Soft skills of good communication and relationships essential to career success

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Commentary, Research findings, Workplace relationships

Much of the focus in the business world is about technological advances. Imagine the shock in the Google high-tech environment when internal research made senior management realize 'soft' skills are more important qualities in the firm's top employees than tech skills. An article in the Washington Post quoted a post by eminent Professor Cathy Davidson discussing the Google findings. Davidson noted that in its first 15 years after being founded in 1998, Google sought ...

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How to speed up approvals of your draft material

01 Jun, 2020 Personal productivity, Writing and layout

Communicators commonly say one of their most difficult tasks is to gain approval from managers for draft text and printers’ proofs. Some communicators even find that text approvals are the longest part of the production process. There are several ways you can reduce the risk of delays in obtaining approvals – most of these ways involve communication! These principles apply as much to consultants dealing with clients as to internally based communicators. When I ...

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Use small talk with the big boss to enhance your career

01 Jun, 2020 Workplace relationships

Most employees dread the thought of having to make small talk with top executives. Small talk is conversation for its own sake – a bonding activity intended mostly to make people feel more comfortable with you. The ability to make small talk is a social skill that helps in building relationships. But what about making small talk with your top boss or CEO or a key client? Don’t dread the thought of making a ...

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How to boost your career by successfully managing your boss

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Managing upwards, PR management, Proving PR value, Workplace relationships

'Managing upwards' is the systematic process of working with your boss to obtain the best possible results for you, your boss and your organization. When you manage upwards, you show leadership on your own part. Most people know the importance of managing their relationships with the people who report to them, but you would be surprised at the number of people who forget to manage their most important working relationship – the one with ...

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Carefully crafted email subject lines are vital for effective communication

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

As professional communicators we don’t usually consider we should have email expertise. We tend to think that emails are more in the domain of direct marketers. But when we consider the number of times PR people and organizational communicators use emails, we actually depend on them to influence and persuade more than we realize. We need them to sell our message, especially the subject line. Pitching to media For instance, one-to-one emails are used ...

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Determine how to best serve your boss

01 Jun, 2020 Workplace relationships

Managing your boss requires you to develop a good understanding of them and their context as well as your own situation and needs. You need to understand your boss’s goals and pressures, strengths and weaknesses, pressures from their own boss, and preferred style of working. For a start, you could try to obtain a copy of their CV. You might say it would be helpful for doing a write-up on them in the staff ...

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Getting people to like you leads to more successful communication

01 Jun, 2020 Persuasion, influence, motivation, Workplace relationships

People like those who like them and who are like them Some people have the happy knack of persuasion – of getting others to do what they want. They seem to do it instinctively while most of us struggle to sway others to our way of thinking. But psychological research has shown that persuasion is more than instinct – you can use it by appealing to a limited set of deeply rooted human drives ...

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How you can be more productive immediately

01 Jun, 2020 Personal productivity

How can we become better organized? This is a question that has occupied all our minds at different times. A few years ago I did some work as a business coach, using a simple but powerful system. At its core it was about successfully compiling a ‘to do’ list. Sounds surprisingly simple, but it was robust and powerful in improving the management and structure of businesses. Overall, it was a more sophisticated technique than ...

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What’s your viewpoint? Gain personal PR insights with these questions

01 Jun, 2020 Careers, Commentary

The PRoust Questionnaire. Have you paused during your busy career to consider some of the broader aspects of your own role and the PR field generally? In the shadow of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might find this time a good opportunity for some light self-reflection. The PRoust Questionnaire has been developed by the editors of the PR Conversations blog, where you can join in discussion on a range of communication topics. ...

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How to deal with difficult people issues

01 Jun, 2020 PR management, Workplace relationships

Most people can be managed normally – no problem. But a minority may be difficult. What can be done about problem people? The problem may not be with them personally, but may be a problem with their situation. I’ve been through that experience personally. When I first started with a large power utility, I found two of my staff had put up their hand for a voluntary redundancy scheme offered to all employees – ...

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