#049 Communication and negotiation - Level 1 📞
Hello folks 👋
This week we are covering Level 1 Communication and Negotiation.
I would highly advise you to go through the candidate guide and the QS pathway guide to understand the basic requirements.
DISCLAIMER: The following is not an exhaustive set of notes, but it's an attempt to help those who, like me at the beginning, did not know where to start! Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!
So what is Level 1 Communication and Negotiation all about?
The RICS note that to demonstrate competence at Level 1, you need to demonstrate your ability to:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of effective oral, written, graphic and presentation skills including the methods and techniques that are appropriate to specific situations.
Good grammar and spelling
Being able to write well is actually quite tricky. We learnt how to do this in a specific way at school … (Does anyone remember PEE paragraphs)? In a professional setting, its incredibly important that you can articulate yourself well. Part of doing this involves having good grammar and spelling. There will probably be some grammar and spelling issues within this post, I’m not perfect! But there are things you can do to improve your writing!
I use a software programme called Grammarly - it’s like Microsoft Word’s spell checker on steroids!
The etiquette of written communication in emails, letters and reports
Written communication will be an integral part o f your daily role as a QS. You will be speaking to suppliers, colleagues, and your superiors on a daily basis, and you need to understand how to express yourself in the appropriate way. To colleagues who you are familiar with you can be casual in your written form, but to your superiors and suppliers, a basic level of professional etiquette has to be observed!
Common formats for reports
Your organisation/client may have various report templates for use. In our line of business (as PQSs) we produce various reports at different stages of a project. We produce pre-contract cost reports which identify the potential build costs, we produce tender reports, quarterly project progress reports as well as monthly project cost reports.
Presentation of figures and data using spreadsheets, graphs and charts
The application you will use the most as QS is Microsoft Excel. I would advise any young QS to get as much experience with using the software as early as they can. Being proficient will mean your superiors will trust you when they give you work, it will also make you their first port of call when things go wrong.
There are so many free resources available on Youtube regarding how to build decent charts and graphs.
My only advice when producing charts and graphs is DON’T OVERDO IT. Make sure the visual aids demonstrate the point you are trying to make clear.
How to deliver a report at a meeting
When presenting a report at the meeting, you should prove to each of the audience a copy of the report in advance. Your job is to highlight the key points in the meeting - as the detail will be covered within the report.
Some may decide to issue the report after the meeting, but In my view issuing it beforehand allows your audience to have a quick skim, raise questions and queries and then you can amend it for the next iteration.
How to structure and deliver a presentation
When I was younger I had fear of public speaking. I hated it the prospect of standing up in front of my peers and presenting something. I was afraid I would get something wrong and have a breakdown on stage. I am thankful this never happened, but the fear of failure forces to me prepare for presentations, so much so that I end up rehearsing lines like a play! I feel like this is extreme, and I'm sure most people won’t need to do something like this.
I was always told that a presentation should be a tool to complement the speaker - not the other way around.
Here are some tips to get you started: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/business-presentation
The process of negotiation & Establishing your objectives and strategy for a negotiation
You will have to utilise negotiation skills as a QS when dealing with suppliers. But you may also have to use such skills internally when negotiating pay rises.
That’s it for this post folks - if you have any questions just drop me a message!