How Do I Teach Workplace Communication Skills to My High School Students?

In the modern workplace, communication can make or break a career. High school students who develop strong communication skills early go on to nail that interview, negotiate that pay raise, or make a great case for that promotion. However, those who fail to communicate effectively often end up getting passed over–no matter how smart or skilled they are.

As an instructor, you want to ensure your kids have the best chance at success in their careers, and communication is a key element in that. But communication can be tricky to learn. What are these workplace communication skills, and where do you begin when teaching them in your career readiness course?

Many high school teachers have approached AES asking these questions, and in response, we’ve developed a list of the different types of communication your kids will encounter every day in the workplace.

In this article, you’ll discover a breakdown of the three different kinds of workplace communication and how you can teach them in a high school setting:

  • Verbal Communication
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Email Communication

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better sense of each of these three workplace communication skills and how you can teach them to your students.

Workplace Communication Skills Breakdown: Verbal, Non-Verbal, & Email

Traditionally, workplace communication is made of verbal and non-verbal communication. However, with the rise of technology, email has also taken a central role in workplace communication, and will be one of the primary methods your high schoolers use to collaborate with coworkers day-to-day.

What Is Verbal Communication?

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Verbal communication is any conversation that takes place vocally.

While that primarily means face-to-face discussions, it could also include phone calls, video conferences, voicemails, and voice messaging.

The most important advantage of verbal communication is that speakers can use tone of voice to help convey the context of what they’re saying.

That context could be anything from sincerity to sarcasm — but either way, it’s a major benefit that verbal communication has over non-verbal.

On the other hand, verbal communication is almost always temporary, which means it’s the responsibility of the listener and speaker to remember the discussion without any aid.

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This isn’t true for voicemails or voice messaging, but it does apply to phone calls, video conferencing, and face-to-face conversations.

Because the latter three situations occur much more frequently than voicemails and voice messaging, it’s important to note that two people may have different interpretations of how a conversation actually goes.

These different interpretations — whether they’re accurate or not — can vary from mild misunderstandings to major miscommunications.

After all, with no central source of truth (like a written document or recording), any disagreements over a verbal conversation are up in the air when it comes to determining what was actually said and intended.

Fortunately, verbal communication isn’t the only method of conversing in a business setting.

In fact, non-verbal communication is becoming the preferred conversation and planning format for many companies, especially those involved in cutting-edge technology.

What Is Non-Verbal Communication?

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Non-verbal communication is any form of discussion in which vocal tone doesn’t play a part. 

This includes several forms of communication, like instant messaging, text messaging, note-writing, social media posts, letters, data analysis, and even email–though email is special for a few reasons.

Oftentimes, non-verbal communication entails some form of writing, which gives it one major advantage over any other form of conversation: documentation.

Documentation provides that central source of truth for what someone said, when they said it, and how they said it. This helps provide a strong sense of clarity and can resolve conflicts much more effectively than verbal communication.

However, it’s important to note that non-verbal communication entails more than just writing. It also includes crucial social cues like eye contact, body language, gestures, and even physical touch! As a result, you have a lot more areas of opportunity when it comes to non-verbal communication.

Take social cues, for instance. These non-verbal gestures and visual accents help to complement verbal communication. After all, combining the right words and gestures at the right time can make all the difference between appearing selfish or helpful!

Context is everything in this case — and social cues help establish that context when used in conjunction with speech.

Still, there’s one form of specific non-verbal communication that merits more of a breakdown, and it’s become the single most important communication method in the working world: email.

What Is Email Communication?

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It’s strange to think that email was once considered a quaint or informal way of conducting business. After all, these days you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t use it as a central pillar of their operations.

The bottom line is that email is one of the most-used communication methods for companies today. Using it, you can direct projects, hold discussions, make decisions, and grow a business to new heights!

This is why it’s so important for students to know about email, how it works, and why it requires professional etiquette.

After all, emails are responsible for individuals taking action in a company. They’re the best way to make sure people stay in the loop on different ideas and projects.

With the right email, someone can open themselves up to new opportunities that they never knew were possible. With the wrong email, they could truncate their career and end up looking for another job.

Email is taken seriously in the business world. It’s significantly different from text messaging, instant messaging, note-writing, and chat.

If a student goes into a job with the expectation that they can treat email like a messaging service, they’re starting off on a bad foot. To get them on the best start possible, it’s crucial that today’s educators teach email communication skills.

But that’s easier said than done, right? In fact, all of these communication skills can be tricky to teach. So how do you actually teach communication skills to high schoolers in the best way you can?

How to Teach Workplace Communication Skills

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When it comes to teaching workplace communication skills to high schoolers, you’ll find a lot of variety in terms of approach and methodology.

That’s because what workplace communication actually entails — like many soft skills — isn’t set in stone. Many states in the US have completely different standards when it comes to communication education in general.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great teaching strategies out there.

On the rest of this page, we’ll take an in-depth look into some of the most popular and successful online resources for teaching workplace communication skills in high school. These resources provide excellent guidelines to help you think about how you’ll teach these skills.

How Do I Teach Verbal Communication Skills?

