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.

Problem: Reader Judy Woodliff asked us whether "elders retreat" should carry an apostrophe after the "s" in "elders" to make it possessive.

You probably won't find it in your job description, but one good way to do your own job better is to help your boss do hers better, too.
Team leaders need to help their people be on their best workplace behavior. How are your team's on-the-job manners? Test yourself with this quiz:
Early in a job interview, you ask for much more money than the other side could possibly offer. In your first meeting with a new vendor, you make a low-ball bid that’s sure to be shot down.
Unless you push ahead, the forces of inertia will bog you down, and one of the most powerful forces of inertia is objections.
Think you’re a pretty big wheel, eh? Forget it, you piker! You’ll never be a leader on the order of that liver-spotted captain of industry, Mr. Burns.
Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who has sung everywhere from Yankee Stadium to Ronald Reagan’s funeral, is a fighter. When his legs were amputated below the knees after a motorcycle accident, Tynan trained hard enough to win Paralympics gold medals. Then, he earned a medical degree. At age 33, he decided to start a singing career.
The leader who’s suddenly underemployed—through downsizing, demotion or simply a lucky exit from a very bad job—should heed the reminder that Martha Stewart heard before she packed off to prison: You’re no longer the boss.
Even those who wind up on the leading edge may not start out perfectly.
Looking for a better-paying job? We’d advise gauging your actual marketability first in the great, wide world by snagging a job offer, then taking it back to your boss. But you can do it the other way, too, if you just want to be paid the full market rate at a current job that you love.