All About ASAP, FYI and FYA

ONE day, a collegeague turned to me and asked, "What's FYI?"

"For your information."

"What's FYA?"

"For your action."

"What's WRT? "

"With reference to …"

Before the conversation dragged on any further, I quickly looked up a website on acronyms used in business communications and sent it to him via e-mail.

This conversation made me realize that the full meaning of many acronyms and abbreviations may not be immediately obvious for many people – students or working adults alike.

For starters, an acronym is a word created from combining the initial letters of each word. For example, For your action.

An abbreviation is a word shortened from its original form. For example, "Attn." is an abbreviation of the word "attention" to convey the meaning "for the attention of".

In general, a full stop is used for abbreviations where the last letter of the word and the abbreviation are not the same. For example, "Co." (Company) needs a full stop but "Ltd" (Limited) does not. Acronyms do not need punctuation marks.

Below are some frequently used short forms in business communication like e-mails, faxes and letters:

aka . – also known as

On Monday morning, Kay El, aka The Boss, walked in happily and blessed her assistant, Pee Jay.

approx. – approx

Checking her e-mail, Pee Jay read, "Today is the boss's birthday. Can everyone please slip off quietly to the cafeteria in approx. 15 minutes?"

ASAP – as soon as possible

Pee Jay opened up her daily planner and scribbled ASAP next to some of the urgent items on her to-do list.

Attn . – for the attention of

Leafing through the stack of mail to be sent out, Pee Jay asked her boss, "To what should I address the cheque for the annual report?"

Her boss replied, "Just write 'Attn: Ms. Christine Jalleh." She'll know what to do with it. "

Bcc . – blind carbon copy or blind copy to. In this case, the carbon copy is sent to an e-mail recipient which e-mail address is not visible to the cc or other bcc recipients.

"By the way, I think it's better if you bcc me in your e-mail to Brown. We would not want him thinking that I'm supervising you for this project."

Cc . – carbon copy, or copy to

"But I would like to be cc-ed on the e-mail to Mr Green as I have not yet introduced the two of you to each other."

c / o – in care of, used when sending a document to A who will receive it on B's because because B is away from the office.

"Boss, I think Christine is back in China this week. Would it be all right if I sent the cheque in care of her assistant? I'll still write her name on top with c / o Ah Sis Tern below."

COD – cash on delivery, where a person makes payment for an item purchase after it has been delivered.

"I'm also sending out the cheque for the set of Business English reference books we bought COD on eBay."

eg . – exempli gratia (for example)

Pee Jay replied to the e-mail, "Hi everyone. Please remember that the boss does not like surprises, eg everyone shouting 'Surprise!' in the cafeteria. "

et al. – et alii (and others). Usually used to list co-authors after the lead author in a bibliography, this form is now commonly used to address the other people other than the recipient in e-mails.

She received a new e-mail, which read, "Dear Pee Jay et al., I was reminded that the boss does NOT like surprises …"

etc. – et cetera (and so on OR and so forth)

This means that we will not be able to collectively surprise her by springing out of the cafeteria doors as we had planned, etc.

exc. – except

"Can everyone, exc. Pee Jay, be at the cafeteria in 5 minutes? We need to figure out a surprise without the surprise element.

FYI – for your information

Her boss's voice bought the young assistant back to the present, "Pee Jay, I'm forwarding you all these e-mails FYI, okay?"

FYA – for your action

"Note that some of these e-mails are FYA …"

ie . – id est (that is)

After acknowledging her supervisor, Pee Jay decided to help her collections out and typed, "She's in a good mood today, ie we will be a new account and completed a major project."

K – thousand, eg 450K = 450,000

"Just to give you an idea of ​​her mood, it's a 450K retainer for the first quarter …"

PA – personal assistant

The immediate reply to Pee Jay's e-mail read, "Thanks for the info, Pee Jay – you're the best PA!"

pa – per annual (per year)

Pee Jay smiled and responded, "Haha, there is a reason why I'm paid RM65K pa"

pp – per pro (used when signing a document on someone's behalf)

Looking back at her paperwork, Pee Jay signed some invoices on her boss's behalf, inserting pp just before her signature.

Pto. – please turn over, used at the end of a page to indicate that there is a continuity to the text.

"By the way, please remember to type Pto. On the first page of the proposal you're sending.

viz . – videlicet, namely

She got up and left a note on Pee Jay's work station before leaving. Scribbled on it was, "Can I pass you my slice of birthday cake after I cut it? I really do not need a lot of carbo, viz. Refined flour, at my age." The note ended with a wink.

Readers can go to http://www.acronymfinder.com/ to search for the meanings of over 4 million acronyms and abbreviations. This online dictionary also allows users to filter their search according to categories like information technology (IT), military and government, business and finance, science and medicine, organizations and schools, and slang and pop culture.

Communication: Is It Important To Respect Other People’s Personal Space?

During those moments when one is in a crowded place, it is not going to be possible for them to maintain their personal space. The space that they need in order to feel comfortable is not going to exist.

This could be something that one experiences everyday or it could be something that takes place every now and then. If one lived or worked in a city, for instance, this is going to be something that they are used to.

When this isn’t the case, one could experience it when they travel to a city for work or if they were to go there on holiday. As a result of this, it will be something that most people have experienced at one point or another.

A Difference

If one has lived in a city their whole life, there is the chance that they will have adapted to this kind of environment. Yet, if one has lived in the country or in an area that is not built-up, they are likely to have a greater need for space.

The first person could move somewhere quieter and while they might enjoy having more space, they may begin to feel disconnected. On the other hand, if one was to move to a city they would no longer have as much personal space and this could cause them to feel overwhelmed.

Distance

However, even if one is used to being extremely close to people they don’t know, that doesn’t mean they will be happy to accept this in other contexts. They will need their space just like the people who live in areas where they don’t need to get as close to people.

How much space they need will depend upon who someone is and how they behave towards them. For example, if one was around a friend, family member or a lover, they are not going to expect them to keep their distance.

Closer

They will feel more at ease with them being closer; unless they have had some kind of disagreement or fall out. This level of comfort is likely to have been something that has developed over time.

If it has happened without a short period of time (as it can if one has only just become friends with someone or if they have allowed a family member back into their life), it will come down to how the other person has behaved. The other person’s behaviour will have caused one to gradually trust them.

Strangers

When one meets someone for the first time, they are usually going to feel the need to maintain a certain distance. If the other person was to get as close to them as a friend or a family member does, there is a strong chance that they will feel uncomfortable.

Just as if one was to get too close to the other person, they would also start to feel uncomfortable. Yet, as each person gets to know the other, they might no longer feel the need to maintain their distance.

Context

If one was meet someone who they were attracted to, they may feel the need to get close to them straight away. It would be easy to say this is the wrong approach, but it could be the right approach.

What it could come down to is what their intentions are; as if one wanted to have a relationship with them, it might not be the best option. But if this was not what they wanted and as long as the other person doesn’t feel uncomfortable, it might not be a problem.

Violation

Yet, this is generally not going to be the best approach when it comes to everyday life. In these cases, coming on strong and ignoring the other person’s personal space is likely to have a negative effect.

For one thing, one is going to come across as though they don’t respect the other person. They are also going to feel violated, and as they don’t feel safe in their presence, it is not going to be possible for them to trust them.

First Impressions

If one comes across in this way the first time they meet someone, it could end up being the last time they meet them. What this shows is how important first impressions are; as once one has formed an idea of someone in their mind, it usually stays with them.

Action

Certain distances have been recommended when it comes to how close one should get to another, and these will depend on the context. One way to approach this is to pay attention to how other people respond.

Through focusing on the other person and observing their body language and facial expressions, one will be able to see if they are too close. Another way of doing it will be for one to empathise with the other person and to imagine how they would feel if they were in the others person’s shoes.

Service Industry Lean Manufacturing – Implementation Guide

Non-manufacturing industries have not embraced lean manufacturing to the same extent as those producing a product. Some service industries have found the same principles apply, although the use of lean manufacturing tools is different.

For example, a value added analysis is just as easily conducted with a worker talking on the telephone as someone using one.

The 5S tool can be used to organize the surroundings in the telemarketing office. All materials the telemarketer uses should be organized and within reach without having leave the area. This 5S organization enables the telemarketer to continuously utilize any material in front of them as well as keep an eye on a computer.

The same SMED tools can be used with a administrative assistant as a machine operator. The process map and movement will show the waste in each. The assistant’s travel shows the motion waste. The waiting waste is often huge in any white collar or service job. For example, the waste from waiting on a colleague, manager, supplier, or anyone else can be eliminated. There are ways to minimize it by removing the root cause as well as finding activities to fill the time. These activities should be of short duration, such as data entry, filing, or printing.

Line balancing is easy in a service environment. The key is flexibility. For example, two tellers at a bank may be required 6 out of 8 hours per day, but the trained lean expert or industrial engineer is required to notice it. The additional two hours of waste comes in buckets of 1-2 minutes throughout the day. Again, this time must be filled with value added activities in a standard work format. If the job isn’t standardized, the two individuals may absorb the time and appear 100% busy. There are many other instances where job combinations are obvious.

The value stream map is an excellent tool for service industries. Rather than the traditional macro level view of the system, the value stream map can be used in a department or area of the business. An example would be the service desk at a department store. Begin with the information flow and trigger for activity, which might be a customer. Break the map into various segments showing the few activities that comprise 90% of the work, such as returned goods, request for information, or complaints. Standardized Operations should be utilized for returned goods to minimize motion and waiting, such as a decision flow diagram. If the manager is called a large percentage of the time, the decision flow diagram needs improved. Obviously the 5S and SMED tools are also relevant, as well as root cause problem solving to eliminate the complaints.

Service industries often use kanbans without knowing it, such as ordering supplies. The same pull systems can be used in service industries as the manufacturing sector. The supply distribution center is one obvious example. Inventory waste can be eliminated using pull systems beginning with the end downstream customer.

