Effective Communication Blog

This blog is a mini-journal about improving communication in the workplace.

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Communication Quotes to Reflect and to Inspire - Part 1

First of two parts. Communication quotes that will make you reflect and will inspire you. First of two parts.

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Peer Acting Like a Boss

Peer Acting Like Boss

When your buddy is bossing you around, what can you do?

At first blush, we may conclude your peer is out of line and in need of severe punishement, but this is not always the case.

Let's figure out when it's ok for you to take orders from your peer.

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Media Director Goes Over My Head

Going over my head

Should you be concerned when an internal staff person - such as a Media Director - goes over you head?

... and complains to your boss about you?

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Help Friends Find Jobs? What do I have to Lose?

Someone who has a nice job wonders if he should help people he knows find jobs. He fears he may lose his job when those people surpass him.

He feels somewhat compelled to help those people find jobs but doesn't want to risk losing his own job.

What can he do?

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Angry Customers in the Automotive Industry

Angry Customer

How do you deal with angry customers? What to do when all you want is to hang up on them?

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Sending the Wrong Signals

Sending the Wrong Signals in Communication

When people at work (and only at work) react strongly to you, is it time to put up an act? or is it time to look for another job?

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Para Mejorar tu Habilidad de Escuchar

La habilidad de escuchar es quizas la habilildad de comunicacion mas importante que uno puede adquirir y dominar

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A Director and a Wannabe Boss

Chain of Command

I received a question from a director of a department facing an employee who's starting to boss her around.

The employee is breaking a fundamental rule of communication established by the chain of command. How is the director going to deal with it?

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Job Interview Questions to Ask a Candidate

You have a vacancy to fill and you need a list of interview questions to ask potential candidates.

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Communicating Change - To Fret or Not to Fret?

Communicating Change

Many managers dread communicating change to their employees. They may fret and wait until the last minute to announce the change. Or they may just put a spin on it thinking they are protecting the people affected by the change.

Communicating change can be difficult, especially bad change, like layoffs, or organizational restructuring where employees lose rank. Even smaller changes like moving offices can be a challenge.

Read full post for points to keep in mind when communicating change.

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Retirement Wishes and Sentiments

Someone at work is retiring. Your boss, your best employee, your worst?

Whoever is leaving for good, you may want to tell them a few words to let them know what you appreciated about them and to wish them well.

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Retirement Gift Etiquette

Retirement Gift Etiquette

Got a question from a senior level manager in California, asking for help regarding a retirement gift for his boss.

The manager wants to give a memorable gift to his soon to be retired boss but he/she doesn't want to foot the entire bill.

The manager wonders what's the right way to ask the staff to help him/her pay for the boss' gift.

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Someone with half the experience gets the promotion

I received an intriguing story, from Wayne in Texas, about how a guy with half of Wayne's experience got a leadership position while Wayne was on leave.

Wayne fears that the executive staff was given the wrong information about him, causing him to lose the leadership position. Wayne thinks it's going to take a lot of work to undo the damage that may have been inflicted on him.

I took a leap in the dark and concluded that Wayne's absence played a big role in him being skipped for the assignment.

What's your take?

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Communication Anxiety: Fear of Public Speaking

Check out this article about communication anxiety and fear of public speaking, by Barbara Rocha, author of Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking.

Communication Anxiety

I attended one of Barbara's workshops (How to Overcome Stress in Public Speaking) while working at a municipality. At the time I was preparing to give a keynote speech at a technology conference. Up until that point, I had been forcing myself to give speeches hoping that practice would help me get rid of the anxiety of speaking in front of groups.

During Barbara's workshop, I practiced doing a presentation to a "pretend" City Council - Barbara was the Mayor and the others students were Council members.

When I finished giving my presentation, Barbara gave me a puzzled look and said: Why did you change your personality? You became someone else, all your warmth was gone and you seemed... rigid.

I told her that I needed to be that way at work.

She paused and then said: Maybe that job is not a good fit for you.

When the workshop was over, I went on the give the keynote speech at the technology conference, with confidence and ease, despite the fact that over a thousand faces were looking at me. However, back at work I was still struggling with presentations to a few people.

The workshop had changed forever my sense of awareness. I began to notice that my personality did change while at work, more so in front of higher ups. I realized that while I was happier inside and more at ease, the lack of fit was more evident than ever.

I eventually left my city government job to strike out on my own.

Here I almost said: "... and I've never looked back", but it wouldn't be true. When I look back, I think of the people that I used to work with and miss them.

If you're struggling with communication anxiety and fear of public speaking, read the full post for more info on how to deal with it. Better yet, attend Barbara's Workshop How to Overcome Stress in Public Speaking. She holds the seminars twice a year in Pasadena, California. You will become more confident speaking to audiences.

Continue reading "Communication Anxiety: Fear of Public Speaking"

Business Networking

Here's a useful post from a very interesting site: www.DoItInPerson.com.

The post talk about business networking as a cost effective investment you can make for your business. Contributed by Aron Schoenfeld.

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Interview Thank You Letter Samples

Interview Thank You Letter Samples

Interview Thank You Letters give you another shot at presenting to your potential employee how you're a perfect fit for the job they are filling.

These samples can be modified to fit a thank you note or email.

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Top 7 Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

These phone interview tips can help you prepare for any job interview, whether by phone or in person.

If you approach the phone interview in the same way you approach any other job interview, you'll be prepared and do well.

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Covering The Basics: What is Communication?

Communication

The post includes the most basic definition of communication plus other flavors of communication (interpersonal, business) that may be useful to know.

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Delegating Work to Avoid Being Swamped

Woman Swamped with Work

I got a comment in the mail from someone struggling to delegate work to avoid being swamped.

The comment made me think many of us can relate to the feeling expressed by the person that sent the email.

Here's the post where you can read more about this...

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Avoiding Conflict... or Resolving It?

Conflict, even constructive conflict, just ruins the mood. Given the option, most people will settle for fake peace rather than pay the price of authentic peace that calls for us to engage in conflict every now and then.

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The Mock Job Interview

Mock Job Interview

Mock job interviews help you prepare for the real thing.

Think of the mock interview as tough homework. You may not like it but when you complete it, you are fully confident and ready for that important test.

Prepare and practice until you do a mock job interview well and you'll shine at the real job interview.

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Defensive Body Language at Work

Defensive Body Language

Even before we acknowledge that we are getting defensive, our bodies begin to tell our story of defensiveness.

We may start by crossing our arms, or we may hold our hand out, as if trying to stop the perceived or real attack.

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A Story about Appreciation for a Teacher

I received a story from a teacher that was shown appreciation in a special way.

The fact that the memory of the gift stayed with her through the years shows how powerful an appreciation gesture can be when it's genuine and specific.

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Contributions to the Site

The site now has a couple of articles that were written by people other than yours truly.

The first article talks about Why Business Coaching makes Business Sense. The second article talks about Ways to Deal with Verbal Conflict.

Check them out...

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Language Differences

language differences

I received a question about language differences in communication at work.

You can read the question and my answer on the full post. The question struck a cord with me, it reminded me the many struggles I went through as a non native English speaking professional trying to make it in the US workplace.

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What is Good Communication?

Good Communication

What is good communication? The easiest way to answer this question is to contrast the habits of good and bad communication.

Check out the comparison chart in the full post.

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What writing skills do entry level employees need?

I teach communications courses and I want to provide students with real-world examples of the kinds of writing skills they will need on their first

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