Tactfully Speaking

What's the underlying message?

Written words, especially in emails or texts, often can be misleading as they are void of vocal inflection, body language and other cues. How often have you written something with a hint of sarcasm only to discover the reader took it at face value?

Showcase your talent at meetings

Some meetings provide a chance to interact and showcase your skills with higher-level staff. But it helps to be aware of the challenges you may face depending on whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

Phrases that pay

Even the most efficient and organized admins can get sidetracked by unforeseen interruptions and unplanned demands on their time—endless emails, chatty co-workers and yet another to-do from the boss. But before you boil over, adopt these boilerplate responses so you’re not tongue-tied in the moment when you need to speak your truth.

Are you playing defense?

It may not be easy to acknowledge that you are a defensive communicator. Understand that being de­­fensive makes it difficult for others to speak honestly with you, as they don’t want to upset you. Some common defense mechanisms in­­clude sarcasm, blaming, trivializing, overexplaining or withdrawing. Here are steps you can take to address it.

It's not personal, it's professional

What message are you sending to others when you minimize your job to the point where you believe you don’t need a business card?

Don't be so quick to quit

Thinking about exiting your company? Conventional wisdom holds that employees leave managers, not companies. But recent LinkedIn surveys reveal deeper truths.

Tune up your tone

“Can I help you with that?” asks your colleague as you struggle to load an ink cartridge into the printer. If your co-worker says it in a sincere tone, you’re grateful for the offer. But that same question delivered in a sarcastic or exasperated manner leaves you feeling irritated. If you want clarity and connection, pay attention to the following four vocal components.

Change is possible

Research shows that young girls who are smarter-than-average tend to believe their abilities are innate and can’t be changed, whereas young boys are more likely to be­­lieve they can learn something by persevering and re-doubling their efforts. What challenge would you undertake if you em­­braced the truth that through your efforts you could find success?

How does your memory stack up?

Paying attention enhances our memory, but it’s not a simple feat. Fortunately, we can employ numerous tricks to make sure in­­for­­mation sticks.

What's your why?

We usually begin our careers with enthusiasm. We then either continue to show up energized and excited about our contributions, or we fall into patterns and work becomes simply work. If you’re in the latter category, it’s time to rediscover your why.