The Message is the Medium in Business Communication

Marshall McLuhan, Canadian luminary, famously declared, “The medium is the message.” Yet, when it comes to business communication, whether it’s electronic or paper-based, it’s your words that matter most. As Tony Robbins, speaking about human relationships, articulated so succinctly, “words matter.” If you’ve ever had an argument with any one, I am sure you’re aware how true these…

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Workshops Don’t Work! Practice Over Time Does

I recently participated in a basic one-day first aid and CPR training workshop. Although you don’t need a medical background, it would have been easier if I had one. The course was very intensive. A lot of great information and demonstrations were packed into 6-8 hours. By the end of the day, my head was spinning. I…

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Ten Techniques of Highly Persuasive Communicators

As a business owner, I am sure you frequently encounter people who solicit you in order to sell you their services. For instance, the other day the phone rang and someone, who identified herself, only as “Ann,” launched into a monologue about how her digital marketing company would “achieve outstanding outcomes” for my business. She…

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Effective Business Communication: Audience is Key!

Instead of lauding Russell Peters for the great job he did as host of the recent Juno awards celebrating Canadian music, organizers had to apologize for his comments. Headlines in the news were not what you’d expect. They were about Russell Peters’ “jokes” about the young women in the audience and Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Heritage…

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Punctuation Matters

Whenever I solicit grammar questions from an audience, many of the questions relate to punctuation. Punctuation is a crucial part of good writing. It tells us where to stop, where to pause, and it marks off the exact words someone is saying. But it does so much more than that. Judicious and correct use of…

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Why Improve Workplace Writing Skills

It’s easy to assume that smart, educated people know how to write well. But that assumption isn’t always correct. I was reminded of this recently when I met with a client who was interested in improving the email writing skills of her employees, all of whom are university educated professionals. In order for me to…

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A Better Business Writing Guide for Performance Reviews

Conducting a performance review isn’t easy. However, when I saw the following question posed in The HR Capitalist: “Will Algorithms Ultimately Write Coaching Scripts for Managers?” the concept of automated people management seemed preposterous. Yet, computer analysis measuring employee productivity is already in use in some sectors, as Steve Boese notes in his blog post, “Maybe…

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Scrabble-type letter tiles spell out the words English, Langauge, Speak, Learn. Used to illustrate the concept of Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business.

Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business

The other day I received an email message from a businessman, who is not a native English speaker. He included the following disclaimer after his signature, “Please apologize any spelling mistakes as this message was sent from my mobile phone.” Clearly, this disclaimer is not a solution to his English communication problem; it’s more a…

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