When Jim McKay hosted ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” he wasn’t a network star with blinding good looks or a grandiose manner. The way he got through telecasts, he said, was pretending that rather than broadcasting to millions, he was talking to one person: his wife, Margaret. The result was an unusual intimacy with his audience that may work equally well for anyone who has to communicate news, especially bad news.
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.
Question: “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated
Do you "play favorites” with certain employees? Most managers would probably say “no,” but people often harbor unconscious perceptions that can influence day-to-day decision-making and job reviews of the employees they manage. Several factors unrelated to employee performance can impact evaluations conducted by managers.
Sometimes it seems like supervisors and employees work in entirely different places. For years, researchers have known that bosses and line workers have widely varying views about things like priorities, performance ratings, communication and benefits. Here are eight areas for which recent studies have revealed major disconnects between what employees want and what their bosses think they want:
You’re promoted to a more demanding, high-profile job, and the first thing you think is, “They must have made a mistake.” That’s your Inner Critic, whose prompts can get you out of bed in the morning, on the treadmill or through a pressing deadline. But its disapproving words can also make you miserable. Here’s how to quiet your Inner Critic:
Technology is blurring the lines between work and leisure and revealing real tensions between Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomer employees. The generations have very different ideas about what is and isn’t an appropriate use of technology in the office. Here's one simple solution for bridging the gap.
A new study estimates that nearly two-thirds of Facebook users access the site at work. On average, they spend 15 minutes on the site during work hours, and the electronic back-and-forth could represent as much as 1.5% of an employer's productivity losses. The good news: You can stop it.
Question: “Last year, a woman in our company wore a red satin corset, tight skirt and eight-inch platform heels to the holiday party. Although this outfit was not particularly revealing, one of the vice presidents thought it was “trashy looking.” She believes employees should dress conservatively at business functions because they are still representing the company. Our executive team did not object to the “corset outfit” and prefers not to dictate what people should wear to office parties. However, the offended vice president, who is one of our top salespeople, refuses to attend any function where this type of dress is allowed. As the HR manager, I need some advice on how to resolve this issue.” — Caught in the Middle
Do you read the publications that your customers, suppliers and outsourcing vendors read? If not, you’re putting yourself at a critical disadvantage and inviting unpleasant surprises.
It’s not unusual to feel angry at work. But even when you are angry, you can fake it. By using the cues below, you’ll seem to have emotions under control if you must engage in conversation when anger is surging: