TSI Blog

Lhyk shoeteng ghoti in ah baruhl

April 25th, 2017 by Oliver Newton | No Responses

You are probably thinking my spell checker is broken from the title, but you’d be wrong (I know this as it is showing angry red lines under the words above as I type this). What I have written makes sense when you speak it out loud, even though it doesn’t on paper. It is the phrase –

“Like shooting fish in a barrel”

Ghoti is a creative respelling of the word fish, using some of the strange irregularities in the English language.

·         gh, pronounced [f] as in enough [ɪˈnʌf] or tough [tʌf];

·         o, pronounced [ɪ] as in women [ˈwɪmɪn]; and

·         ti, pronounced [ʃ] as in nation [ˈneɪ̯ʃən] or motion [ˈməʊʃən].
The other two words I took from how they are pronounced phonetically. Technically correct, but you have to think a bit harder to work out what the message is. You have to read the above paragraphs to find out the meaning, when it should be clear within one sentence.

This can be an issue in communication within a company. Sometimes different departments use specialised terms or abbreviations that others outside may not … read more »

“Send Three And Fourpence, We’re Going To A Dance”

March 20th, 2017 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

Strangely enough, it’s rather fitting that I should start this blog by explaining the title.

Some years ago, military orders and messages were relayed down the line via a series of radio transmissions. The radio operator had to listen carefully to the command and repeat the message onto the next operator in a series.

If you have ever played ‘Chinese whispers’, you may very well know the outcome of the process.

So, “Send reinforcements, we’re going to advance” famously degenerated to the title of this blog.

Now it may seem amusing and intriguing how passed down messages end up as garbled miscommunication, but actually, communicating accurately is paramount in any organisation. Avoiding the pitfalls of poor communications practice is not easy. Afterall, we give and receive messages day in and day out without giving it much thought. Therefore, because it comes naturally to us, we very often omit to think about the process of communication.

Communication is all about conceiving, sending, receiving, interpreting messages and … read more »

The Letter H

February 21st, 2017 by Ralph Sutcliffe | No Responses

The Letter H is such a versatile letter, yet so often overlooked. When used at the beginning of the word it’s very often silent – in honour, honest and strangely in hotel for example. And ‘commonly’ it’s often ignored in everyday speech – ‘ello, ‘ow are you? Wikipedia tells us that H-dropping or aitch-dropping is the deletion of the voiceless glottal fricative or “H sound”.

Voiceless glottal fricative! Really? What a dreadful term for a beautiful letter. And there’s a reverse phenomenon, H-insertion or H-adding, is found in certain situations, sometimes as a hypercorrection by H-dropping speakers, and sometimes as a spelling pronunciation or out of perceived etymological correctness. And of course (one of my ‘pet hates) many people incorrectly pronounce the letter as haitch rather than aitch.

It’s the effect that H has on other letters that I find so interesting. Put it after a P and we get an F sound, as in alphabet and the very fine and noble … read more »

The Value Of Workplace Mentors

July 26th, 2016 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

Firstly, what is a mentor? A mentor is somebody who uses their expertise, experience and knowledge in a role to guide, support and develop a more junior, less-experienced employee, the mentee.

There are many benefits to implementing a mentoring program in the workplace, not only to the employee, but to the employer too. These programs should never be considered a waste of time as they can boost the productivity of both the mentee and mentor which ultimately contributes to overall organisational success.

Here, we offer just a few benefits that any organisation should consider when setting up a mentoring program.

For the mentee

1.   Better development and education in their role.
2.   Increases levels of productivity and employee engagement.
3.   Generates higher levels of job satisfaction.
4.   Improves interpersonal relationship skills.
5.   Builds self-confidence.
6.   Creates a better understanding of organisational culture and unspoken rules.
7.   Provides clearer paths and control in career progression.

For the mentor

1.   Produces a sense of being able to ‘give-back’.
2.   Increases levels of productivity and employee … read more »

Listen Up!

June 2nd, 2016 by Alison McKinney | No Responses

It’s fair to say that the biggest asset any organisation has is its people. So, when changes and decisions need to be made, shouldn’t organisations be listening and involving their employees? After all, they are the ones at the coal face and responsible for day to day tasks and could come up with ideas that could positively change organisations and their bottom line. It is also quite likely that they know a lot more about how the organisation ‘ticks’ than the leaders!

Listening may seem a simple concept, but very often, organisations fail to listen and consider the views of their employees. Here, we offer up just a few ways organisations can listen to their employees:-

Conduct a staff survey

Carrying out a regular staff survey with key questions relating to working life will get employees thinking more about the areas covered during their day to day work. However, it is vital that this approach is not an empty gesture. Make sure responses … read more »

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