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matrix vision newsletter
Communication Issue
November, 2008 - Vol 1, Issue 2
In This Issue
Marketing Bloopers
Why aren't you like me?
PowerPoint - use it as a tool not a blunt instrument!
How Feedback Helped One Manager Get Results
Don't Miss This DISC Special Offer!
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Story of the Month
 An interviewer was talking to a female production-line worker in a biscuit factory. The dialogue went like this:
Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
Production Lady: Since I left school (probably about 15 years).
Interviewer: What do you do?
Production Lady: I take packets of biscuits off the conveyor belt and put them into cardboard boxes.
Interviewer: Have you always done the same job?
Production Lady: Yes.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy it?
Production Lady: Oooh Yes, it's great, everyone is so nice and friendly, we have a good laugh.
Interviewer (with a hint of disbelief): Really? Don't you find it a bit boring?
Production Lady: Oh no, sometimes they change the biscuits...

Communication Quotes
"Communication with the dead is only a little more difficult than communication with some of the living!"
Ashleigh Brilliant
"If only our great thinkers could learn to talk and our great talkers could learn to think!"
Ashleigh Brilliant 
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise, that what you heard, isn't what I meant."
Author Unknown 


Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter.  This months newsletter has the theme of communication.We have included articles about:
  • translation errors in marketing,
  • some communication problems caused by the fact that we are human, 
  • some clues about how to be more professional in using PowerPoint and
  • a case study on how feedback was used as a management/team development tool.

Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome! 

Marketing Bloopers
It is difficult to communicate effectively in English most of the time. However, look what can happen when marketers try to translate an English concept into another language.
1. The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"  
2. Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."  
3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."
4. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "Manure Stick."
5. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.  Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.
6. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
7. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I Saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).
8. Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.
9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth."
10. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
11. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!"
12. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.  
13. Finally GM's fiasco in trying to market the Chevy Nova car in Central and South America. "no va" means, of course, in spanish, "it doesn't go".   
Some of these may be "urban legends" but they serve to make us more careful about the way we communicate.
Why aren't you like me?
  Interpersonal Conflict 
Experts say that poor communication is the cause of 92% of organisational conflict.

Most of the time this conflict arises because we human beings have differing personality preferences. Because some people don't understand the differing preferences of others they see the other persons behaviour as unusual and sometimes even "bloody minded".
These interpersonal conflicts cost organisations a lot of money in lost productivity. 
However, before we start, don't get me wrong.  You do not have to love the people you work with, you don't even have to like them.  However, in order that both you and the organisation thrive and prosper, you must get along with them. So, these interpersonal conflicts can be minimised with a few simple things. 
There are three key points to building effective interpersonal skills: 
  1. Understanding Your Own Style. Every person has a particular way of behaving and communicating. Understanding the way you communicate will give you a great insight into how you affect others. This is obviously a great advantage in a management or leadership position.
  2. Understanding and Identifying Other Peoples Styles. The knowledge of the fact that there are people who view the world in a different way to the way you do gives you valuable insight about them, especially in a management/leadership position. The ability to identify another person's style is crucial in developing an effective approach to communicating. 
  3. Adapting Your Own Style. As a leader it is your job to mould and adapt to the style of the individuals in your team. Some managers expect the team to adapt to their own leadership style and this often leads to conflict that can, and often does, cost companies money.

There are a number of models available to help you understand your style and the styles of others. A model that people have found extremely useful is the DISC.

The DISC model has the advantage of being well-researched, constantly updated, easy to understand, logical and easily applicable.
DISC shows that there are four aspects to each person's way of doing things: Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Compliance.
Dominance is seen in the ways we deal with problems and challenges.
Influencing is seen in the ways we try to influence and persuade people.
Steadiness is seen in the ways we respond to change.
Compliance is seen in the ways we respond to attempts to control our behaviour through rules and regulations.
To find out ways of how the understanding DISC can help you and your team get along with each other CLICK HERE



To business owners and decision makers.
To show you the value of DISC to improve Organisational Effectiveness, Teamwork and Leadership we are offering a a complimentary  24 page DISC profile valued at $165.00 to the first 10 people who qualify and respond to this offer.
This offer also includes a one hour consultation on your DISC profile.
To qualify for this offer you must be the business owner of an organisation of at least 5 people or a key decision maker in a larger organisation. Only one complimentary profile per organisation.
To let us know that you qualify and that you want to take advantage of this special offer CONTACT US
Offer Expires:  December 19
PowerPoint - use it as a tool not a blunt instrument!
PowerPointThere are an estimated 300 million PowerPoint users in the world.  We can assume that there are about 30 million presentations each day.  Which means about a million presentations are going on right now and probably half of them are pretty bad.
While there are many tips that we could give you to help you improve the design and readability of your PowerPoint slides (basic tip - keep them simple - remember the slides are a visual aid , not the presentation) this article is on tips for better more professional presentations.
Here are a few tips to remember before you start your presentation:
  • Either turn off your screen saver or increase the number of minutes before the screen saver activates. 
  • Unless you need an Internet connection in your presentation, turn off your connection or remove your wireless card.
  • Temporarily disable any programs with alarms or reminders such as Outlook, ACT, and others. 
  • Turn off the power save mode on your laptop to avoid sending your computer into hibernation during a long break. 
  •  While running a PowerPoint slide show, hide the mouse pointer with [Ctrl] + H; unhide with [Ctrl] + A (think A for arrow). Hiding the pointer keeps it from bouncing around the screen if your mouse is bumped or accidentally engaged.
A top complaint from audience members is that many presenters put too much emphasis on PowerPoint and technology while neglecting the message and interaction with participants. One way to deliver more effective presentations with a greater connection to your audience is to add a remote control to your presentation tools.  A remote can help you in a number of ways:
  • Break Down the Audio Visual Wall. Without a remote, you are limited to the area by your laptop which builds a wall between you and your audience;
  • Get Control of your Presentation. You never want someone else to control the computer while you have to keep saying, "next please" or flash hand signals. This approach breaks the flow of the speech, annoys your audience, and risks that your helper moves to the wrong slide;
  • Fewer Distractions. Use a remote to stop distracting others who watch you walking back to your computer to move to the next slide. In addition, a remote helps you maintain eye contact with the audience instead of looking at your laptop;
  • Smoother Animations. The impact and flow of most animations is lost when you run animations manually from your laptop;
  • More Professional. Presenting without a remote takes away from the professionalism of a presenter and directs the focus to the technology (or to the lack of tech-savvy if anything goes wrong).

By the way don't forget the spare batteries for your remote 

However, if you don't have a remote, you need to know multiple ways to navigate with the keyboard while delivering a PowerPoint presentation. Here are some useful keyboard commands that may sometimes be faster or at least give you a backup plan.

Controlling Slides in Slide Show

Go to Slide <number>            <number> ENTER
Black/Unblack Screen            B or Fullstop (Period) 
White/Unwhite Screen            W or Comma
Show/Hide Pointer                  A or =
End Show                              ESC, CTRL+Break, Minus, END 
Advance to Hidden Slide         H
Advance to Next Slide            Mouse Click, Spacebar, N, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, Page Down
Return to Previous Slide         Backspace, P, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, Page Up 

 For an amusing view of what not to do in your PowerPoint presentations follow this link

To learn how to be in control of your presentation rather than letting it control you CLICK HERE.

How Feedback Helped One Manager Get Results
20/20 Logo 
Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings-from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation. Look at this case study to see how powerful feedback can be.  
Case Study:  How Feedback Helped One Manager Get Results
John* was a newly promoted manager with a major utility company. With his new position, he inherited a team of 13 supervisors. Most were long-term employees, and John was much younger than most of his direct reports. Many of the supervisors thought they deserved the promotion and resented John's appointment.

He soon discovered that the performance of his supervisors was below par. He spent a lot of time working on relationships with each of them, clarifying service standards and trying to build a cohesive team. Despite his best efforts, John encountered resistance; and performance did not improve. He knew that the supervisors were unhappy, but he couldn't get them to talk about their dissatisfaction. When he learned about 20/20 Insight, he decided to use it to ask for feedback about his leadership practices. He hoped that the information gained would provide a basis for dialogue and team building.
Working with a consultant, John selected the behaviours critical to his leadership. The consultant then met with the team and explained how the feedback would be collected. She assured everyone that their responses would be anonymous. After the feedback was collected, the consultant met with John to help him interpret the data and establish his priorities for action. She also coached him on how to respond to the feedback.

Over the next few weeks, John met with his direct reports individually and as a group. He asked them to clarify certain aspects of the feedback. He also explained which priority areas he planned to work on first and why he did not plan to alter some behaviours. 
He saw an immediate change in his team. Resistance decreased, productivity increased and a customer service orientation began to take hold. Over time, he was able to rebuild his team of supervisors. They pulled together to become the only team to meet or exceed all established performance goals for the next quarter. They continued to perform well, and within the year John received a substantial promotion. He attributed much of his success to the feedback process and the open dialogue it produced.
* The name of the manager has been changed to protect confidentiality
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.

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Next month we will be sharing a pot pourri of ideas under the banner of "Christmas Crackers".
All the Best,
Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited