Blog

Category: Communication

5 Remarkably Powerful Phrases That Will Help You Get What You Want

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Confidence, Good Habits, Psychology

Would you like to be better at getting what you want from your employees, co-workers, customers, bosses, kids, and partner or spouse? Sometimes a change in wording is all you need.

That advice comes from best-selling author and executive coach Wendy Capland. Over the years, she’s learned that certain words and phrases minimize what you have to say, making your requests ineffective. Others have surprising power to influence your listeners. “They increase our effectiveness in communicating clearly and up our ability to get what we want,” she says.

Here are some phrases Capland says are particularly helpful at getting the desired response. Next time you want something from someone, try one of them out, and see if it doesn’t make a difference:

1. What I heard you say is …

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

Don’t Get Fired for Honest Mistakes

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Communication, Decision Making

There are so many things that can get good, hard-working people fired. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences.

What happened last Saturday is a perfect example. With the Texas Longhorns football team having lost their fourth game of the season, and the Texas Rangers baseball team under the bright playoff spotlight, someone from the Rangers’ social media team tweeted “Fire Charlie” (in reference to the Longhorns’ head coach) on the Rangers’ official Twitter account.

Naturally, the Rangers employee who typed the offending tweet meant to send it from his or her personal account. Still, it’s a slip of the thumbs that put this person out of a job.

The Rangers aren’t the only organization to fire people for technological slip-ups. A recent study from the ePolicy Institute surveyed more than 300 companies and found that a third of them have fired employees for the misuse of company technology.

Companies are so worried about employee abuse of technology that 45% of those surveyed admitted that they track employee technology use (some all the way down to the keystroke), yet only two US states require employers to notify employees when they’re monitoring them.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

11 Ways to Get What You Want Out of Your Review

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Communication, Confidence, Professional Development

Second only to the interview that landed you the job, performance reviews with your boss can be rife with trepidation. You’re going to be evaluated, asked to give your own critique, and more than likely, this is your shot to discuss a raise and/or promotion. Yikes. But as daunting as these topics can be, once you get over the initial nerves and dread, you can see it for what it really is: an opportunity to distinguish yourself.

To help quell anxieties and learn tricks of the performance review trade, we looked to three of our go-to career experts to outline how to prepare and tap into our inner #GirlBoss. No sweaty palms, here…

1. Over-prepare. Too many people miss important opportunities by not putting their heart into preparing for a review. Spend some time being thoughtful about the last year—and the next one. Write out answers to the following questions in advance:

Click here to read the rest on Marie Claire >>

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Personality, Professional Development

I have a serious issue with the term “soft skills.” You know, those skills that the United States Department of Labor lists as Communication; Enthusiasm and Attitude; Teamwork; Networking; Problem Solving and Critical Thinking; and Professionalism. Every one of those skills is absolutely critical to success in today’s business environment, and calling them “soft” subtly diminishes their importance. Like A Boy Named Sue, soft skills have an image problem, and we need to change that.

“Hard” skills don’t have that image problem. “Hard” connotes tangibility, certainty, and measurability. You have that knowledge, you have that skill, and you are hired to use that knowledge and perform that skill and bring value to the company. Hard skills are essential, because without skill and knowledge nothing gets done.

But today, relying solely on hard skills won’t get the job done either. As we move away from the literal and figurative bricks-and-mortar production model, and toward a more virtual and collaborative work space, soft skills are arguably more essential than hard skills. After all, when breakdowns happen at your organization, is it because your employees didn’t have the specific knowledge or skill to do the job? Not really. We can determine hard skills fairly easily and get people in the right jobs. Failures are far more likely to arise when there’s a communication breakdown, a toxic team dynamic, or a lack of critical thinking. Soft skills don’t seem so soft when you think about it that way.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

Build A Network: 5 Tips For Small Talk With Senior Colleagues

Filed under: Branding, Career Advice, Communication, Confidence, Networking, Relationships

Connecting with colleagues at work is among the best things you can do to improve your effectiveness in the workplace. And while it’s easy to lean over to Amy in the next cubicle and ask her how her weekend went, when it comes to a more senior colleague in the corner office, the idea of starting a conversation can be intimidating. So what should you say when you hop on an elevator and find yourself one on one with the managing director?

Ask About Them

Generally speaking, people feel comfortable, and enjoy, talking about themselves. While it might be intimidating to start the conversation, the easiest way to get it going is to ask a question to which you know that senior colleague has an answer. Questions about their commute, hobbies and television shows you know they enjoy, or a recent vacation are all lighthearted, easy, and enjoyable. Who doesn’t like talking about the trout they bagged over the weekend, or the latest storyline on Scandal? The point of these conversations is to build some common ground so the next time you find yourself in the elevator you can see if they enjoyed the Mad Men finale as much as you did.

Click here to read the rest on Edge Work >>

5 Best Practices for Handling Conference Calls like a Boss

Filed under: Communication, Good Habits, Professional Development, Quick Tips, Strategy, Technology

The art of conference calling… Wait, you didn’t know it was an art? It’s definitely a skill worth building if you’re running a modern business and as much an art as any other form of presenting. Whether you want to blame it on technology and the Internet, the costs associated with flying, etc., the conference call has become a huge part of doing business and you can’t escape it.

Here are the top five ways to be the best at conference calls.

1. Smile

The way you deliver information is the key to capturing your audience’s attention. How you talk on the phone is no different from how you present yourself on stage when speaking to an audience.

In reality, your conference call is very similar to being on stage where the lights are so bright you can’t see anyone’s face. Smile while you speak and your positive energy will come through — the people on the other end of the phone will be able to sense it.

Click here to read the rest on Mashable >>

The Basics of Business Body Language (Infographic)

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Communication, Professional Development, Psychology, Success

Most of the information people take in about their surroundings is visual. When someone is listening to learn more about you and your company, they’re also closely observing your body language for even more clues. Are you conveying the message you really want to send?

This infographic from Visual.ly and translation service provider Gengo demonstrates how to present yourself–whether you’re meeting a potential client for the first time or you’re leading a new team.

Click here to view the Infographic on Inc. >>

6 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Presenting

Filed under: Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits, Professional Development, Stress

In the past 30 years, I’ve given more than 3,000 speeches to audiences across the world. Presentations have been such a central part of my work that many who know me best have been surprised to learn how much anxiety they used to cause me. After my fourth root canal, my dentist pointed out that I appeared to be grinding my teeth at night. He suggested a mouth guard. Over the next few years, I ground through three of them. Fortunately, materials science advanced faster than my grinding and I eventually received a more durable one. Still, I had almost resigned myself to the fact that fitful sleep, restless legs, and a variety of aches throughout my body were the price of the career I had chosen.

I knew I had turned a corner 10 years ago when I was invited to speak to a prestigious business audience at Radio City Music Hall. I slept peacefully the night before. And when I stepped through the crimson curtains to face 6,000 nattily dressed executives, my former panic and dread were replaced with a sense of exhilaration and gratitude.

As I came to realize that presentations would be a permanent facet of my career, I began accumulating tactics to increase my pleasure while reducing the pain. Here are six that have made an enormous difference for me:

Click here to read the rest on Harvard Business Review >>

7 Phrases You Will Never Hear a Great Leader Say

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Leadership, Psychology, Relationships

Great leaders know that how they communicate is almost as important as what they communicate. They’re constantly aware that everything they say will be taken to heart by their team, and that they’ll be measured against their own words.

That’s why you’ll never hear them say these common phrases.

1. Because I said so.

Great leadership means building a culture of collaboration and connection, creativity and communication. Relying on authority shuts all those things down.

Instead: “How do we want to tackle this?”

2. Who do you think you are?

Great leaders foster feelings of empowerment and engagement in their team, so everyone can reap the benefits of shared ideas and thoughts. There’s no room for ridicule or belittlement.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

How to Be More Likable in 10 Easy Steps

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits, Professional Development, Relationships, Success

Have you noticed there are people who always seem to be more likable?

In a recent episode of the new ABC drama Mind Games, one of the characters mentions an interesting personality trait that defines the most popular people: They more readily admit their weaknesses rather than waiting for them to be revealed over time. The show is about using cunning tricks to manipulate others and ensure a positive outcome, so it’s a bit ridiculous, but there’s truth in the observation.

In the office, it’s possible to exhibit traits that help you to be more likable. In my years as a corporate manager and developing my writing career, I’ve noticed when people appear more likable, and I’ve tried to develop these traits myself. Here are a few to cultivate.

1. Ask questions.
I’ve noticed people who ask questions are often well liked. It’s human nature to be helpful, and we all have a great desire to share what we know. When someone appears to need our help, we tend to like him or her more, because we like being the one who provides the answers.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>