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 →
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. Of course, there are some tips of effective communication that extend beyond simply listening, although this element is absolutely crucial. 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 →
Whether you need to refuse a customer’s insurance claim or decline an employee’s request for vacation, delivering bad news is one of our toughest writing challenges. How do you deliver a clear message, without damaging your business relationship?
If you’re faced with delivering a bad news message, an indirect approach can help to ease your reader into the bad news.
Follow these 5 simple steps to write a difficult message using the indirect approach: Read more →
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 →
by 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 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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →