Tips of the week

Tips of the Week

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Communication Strengths (Part II)

Ten additional ideas to add to your communication strengths include:

1. Listen carefully; without interrupting
2. Put others at ease
3. Give others time to speak
4. Use correct grammar
5. Follow through promptly
6. Check your understanding
7. Deal with facts
8. Provide well intended feedback
9. Receive well intended feedback graciously
10. Speak without sarcasm or defensiveness


Tips of the Week

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Communication Strengths (Part I)

Our ability to communicate needs to be a work in progress. Beyond words there are behaviours that contribute to our being perceived as effective communicators.

Ten ideas to add to your communication strengths include:
1. Be friendly
2. Be articulate
3. Be sincere
4. Be sympathetic
5. Be receptive to others’ ideas
6. Be specific
7. Be positive
8. Be assertive
9. Speak clearly
10. Be comfortable when meeting strangers


Tips of the Week

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Managing Incoming Information

Between email, mail, faxes internal memos and telephone calls the amount of information presented to you each day can be a burden.

Seven ideas to increase your success with managing your incoming information include:1. Categorize each piece of information as follows:
A – Needs to be done today
B – Has a specific deadline other than today
C – Has no deadline
D – Items you can delegate
E – Items you can eliminate.

2. If an A will take you less than 5 minutes to complete, do it at the time of sorting.

3. Arrange your B’s on your desk based on the date you need to start the task.

4. Move your C’s to a file drawer or hidden shelf… far from your immediate work area. Pile them high and toss the bottom section when the stack gets too high.

5. Decide whether to delegate a D immediately or schedule a time to delegate a task.

6. Remove unwanted E information from reaching you by making a quick call or sending a quick email.

7. Apply the above practices to email, mail, faxes internal memos and telephone calls.


Tips of the Week

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Projecting an Appropriate Tone in Your Business Writing

Your reader will read your communication with their own (sometimes negative) overtone. It is particularly important to take as many steps as possible to project the best possible tone.

Eight ideas to increase your success with an appropriate writing tone include:

1. Focus on the reader by using the “You” instead of “I”. i.e.
Instead of: We have a new program that we think is very interesting.
Write: You’ll find our new program very interesting.

2. Use the dynamic active approach VS passive approach.
Instead of: Careful consideration will be given to your request.
Write: We will give careful consideration to your request.

3. Engage your reader by writing with more verbs and less nouns.
Instead of: I have knowledge
Write: I know
Instead of: I have reservations
Write: I doubt
Instead of: May I make a suggestion
Write: I suggest

4. Take a positive approach.
Instead of: We have written twice and to date you have not replied.
Write: When can we expect your reply?

5. Use specific concrete language.
Instead of: Please send me a copy of the report as soon as possible.
Write: Please send me copy of the report within 10 days.

6. Use words that build goodwill like please; thank you; appreciate; hope.

7. Make the action required by the reader the closing sentence.

8. Deal with one subject in a communication.


Tips of the week

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Effective Project Teams

While working with others to complete projects is riddled with many challenges, the benefits of the synergistic team approach are boundless.

Ten ideas to increase your success with team projects include:

  1. Ensure that the team’s goals are specific, measurable, relevant, timed and known to all members.
  2. Make frequent reference to the goals.
  3. Share the leadership.
  4. Ensure that the roles and responsibilities are clear.
  5. Expect, regulate and resolve conflict.
  6. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities.
  7. Monitor and provide performance feedback.
  8. Communicate frequently, openly and honestly.
  9. Utilize all team members.
  10. Share the power.

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