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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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When dashing off your next memo, report or e-mail, cut right to the core points. HR directors from half of the 120 major American corporations polled in a recent study said they consider writing ability when making promotions. "You can't move up without writing skills," one HR director said.

When a jaw-droppingly rude email arrives in your inbox, here's how to react: 1.  Draft the email you wish you could send. 2.  Start with, “Thank you.” 3.  Volunteer to get on the phone. 4.  Call her out.
What does your boss really want? Simple answers. Get in the habit of boiling down information for your boss by beginning with the phrase, “Here’s what’s important ...” or “The bottom line is ...” The boss will appreciate a simple answer.

Parents are known for delivering classic career advice such as “Do what you love” and “Dress on the same level as your boss.” But what advice has served you best in your career? A few of our readers recently shared the career wisdom they carry with them:

Say one of your employees stops by your office with a troubled look on her face. She has a complaint, but wants to speak with you “off the record.” Can you comply with her request for confidentiality? Should you? It all depends on the content and context of the complaint.

Nearly six in 10 Americans (56%) say they have lost their temper due to poor service. Unfortunately, rudeness runs rampant in today’s society, which means it’s even more appreciated by others when you show courtesy, patience and problem-solving ability.

You’re giving a presentation to a group of fellow admins, and it’s going as smooth as butter. Now, fast forward to the next week. Once again, you’ve been asked to share your knowledge with a group. Only this time, you’re nervous. You’re convinced that you don’t have the ability to do it. Why?

Next time you feel cornered, remember this: In bullfighting, there’s a place in the ring where the bull feels safe. It's called the querencia. For people, the querencia is a place or point of departure in our inner lives.
Employers operate in an increasingly complex legal environment, made all the more difficult by the tough economy. Hiring has emerged as a particular trouble spot. Here are the key liability hot spots you must watch out for in the hiring process:
You can’t always get what you want, but you might get the one thing you deeply desire—if you know how to visualize it. Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of Leadership IQ and author of Hard Goals, tells us that visualizations are an important motivator when you’re working toward a goal.
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