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The Global Digital Citizen Foundation (GDCF) is an organization dedicated to helping modern students learn in the ways that are best for them. When it comes to developing new teaching strategies, they’re always making new strides in terms of experimentation and tracking results.

GDCF has a brief–yet effective–suggestion for how to teach verbal communication to students of any age: have them watch videos that demonstrate conversational skills.

For the videos themselves, you can use clips from popular movies that your high schoolers know, like The Avengers, or even popular YouTubers who work in groups, like The Slo Mo Guys. This may help engage them further by making each lesson focus on characters or people that your students love to watch.

Regardless of what you choose to show, the goal is always the same. You want your students to demonstrate that they’re aware of what conversations look like along with positive communication traits and negative communication traits.

During the videos, you have students take notes that:

  • Summarize/paraphrase the dynamic between the speakers
  • Pull direct quotes from the conversation
  • Mark interesting responses or replies
  • Delve into the vocal tone of each speaker and how it affects the conversation

After the video is over and the students are done taking notes, you can ask them questions about key parts of the conversation: Why did the vocal tone of one speaker change at a certain point? How did the other speaker reply? How did it impact the conversation as a whole?

Asking these kinds of questions helps students engage with verbal communication in a way that’s relatable and fun — especially when compared to learning from a textbook.

How Do I Teach Non-Verbal Communication Skills?

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Non-verbal communication skills are just as important as their verbal counterparts, and it’s essential you use the best resources available to teach them to your high schoolers.

Upbility, an education thought leader on speech therapy, offers several suggestions to help you get started with teaching social cues.

One of the most direct ways they recommend is through simple roleplaying. This is where you create conversational scenarios in which one student says something, another replies, and the rest of the class takes notes on what they observe.

For this roleplay scenario, it’s key that you highlight the subtle areas where social cues add emphasis to a conversation. These areas include:

  • Facial expressions
  • Body language
  • Gesturing
  • Eye contact
  • Personal touch
  • Personal space
  • Physical appearance

Have your students take notes, and after each exercise, you can ask the participants and observers to discuss what happened, why they interpreted a conversation a certain way, and how that interpretation could’ve changed based on non-verbal factors.

As for written communication, your options are surprisingly more limited than when dealing with social cues.

That’s because “writing skills” are an enormous category that includes career readiness, creative thinking, problem solving, and more.

However, there is an excellent resource provided by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which is a branch of the US Department of Education. This thorough guide offered by IES details every step you can take to teach writing skills to teens and adolescents–perfect for high schoolers.

We recommend downloading the guide yourself (it’s free) and following its information as closely as you can. There’s a lot of good information in there!

How Do I Teach Email Communication Skills?

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Email–simply put–is one of the most powerful and convenient tools for modern communication. That’s why it’s essential that high school students learn how to write emails effectively and intelligently before they enter the workforce.

This includes understanding the principles of business writing in general, like common questions and implied tone. It also requires students to practice writing emails of their own — especially emails that they send in response to others.

However, this is all easier said than done, and these concepts include a lot more information than they may seem at first.

But when you approach email communication with an effective teaching strategy–like the Four Phases– you can take that complicated topic and make it understandable for students of any age.

One way to get your high schoolers thinking is to include an activity in which they need to decide if an email is formal or informal. This takes some prep up front, but it’s a great way to mix up your lesson.

Write 5-8 examples of both formal and informal emails and distribute them to your students. Pick students to read each email aloud, and then ask the class if they think it is formal or informal and why they believe so.

Depending how the activity goes, you may be able to start a class debate or discussion about which emails are appropriate for which setting.

Once you’re done with that part of the activity, have each of your students compose both a formal and informal email using school email accounts. This will be a great way to give them hands-on practice with effective email.

Need More Lesson Plans to Help You Teach Communication Skills?

Workplace communication skills are essential for your high schoolers to learn. After all, soon enough they’ll be joining the workforce full time, and if they find they can’t communicate in a professional setting, they could end up falling behind–or worse.

In this article, you’ve learned about the three main methods of workplace communication and strategies you can use to teach them in your high school course. If you use these strategies well, you’ll be providing your kids a solid foundation for effective communication.

However, these activities and strategies are just the beginning when it comes to teaching these skills to your students. If you need even more material to teach your students workplace collaboration and communication, check out the Business Communication module in our catalog.

Within this module, you’ll receive valuable lesson plans, assignments, eLearning material, and engaging exercises that will turn your high schoolers into professional communicators.

By: Chris Zook

Chris Zook is a contributing author to the AES blog. He enjoys everything about online marketing, data science, user experience, and corgis.

Source: How Do I Teach Workplace Communication Skills to My High School Students?

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The WhatsApp Business Model – How Does WhatsApp Make Money?

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What Is WhatsApp & How Does It Work?

WhatsApp is a messaging application that allows users to communicate with each other via text, audio, and video.WhatsApp can be accessed via its tablet and smartphone apps (available on Android and iOS devices) as well as its web application (called WhatsApp Web).

Users can communicate with each other individually (in private chats) or via groups. WhatsApp’s platform is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that only the users in the chat can read the messages. If users feel like sharing their special moments, they can do so via WhatsApp’s Stories feature. These moments are then displayed for 24 hours.