When implementing lean manufacturing in a service industry, it is important to tailor the training to the business. Most SMED (single minute exchange of die) training is developed using examples of setup activities for equipment. It is easier for people to understand and see the waste in their processes when the training has obvious applicability.

One of the best long term lean manufacturing tools to apply in a service industry is the kaizen event. Kaizen means “incremental improvement” in Japanese. The kaizen team is comprised of a cross functional team developed to quickly and substantially improve a business issue. For example, a kaizen might be developed to reduce hospital check in time for testing. The team might include the individuals conducting the check-in, a nurse, manager, an IT representative, and a couple customers. If the average check in time is 35 minutes (the elapsed time from walking into the building until seated in a private room), the kaizen objective might be to reduce the check in time to 20 minutes within 5 days.

Cellular manufacturing can be used in many service businesses. Rather than placing individual pieces of equipment such as the postage meter, copier, fax, and file drawer throughout the area for everyone to use (and wait on), consider placing these items together in a U shaped cell to minimize movement.

The “One Piece Flow” concept is a great tool for processing items such as quotes, bills, or mail pieces. For example, if four people must review a quote, and the first person processes 500 prior to moving to the second individual, and so on, the cycle time is going to be very long. Also, if the fourth person notices a mistake the other three missed, all 500 are bad and much labor was spent unnecessarily. Moving the piece in a flow of “one” or in small batches minimizes the error cost and reduces cycle time.

Service industries have a terrific opportunity to reduce waste. Sometimes it is simple and obvious, while other times it takes the same creativity as in the factory.

Essential Skills – Communication – 7 Barriers to Communication That Can Cause Divorce

When you were dating, communicating with your loved one was so easy. What happened now that you are married? You find you don’t feel so close anymore. Hurt feelings get in the way. Maybe the other just doesn’t seem interested anymore. This is probably due to some of the seven communication barriers below.

TIME

After marriage, couples become busy with their jobs, getting the home nice, perhaps kids come along and they don’t have as much free time to spend with each other. Communication becomes more about catching up with things but not about supporting each other and dreaming about plans together. Lack of time is a definite communication barrier.

DEPTH

When communication seems superficial, it is because the topics are not very emotionally involved such as weather, how was your day, about your past, present or future experiences, movies, and about surface things nothing personal. Satisfying communication that promotes a deep feeling of closeness is Level 2 or 3. Level 1 occurs about 80-90% of the time. Level 2 increases risk as it is about personal things like your ideas, opinions, feelings values and thoughts and averages about 10-20% of conversations. Level 3 which is the most rewarding is unfortunately only 1-2% of communication. Level 3 is validation. Always positive – expressing love, appreciation, respect and gratitude. This is the level that makes us really feel close and loved. To overcome communication barriers of depth, spend more time opening up and appreciating your spouse.

ASSUMPTIONS

Most communication is nonverbal (60%) which leads to people making assumptions as to meaning of these nonverbal clues. The communication barriers of assuming a meaning can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and hurt feelings. Things as simple as how the door was closed, whether a smile was given when arriving, how clean the house is, or a swear word not directed towards anyone can mean a multitude of things. Based on the couple’s history together and even history with prior partners and family growing up, the spouse will interpret a meaning that could be wrong. Then their actions that follow could escalate a situation that didn’t need to if the correct assumption was made.

PREJUDGMENTS

We filter our communication through our beliefs. Barriers to communication are hard to predict based on these prior beliefs. Some are based on gender. If we believe that husbands just act louder, we may find when our husband is louder than usual, we don’t acknowledge that something is wrong but decide they are just acting normal instead of angry. Men may ignore their wives’ crying because they believe that women just cry over everything instead of responding to something being wrong. These prejudices can be over religion, economic status, culture, education and even past history. If we had a prior boyfriend who always behaved a certain way when he felt something, we might assume that our husband will also. When we make a wrong interpretation, we don’t fulfill our spouse’s needs with our actions.

PERSONAL DIFFERENCES

Personal foibles can add to barriers for communication. One spouse might talk fast and like lots of detail while the other spouse is more slow and just covers the basics. One might talk more about future plans while the other likes to reminisce about the past. One might like to think out loud while the other plans carefully before speaking. The awareness of these differences would be solving skills to have.

MALE/FEMALE DIFFERENCES

The communication barriers include certain gender differences between men and women. Men and women talk differently. Men prefer to be actively doing something when they are talking. Men are usually more direct and pointed. Women will tell part of a story and expect men to ask questions or understand. Women are better at looking for meaning by reading between what has been said. They also hint more.

LACK OF UNDERSTANDING

How to overcome communication barriers of misunderstanding is hard because many times the listener doesn’t know they have misunderstood the message. The sender may be feeling hurt, frustrated and feeling like the listener doesn’t care about them so they become more distant and stop talking more. If this continues, couples often find someone else who understands them and leave the marriage to find the love and closeness they desire. THIS DOES NOT NEED TO HAPPEN! Communication skills can be learned and everyone needs to do this.