Email Communication and Etiquette: How to Use Email Productively with Your Team

Email Communication and Etiquette: How to Use Email Productively with Your Team #Productivity

"One look at an email can rob you of 15 minutes of focus." – Jacqueline Leo, American magazine editor and media producer. Email has revolutionized global business, allowing for detailed 24-hour communication where telephone communication isn't practical, freeing us from bending over backwards to match up times zones across a large planet. Most of the same people who understand its advantages probably also consider email the bane of their existence, since they receive hundreds of messages a day. Like most technology, email has proven a double-edged blade, its nearly miraculous advantages often offset by pure annoyance. With a few precautions and a modicum of care and protocol, email offers invaluable benefits for team communication ( ←CLICK TO TWEET), whether your team works together in … [Read more...]

Quick and To the Point: Texting and Instant Messaging Protocols in the Workplace

Quick and To the Point: Texting and Instant Messaging Protocols in the Workplace by Laura Stack #Productivity

"Email, instant messaging, and cell phones give us fabulous communication ability, but because we live and work in our own little worlds, that communication is totally disorganized." -- Marilyn vos Savant, American newspaper columnist. Communication may be the most important factor in any partnership, and it's certainly a glue that binds a team together. But it comes in many forms, especially in the workplace. Two of those are texting and Instant Messaging (IM), which are common means of modern business communication today. How do we make the best use of each in a teamwork environment? At first glance, IM and text seem very similar, and sometimes we use the terms interchangeably. But they actually refer to distinct methods of electronic communication. Text is of course phone-to-phone, … [Read more...]

Call Him, Email Me, Text Her: The Many Methods of Business Communication

Call Him, Email Me, Text Her: The Many Methods of Business Communication by Laura Stack #productivity

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said." – Peter F. Drucker, Father of Management Theory Recently, I read an article discussing how, in addition to basic methods of written and verbal communication, savvy workers also learn to decode non-verbal communication. While I agree that represents a valuable ability and an interesting subject, it struck me just how many different methods of language-based communication the average business has access to nowadays. Less than 30 years ago, we had just a few. All you Millennials now moving into management and starting businesses of your own have access to an amazing array of communication methods, whereas I can still remember the days before CDs and desktop computers (floppies, word processors, and interoffice mail). The … [Read more...]

Increasing Productivity at Work: A Modest Survey

Increasing Productivity at Work: A Modest Survey by Laura Stack #productivity

"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." —Benjamin Franklin, U.S. Founding Father. Someone once told me, "This world would be a nice place if it weren't for all the people." He meant it humorously, but the statement stuck with me because of the grain of truth at its core. While we tend to work best as parts of teams, we also get annoyed with people who get in our way or won't listen to us. It's so much easier to take charge and just lay down the law than to compromise, but for most of us, that's not an option. In a recent survey, I asked my newsletter readers, "If you were going to increase your productivity at work, what would need to happen?" Although some admitted they needed to improve their work skills, a full … [Read more...]

Coworker Codependency: The Value of Teams

It's unfortunate that the term "codependent" has taken on such negative connotations over the past few decades, because otherwise it would be ideal for expressing the value of teamwork. Indeed, I would argue that all teams are codependent to some extent, in that each of us depends on our teammates to do their jobs promptly and professionally. In this sense, "codependent" works in the same spirit as "cooperation," since we help our teammates—our coworkers—function at the height of their productive abilities. Perhaps a less loaded (if less accurate) term for this relationship would be "interdependent." Each team member, from the leader down to the summer intern, engages with each other to produce the most product possible in the least amount of time. Ironically, teamwork is both the … [Read more...]

Getting Clarity in Workplace Communication

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, talks about communication in the workplace. (C) 2015 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Embracing Cross-Functionality in the Organization

Enjoy this week's podcast---Embracing Cross-Functionality in the Organization … [Read more...]

The Link Between Persuasion and Productivity

WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It! by Dianna Booher #communication #productivity

The ability to persuade is essential in virtually all fields. My mentor, Dianna Booher, has just published a new book called What MORE Can I Say? Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It, which presents nine principles of persuasive communication essential for anyone hoping to change someone’s mind or actions. I’m pleased to provide the following exclusive guest post on how you can make your communication more productive. The Link Between Persuasion and Productivity By Dianna Booher Change usually involves a period of chaos until people struggle through it to success. Solutions are seldom pain free. Even the world’s most powerful software requires a learning curve. Influencing people to take action—whether to buy your product, accept your recommendation, or change their … [Read more...]

Closing Communication Loops

One of the traits that sets humans apart from the rest of Creation is our ability to communicate in great detail, with a minimum of confusion and unproductive "noise." Still, we fail to communicate unusually often. The annals of history contain endless episodes of poor communication (or a complete lack thereof), leading to widespread misery and pain. On a lesser scale, individuals and businesses deal with miscommunication issues every single day; in the workplace, these breakdowns can have an impact not just on individual productivity, but also on the bottom line.  Even minor miscommunications can prove costly. For example: I once worked with a corporate president who called an analyst in finance to get a figure to put into a speech he was planning. The president expected the finance guy … [Read more...]

Clarity of Outcomes: Clear the Air Before You Commit

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision on what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it." -- Thucydides, ancient Greek historian. Clear, practical decision-making represents one of the hallmarks of the competent professional...though sadly, the commodity seems in shorter supply than it should be. People often make decisions reflexively, without sufficient data to understand the potential repercussions. Oh, sometimes they hit the bull's-eye through sheer luck. But since when was business a game of chance? You have to be able to see your target to hit it consistently, which makes clarity of outcomes your #1 goal in any decision-making process. Never blindly assume you understand what will happen if you do this as opposed to … [Read more...]