Tactfully Speaking

Going up?

The elevator pitch—a brief speech to create interest in your company, your product or yourself—is a staple for those in sales. You may be thinking, I’m an admin, why would I need an elevator pitch? We’re all in sales, whether we’re selling a product, an idea or ourselves to potential customers, our team members or upper management.

Keep it to yourself: The importance of discretion

The importance of discretion was recently reinforced during a panel discussion with four senior executive assistants who work for high-powered individuals.

When your boss is a bully

Recent research suggests that supervisors target those who are least likely to defend themselves. This dysfunctional pattern can be shifted if you’re willing to take action.

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.