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.

The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:

List-makers know: The act of compiling to-do’s can help organize your mind. Two ways to use a task list: as a stress reliever and as a calendar.

Too often, people express themselves negatively without even realizing it. If your writing contains a lot of “no’s” and “not’s,” it’s a signal of negative writing. Using positive, self-assured, optimistic language is a better way to promote your ideas. Here are examples of negative sentences turned positive:

Good note taking is essential, whether in a meeting, a training session or a seminar. The mental concentration will keep you focused, and the very act of writing will help you remember what the group decides. Here’s how to do it better:

Question: “I work for a manager who thinks I can read her mind. She rushes up to my desk and says something like, 'Did he come pick it up?' Because I have no idea what she’s talking about, I ask what she means. Then she looks at me like I’m an idiot for not understanding. This happens all the time, and I’m starting to get really irritated. How do I deal with her weird communication pattern?”

Good communication skills are more valuable than knowing PowerPoint inside and out, according to a new survey, in which 67% of human resources managers said they would hire someone with strong soft skills even if their technical abilities were lacking. The way HR managers see it, technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

Q. The Gregg Reference Manual says to use a comma to set off abbreviations that follow a person’s name, such as “Jane Doe, CPS.” I recently proofed a newsletter where some names did not have the comma. A: An argument could be made for doing it either way.

So much to read, so little time. Could speed-reading boost your productivity? Two programs promise to improve your reading speed: EyeQ and The Reader’s Edge.

The true superheroes at work are those who work reasonable hours and manage their workloads like pros; get away from the office to recharge, then come back energized and creative; and don’t make careless mistakes because they’re tired and overworked. The first step to managing your workload is handling the interruptions that derail your day. Here’s how:

In an interview with The Record (3/13/08, p. 20), rabbi and author Shmuley Boteach warned readers that there’s much more to life than the pursuit of professional success — something that many entrepreneurs are obsessed with.