Word Wizardry

Celfocus communication group

Call To Magic — Mar 2017

Communication is of the outmost importance in any organization, it can, in many situations, determine its success or failure.

At Celfocus, communication is an essential element of our daily tasks.

In 2016, with over 1000 consultants delivering projects across the globe, professionalising our communication skills became a necessity. To create a series of best practices, Celfocus gathered a work group dedicated to highlighting and defining guidelines for crucial communication touchpoints: presentations, forums, negotiations rounds etc. Together, this group established preparation guidelines, de-briefing templates, rehearsal methods and practices. Among them, a 6-step guide…

  • Preparation: define your objectives and the result you want to achieve. That’s what should guide you throughout the process, it’s your north in the darkest hours
  • Structuring the message: how you plan to get traction, how you make your audience walk with you during the communication and reach the same conclusions and results.
  • Communicating: You walk with your audience verbally, non-verbally and in the right tune. You and your audience must be at the same pace, surfing the same wave in order to reach the same endpoint.
  • Manage the discussion: Anticipate the most probable responses, keep yourself at thewheel by questioning the audience.
  • Debriefing: your communication is closed only after taking all the possible lessons from it. Take time to think about it with your team
  • Lessons Learnt: list the opportunities won and lost

Today, the knowledge gathered in this workgroup is being passed on to all project managers through 4-day workshops. Nearly 80 colleagues have attended a tailored training programme that covers best-practice guidelines and offers essential tools to excel in any communication touchpoint.

Throughout the year Celfocus will work on spreading Communication and Negotiation skills across the organisation.

What participants have to say…

Can anybody be a salesperson?

Everyone can be a salesperson. In fact everyone SHOULD be a salesperson. Most of our time, both at home and at work, is spent in negotiations (some explicit, others in disguise) where we try to sell an idea, a plan, an architecture, a process, resource allocation, task allocation and more. To excel at this, we all need good communication and negotiations skills. And these skills can be learned. You can be an introvert, an extrovert, it does not matter, everyone can learn these skills.

Celfocus understands this need, and that is why it started the Communication Group in 2016, where a number of colleagues had the opportunity to learn and practice some of these skills. Since then, we have used those skills and the Group support to prepare for important meetings, like bid defense, workshop and assessment presentations. This is a continuous journey, so we will keep on doing this on an ongoing basis.

Paulo Glórias

Business Development

Can you learn to be persuasive?

Persuasion is an art, how can I be more convincing in my ideas and opinions? How can I conduct a conversation, a meeting, a presentation and even a negotiation to meet my objectives? Speak louder? Speak lower? Be aggressive? Be passive? What posture should I adopt? More energy? Less energy? What type of participants do I have in the audience and how should I act?

All these points can be worked and practiced in order to lead my meetings in the right direction, going towards my objectives.

You can’t just force your ideas onto someone, or not let them speak and that way be persuasive. We must know how to listen, be assertive, convince others to get on your boat (and not throw them on, you can push them but first chance they get, they’ll jump off – and there goes your persuasion).

There are a number of techniques we can use to be more efficient in our communication, through training and experience we can become more persuasive. Now, because I’ve learnt all these techniques and I apply them then that means I’m best persuader in the world? No. There are behavioural, cultural, personality aspects that must be taken into the equation and those sometimes make communication difficult. Can I learn to communicate better? Yes. But there are things that are born with us and our personality.

Sónia Viegas Dias

Customer Services

Art is the greatest deception of all, art is a deception that creates real emotions, a lie that creates a truth and when you give yourself over to that deception it becomes MAGIC.