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.

Question: “After making a career change, I am six weeks into a new job at a large health care company. I hope to be promoted to a specific position in the next three years. In trying to get ahead, I understand the importance of all the basic stuff, like good attendance, proper dress, meeting deadlines and so forth. But can you suggest any other smart moves for career-minded new employees?”

The California Department of Parks and Recreation recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought in August of 2008 by a park ranger who argued that she was harassed and experienced gender and sexual-orientation discrimination during the six years she worked at San Onofre and San Clemente State Beaches.

In picking Min Cho as one of its top female business leaders for last year, the Washington Business Journal noted that she has exploited two valuable assets to re-engineer Nova Datacom, an IT security company: her knowledge and her connections.

Hold more-focused meetings... Keep emoticons out of business communication ... Find salary information for administrative positions in your area ... Save money on printing ... Avoid this grammar trap ... Receive the credit you deserve ...

What can you do about the younger boss who ignores your experience? That was the question an admin reader posted recently on our Admin Pro Forum. She writes, “Most of our managers are younger and think they know everything. They tend to listen to the younger, fresh-out-of-college administrators.”  Readers weighed in with their advice:

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.