Apart from its consumer application, WhatsApp has also a communication tool for businesses (named WhatsApp Business). Businesses can:

  • Set up business profiles with helpful information for their customers (such as an address, email addresses, or a link to their website)
  • Labeling contacts for better categorization
  • Automated messages and quick replies
  • Broadcasts (similar to a newsletter)

The WhatsApp Business tool is geared toward small businesses. If a business has some greater scale, it can opt into using WhatsApp’s Business API. The API endpoint allows them to integrate it into their existing business software.WhatsApp is used by more than 2 billion people in over 180 countries across the globe. As such, it is the world’s largest communication platform.

The History Of WhatsApp

WhatsApp, headquartered in Mountain View, California, was founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton.Koum was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, during the 1970s. He spent the transformative years of his childhood in Fastiv, a small town just outside of the Ukrainian capital.Being of Jewish descent, Koum and his family often became the subject of anti-Semitic behavior. On top of that, the Soviet government was notorious for spying on its citizen, leaving the family with no room for privacy to express the predicament they felt being in.

In 1992, at the age of 16, Koum and his mother were allowed to immigrate to the United States where they ended up in Mountain View. Unfortunately, his dad was never allowed to enter the states and eventually died in 1997.The mother-son-duo spent their first few years in a small two-bedroom apartment provided via government assistance. To make ends meet, Koum’s mother took up a babysitting job while Jan worked as a grocery store clerk.A few years later, his mom was diagnosed with cancer and they continued to live off her disability allowance.

By that time, Koum was already head deep into computers. He became a self-taught programmer by purchasing manuals from used bookstores and returning them when he was done reading (to save money).In the mid-1990s, he enrolled himself at San Jose State University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. Koum ended up joining Ernst & Young as a security tester post-graduation. In 1997, EY assigned him to work on Yahoo’s advertising system where he ended up meeting Acton.Acton’s path prior to their meeting couldn’t have been more different.

He was born and raised in Michigan where his mother ran a freight-shipping company, allowing them to live a fairly comfortable life.He ended up doing his Computer Science undergrad at Stanford and then joined Apple as a software engineer. In 1996, Acton became Yahoo’s 44th employee where he quickly climbed the corporate ladder.The pair hit it off immediately and Acton convinced Koum to apply for a role at Yahoo. 6 months later, Koum joined the internet giant as an infrastructure engineer.

He even dropped out of college (he was still attending San Jose State at the time) to completely focus on Yahoo.Their relationship deepened in the years that followed. When Koum’s mother died of cancer in 2000, Acton immediately offered his support. He’d frequently invite Koum over to his house, on skiing trips, or to ultimate Frisbee matches.While their bond became stronger throughout the years, their dissatisfaction with working at Yahoo grew alongside it.

The majority of their time at Yahoo was spent on releasing Project Panama, the firm’s long-awaited advertising platform.In the end, having worked on an advertising product for almost a decade, both Acton and Koum felt emotionally drained. Their dislike for advertising products should eventually come back to haunt them (but more on that later).In 2007, a year after the launch of Project Panama, both Acton and Koum handed in their resignation. They embarked on a year-long hiatus, traveling around South America and enjoying games of ultimate Frisbee.

Then, around the beginning of 2009, Koum purchased his first-ever iPhone. He immediately realized that the App Store, which had just launched a few months prior, would spawn a whole new generation of businesses that build on top of Apple’s ecosystem.A mutual friend of Koum introduced him to Igor Solomennikov, a Russia-based iOS developer that would help him build the product’s frontend (while Koum was responsible for the backend portion).

A few weeks later, on February 24th, 2009 (which is also Koum’s birthday), he incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California. WhatsApp, by the way, is short for “what’s up”, a phrase Koum found befitting for a messaging app.Over the next months, Koum spent hours upon hours programming the app. Unfortunately, a plethora of bugs caused it to continuously crash. At one point, he was even ready to call it quits. Acton’s response was fairly blunt: “You’d be an idiot to quit now,” he stated. “Give it a few more months.”Koum’s perseverance eventually paid off when Apple released push notifications in the summer of 2009.

Each time one of the app’s users changed their status, all of their contacts would get a notification.Eventually, people would start messaging each other through the app – from any place around the world. While this may sound dull in today’s hyper-connected world, WhatsApp’s introduction became a huge revelation and, for the first time, indicated the impact smartphones could have on our lives.At the time, the only free texting application was BlackBerry’s BBM, which was solely accessible to users that owned a BlackBerry device.

User growth started to snowball when Koum released an upgraded version of WhatsApp that included a messaging interface (i.e. chats). Over 250,000 users downloaded the app within a matter of days.To keep up with demand, Koum came to see Acton, who at the time was still unemployed and working on another startup idea, to convince him to join the project. When Acton used the app for the first time, he immediately realized the limitless potential that a messaging platform like WhatsApp could have.A few months later, Acton was able to convince 5 of his former colleagues at Yahoo to invest $250,000 in the startup’s first-ever seed funding round.

