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.

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You’ve probably heard of “Occam’s Razor,” the maxim that says you should heed the simplest answer to a difficult question. But who is or was Occam and why should you care?
Ping Fu’s first 23 years were marked by imprisonment and torture in China, first as a child and later for dutifully researching, as assigned, the country’s epidemic of infanticide. Locked for days alone in utter darkness, she hoped her execution would be quick. Instead, officials exiled her to America.
When he spoke at the opening of his 1964 trial, Nelson Mandela never denied that he planned sabotage against the white South African government. In fact, he painstakingly explained his rationale for violence, having concluded that peaceful means to gaining civil rights for blacks were not working.
Germany’s new chancellor, Angela Merkel, already is showing skill as a conciliator in piecing together her coalition government from an array of bitter rivals. A big part of that skill rests on her mastery of communication: Merkel doesn’t seek attention, but when she’s got it, she speaks the bitter truth—die bittere Wahrheit, in German—without being abrasive.
One of the most common blunders leaders make is ignoring the obvious. Three ways to avoid that fate:
You’ll know you’ve made it as a leader when your enemies sit up and take notice. In the case of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, his enemies’ kinder labels for him include “New York’s other liberal senator” and “perhaps the key Democrat” on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which played a major role in vetting President Bush’s two recent successful Supreme Court nominations.
When John H. Slade died, one obituary made a telling error in saying that he had worked at Bear Stearns for “seven centuries.” Actually, it was only seven decades.
One of the greatest orators of the 20th century focused on his audience’s viewpoint, used rat-a-tat repetition, then switched tone to add power to his speeches. In March 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a church full of striking black sanitation workers in Memphis after police had attacked them with truncheons and mace. Study these examples for some basic training on improving your delivery:
It's natural for us as team leaders to sometimes feel limited by the necessity of serving our man­agers. But that service actually provides many opportunities for us to increase our effectiveness in our own departments. The trick is knowing how to follow your manager in a way that builds opportunities for your people.
Your boss, Mike, has been unhappy about the performance of one of your fellow managers, Edwina. She's been doing a decent, dependable job for a long time—certainly longer than Mike, who has been with your enterprise for less than a year. But Edwina has been resisting almost all the changes Mike has tried to introduce ...