Communication

Using humor to score points

February 1, 2010
Using humor in your business presentation is not for you to fancy yourself as a comedy club headliner. The goals of humor are to engage your audience and reinforce your point.

Earn trust by requesting feedback

January 1, 2010
One of the most endearing traits of a good manager is a willingness to ask for feedback from peers and employees.

Gain buy-in with ‘idea grafting’

January 1, 2010
If you tell team members that you welcome their great ideas but never incorporate them, you crush morale. But if you heed group input, you can make everyone feel like winners.

How to cope with an explosive hothead for a boss

January 1, 2010
You like to avoid confrontation. But you work for someone who thrives on it. Try saying, “I can perform at an even higher level if we make a few changes in how we communicate.”

Good input pays

January 1, 2010
Gus, a director at a natural gas utility firm in the Northeast, discusses his attempt to preserve morale amid the latest in a series of companywide reorganizations.

The danger of extreme emotion

December 1, 2009
As a manager, your job is to set the right emotional tone for your employees. If you show extreme emotion and visibly react to cycles of victory and despair with uncontrolled passion, you can exhaust the very people you want to motivate.

Reserve judgment when you hear new ideas

December 1, 2009
If you’ve participated in an improvisational comedy class, you learned never to negate what you hear. The three magic words of improv are “affirm and add.” The same rule applies in a brainstorming meeting.

Prepare great meetings

December 1, 2009
If you hold a meeting and nothing gets done, what’s the point? To avoid wasting time, begin by setting a clear expectation.

Tell stories in four chapters

December 1, 2009
Great speakers tell great stories. Illustrate your key themes with vivid, visually arresting anecdotes that capture a specific time, place and activity.

Skip the cliches, make your point

November 1, 2009
Swimming teachers urge youngsters to jump into the pool. Don’t pace along the edge. Don’t stand there getting scared. Don’t dip your toes to test the water. The same rule applies to speakers.