Welcome back to the third installment of Sung Ho’s blog, in which he explains what it is like it be a student in our Customer Service Co-op Diploma Program. For more information about this series of blogs, please check out first blog post or second blog post.
‘It is the 3rd week of the session already. I have always felt that living in Canada is way slower than living in Korea. However, our class is really fun, so it feels like time goes so fast sometimes. We learned about “Speaking Persuasively” this week. I think persuading is really hard; it was challenging to speak persuasively in workplace scenarios.’
Speaking persuasively is such a valuable skill in the workplace and elsewhere. For some people, it seems to come naturally but it is definitely a skill that can be learned and improved.
‘Things that we learn in our work communication class are really practical and adaptable to real life. I think it is going to be very useful when we start working with co-op. Moreover, learning how to speak persuasively has to be taught because it is the foundation of communication and we have to keep practicing it in our life.’
Absolutely. Out goal is to make everything you learn applicable to real world situations. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.
‘We gave presentations about “how to speak more persuasively” This is one of the things that I really like about the course. I can learn and practice at the same time with classmates. To do so we can brainstorm and solve problems that help us to understand better.’
We’re glad you’re enjoying the practical aspects of the course as well as the opportunity to practice your speaking skills.
‘Marie sends a message to Carlos during a role play and the others evaluate how correctly Carlos gets the message. It happens a lot in business circumstances. Let’s imagine this communication was on the phone. Marie is from Taiwan and Carlos is from Mexico but they speak English, not their own languages. Getting a message over the phone and writing down the correct name, company name, numbers, and the message is not easy.’
Telephone communication can be difficult even in your first language. We rely heavily on visual cues to help us decode messages. It’s even more challenging in a second language. We have to really listen. It’s great that you got a chance to practice this skill.
‘We had an activity about sending and receiving messages. We had to name the company with a challenging name. This made it really hard to get the right message. Moreover, English has difficult spelling so I had to ask many times to make sure I was spelling everything correctly.’
Spelling is challenging. If you’re not sure and it’s something important, it’s a good idea to get confirmation. Some of us are shy to ask; practicing helps make it a habit.
‘Voice mail is not really famous in Korea. Koreans use text or email instead of using voice mail. However, voice mail is really common in Canada especially in business environments.’
There are 6 tips how to make voice mail:
1. Record your own message
2. Keep your outgoing message short
3. Use a generic message for daily use
4. Add detail if you will be away for more than 24 hours
5. Check and return calls daily
6. Maintain your voice-mail inbox
It’s interesting to learn the differences in business cultures throughout the world. Knowing these differences can prevent misunderstandings when doing business internationally.
‘The Customer Service Co-op program at Greystone College is not an ESL program. It is a vocational career college program. However, class is 6 months long and the teacher helps us with language support such as vocabulary, grammar, and idioms. Since we made many mistakes choosing preposition of time during the presentation a couple of days ago, the instructor wants us to know how to choose the right preposition especially when it comes to time. It was not easy for me to choose the right preposition of time as well but the exercise really helped.’
The focus in the program is mostly be on your customer service skills. However, since communicating effectively is one of the necessary skills, your teacher will sometimes focus on common errors.
‘We do a lot of negotiating in our life such as selling and buying things or having an interview. We learned how to negotiate effectively and also watched a YouTube video that described how to do Win-Win negotiation.’
We need to know our BATNA [Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement]
1. Claim the right to negotiate
2. Look for solutions acceptable to all sides
3. Establish your goals
4. Identify alternatives
5. Do your homework
Ex) If you had not lifted that heavy box, you would have not injured your lower back.’
We use the verbs that explain regret, which are would have, should have, could have. I think I have to remember those verbs and try to use them often. See you next week.
We hope you don’t have to express regret too frequently 😉 but we’re glad you’re learning things you think will be useful. See you next week.
Blog also available in Korean language: http://k124687.blog.me/