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.

Are you listening carefully? Then you’re missing the point, say two young business leaders in their book on decision-making. The point isn’t how you listen but why.
Master negotiator Herb Cohen gives us questions you want to have answered before going into any negotiation:

Anyone who has worked for two or more bosses can tell you: The division of labor often leaves you feeling stretched both ways. But with some schedule-wrangling and communication skills, you can manage the work more smoothly.

One of the most common reader questions we receive is about the serial comma—that is, the comma that comes before the “and” when you’re listing a series of things. The question is, “Should I use it or not use it?” The answer is, it’s up to you. The serial comma is used by some publications and dismissed by others, which makes it a matter of style.

At Deloitte, the annual report doesn’t stop with a financial statement. The financial services firm also publishes a “Talent Annuity Report” to chronicle its year in benefits and employee recognition efforts. “We published a Talent Annuity Report because we regard our talent as an investment that generates an annuity,” said CEO Barry Salzberg.

Following a speaking engagement for administrative professionals, I found myself listening to familiar comments. “My supervisor is so busy I never get a chance to have more than a two-minute conversation, and she never gives me feedback, so I never know what she is thinking.” In these circumstances you need to ask for what you need to be successful.

One of the country’s fastest-growing companies, LTC Financial Partners is looking for 300 new sales agents—and when those jobs are filled, more will open. Because the organization is constantly hiring, it’s also constantly trying to get new employees up to speed. So it created the LTC Insurance Training Institute to get recruits ready to work within five days.

“Although I’m viewed positively at work, I believe my reserved demeanor is holding me back. I’m not shy, but I have trouble making small talk ... Can you suggest some communication strategies for meetings and social situations?” — Not a Talker
When choosing when you should use "these" or "those," the decisive factor is whether the things you’re talking about are near or far. In some cases, it’s a psychological distance: Are you referring to something that you just mentioned or something that you mentioned a sentence or two ago?

If you can measure it, you can improve it. You can optimize. But how much of your energy are you spending on optimization vs. creation? Seth Godin, a thought leader in marketing and the changing business environment, says, “I worry that a never-ending cycle of optimization can become a crutch, a place to hide when you really should be confronting the endless unknown, not the banal stair step of incremental optimization.”