Category Archives: ESL/Cultural Communications

English as a second language and cultural challenges and differences in communication

Become a Certified 3V Communication Coach

stamp-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-0qqli2-clipartAre you interested in becoming a Communication Coach?

Coaching in general is an exploding industry, and the interest in communication coaching itself has tripled in the last few years. There are organizations that can certify you as a life coach, NLP coach, business coach etc. but currently there are no organizations that can certify you as a communication coach, except the one that started it – 3V Communications.  If you think you have the background and interest in being certified as a communication coach by 3V Communications, we do provide that service.

You will need to train under our system, learn our courses and philosophies etc. and be assessed.  At the end of training you will be certified and have a ton of material and knowledge that you can use to either work with us or completely independent of us.  The choice is yours.

What is a Communication Coach?

There are different definitions according to different coaching organizations, independent coaches and their backgrounds. Some coaches focus on writing, or public speaking, or corporate training, etc. Some attempt to do all. At the end of training you can decide how general or specific you want to be when advertising services. It is always best to specialize on the area or a few areas that you excel in.

Our Philosophy:

We believe in the “hybrid coaching”™ model. It combines current, effective coaching models, self-discovery and core competencies taken from Life and Business coaching, and we also incorporate more traditional coaching and training methodology to provide information and instruction as well. Our overall philosophy is to improve communications on a holistic, complete level, examining the verbal, the vocal and the visual aspects of communication.

3 choices for obtaining certification:

A)  100% at-home self-study course

B)  Study for your certification with the constant support of a Mentor Coach

C)  2-day, in-person training plus 6 follow up coaching hours and 1-year email support with a 3V Mentor Coach to ensure you get up and running successfully

3V Communications Ltd. is an international training company recognized today as one of the leading authorities on Communication Coaching.

3V approved courses have met the strict guidelines for effective coach training, business development, ethics, and professional conduct as per the NCCA – the National Communication Coaching Association of Canada, and as such this 3V Communication Coach certification course is fully accredited by the NCCA.

If interested kindly contact 3V Communications for more information on curriculum cost, benefits of certification and benefits of NCCA designation.

5 Tips for Finding a New (Communication) Coach

Agreeing on a Coaching Plan

Agreeing on a Coaching Plan

It can be difficult to find the perfect coach for you when you’ve never done it before.  There are many types of coaches, with various backgrounds and different areas of specialization.  Here are some quick tips to get you started on the right foot:

1 – self-assess your needs first.  Be as specific as possible on current challenges, and goals you need to accomplish in order to feel improvement was made.  Don’t just rely on a company’s assessment tools.  They may not have them, or they may be general.  Compare your assessment with theirs!

2 – Google search for a coach or training company using the specific area targeted for improvement, like ‘communication coach’, ‘presentation coach’, ‘executive management coach’, ‘confidence coach’ etc.  See what comes up on the first page and then explore their sites/profiles/articles.  Go deep, beyond the company/coach website.  This is important.

3 – You can choose a company that has a good reputation for providing training but ultimately you will still need to choose an individual coach.  When the company recommends a certain coach for your program, ask for a bio document or their LinkedIn profile so you can see what type of person they are recommending for you.  Next arrange a free consultation with the coach (20 minute phone/Skype call or a longer in-person meeting) to see if there is a ‘fit’ in both comfort and strategy to solve your challenges.

4 – Ensure you and the coach/coaching company have agreed on the top priorities to focus the coaching on, and then get it in writing.  Companies should have some kind of proposal or coaching agreement they can send to you that outlines the coaching focus, program/curriculum specifics, price, location and other policies to be aware of.

5 – Give it a go!  A coach is a partner, not a teacher.  They will help you achieve your goals if you put in equal effort.  If for some reason the coaching is not working out, check your coaching agreement to see if you can modify the program or even switch coaches.  After all, if you are not energized and happy, it will be very difficult to face your challenges and move beyond them.
Good luck!

Is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, or What?

Are you one of the people concerned that if you say the traditional holiday greeting “Merry Christmas” that people might feel you are not being inclusive or being politically correct?  But don’t you have the right to practice your own beliefs and follow your own traditions?

