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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.

We think direct communication is clear and efficient. But it’s not. “Plan on being misunderstood,” Seth Godin writes. “Repeat yourself. When in doubt, repeat yourself.”

When resolving to reach a goal, it might help to commit to a hard deadline, and then tell colleagues, friends or a spouse about it. A public commitment might strengthen your resolve.

Steer clear of “oversharing” when it comes to out-of-office messages sent to the rest of the office. For example: “I’ll be leaving the office at 4 p.m. today. I’m taking my daughter to the dentist. Please send any urgent requests to Pam.” Does the message really need to explain where the sender is going?

Americans take fewer steps than our cohorts in Australia, Japan and Switzerland, according to a new study. Those extra steps have everything to do with the extra weight we’re carrying. Test your physical activity by getting a pedometer. Keep track for two or three days, then use these “steps per day” numbers to figure out whether you’re active or simply busy:

Say one of your employees posts vulgar comments on her Facebook page mocking the company or her boss. Other co-workers see it and add their own comments. You have a policy against such actions, so you can fire her, right? Not so fast.

Semblances of virtue are not pure virtue, the philosopher Aristotle said. An action may look good and produce the right outcome, he argued, but there’s something lacking in intent. As a matter of fact, the whole thing could be a fake. But what about courage?

People have one of four communication styles, and if you’d like them to join you in bringing about change, you need to talk in a way they’ll understand. Here’s a gloss on the four styles and how to frame your thoughts when working with them:

Derek Sivers makes the case that it’s better to keep your goals to yourself, rather than declaring them publicly.

What should you do about a co-worker who takes advantage of a boss-less office? How do you bring this to your boss’s attention without appearing like a troublemaker? Here are some ideas for addressing a co-worker’s slacker behavior:

Virtual meetings, whether by phone or video, have become a business staple. But virtual meetings present special challenges. How to stay professional during a virtual meeting: