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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Pete Sampras realized early in his tennis career that his opponent wasn’t beating him. Sampras was beating himself. It wasn’t just that he’d played badly, Sampras says now. “I also played without heart, which is a greater sin.” Later in his career, Sampras saw reality with rare objectivity. He lists five truisms as mostly fair and all realistic, starting with "You're only as good as your last win..."

Instead of worrying about what di­­rec­­tion your life will take in one year or five years, keep your focus on three things—today. Ask yourself:

A growing body of research confirms what you may have suspected: Looks matter, especially when it comes to making a first impression on others. Surprisingly, though, it’s also the way people draw conclusions about our ability to do a job.

Grandmas are known for their nuggets of advice about bundling up in winter or baking a fruit cobbler. As it turns out, they know a thing or two about navigating the workplace, too. Pearls of wisdom from grandma:

Thanks to our increasingly online (and visible) lives, it’s more im­­por­­tant than ever to know how to apologize well. When you wrong some­­­­­one—a colleague or a customer—apologize by doing three things:

Executive coach Joel Garfinkle quotes Peter Drucker as noting that past ­leaders knew how to tell, while future leaders would know how to ask. Here’s how Garfinkle advises asking others for feedback on your performance:

An admin reader recently wrote, “My goodness, will you please do a piece that tells people the difference between ‘intra’ and ‘inter’? While you’re at it, ‘effect’ vs. ‘affect’ wouldn’t hurt, either.”
Affirm your credibility in a meeting with these five tactics:

In business writing, you don’t receive extra credit for slathering your sentences with fancy phrases, the way you did in college. Do that in a memo or e-mail, and you can expect eyes to glaze over. Here are five "less is more" tips for writing more effectively at work.

Knowledge still confers power. Five things you can do to maximize it: 1. Follow up immediately. 2. Let yourself learn. 3. Focus. Now. 4. Explain what you learned. 5. Ask.

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