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 faced with a chance to meet someone who could change your future, don’t be afraid to show some chutzpah. That's what Alison Pincus, founder of the online business One Kings Lane, did when she saw Martha Stewart at an antiques show.

A survey of 800 business travelers found five kinds of characters: 1. The veteran. 2. The road weary. 3. The wide-eyed and anxious. 4. The passionate. 5. The newbie.

A passenger who checked in for an Air Canada flight was handed a first-class boarding pass even though he was an infrequent flier on a cheap ticket. Why? “Our station manager noticed how well-dressed you are and told me to up­­grade you,” the gate agent told him.
1. Include your phone number and mailing address in your signature. 2. Provide “if-then” options. 3. Always start with a greeting. 4. Check Snopes.com before you waste time forwarding a chain letter.

What sort of motto or guideline helps you work ethically every day? Admins work in a reactive frame of mind most of the day, says Nan DeMars, author of You Want Me to Do What? “Basically, we have to react accord­ing to our instincts and trust our internal gyroscope.” DeMars recommends using this fast compass:

We certainly hope you’re not feeling forced to job hunt. But if you are, these social-networking tools can help:
The current job climate is driving many people to go back to school, with the number of 50- to 64-year-old students climbing fast. Even people with jobs are taking classes. Should you? Some great advice from SmartMoney magazine:

True or false: Networking is a task, like building your house. Accumulate the materials, do the necessary hammering, and bingo, you’ve got your house. “False,” say authors Bob Allard and Richard Banfield, who assert that networking greatness comes from giving, not accumulating.

Next time you’re preparing for a moment in the spotlight, rehearse in front of a video camera. Then view the video, staying as objective as possible. “People will judge you by your appearance and your body language. And they’ll do it quickly,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, executive coach and author of The Nonverbal Advantage.

Never before have decision-­makers looked more closely at their return on investment, but I believe the greatest return you will ever receive is from the investment you make in yourself. Here’s why:
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