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3 Tips for Writing an Effective Performance Review

performance review

by Alan De Back

The end of the calendar year is when many organizations start their performance review process. Both employees and managers often find the process confusing, frustrating, and demotivating. Whether employees are writing their self-review or managers are writing their supervisory reviews, many struggle with what to write and how to write it. If they’re not careful, managers can lose the opportunity to not only improve their team members’ performance but also improve their relationships and communication channels.

Here are three tips to help you in the performance review process:

Always provide specific examples. 

Simply writing “I am a great employee” or “Tom did a great job” is not enough.  You need to give specific examples Read more

5 Quick Ways to Influence Others

influenceby Lesley Nevills

Do you struggle to find the right words when you need to communicate persuasively or influence others within or outside your organization? If so, join the club. Lots of people find persuading others challenging, especially when the conversation is strategic and you anticipate pushback. Having the skills to gain buy-in for your ideas or approval for a solution you are recommending is critical to your success in business. These skills will also build your confidence and can help raise your profile in the workplace.

Here are some tips to help you win people over and get them to support your ideas. Read more

How to Use Geometric Psychology to Influence People

by Lucille Lo Sapio

How often has your boss, colleague or client reacted poorly to your work output or ideas because you just didn’t understand their perspective? Imagine how much better communication would be if you could know their personality type and how to best influence them. You might just get a better understanding of how they see the world, and from that, how you can work better together.

You’ve probably taken a psychological test or two to determine your own personality type. We’ve been doing that since Hippocrates’ time. One of my favorites is Psychogeometrics, developed in 1978 by Dr. Susan Dellinger. It’s based on the notion that we are attracted to certain shapes and forms based on our personalities, attitudes, education and experience. And once you determine which of those personality types you’re dealing with, the better equipped you are to communicate effectively. Read more

Managers: How to Help Make the Learning Stick

by Rachel Eidan

Acquiring new skills, tools and processes happens in the classroom, but making sure that learning is retained depends on changing habits back on the job. And it’s tough to change. Learners are more likely to successfully improve their skills long term when they have a manager who provides the right kind of support. Here are some ways managers can help:

Ask for a one-minute essay describing the main points learned in the course as soon as possible following its completion. Learning retention is time-sensitive, so be sure you ask for this promptly. Writing helps consolidate key points and clarify the learning. Learners should post a printout of this somewhere for a few days and give it a quick re-read whenever they have a moment. Read more

How to Create Perfect Documents Every Time

proofreading tips

by Jody Bruner

No matter how good you are at what you do, documents with grammar mistakes will erode your corporate and personal credibility.

Proofreading is challenging for a couple of reasons. First, the mind tends to substitute correct words, “seeing” what was intended or what should be there instead of what is actually there. This tendency accounts for errors such as “She’s form Britain.”

Second, most of us tend to read far too quickly to spot all errors on a line of text. When we read at a normal pace, we fixate on a line of text in three or four places. We can only really see about six characters with each fixation, and everything else is picked up with our peripheral vision, which gets less and less accurate the further it is from the center. Read more

5 Must-Read Books for Difficult Conversations

negotiation communicationby Lesley Nevills

We all struggle at times to be articulate in face-to-face interactions, especially when the conversation is emotional, difficult or strategic. It’s hard to express yourself when you know the stakes or emotions are high. Being good at these critical conversations can enhance your credibility, boost your confidence, build an important relationship, or help get you that promotion or raise.

Luckily, there is help! I’d like to share 5 books that have helped me improve my communication skills over the years. Add them to your library, and you will find them useful at work and in life. Read more

Is Your Social Media Persona Professional?

professionalism on social mediaThis is a guest blog written by Kim McLaughlin from Lyra Communications. Lyra is a social media company, that provides strategy, execution and consulting services for both consumer and professional service firms to help them retain existing clients and acquire new ones.

 

Emojis, exclamation marks, acronyms and kittens – the world of social media has turned the traditional rules of business writing on their heads.

Back in the day, the rules of writing were clearly defined given a company’s industry, target market and the preferences of its executives. But today those rules are blurred and there is often little difference between the kind of copy we see from a bank and an online jewelry store for teens.
Read more

5 Tips for Writing Compelling Headlines

writing for social mediaby Rachel Eidan

Headline writing know-how is more important than ever as social media dominates how we interact with news, information, and networking.

Posts and updates are limited in length on most platforms which has created a culture of headline-style writing. Although you can share entire blog posts, your audience will need to click “read more” to get the full story. Writers, whether professionals on LinkedIn or marketers on Facebook, need to know how to grab their audience’s highly sought-after attention.

Fingers scroll fast, so headlines must hook even faster. Here are five strategies to help you capture your reader before your post falls to the bottom of their feed.

Read more

Email Writing Tips That Save Time

email writingby Leigh Geraghty

Email is arguably the biggest success story of the Internet, and it’s no wonder! Consider its many benefits: email is fast, easy to use, convenient and inexpensive. However, all this convenience can backfire on us if we end up spending too much time writing, reading and managing emails.

Here are some writing tips that will save time for both you and your readers:

Read more

Tips for Learning Homophones 

confused by homophones

by Jody Bruner

Lots of good writers have difficulty with homophones—words that sound alike, but have different meanings and spelling. Hear and here is one example—there are lots more.

Spelling and grammar checkers have come a long way but are still fallible, especially when it comes to homophones. The  Spell Checker poem, which has been circulating since 1991, illustrates how a spell checker can be fooled. Go ahead and give it a try, your spell checker will only pick up two or three errors. Here are the first three stanzas: Read more

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