1-Minute Strategies: July ’11

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in Admins,Office Management

Tidy up your text by counting the number of words you use per sentence, and compute the average. If it’s between 15 and 20 words per sentence, you pass, says communications pro David Silverman. But if you’re routinely writing long, convoluted sentences, you’re forcing readers to fight to figure out your point.

Never offer praise and ask for a favor in the same conversation. It makes the praise seem like a setup.

Looking for ways to fill your time at work? Always frame your request positively, saying you love new challenges, says Stacy L. Ethun, president of an executive search firm. Even better: Find the person who has the job you’d like next, or who uses skills you’d like to learn, and offer to give that person a hand.

“Use head tilts when you want to demonstrate your concern for and interest in members of your team, or when you want to encourage people to expand on what they are saying,” writes executive coach Carol Kinsey Goman in The Washington Post. “But when you need to project power and authority, you should keep your head straight up in a more neutral position.”

Boost productivity by learning to skim. If you skim rather than read every word, you can quickly figure out what needs your attention and what can be ignored.

Feel like you’ve hit a career plateau? Sign up on the LISTSERV of an organization you’re interested in. When you hear of an upcoming conference, volunteer to work at the event, so you can re-energize by meeting new people.

Beware of the overshare, says Alexandra Levit on her blog “Water Cooler Wisdom.” If your medical condition or lifestyle choice truly doesn’t impact your job, then people at work shouldn’t need to know about it. If you must share, “keep your circle of informants small and limited to people you really trust,” she says.

Watch out when a person asks for your “honest opinion.” This is often a clue that they’re seeking reassurance, not candor.

Find exactly the online photo you want, without knowing exactly how to search for it, using a new feature by Google. It works like this: Search vaguely for an image you want, then click “Sort by subject” in the left menu. Google sorts the images by category, making it easier for you to pinpoint your picture.

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