NextGen: Become a brilliant communicator

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NextGen: Become a brilliant communicator

  1. 1. Become a Brilliant Communicator
  2. 2. Today’s Communicator Andrew Krzmarzick GovLoop Community Manager GovLoop.com/profile/andrewkrzmarzick LinkedIn.com/in/andrewkrzmarzick andrew@govloop.com | @krazykriz
  3. 3. When Office Communications Go Terribly Wrong
  4. 4. The Ad That Turned Blunder to Brilliance
  5. 5. Communication Gaffes Happen “Communication by email for me is the likeliest source for miscommunication. Between being misunderstood because of misread tone or address error, the possibilities are great. Although I cannot note a specific misI know I have double checked my sent box a dozen different times after a sudden fear communication, that I may have inadvertently replied to the "wrong" person.”
  6. 6. Communication Gaffes Happen POLL: I LIVE IN FEAR OF THIS HAPPENING TO ME: a)  Once a month b)  Weekly c)  Daily d)  Hourly e)  With every email I send J
  7. 7. Communication Gaffes Happen “While working as a young supervisor, I was miffed by an employee’s lack of follow through on a specific task. I, angrily, left her a message on her dry erase board, for her only to see the next day. Rethought the delivery of this communication (as opposed to more professionally speaking with her directly), so I went to erase the message and discovered I had used permanent marker. Ugh. Had to cover the secured dry board with paper until new one could be installed. This incident taught me a lot, to say the least.”
  8. 8. Top 4 Office Communication Challenges 1.  When Informal Isn’t Normal: Tips for Email 2.  When Voicemail Isn’t Enough: Tips for Telephone 3.  When Talk Is Tough: Tips for Feedback 4.  When Life Is Too Short: Tips for Meetings 5.  When You Are Brilliant: Tips from the Crowd
  9. 9. 1. When Informal Isn’t Normal Challenge: How formal should you be when using communication technology like email, IM, texting and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) in a professional setting?
  10. 10. 1. When Informal Isn’t Normal •  The Wall Street Journal reports that poor grammar is increasingly an issue in the workplace. •  Society for Human Resource Management and AARP Study: most respondents blame young workers for this trend. •  However, with younger generations on the forefront of communication technologies, they may have developed a new norm of informality. Sources: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303410404577466662919275448.html
  11. 11. 1. When Informal Isn’t Normal TIPS FOR EMAIL •  Start formal, then react to respondents’ tone. •  Everything you send could be seen by anyone. •  Email’s terrible for tone, but be careful with emoticons. •  Leave “Sent from iPhone/BlackBerry.” •  Summarize any attachments.
  12. 12. 1. When Informal Isn’t Normal TIPS FOR EMAIL •  Think like a marketer •  Put the main point up front, details below •  Brevity’s best, save the rest •  Format for impact •  Bold, underline, bullets, numbers •  Subject lines matter •  Get ‘em to open, but if they don’t…
  13. 13. 1. When Informal Isn’t Normal TIPS FOR EMAIL •  Use signature blocks so people can follow-up •  Pause before sending that nastygram. •  Take an email break, if you can: •  Limit to 2-3 times a day? •  Nothing after hours? •  Schedule to be sent later?
  14. 14. 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough Challenge: How do I ensure the meaning of my message gets across when I’m using the phone?
  15. 15. POLL: HOW DO YOU USE YOUR PHONE MOST? 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough a)  Texting b)  Browsing the web c)  Making phone calls d)  Other
  16. 16. 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/stories/top-cellphone-complaint-people-dont-use-their-phones-enough
  17. 17. 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough “I literally never use the phone,” Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, told me. (Alas, by phone, but it had to be.) “Sometimes I call my mother on the way to work because she’ll be happy to chitty chat. But I just can’t think of anyone else who’d want to talk to me.” Then again, he doesn’t want to be called, either. “I’ve learned not to press ‘ignore’ on my cellphone because then people know that you’re there.” “I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  18. 18. 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough
  19. 19. BEFORE A SCHEDULED CALL: 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough TIPS FOR TELEPHONE •  Be ready to write – notepad, iPad, ThinkPad •  Have an agenda in mind - jot it down and stay on task. •  If it’s a scheduled call, set a time limit for it (default to less).
  20. 20. STARTING A CALL: 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough TIPS FOR TELEPHONE •  Don’t just jump right in with business •  Start with a warm-up: ü  “How’s your day going?” or ü  If you know of another project the person is working or something personal, ask about that
  21. 21. DURING A CALL: •  Use oral cues – ever had your brilliance greeted by silence? •  Focus – we know when you’re multi-tasking. 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough TIPS FOR TELEPHONE •  Got a call that’s going long? •  Ask if you can continue later / shift to email. •  Get a call when you’re under a deadline? •  Ask to schedule to a later time.
  22. 22. ENDING THE CALL: •  Summarize what you discussed ü  go over action items: ü  I will do x, y and z by ___. You’ll do a and b by ___.” •  End strong: short and sweet (no one likes long good byes :-) 2. When Voicemail Isn’t Enough TIPS FOR TELEPHONE
  23. 23. 3. When Talk Is Tough Challenge: We underestimate the power of positive and constructive feedback as a motivator. How can we more effectively give and receive feedback at work?
  24. 24. •  Recognition for a job well done is a powerful motivator. •  People want to improve, so don’t hesitate to offer constructive criticism. •  Be specific. What exactly did they do? •  Avoid email / chat: too impersonal •  Hand-written notes = rare, but respected •  Give feedback in person, when possible. ü  Do so publicly, as appropriate ü  Use video if remote 3. When Talk Is Tough TIPS FOR GIVING FEEDBACK
  25. 25. •  Say “thank you.” •  Listen to understand. •  Don’t get defensive. •  Ask questions to get specificity. •  Give it serious consideration. •  Do something about it. •  The only person you can change = YOU! •  Make it easy for people to give feedback: •  Office hours, “tip” box, email address, incentives 3. When Talk Is Tough TIPS FOR RECEIVING FEEDBACK
  26. 26. 4. When Life Is Too Short Challenge: Have you ever left a meeting feeling like your time would’ve been better spent at your desk? Me, too. How can you make meetings worthwhile?
  27. 27. 4. When Life Is Too Short http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/what-is-the-longest-meeting
  28. 28. 4. When Life Is Too Short http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/07/29/ford-chairs-longest-city-council-meeting-in-toronto-history/
  29. 29. •  Begin and end on time. •  Arrive early with all necessary materials •  Circulate an agenda beforehand •  Take a break at minimum every two hours •  Only have meetings when necessary: •  Pssst…it’s okay to cancel! •  Avoid holding meetings during people’s most productive hours 4. When Life Is Too Short TIPS FOR MEETINGS
  30. 30. •  Don’t accept calls or texts during a meeting. •  Don’t sit down – seriously. •  If you (must) have a PowerPoint, make it visually interesting 4. When Life Is Too Short TIPS FOR MEETINGS •  Assign a clear leader or time keeper to keep things moving •  Set a time limit for each agenda item and honor it
  31. 31. 5. When YOU Are Brilliant: Tips from the Crowd •  Tips for… Email? Phone? Feedback? Meetings?
  32. 32. “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”* - Fyodor Dostoevsky * Don’t let it be you.
  33. 33. Thank You! Andrew Krzmarzick GovLoop Community Manager GovLoop.com/profile/AndrewKrzmarzick LinkedIn.com/in/AndrewKrzmarzick Andrew@GovLoop.com | @krazykriz

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