Stop fretting over this silly discussion.  Ignore what your parents taught you and actually have your cake and eat it too.  Say “Merry Christmas” if that ‘s your tradition or religion, and ALSO say “Happy Holidays” at the same time, to be inclusive with strangers and people you meet while out and about, especially in large, multicultural cities.  It’s not too difficult to add that phrase.  I personally grew up saying “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” so I’m just replacing the last phrase ‘New Year’ with ‘Holidays’, and then next week I’ll just tell everyone “Happy New Year” or “Happy 2016!”   I love simplicity.  🙂 

Tips for Teaching Business English (For TESL Ontario Members)

BusinessEnglishAs an active member of TESL (Teacher of English as a Second Language) Ontario I recently contributed my years of knowledge and experience training ESL clients and hosted a Professional Development webinar called Tips for Teaching Business English Students & Immigrants.  It ran live on July 26 2015 but it is now archived and available to those current members of TESL Ontario who wish to increase their Professional Development hours.  You can find it by signing up/in to your www.Tutela.ca  account, going to (or joining) the TESL Ontario group, and then searching under Files until you find my PowerPoint presentation under ‘Webinar Gen 10’.  You will see the ‘live’ version slides and hear our voices as though you attended the webinar on July 26th!   This webinar will be of particular interest to those currently teaching business or workplace English, or to anyone looking to expand beyond mainstream ESL teaching.  You will also learn tips about teaching communication skills to foreign workers and working immigrants.

Here is the original ad:

Webinar Description:   Ric Phillips will present this webinar. Ric will share tips on how to effectively teach business English students and immigrants (for example at LINC, post-secondary or corporate training). He will note differences in learning expectations, recommend materials, and provide templates for creating your own assessments. This webinar is ideal for teachers who are transitioning to Business English, Workplace ESL, or corporate training.

Presenter’s Bio:   Starting in 1998, Ric Phillips successfully transitioned his career from ESL teacher to Business English teacher & Academic Coordinator. He founded his own company where he is currently a coach and trainer in business communication skills for working immigrants and foreign workers.

Follow Ric on Twitter: @CommCoach

The Art of Small Talk and Deeper Conversation

My friend and fellow Communication Expert Mark Bowden was recently on the TV show The Social, and revealed some great verbal and non-verbal communication tips for us to use or avoid when in conversation.  Many people have a difficult time with the art of small talk, not only with getting the conversation started, but with keeping it going and making it more meaningful.  This lack of confident communication can affect us both at work and in our social lives.

One of my most popular communication coaching programs (and has been for a number of years) is called “The Art of Small Talk & Winning First Impressions.”  It’s no wonder it’s so popular – small talk is no small matter!  🙂  If this topic interests you and you would like to improve your soft skills, here are some useful links for you to explore.  Enjoy!

Link One – The Art of Conversation on The Social (article and Mark’s TV appearance):

http://www.thesocial.ca/real-life/relationships/the-art-of-conversation

Link Two – Just the video:

Link Three – A little about my interpersonal coaching programs, and how to connect with me to request a brochure and set up a free initial consultation if interested:

http://communicationcoach.ca/#interpersonal

Link Four (and more)Effective Communication Skills – Never be Stuck for Words Ever Again! Ebook (epub) by Ric Phillips on iTunes, Nook, Kobo and Lulu (prices vary beyond my control):

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/effective-communication-skills/id465102075?mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/effective-communication-skills-ric-phillips/1113132339?ean=9781257554706

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/effective-communication-skills-never-be-stuck-for-words-ever-again

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ric-phillips/effective-communication-skills-never-be-stuck-for-words-ever-again/ebook/product-20860764.html

PDF Version herehttp://www.lulu.com/shop/ric-phillips/effective-communication-skills-course-workbook/ebook/product-638214.html

Enjoy your small talk more from now on, and have deeper conversations with more impact.

Negotiations Are Easier With the ‘3 Ls’ Technique

"Let's talk negotiations"

“Let’s talk negotiations”

On April 30th 2015 an organization I am proudly a part of, YEDI – York Entrepreneurship Development Institute, held its inaugural alumni meeting at York University (Toronto, Ontario). As a Program Advisor and Business Communications Specialist I was asked to partake in the Panel Discussion along with the other YEDI Program Advisors to share insights and tips with entrepreneurs on the very popular but somewhat mysterious and intimidating topic of “negotiations”.

