Career Coaching

How to Create Your Own Email Protocol

email protocolby Rachel Eidan

Are your team’s email practices inconsistent, causing confusion and miscommunication? This is an issue we hear about often from our clients. Although we teach teams to write effective emails, improve etiquette, and communicate strategically, some groups still need help with fundamental conventions. If this sounds like your team, try creating your own company email protocol. Here’s a quick how-to: Read more

Listening Skills for Effective Communication

listening skillsby Rachel Eidan

We can all be more effective communicators by using our ears more than our mouths. Be honest, how much have you ever learned listening to yourself talk?

We often think that good communicators are good speakers; however, the most powerful communicators have excellent listening skills. Many people take the skill of listening for granted. You have ears, so you listen all the time, right? But you need to ask yourself how well you listen.  Read more

Communicating Out: Technical to Non-Technical

 

 

Jody Bruner from Wavelength and David Donaldson from TidalShift, experts in project management, team up to discuss one of our most asked about topics: communicating to non-technical people.

 

Transcription: Read more

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

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

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

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

casual contractions in presentation

by Sarah Maloney

Howsitgoin? Wanna grabba cuppa coffee? Have you heard colleagues speak this way? Have you spoken this way? Probably, we all have. Let’s step back for a moment and ask ourselves: what is our first impression of the speaker? Let’s put these casual contractions under a corporate magnifying glass.

As communication skills consultants, we work consistently with our learners to help them improve their professional images through their business communications. Recently, we’ve noticed that many of them are sabotaging their professional images when delivering presentations by using “informal contractions”.

We aren’t talking about contractions like “don’t” for do not or “we’ll” for we will. When you use a few of these contractions in your speech or your writing, you sound quite personable. However, some contractions can make you sound sloppy and unprofessional—like these examples:

Read more

4 Tips for Job Interview Success

by Alan De Back

With the start of the new year, many people decide that the time is right for a job change. Because the market is so crowded with job seekers, you need to distinguish yourself from the competition during the interview process. In addition to preparing for possible questions, how will you use all the skills in your communication toolbox? Here are four job interview tips that will give you an edge.

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