Communication

Writing sensible email messages

By: Jim Bruce
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Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of pieces about how email is disruptive, how some companies are suggesting ways to that staff might step away from the constant flow of interruptions, how IM, blogs, and wikis can be effective in reducing your email load, etc.  So, there seems to be even more concern about how our "always on" culture may be having negative impacts on our work as well as the other facets of our life.

The Benefits of No

By: Jim Bruce
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Most of us cringe at the thought of saying no.  We think that it is not an option.  We don’t want to disappoint.  Etc.  However, saying yes to everything creates an untenable position for you and for your organization.  Esther Derby in "The Benefits of No" gives us an essential management tool, a three-point approach to saying no:

1.  Start by affirming the requester;  let them know you are listening.

Web Rage: Why It Happens, What it Costs, How to Stop

By: Jim Bruce
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In “Web Rage:  Why It Happens, What it Costs, How to Stop” authors Daniel Goleman and Clay Sinsky point out that most forms of electronic commnication – i.e, email, IM, and telephony – cannot provide those subtle, mainly non-verbal clues that help us form our interactions in those conversations.  Without these signals we may speak (or write) inappropriately, be robbed of essential tools to support decision making, be denied the abili

True Leaders Must "Walk the Floor"

By: Jim Bruce
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Several weeks ago I was pointed to UBS's Knowledge Center and a short piece True Leaders Must "Walk the Floor."  This piece reinforces the importance of communicating with staff.  It notes that many leaders have found that interacting with their staff by walking around can build relationships, help staff understand their leader's goals, and provide them with insight and helpful information.  You'll find the piece at,

What Makes a Good Question?

By: Jim Bruce
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It's the day after Christmas and many of you are still on holiday.  However, I thought I'd send a quick note along.

We have all learned about the importance of asking the "right" questions, questions that help us get at underlying issues, questions that help us think, and questions that help others move issues forward.  In this piece Rick Brenner suggests that too often when we are in groups we focus on being the first one to provide the answer when a better focus would be on asking the right question.

Workplace Barn Raisings

By: Jim Bruce
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Today's two-part reading takes the once-common practice of communal barn-raising where everyone in a community worked together to benefit a single farm family.  Given the right task, good planning and organization you may find a community approach gets the right result and has the benefit of generating new relationships that represent a real added value.

Recalcitrant Collaborators

By: Jim Bruce
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It is very hard to get our work done without collaboration.  Sometimes
those collaborators are on our team, sometimes in our organization,
sometimes they are elsewhere in our university, and sometimes they are
outside our university in suppliers, government agencies, etc.  When
collaboration occurs things go well.

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