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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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Dunder-mifflin Well, after many years in the job, Michael Scott has left the office at Dunder Mifflin to pursue other dreams. It remains to be seen how things are going to go for the team with the new boss.

You may or may not be surprised how often I hear in my coaching work about senior level bosses who are basically clueless. The cluelessness can show up in different ways – time sucking, pointless requests that come out of left field; no clear direction; much more emphasis on bluster and style than on the substance of getting things done. The list could go on and on. (Feel free to add your own observations on what makes for a clueless boss in the comments.)

As I wrote hear a few months ago, leaders can change the weather. If you’ve got a boss who is foggy and cloudy in their approach, it’s pretty easy for everyone on their team to show up foggy and cloudy. Obviously, that’s a pretty dangerous career situation for everyone in that boss’s organization. How do you help yourself and your team survive when you find yourself in a clueless boss induced fog bank?

Here are five things some of my savvy leadership coaching clients have done to survive a clueless boss:

You know the saying: One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. If you’re a manager, you may occasionally encounter a bad apple. So what does a leader do to stop “problem” employees from spreading their negative influence?

Employees will undoubtedly leave their termination meeting in a foul mood. So, don't give them any reason during that meeting to send them marching to a lawyer's office. As you'll see in the case below, one inflammatory phrase from a supervisor can spark a lawsuit...
For nearly a decade, Tony Schwartz has be­gun his workdays by focusing for 90 minutes, uninterrupted, on the task he deemed most important the night before. After 90 minutes—the optimal human limit for intense focus—he takes a break.
Need to persuade a co-worker to embrace a new policy? Want buy-in from your supervisor to pay for your association fee? People are more likely to be persuaded when you share examples, references or testimonials from others they feel are just like them. It’s called Social Proof.

Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between you and your staff. Job descriptions can also be useful tools in court. Make sure you have job descriptions for all employees’ positions. Then keep those descriptions updated whenever the duties change.

What would a conversation be without a speaker and a listener? Not a conversation at all. You need both. Yet we tend to focus on how well we perform as speakers, not as listeners. How much energy do you put into your listening skills? Polish up your listening skills with these tips:
New research by web security firm OpenDNS says U.S. employers are mostly concerned with blocking employees’ access to social media, online games and personal e-mail. Here are the top 10 banned sites:

Jargon can complicate the most simple of messages. So why in the name of Web­­ster’s does the babble persist? “People use jargon because they want to sound smart and credible when in fact they … typically can’t be understood, which defeats the purpose of speaking in the first place,” says Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up and Say Something.

More than one-third (36%) of 500 HR professionals surveyed by OfficeTeam believe it’s “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that résumés will eventually be replaced by applicants’ personal profiles placed on social networking sites.
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