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By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Know Your Phone Etiquette

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You’re using your phone incorrectly.

No, I’m not talking about the way you allow it to distract you in your meetings.  I’m not even talking about your text addiction.

I’m talking about how to hold a conversation over the phone: You’re doing it wrong. You’re not communicating at your optimum level.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Office Politics: Do You Have to Play?

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Have you ever sworn that you would never engage in office politics? It’s hard to blame you. Politics is dirty, self-serving, and underhanded, right? Well—not really. Sometimes it can be, but that’s a comment about the nature of the leadership team, not politics.

In this week’s first tip, I show you why politics in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It’s like any form of communication; it depends on how you use it. Let’s be clear: You should be politically active. You can be ethical, kind, and virtuous, but you do need to learn to play politics.

By Judy Steiner-Williams | Saturday, July 05, 2014

Business Writing: Be Brief. Be Bright. Be Gone.

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“Be brief. Be bright. Be gone.”

I once heard about a CEO who had a sign hanging on the wall behind his desk with those words printed on it. Intimidating? Maybe, but it sends a strong message: Business people are busy and don’t have time for long, dull conversations.

The message applies as much to written business communication as it does to office visits. Here are some pointers on how to achieve these “Be” statements in your writing—and capture your readers’ attention when you need it.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, May 05, 2014

Write an Email That Gets Results

Write an email that gets results

Last week on Monday Productivity Pointers, I showed you how to write an email that gets read. Now that you’ve got your readers’ attention, let’s talk more about the content of that email. In particular, this week we’ll examine strategies for writing an email asking someone to do something—or giving someone an action item.

An action item could be a physical task, or a request to provide information. Whatever it is, you’re not just informing them about it in your email. Asking for something that needs to get done takes a special type of communication.

By Jeff Toister | Thursday, March 27, 2014

The secret to maintaining a customer service attitude

Maintaining a customer service attitude

Customer service professionals are expected to have a positive and friendly attitude at all times—but maintaining such an attitude isn’t always easy. Upset customers, challenging problems, or even fatigue can make it hard to keep smiling.

Attitude anchors are techniques you can use to help position your customer service attitude in a positive place, or even to repair a bad attitude when you’re feeling down. There are two kinds of attitude anchors: maintenance anchors and repair anchors.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Moving past workplace challenges: Management Tips

Getting past challenges in the workplace

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

What are your biggest challenges at work? Two common workplace challenges are working with people you don’t like, and knowing when and how to stop putting effort into projects that aren’t working—so you can instead focus your attention where it truly matters.

The first tip this week is about working with someone you don’t enjoy; this can drain your energy quickly unless you make a conscious choice to approach the situation constructively. Your don’t have to become buddies with unpleasant coworkers, but you can learn to recognize their positive traits instead of letting their negative ones get the best of you.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Storytelling in the workplace: Management Tips

Storytelling in the office

Explore Management Tips at lynda.com.

This week we’ll dive into one of my favorite topics: storytelling. Using stories as a communication device can ensure that your message is understood and remembered. Why is that? Good stories inspire the listener, tap into emotions, and involve characters who are dealing with issues the listener truly cares about. When you capture your listeners’ emotions, they listen—and become truly engaged.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Communication is career skill #1: Management Tips

Listening and candor. They’re two of the most valuable tools of effective communication, but they’re often overlooked. Listening is the focus of my first Management Tip this week. We often spend too much time asserting our views and responding to others, and too little time listening to—and genuinely hearing—what they have to say. This is ineffective communication, and people can easily sense when managers are more concerned with their own points of view than understanding the team’s position, which undermines their trust in your leadership.

Here’s a rule of thumb: In a conversation with your team, you should listen as much as you talk. If you don’t, they will eventually stop sharing their thoughts with you.

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