The funding round furthermore granted him co-founder status and a significant stake in the company.The money allowed them to hire a few more developers that would build WhatsApp products for the Android’s and BlackBerry’s operating system, respectively. Yet, they remained true to their frugal origins.The team would share a warehouse with Evernote (who’d later take over the whole building and essentially kick them out). They would wear blankets to keep them warm and used the cheapest Ikea furniture for work.What became more abstruse was that the team find it necessary to put up an office sign.

Instead, they’d tell job candidates to get to the Evernote building, walk around the back, find the unmarked door, and simply knock.A bigger problem became the startup’s largest cost pool: SMS verifications. SMS brokers like Click-A-Tell would send the messages on WhatsApp’s behalf and charge them anywhere between $0.02 to $1 depending on location.The team would occasionally change the app’s pricing structure from free to paid (equal to $1) to cover its cost. Yet, despite the fact that they charged users, WhatsApp would rise to become a top 20 app in the U.S. App Store by the beginning of 2011.

WhatsApp’s growth was solely based on word of mouth and the quality of the product they delivered. Deeply affected by their experience at Yahoo, the founders promised themselves to never derail the app with ads or other distractions. To that extent, Koum had a note in front of his desk reminding him of the exact same thing.Being on top of the App Store world and building a high-quality product put the team on the radar of a lot of Silicon Valley investors. Yet, they were rejected right from the start. Acton’s fear, at the time, was that VC funding would lead to lesser decision-making power – and investors would force them to insert ads into the application.

One investor proved to be particularly enduring. Jim Goetz, Partner at Sequoia Capital, tried to get in contact with the founders for well over 8 months – without any success. Eventually, his persisting follow-ups led to a meeting at the Red Rock Café, a famous Mountain View workspace known to be home to many startup founders.Goetz ensured the duo that he’d only act as a strategic advisor and not force them to make any business decisions they weren’t comfortable with.

In the end, Sequoia was able to lead WhatsApp’s Series A round, which netted the company $8 million.The founders made sure to use the money to the best of their ability. By 2013, WhatsApp had over 200 million monthly active users and a staff of 50 people. Sequoia would go on to invest another $50 million via WhatsApp’s Series B, which valued the company at $1.5 billion.Ironically enough, when Goetz signed the check, Acton sent him a screenshot of the firm’s account balance, which was equal to $8.2 million. They simply needed the money ”for insurance”, as Acton recalled.

Being a highly capital efficient company with a rapidly expanding user base does eventually put you on the radar. In the spring of 2012, Koum’s email inbox was hit with the following subject line:“Get together?”The recipient was no one other than Mark Zuckerberg asking the WhatsApp founder to have a chat over dinner. Over the next year, the pair got together for many more of these dinners, discussing the chances of a potential acquisition.In mid-June 2013, when WhatsApp just crossed the 300 million user mark, the founders had a scheduled meeting with Google’s Head of Android Sundar Pichai (who now serves as the company’s CEO).

Pichai would even introduce the pair to then Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page. A few days before that meeting was bound to happen, a WhatsApp employee ran into Amin Zoufonoun, Facebook’s Director of Business Development and one of the brains behind the $1 billion Instagram acquisition.He told him that Acton and Koum were supposed to meet Page in the next few days. Zoufonoun immediately went back to the office to speed up the acquisition process in order to avoid a last-minute counteroffer by Google.

Yet, the founders still attended that Google meeting but actually didn’t even receive an offer from Google.About 2 weeks after that meeting, on February 15th, 2014, Zuckerberg and Koum inked the deal. Facebook would pay $19 billion to acquire 100 percent of WhatsApp, paying $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock, and another $3 billion in stock grants if the founders would stay on at Facebook for at least 4 years. The price ended up rising to $22 billion due to the share-based components of the deal.

To make this even more of a Cinderella story, Koum signed the agreement on the doorsteps of his old welfare home in Mountain View.Furthermore, the deal would make Koum and Acton overnight billionaires. Koum would make $6.8 billion after taxes while Acton would pocket $3 billion. Lastly, Sequoia walked away with $3.5 billion, which represented a 60-fold return on the firm’s $58 million investment.Ironically enough, both Acton and Koum applied for roles at Facebook after they left Yahoo but were ultimately rejected. Now, they had not only a seat at the table but access to quasi-infinite resources.

As a result, WhatsApp was able to triple its user base to 1.5 billion within 3 years of the acquisition.On the outside, everything was looking great but the tension between Facebook and WhatsApp executives began to rise soon after.Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, as well as many other Facebook executives started to push WhatsApp’s founding team to ease the end-to-end encryption it became known for.Furthermore, they wanted to include targeted ads within the app, a concept that both Acton and Koum opposed heavily (they even had a clause in their contracts that granted them accelerated payouts if Facebook insisted to include ads).

A few disagreements between the company’s employees also popped up. For instance, Facebook employees issued their dissatisfaction about the fact that WhatApp’s desks, which were brought over from their Mountain View location (WhatsApp moved into Facebook’s headquarters after the acquisition), were larger than the standard desks Facebook employees were equipped with.WhatsApp also negotiated for nicer bathrooms and had conference rooms which permitted Facebook employees from entering.

WhatsApp, on the other end, wasn’t without fault either. When the founders were tasked with replicating Snapchat’s Story feature into WhatsApp, Acton and Koum used that assignment as an excuse to delay exploring other revenue-generating avenues.Eventually, the mounting tension between the 2 camps became irreparable. On September 17th, 2017, Acton announced he would leave WhatsApp. Koum’s departure came just 7 months after (in April 2018). Due to their premature exit, Acton and Koum gave up $900 million and $400 million in stock compensation, respectively.

To make matters worse, Acton publicly denounced Facebook, criticizing the company on how it handled its user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He even pushed people to stop using Facebook by publicly supporting the #DeleteFacebook movement.Facebook, that same year, was even slapped with a $122 million fine by the European Union due to providing “incorrect or misleading information” in regards to the acquisition.While all these incidents painted a gloomy picture of how miserable life as a Facebook-owned property can be, it did not seem to affect WhatsApp’s usage growth at all.

Particularly India, with its 1.37 billion inhabitants, became one of the major growth markets.WhatsApp’s popularity among Indians allowed many businesses to flourish by offering products and services to millions of smartphone users via the app’s Business tools. Unfortunately though, just like its mother company, WhatsApp became a breeding ground for spreading fake news.In 2017, 17 men were killed after false rumors of their attempts to kidnap kids from a village spread on the app.

WhatsApp introduced various measures, such as limits on message forwarding and full-page newspaper ads warning about these rumors, to combat the spread of fake news on its platform.In some instances, WhatsApp (albeit unintentionally) even caused political leaders to be ousted. In October 2019, Lebanon’s Prime Minster Saad Hariri, amidst intense public pressure, was forced to resign from his position after proposing a 20 percent tax on the first WhatsApp call users made in a day.And the bad news did not end there. In January 2021, WhatsApp announced that it would roll out a new privacy policy which forced users to share data with its parent company Facebook.

While it turned out to be a misunderstanding (Facebook already gathers WhatsApp data in an encrypted way, so user information remains private), the damage was already done.Many of its users flocked to other messaging platforms, such as Signal (as promoted in a tweet by Elon Musk), Telegram, or Viber. Initially, the company said it would remove users who wouldn’t accept the new terms. However, the company reversed its course days before the supposed go-live on May 15th, 2021.In fact, the company has now doubled down on privacy-related changes and other features that often mimic those of Telegram and such.

For instance, in June, the platform introduced multi-device support, which allows users to message on various devices at the same time. Other features include encrypted video chats as well as disappearing photos and videos (August 2021).Unfortunately, not everyone seemed to believe in WhatsApp’s noble intentions. In September 2021, Irish authorities imposed a €225 million (~$267 million) fine on WhatsApp for failing to tell some users how much data was shared with Facebook.

The fine was the second highest ever issued under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was first introduced back in May 2018.Today, WhatsApp is widely considered to be the world’s largest communication platform. Over 100 billion messages are now being exchanged on the platform – every day. WhatsApp currently employs well over 1,000 people in 6 office locations across 4 countries.

How Does WhatsApp Make Money?

WhatsApp makes money by charging medium and large enterprises for access to its Business API. But before we go into more detail, let’s take a closer look at the firm’s previous monetization efforts.As earlier stated, WhatsApp used to monetize its customers via a subscription model. Users paid $1 per year to be able to use the app. That would be equal to a $2 billion revenue run rate given WhatsApp’s 2 billion user base.In 2016, 2 years after the acquisition, Facebook decided to ditch the $1 fee.

The underlying strategy was to continue focusing on user growth and help WhatsApp become the ubiquitous leader in the messaging space.That also meant ditching any plans to insert ads into the product. Whilst Facebook’s Messenger product does offer in-app advertising, its executives have decided to work with businesses to monetize WhatsApp.In 2018, WhatsApp launched its Business API, which became the first continuous effort to monetize the app post-acquisition.

The B2B tool is free to use for small companies. Meanwhile, larger organizations have to pay whenever they send a reply 24 hours after the initial message was sent. Everything beyond the 24-hour threshold will cost anywhere between $0.05 to $0.90 per replied message.Furthermore, WhatsApp partners up with other companies, such as the cloud communication platform Twilio, to deliver its API.

Future Monetization Channels

In recent times, multiple reports have emerged about new revenue streams that WhatsApp may pursue.WhatsApp has been working on a payment product since 2018. In June 2020, it finally launched a payment service in Brazil that allowed users to pay each other (mirroring Venmo and Zelle) as well as other businesses on the platform.Unfortunately, around 10 days later, Brazil’s central bank suspended the launch, stating that it wanted to “preserve an adequate competitive environment” within its mobile payments industry.

Mastercard and Visa, WhatsApp’s payment partners, were asked to suspend any money transfer within the app.While the failed launch was a tough pill to swallow, it hasn’t stopped the company from pursuing the payment concept.In November 2020, it enabled P2P payments in India, the firm’s largest market by user count. Business payments, in which WhatsApp would receive a portion of the order value, are expected to follow in the next few months. Also, in May 2021, Brazil lifted its payment ban, adding another country to the mix.

For the longest time it had been speculated that Facebook might finally decide to put ads on WhatsApp. Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, has indicated a more native approach.Instead of advertisements pointing towards a website (like on Messenger), ads would be directed at existing WhatsApp Business accounts that sell products and services a user might need.Another possibility might be ads within WhatsApp’s Story feature. These ads would, in all likeliness, show up in between stories. Businesses would then pay WhatsApp a fee in exchange for being shown on these advertorial placements.

Lastly, it has also been speculated that WhatsApp is set to introduce business directories as well as cashback rewards. With the directory, businesses would pay WhatsApp a fee for being listed or promoted on it while cashback rewards would grant the company a portion of the purchasing price (known as a referral fee).However, due to the firm’s troubled past, it remains very timid with the monetization features it introduces.

WhatsApp Funding, Valuation & Revenue

According to Crunchbase, WhatsApp has raised a total of $60.3 million across 3 rounds of venture capital funding. The company’s only investor throughout its startup time was Sequoia Capital, with partner Jim Goetz leading negotiations.The last time WhatsApp valuation was publicly disclosed occurred during its acquisition by Facebook. The tech giant paid a whopping $19 billion to acquire a 100 percent stake in the company.Facebook has furthermore decided to not disclose any revenue it generates from WhatsApp. Instead, any revenue figures are included in the firm’s overall income figures.

By: Victor

Hi folks, my name is Viktor. A twenty-something year old who all the sudden found himself in the world of blogging.The information you can find on this website is a reflection of my lifelong experiences working in technical account management, consulting, and data analytics. My work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, Seeking Alpha, Coindesk, BuzzFeed, and hundreds more……

Source: The WhatsApp Business Model – How Does WhatsApp Make Money?

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The Art of Deep Listening To Resolve Conflict

A lack of effective listening between colleagues is one of the main causes of workplace conflicts, a problem that has been on the increase during the pandemic.

Before we have even stepped into the room, we are likely to have our own agenda which disrupts our ability to truly listen and resolve issues. But what can be done about it to improve communication and resolve conflict, and why does it matter?

Poor listening and communication are at the root of many relationship breakdowns, conflicts and disputes and lead to talent loss, poor productivity, low morale, missing deadlines, failure to complete on projects, loss of sales and a breakdown in trust and relationships.

In business truly listening to employees, colleagues and stakeholders means seriously entertaining their ideas, thoughts and feelings, whilst simultaneously putting your own ideas and instinctive responses on hold.

Why The Pandemic Made Listening Harder

Being asked to work from home and attend frequent online meetings has meant that we have less access to verbal and non-verbal cues, body language, lipreading and facial emotional reading. Turn-taking is difficult in these sorts of meetings.

If listening and speaking are harder, then people have less opportunity to express themselves. In addition, we may be distracted by other things going on at home and our mood and mental health may have been suffering. A lost ability to socialize at work means that meetings are often now solely functional. Furthermore, whilst wearing them may be required, masks have increased communication and listening problems too.

Why Listening Matters

When we communicate, we are subconsciously conducting a test for trust and respect. The test is continuous, it happens from moment-to-moment and is based on what people see, hear or feel. What they want to know more than anything else is ‘Do I matter?’ and ‘Am I heard?’

We also pay most attention to the things that directly concern us or are relevant to our own situation, our own needs, interests, fears and concerns, which means we can often listen from our own point of view rather than the speakers.

The message that a person or organization intends to give is frequently not the message that the other receives. Even when we feel we are expressing ourselves with great clarity, if either or both sides don’t truly listen to what is being said or don’t share the same meaning in the message there will be failures in communication. Not feeling heard can affect work relationships which can result in deep resentment, frustration and conflict.

Tips of how to use deep listening to resolve conflict.

  1. Understand that every conflict has two components: emotional and rational. When a person experiences high emotion in response to a situation or an exchange with another person, the rational, thinking part of the brain will not come into play until they have dealt with the emotional hijacking of the brain. It is physically impossible for someone to switch to logical thinking when their amygdala has created an emotional fight or flight response.
  • Acknowledge a person’s emotional state with an empathetic response. In instances where an emotional response is taking place, the first step to resolving the situation involves expressing empathy. You do this by saying something like ‘It sounds like you are feeling very frustrated’, or ‘I can see that you are upset by this’.
  • Be curious about what it is that is bothering them. If you are aware of and respectful of the other person’s needs, interests, fears and concerns then that is a great opening for good communication. Equally understand that the surface level of conflict is usually just that and there may be deeper issues involved; you may be missing subtle cues or underlying messages. Try not to interrupt or jump to conclusions.
  • Stand in the other person’s shoes. Even if only for a brief moment in time, try to see the world as the other person sees it, rather than how you see it. If you can do this then the person that you are communicating with will begin to have trust in you.
  • Show you are listening. Make eye contact, be present, don’t multi-task at the same time, turn your phone and the tv off, and pay attention to what the other person is saying rather thinking about your own response. Speaking to someone who gives the impression that they are not listening will only escalate the situation further.
  • Reflect back. Unless we take the important step of reflecting back to the speaker what we thought we heard and checking that our interpretation is correct, then we have no real way of knowing that we have understood accurately. Don’t tell them what they are feeling but summarise the important bits by using phrases like ‘I think you are saying’…’ and ‘If I heard you correctly…’
  • You don’t need to have all the answers.  Sometimes people just want to offload or vent and they don’t want fixing.  It is ok to not always know what to say. The important thing is to be present and there for them and to have created a safe space for them to tell you how they are feeling.
  • Tell them your reaction if relevant. Give the speaker some information about your response to their message. Don’t attack on what has been said but add some value to the conversation, describing your reaction rather than criticising the speaker.

By: Jane Gunn , Renowned Mediator and Conflict Specialist, http://www.janegunn.co.uk

Source: The art of deep listening to resolve conflict – HR News

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Progress On A Technical Solution For Aviation Safety And 5G In Time For Christmas

The plan was for Verizon and AT&T to rollout 5G in the C-band on December 5, in time for the holiday broadband binging period. But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a cryptic advisory on November 2 saying that while there was no evidence of interference, pilots should start watching their altimeters for odd readings.

While these same pilots fly into more than 40 countries with some 175 5G networks deployed and report no problems with 5G, the FAA effectively deemed 5G as a threat to aviation safety. Mobile operators paused their rollout for 30 days and sought to reconcile the issue.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) undertook a two-year process of technical evaluation to develop the rules for the C-band, working closely with stakeholders from mobile, satellite, aviation, safety, federal regulatory, and other domains.

In addition to regulations on power levels, interference, and other requirements, the FCC required a 200 MHz guard band between proposed 5G operations at 3.7-3.98 MHz guard band to shield transmissions from altimeters which operate at 4-0-4.2 MHz, twice what aviation industry requested (and which exacts an enormous social cost of lost funds which could otherwise go to the Treasury).

Moreover, the FCC defined a phased rollout, first at 3.7 MHz to allow additional testing and only then at 3.8 MHz, effectively a 400 MHz guard band for the rollout. As such, it was entirely defendable in March 2020 that the FCC declared that there was no safety risk for altimeters from 5G operations.

The FAA knew about 5G for years but avoided making altimeter safety requirements for fear of upsetting its captive aviation trade associations which wanted to avoid the burden and cost of new equipment. Had there been international technical standards for altimeters, this problem would have never occurred, though it takes time, commitment and resources to professionalize.

It appeared that the FAA pressure was a means to shakedown mobile operators in the hopes for a payout to upgrade obsolete altimeters sitting in aging planes and helicopters.

Mobile operators drive the solution

Before Thanksgiving, AT&T and Verizon announced extensive voluntary, precautionary mitigation measures to assuage the FAA’s concerns in the and a commitment to launch January 5, 2022. The FAA said, “This is an important and encouraging step…

The FAA believes that aviation and 5G C-band wireless service can safely co-exist.”  The operators proposed a series of mitigations for 6 months which go above beyond what any nation requires of its 5G providers and amounts to the world’s most protective environment for altimeters in developed countries. The mitigation includes

1.      Creation of a nationwide skyward power limit to restrict the amount of energy directed toward aircraft in flight

2.      Additional power restrictions around airport runways, taxiways, and gates that will limit energy directed towards altimeters during take-off, landing, and on the ground operation.

3.      Additional power restrictions at helipads to limit 5G emissions during near helicopter landings and other maneuvers.

Thus the mobile industry will drive additional real-world data to optimize transmissions and coexistence. Such a study should have been forthcoming from the FAA and the aviation industry, but not only did they submit bogus test results to the FCC, they refused to make the data public for scientific review.

Some Christmas spirit and cooperation

On December 22, CTIA – the wireless industry association, the Aerospace Industries Association, and Airlines for America announced an “ongoing collaboration to find a data-driven solution and deploy 5G while preserving aviation safety. The best technical experts from across both industries will be working collectively to identify a path forward, in coordination with the FAA and FCC.”

Congress and President Biden just concluded the bipartisan infrastructure bill with a $65 billion push for broadband. A White House fact sheet asserts, “Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs and increasingly important for small business owners all across America.”  Indeed, national security leaders including 4-start generals urged the White House to resolve the issue, lest the US fall of behind China in 5G network rollout and service development.

Mobile operators, which spent some $70 billion to buy spectrum and plan billions more to build networks, should be able to exercise their license rights. Companies make these investments on the premise of a stable regulatory environment. When it became clear that aviation interests would not move, mobile operators proposed a solution.

Yesterday’s announcement is a promising step forward toward a final resolution that the aviation industry will accept. Investors should have the confidence that mobile operators will protect their assets from regulatory abuse.

Like the Grinch that stole the Christmas tree, the aviation parties and FAA stole Americans’ Christmas present of 5G in the C-band. Let’s hope that the parties can find the Christmas spirit and cooperate for the benefit of all Americans whose need for broadband is heightened during the pandemic.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I analyze international technology policy through business economics. EVP, Strand Consult; Co-Founder, ChinaTechThreat; Visiting Researcher, Department of Electronic Systems,

Source: Progress On A Technical Solution For Aviation Safety And 5G In Time For Christmas

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The Role Of Technology In The Evolution Of Communication

For as long as humans have been on this planet, we’ve invented forms of communication—from smoke signals and messenger pigeons to the telephone and email—that have constantly evolved how we interact with each other.

One of the biggest developments in communication came in 1831 when the electric telegraph was invented. While post existed as a form of communication before this date, it was electrical engineering in the 19th century which had a revolutionary impact.

Now, digital methods have superseded almost all other forms of communication, especially in business. I can’t remember the last time I hand wrote a letter, rather than an email at work, even my signature is digital these days. Picking up the phone is a rare occurrence too—instead, I FaceTime, Zoom, or join a Google Hangout.

When I look back at how communication has advanced over the years, it really is quite incredible…

The Telephone 

In 1849, the telephone was invented and within 50 years it was an essential item for homes and offices, but tethering impacted the flexibility and privacy of the device. Then, came the mobile phone. In 1973, Motorola created a mobile phone which kick-started a chain of developments that transformed communication forever.

Early smartphones were primarily aimed towards the enterprise market, bridging the gap between telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), but they were bulky and had short battery lives. By 1996, Nokia was releasing phones with QWERTY keyboards and by 2010, the majority of Android phones were touchscreen-only.

In 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone to the world and Apple paved the way for the aesthetics of modern smartphones. Before the iPhone, “flip phones”, and phones with a split keyboard and screen were the norm. A year later, a central application store with an initial 500 downloadable ‘apps’ was launched. Currently, there are over two million apps available in the Apple App Store.

The Internet 

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on communication, including the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, discussion forums, blogs, and social networking.

The internet has made communication easier and faster, it’s allowed us to stay in contact with people regardless of time and location. It’s accelerated the pace of business and widened the possibilities within the enterprise space. It’s allowed people to find their voice and express themselves through social media, YouTube and memes. The internet has connected and divided us like nothing before.

Email

As a byproduct of the World Wide Web, email was introduced to the world in 1991 (although it had been operating years before) and it has vastly changed our lives—whether for better or worse depends on your viewpoint. The first users of the messaging platform were educational systems and the military who used email to exchange information. In 2018, there were more than 3.8 billion email users—that’s more than half the planet. By 2022, it’s expected that we will be sending 333 billion personal and business emails each day. 

While email is invaluable and we can’t imagine a world without it, there are tools that are springing up that are giving email a run for its money. Take Slack (an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge”) for example, the company which launched in 2014 has often been described as an email killer. However, while Slack has become the most popular chat and productivity tool in the world used by 10 million people every day, email is still going strong. In recognition of this, Slack’s upgrades have ensured that people who still rely heavily on email are not excluded from collaboratory work.

Wearable Technology 

The first instance of wearable technology was a handsfree mobile headset launched in 1999, which became a piece of tech synonymous with city workers. It gave businesspeople the ability to answer calls on the go, most importantly, while driving.

Ten years ago, the idea that you could make a video call from an item other than a phone would have been a sci-fi dream. Now, with smartwatches, audio sunglasses, and other emerging wearable technology, these capabilities are a part of our daily lives.

Virtual Reality (VR) 

The next generation of VR has only been around since 2016, but it’s already shaking up communications. The beauty of VR—presence—means you can connect to someone in the same space at the same time, without the time sink and cost of travel, even if participants are on different continents.

VR also helps to facilitate better communication. In a typical discussion, a lot of information is non-verbal communication which can be transcribed in VR. Voice tone, hesitations, head and hand movements greatly improve the understanding of the participants’ emotions and intents. Plus in VR, all distractions are removed and people can be fully focused on what is happening around them. In fact, MeetinVR claims that there is a 25% increase in attention span when meeting in virtual reality compared to video conferencing. 

In addition, research suggests we retain more information and can better apply what we have learned after participating in virtual reality. 3D is a natural communication language overcoming linguistic barriers as well as technical jargon.

5G

5G, the 5th generation of mobile network, promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage, and more stable connections. These benefits will bring about significant improvements in communication. Instantaneous communication will be possible and those patchy frustrating video calls will be a thing of the past.

The average 4G transmission speed currently available for our smartphones is around the 21 Mbps mark. 5G will be 100 to 1000 times faster. The Consumer Technology Association notes that at this speed, you could download a two-hour movie in just 3.6 seconds, versus 6 minutes on 4G or 26 hours on 3G. The impact of 5G will go far beyond our smartphones as it will allow millions of devices to be connected simultaneously.

Looking ahead, there is already buzz about 6G. Although it’s still in basic research and around 15-20 years away, it’s interesting from an innovation point of view. 6G will form the framework of the connected utopia we aspire towards, and with it will come untold improvements in the speed and consistency of our communication.

Follow me on LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am the CEO and Founder of REWIND, an Emmy nominated immersive content studio that fuses bleeding-edge technology with award-winning creative storytelling.

Source: The Role Of Technology In The Evolution Of Communication

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