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By Judy Steiner-Williams | Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Consider Your Audience: 3 Tips for Clear, Effective Business Writing

effective business writing starts with considering your audience

Most of us consider knowledge to be a wonderful thing—a thing worth having. And it is. But it also comes with a curse.

The “curse of knowledge” is this: When we know something, it’s hard to remember what it’s like not to know it. So we often assume that everyone else knows it, too.

That faulty assumption plagues us in writing, especially: If I know what I mean, then everyone else should, too.

For clear and effective business writing, we must consider the backgrounds and knowledge of audience when deciding not only what to communicate, but how.

Follow these three tips for clear, effective business writing — that does what you want it to do.

By Todd Dewett | Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss: Managing Conflict at Work

Find out how to deal with a difficult boss

One of the most difficult parts of any career is working for someone you don’t like.

Your boss might have impossible standards, play favorites, or be relentlessly negative. In some cases, bosses can be flat-out discriminatory or abusive.

Most people feel they have little to no power to remedy these situations. But they’re wrong. I’m going to give you some tips on how to deal with a difficult boss.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, January 07, 2015

How to Improve Your Communication Skills — Right Now

tips on how to improve your communication skills

It’s ironic that one of the most important life skills—communication—receives so little attention in most educational systems and in the training and development practices inside organizations. We know that higher-quality communication skills are a huge catalyst for higher productivity, yet we don’t seem to invest in this idea properly.

But I have good news: Even if you’ve had little formal education or training in what great communication looks like, you can learn it.  In this week’s Management Tips, I’ll show you how to improve your communication skills with great low-cost or free resources, from books to blogs to coaches and beyond.

Plus I’ll share three vital tips you can put to use right now.

By Bonnie Biafore | Monday, December 15, 2014

Project Management: Develop a Project Communication Plan

project management communication plan

Good communication plays a big part in successfully achieving your project goals and keeping things running smoothly from project start to finish.

Don’t let poor communication derail your project. Develop a project communication plan so you can get the right information to the right people at the right time.

A communication plan helps your project succeed by:

  • Ensuring that everyone affected by your project realizes the project exists, and understands its purpose and impact
  • Facilitating effective communication with everyone who needs to know something about the project
  • Delivering information in a timely manner to the people who need to know about project status, ongoing efforts, and issues
  • Maintaining enthusiasm and support for the project

Here’s the makeup of a communication plan:

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

IQ Isn't Everything: Managing Your Emotions at Work

Managing emotions at work is a key to success

Success at work has a lot to do with your IQ—your intelligence or general cognitive ability. It’s a solid predictor of good performance and other positive behaviors in the workplace.

But as I’ll tell you in this week’s Management Tips, there are two problems with focusing on IQ alone.

By Starshine Roshell | Monday, October 27, 2014

Stop Boring Your Audience! It's Time to Kill the Cliche

Injecting a cliche into your copy tells readers there's nothing new here.

It’s a busy time in a busy world and people aren’t as patient as they used to be. We want what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next—not the same old information we heard about yesterday.

Why, then, are you still stuffing your copy full of been-there-heard-that phrases?

By Jethro Jones | Friday, October 24, 2014

Teachers: Prep Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Make parent-teacher conferences easier

It’s that time of year. The leaves are changing, the air is cooling—and that means parent-teacher conferences are right around the corner.

Regardless of what format your school uses, parent-teacher conferences can be difficult when you have a student who’s struggling in one way or another; they’re hard for both the parent and the teacher.

Here are some tips to make sure conferences go smoothly for both parties.

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.

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