Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

A co-worker, Pam, argues with practically anything you say, she doesn’t hear what you’re trying to say, and she even lashes out sometimes. Working with a chronically defensive person is difficult, but there’s a secret to having better conversations:

Q. I read the article last month (“Follow 5 steps to make sure GINA doesn’t trip you up”) regarding the recent passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. What should we do to make sure that we are not violating this law?

“What is the correct form of address for a husband and wife who are both medical physicians?” — Becky Kizer

By now you’ve heard the expression the one thing we can count on is change. A cliché, but true. Why is it so hard for many of us to make long-lasting, behavioral changes even when we want to? Here’s why:

When should you use fewer or less? If you can count or list the items, such as “skills,” use fewer. If you’re describing something that’s a broad concept, such as “skill,” or if you’re referring to something that can’t be counted, use less.

Question: “Because of some recent accomplishments, I received a letter of recognition from the vice president of sales in our corporate office. The recognition was extremely motivating, but my name was spelled wrong on the letter. When I brought this to my immediate supervisor's attention, she said she would forward the letter to the VP and have it corrected.  That was a month ago, and I’ve heard nothing further about it. This letter would be very helpful in future job interviews, but not if it has the wrong name. Do you think I should bypass my manager, go straight to the VP and tell her she messed up and to fix it?” — Insulted

“When your energy level is low, everything feels like a chore,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, “even things that would ordinarily make you happy.” Exercise and a good night’s sleep can boost energy, of course. But what if you need more energy right now? Try one of these strategies:

There’s good reason why 40% of executives describe themselves as introverts. From discount broker Charles Schwab to Avon chief executive Andrea Jung, “innies” possess these five traits of quiet leadership:

Q. I heard that Facebook use is really picking up, but I don’t think most of our employees are that tech-savvy. Should I be concerned about my employees accessing social networking sites while at work?

Put yourself on the same page as your boss, literally, by reading what he’s reading. Some of the best books on executives’ nightstands: Superfreakonomics, Outliers, Built to Last, The Upside of the Downturn, Viral Loop and Too Big to Fail.