Paradoxically, being a perfectionist could get in the way of your ability to polish your business-writing skills. One professor at Smith College, Randy O. Frost, has studied perfectionism for years. He believes that perfectionists avoid writing tasks, procrastinate about them, and avoid having others review their work—all of which hinder improvement.
When a friend becomes the boss, the power shift can bring on strong emotions and conflict. To avert problems—and to save your friendship—keep emotions out of the way and focus on strengthening your new professional relationship:

5 grammar myths

April 15, 2011 Categorized in: Grammar Repair ShopWriting/Editing

Grammar Girl has debunked these grammar rules, saying, “Almost everyone believes at least one of these myths”:
If a colleague tries to sabotage you in front of the group, here’s what you should do: 1. Don’t approach someone for a discussion until you can think rationally. 2. Immediately address issues. 3. Stand up for yourself in a professional manner. 4. Wrap up on a positive note. 5. Report back to your boss.
Network by sharing online content, using the appropriate “share” buttons … Try this radical solution to unproductive meetings … Unhappy with what shows up when you google your name? Build your profile on business social-networking sites … Be explicit when asking for a favor …
Use these six strategies to say “No” to a request for your time … and make it stick:
U.S. workers could use a little cheering up. We could all use less snark, more support in the workplace. What can you do about it?
When you help someone by connecting them via an e-mail introduction, follow these three basic rules: 1. Be clear and up front about your motive. 2. Don’t copy all parties unless you are 100% positive the recipient will be open to the introduction. 3. Give the recipient an “out.”

Get the big picture?

March 18, 2011 Categorized in: Internal Communication

Would your boss say that you have a firm understanding of “big picture” strategy? Test your knowledge of the big picture. Ask yourself these five questions, then ask your boss the same questions. Do your answers line up?

Avoiding the slash

March 16, 2011 Categorized in: Grammar Repair ShopWriting/Editing

The slash or “/” is usually deployed when you need a quick and dirty way of saying “and” or “or.” Examples: “writer/director” and “and/or.” But, one reader asks, how do you make such phrases possessive?
Women turn to blogs nearly twice as often as social networking sites to find information and share opinions, according to PINK magazine. Here’s PINK’s list of the top business blogs for women, based on site traffic and know-how:
Whether you’re trying out a new routine or trying to shift to a new career path, you’ll need supporters. These are the people who can advise you or simply listen to you when you need it. According to Laura Goodrich, author of Seeing Red Cars, you need three types of supporters during your journey. And all three are useful in their own way.

Are you really listening?

March 4, 2011 Categorized in: Internal Communication

What would a conversation be without a speaker and a listener? Not a conversation at all. You need both. Yet we tend to focus on how well we perform as speakers, not as listeners. How much energy do you put into your listening skills? Polish up your listening skills with these tips: