charge of a large or small group of people and make accurate and sensible decisions for them. This is important because when you are working with a group of people, you may be called upon to take the roll of group leader. In these situations, it is best to be prepared, so having good leadership skills will allow you to be ready when it is called upon. Working Procedures and Systems – knowledge of working procedures and systems is valued by employers because it shows that you have researched what the company policies are and have come prepared. This is valued because it shows that you put the effort in and you go the extra mile. It is also valued to understand health & safety practices. This is important because there can be times when someone needs health & safety and if you are able to help them, it will show that you can act calm under pressure. It is also valued to know data protection policies. If you are in charge of confidential or important data and you do not look after it, you are then liable to the costs involved in recovering it. Having knowledge of the way you can protect data is key. P2 – Explain the principles of effective communication Cultural Differences Within communication in the I.T industry, there are many different cultural differences and languages which are used. These can have an effect on communication and can be confusing. It is important that you are clear with your voice and language and that you think of the needs of others. This also applies for accents, as different accents can pronounce words differently to yours. For example, if someone was doing a presentation and they had a Scottish accent, they could be difficult to understand. This is why it is important to be clear with your voice, as if you are not you may offend someone, not get your point across or be difficult to understand. Questions and Answers Within communication in the I.T industry, question and answer sessions are important. They are important because they allow you to gain information and a better understanding of the person you are communicating with. It is important however to know what questions to ask and when to ask them, as asking questions which are not related to the subject can be unproductive. For example, if someone was confused with an assignment they needed to hand in, they could ask someone some questions which would help them out with their work. It is also important to give reliable and relevant answers, as misleading information can have negative effects. Techniques for Engaging Audience Within communication in the I.T industry, there are positive and negative techniques for engaging your audience. Positive techniques will engage your audience more and make them feel part of the presentation. It also makes them more interested in your subject material. Positive techniques include facing your audience, using your hands, projecting your voice clearly, avoiding errors, being confident with your work and knowing your subject material. Negative techniques include not facing your audience, standing perfectly still with your hands behind your back, mumbling and being quiet with your voice, apologising for making a mistake, not knowing your subject material and saying “Urm” frequently. Interpersonal Skills Positive and Negative Language Within communication in the I.T industry, it is important that your language is positive and not negative. Positive language is required to be more productive in the workplace, as this will give you a more positive attitude towards both yourself and your colleagues. Negative language should not be used, as you will not be able to perform to your potential. This also means that both you and your colleagues will have a negative opinion on you. You may also need to deal with negative language sometimes, so it is important that you act positively towards this behavior and keep calm. Barriers Within communication in the I.T industry, it is important that you understand your barriers. Barriers are anything which inhibits or stops your ability to perform a task or presentation. Common barriers include background noise, hearing problems, physical inhabitations and low vocal projection. These can be avoided by making sure that background noise is reduced to a minimum, you raise your voice to compensate for hearing problems and you make sure that no one has their back turned to you. Active Engagement Within communication in the I.T industry, active engagement is important whenever you are presenting something. This is important because it allows your audience feel a part of the presentation and become more interested in the subject material. Active engagement requires you to be confident with your subject material, present it accordingly, accurately display the information and use physical movement and gestures. It is also required that you project your voice clearly and try to involve your audience as much as possible. Written Communication Skills Email, Social Media and Blogs Within communication in the I.T industry, Email, Social Media and Blogs are huge parts of communication. They allow masses of people to communicate with each other on regular bases with relative ease. Email is used mostly for communication between company’s, businesses and work colleagues. This is useful to them because it allows them to communicate privately between each other and send files and documents. Social media is mostly used for communication between friends and family. This is useful to them because it allows them to communicate effectively and allows them to stay in touch with each other. Blogs are used for communication between anyone. This is useful because it allows anyone to make an online discussion or topic and have others comment and create new posts for that subject, broadening the mind of the users. Spelling