Socializing at work is good for you, according to a jillion studies. What’s not so good: getting stuck in a conversation that seems to never end, about a colleague’s trip to the pet groomer or the adorable 10 things the co-worker’s child said yesterday. Avoid these topics:
The bond between a boss and assis­­tant is far from ordinary. And feelings of devotion often run both ways. Consider these true life-saving stories of assistants and their executives:
A new study by researchers at Tel Aviv University found that em­­ployees with strong social networks on the job actually lived longer than those “working in a very unfriendly and nonsupportive environment.”
Use “and” instead of “but,” advises Joan Burge of Office Dynamics. Why? Using “but” sets up a negative that can make people defensive and less likely to listen.

1-Minute Strategies: Nov. 11

November 1, 2011 Categorized in: Time ManagementWriting/Editing

Make your email more readable by crafting enticing subject lines …  Why wait for an annual review to get feedback? Ask for one-minute feedback at every opportunity … Knock out more of your critical to-dos by whittling down your to-do list each day … Go ahead: Ask for a $100,000 salary …
Correct any punctuation errors in the following sentences. Caution: Some sentences may ­already be correct, so don’t be fooled.

Writing email that gets read

October 20, 2011 Categorized in: OutlookWriting/Editing

Boost the odds that people will read your emails. Five guidelines: 1.  Limit your message to five sentences. 2.  Figure out your main point. 3.  Edit. 4.  Ask one thing at a time, or maybe two. 5.  Include a link to information available online.
Studies show how hesitant people are to challenge offensive or sexist comments. But psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson says there are at least three good reasons to confront someone making lewd or sexist comments—despite the fear of retaliation:
What helped clinch this year’s OfficeTeam Administrative Excellence Award for Deborah Carter? … Perk up your daily emails with MeebleMail … Double-check your work. A survey by Accountemps shows that “lack of attention to detail/sloppy work” is the No. 1 pet peeve of CFOs …

Use one word? Or two?

September 27, 2011 Categorized in: Grammar Repair ShopWriting/Editing

Is it one word or two? Take this quiz to test your knowledge of common spelling snafus:
Have you put processes or structures into place so you can accomplish what’s most important every day? Try these three tips:

A new way to IM: Office Bleepster

September 23, 2011 Categorized in: Internal Communication

The iPad app Office Bleepster is designed to make communication between an executive and assistant easy and seamless. With 25 predetermined instant-message buttons, which you set up yourself, Office Bleep­ster allows for one-button to one-button communication.
1. Include your phone number and mailing address in your signature. 2. Provide “if-then” options. 3. Always start with a greeting. 4. Check before you waste time forwarding a chain letter.