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.

Robert Eckert, chairman and CEO of Mattel, recalled in a recent New York Times interview that his late father liked to say, “Bobby, how’s it going? Enough about me. Tell me about you.”
Managers who guard their time know not to get embroiled in employee disputes. Refereeing conflict can involve hours of fruitless back-and-forth verbal attacks. Instead of immersing yourself in staffers' feuds, set boundaries and ground rules. Then stay out of it.

Question: “I am looking for a good seminar on ‘Communicating with Diplomacy’ or ‘Working with Difficult People.' I saw some local classes that looked relevant, however, after reading the reviews online, I’m hesitant to register.  Can you recommend any workshops to get this information?" – Melisa

Pay attention to first impressions—the ones you’re making on others ... Steel your resolve by clenching a muscle ... Increase productivity by keeping one to-do list ... Optimists find jobs more easily than their peers and are more likely to be promoted ...
With its workaday reputation, LinkedIn is still the go-to social-media site for anyone trying to ramp up a career. Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokeswoman, says that to reap the social-networking benefits of the site, you need at least 35 connections. Here’s how to best use the web site:

Not surprisingly, 85% of executives are dissatisfied with the efficiency and effectiveness of their companies’ meetings, reports Harvard Business Review. Here are two ways to help drive better decision-making during a meeting—and boost your boss’s efficiency:

Feel like your ideas are falling on deaf ears? Maybe it's your sales pitch, not the proposal. Focus your "pitch" with these tactics:

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?