and Grammar Within communication in the I.T industry, spelling and grammar are essential to your success. Spelling and grammar are important because it allows the viewer of your work to read and interpret it effectively and correctly. Incorrect spelling and grammar can cause problems and sometimes it can cost someone’s job. To make sure you follow correct spelling and grammar, proofread your work before you send it to someone else for viewing. Structure Within communication in the I.T industry, the structure of your work is important. This is important because it allows the viewer to effectively and correctly understand your work and respond accordingly. It also allows them to keep interest. For example, if I created a piece of work which had no coherent structure or paragraphs, it would be un-interesting and confusing to read. However, if I structured it correctly, it would allow the viewer to easily understand the work you have created. P3- Discuss potential barriers to effective communication Barriers are what prevent you from performing to your very best in communication. At some points during communication whether it’d be casual or formal, there could be a distraction occurring at any time. It is important that you prevent yourself from being distracted by these barriers. Here are some examples of some barriers: Barriers Background noise – Background noise is noise away from the area of concentration. It could be a horn from a car outside or people talking, it is the common barrier in communication. Most people will be distracted depending on the strength of background noise, footsteps wouldn’t really distract anyone but people arguing and maybe horns from cars could not only distract but also disrupt too. In the field of any work, an employee must be focused on their job, if you were to conduct a presentation in front of your boss and you hear an argument outside, the worst thing to do would be to look out the window and see what’s going on. People will see you as easily distracted and not focused enough to be a competent member for the task. Every employer wants a focused, determined and competent worker for their organisation. Distractions – Distractions are similar to background noises and are also a common barrier in communication. Examples of distractions could be someone coming in late while you’re conducting your presentation or someone’s phone ringing that forces you to stop. For some people it may not affect them as much, but for others it could make them forget what they were talking about, leaving the presenter in an awkward position trying to remember where they were in the presentation; a senior employee will not appreciate a quiet presenter standing and staring at the audience. Lack of concentration – Lack of concentration could occur for two main reasons. Your surroundings or yourself. Your surroundings could have many barriers, such as phones ringing and maybe loud chatter outside. With all these distractions coming from different places it can be hard to fully focus on the audience you are interacting with. And then there’s yourself, not everyone is perfect with presenting, some people may have issues and difficulties and a lack of concentration is one M1- Explain mechanisms that can reduce the impact of communication barrier There are many things that cause communication barriers for example if a group of people are in a meeting and they have the window open, there could be lots of noise and cars beeping and people outside shouting which would cause disruption in the meeting and make it difficult for the people in the meeting to hear and understand you and what you can do to reduce the impact of this communication barrier is to close the window, that way you wouldn’t hear the noises anymore. A big language barrier which can prove a lot of difficulty are language barriers. Language barriers are when someone is trying to speak to someone who doesn’t speak their language which would mean they wouldn’t be able to understand what they are saying which for things like interviews. A way around this would be to get a translator who would translate the words that person is saying and repeat it back to you in your language which would resolve the problem and reduce the impact of the communication barrier. You can also have physical barriers which are communication barriers, for example if you are working in an office there might be walls around your desk which wouldn’t allow you to communicate across the room or to someone else if you needed help or needed to help someone and to reduce the impact of this communication barrier offices could just have a part of the office where there isn’t a wall or they lower the walls so that you can speak over them to someone. They could also have a announcer at the desk where you could speak through and it would be heard by everyone in the room which is used in supermarkets at places like customer services when a customer needs assisting this is a good idea to have. Finally, another example of a communication barrier is listening skills. If you are doing a presentation in front of your work colleagues or to someone else then you have to keep the audience’s attention otherwise they will not listen enough and then end up not understand or getting confused with the information you are trying to tell them. A way to help stop this is to avoid distractions for example ask people to leave their mobiles outside of the presentation/meeting so that it doesn’t go off and create a distraction or hold the presentation is a quiet place so there is no noise to distract or to stop your audience from being able to hear what you are saying. Also asking if anyone has any questions about what you have said and then answering them honestly can help to clear up any confusion your audience may have.