I posted an article on LinkedIn, so please follow this link to read it – thank you.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/easy-technique-help-negotiate-confidently-business-3-ls-ric-phillips

If you like it and find the tips useful, please like and share.  🙂

Books I Read and Recommend for Improving Communications

I love to share information and recommend resources to my friends and clients, and love hearing about books and authors that have made a difference in their life too.  Like many I have an Amazon page that lists the books I use in my coaching and training to help clients and teams improve their skills.  The skills we may focus on include effective interpersonal skills, reading body language, small talk and rapport-building skills, leadership development skills, professional communication strategies, presentations, conflict management, ESL (English as a second language) improvement including grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, etc.  There are even a couple martial arts books in there too!  🙂   If you’d like to know what books I read and recommend, please check out:

“Ric’s Recommended Communication Skills Training Bookstore”

Happy Reading!

Tips to Help You Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

For those that may be new to the countries where this holiday is celebrated, or for those who would like to know a bit more about the beginnings of this day, please read on.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th in many countries, especially Ireland, England, Canada and the USA. It is a day that you can celebrate by yourself or preferably with friends by doing the following:

1.  Wear some green clothing

Young or old, you can add a bit of green to your ensemble or, if you are more daring, be obvious about your love of this day and dress head-to-toe in green!  Some like to wear a shirt with a shamrock on it, or better yet, attention-getting slogans like “Everybody’s Irish!” or “Kiss me I’m Irish!” 

2.  Drink green beer

It is not uncommon to drink green beer at the pub on this day, though traditionalists look down upon this gimmick.  Don’t worry – harmless green food dye is used.  So if old enough, you should drink at a pub, preferably Irish or British, and take part in their promotions. Most pubs and restaurants will have some promotional games or contests, perhaps sponsors like Guiness, Harp or Kilkenny (Irish beers) will offer freebies (giveaways at no cost).  If you do want to drink in a local pub be warned – Irish and British pubs fill up quickly on this day, well before the 5 pm whistle is blown.  It’s the place to be on St. Patty’s Day!

3.  See a St. Patrick’s Day parade

Today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are all about having fun.  A number of years ago the parades were seriously Irish, but these days, you can see a lot of diverse floats, clubs, bands and costumes.  I remember when I was young seeing a cowboy at a St. Patrick’s Day parade and wondering “What’s he doing there?”  LOL

4.  Re-tell the original story of St. Patrick:

A young English boy was stolen from his home and brought back to then-wild Ireland and held as a slave. During these difficult years the young man turned to his Christian faith to keep him going. One night he dreamed that he would walk over a hill and discover a boat that would rescue him. Shortly thereafter he escaped and found such a boat. He finally made it back to his home in England.

Later, as a priest, he decided to return to Ireland, where he knew the language and customs, to convert them to Christianity. Other missionaries had been killed, but he was successful.

He added the circle to the cross which represented the sun, and created the “Celtic cross.”

He used the 3-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. That is why the clover or “shamrock” is a strong symbol not only on St. Patrick’s Day but of Ireland itself.

This is just a brief background description. If interested, please do more research to learn about this fun and interesting holiday, and don’t be shy to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day!

Cheers!

Repeat Favourite Phrases to Improve Conversation

One of the things to remember when you are looking to improve conversation skills, especially if you are using English as a second language and you really want to speak English better, is that English is just one part of language, and language is just one part of communication.

A quick way to build rapport with your listener is to mimic or reflect back their favourite words or expressions. So this way, even if you ‘have an accent’ it won’t be as important as the fact that you are connecting with the person on their level and making them feel comfortable by using a few of their own favourite words/expressions.

This is also a good thing to remember when you are trying to decide if you should sway your English accent towards British or American. The actual answer is – it depends. It depends where you live or who you work with. I am not suggesting you have 2 distinct ‘fake’ voices, one that sounds like James Bond and another that sounds like the President.  I am suggesting that you listen to and imitate the people around you, especially if you are a new immigrant. This will help you bridge the gap and increase fluency or at least a sense of fluency until your English improves a bit more.

There is more I could say on this subject but for now the take-away point is to listen to the people around you for their favourite words and expressions and then repeat them sometimes. Do not be an annoying parrot though. About 3:1 should suffice.  It’s a simple trick that connects and builds rapport.  After all, we like people who seem to be similar to ourselves, right?  🙂