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The Danger of Speaking the Same Language

07-05-2017

When you speak a different language, you’re on guard against miscommunication because you expect it might happen. The danger of speaking the same language is we assume we know what the other person means and only find out we were wrong when there is an issue.

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Technical Professionals Still Need Communication Skills

05-31-2017

Many technical professionals mistakenly think soft skills are for those who don’t have the smarts to be technical and need to compensate with “manipulation” tactics.

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When Your Global Colleagues Don't Make Sense

04-14-2017

Your standards and processes for work excellence were created through your specific cultural lens. Although it makes complete sense to you in your context, it may not work well for another culture with a different set of values and beliefs.

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Inspire and Influence - Leading Others

03-01-2017

In an edited extract from his new book, Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond JAY SULLIVAN, managing partner at Exec|Comm LLC, shares his theory of leadership and explains the advantages of motivating and challenging others.

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Think 'Engagement': Advice From The C-Suite

02-09-2017

Our political leadership seems to be advocating “being unpredictable” as a strategy. Therefore, people are looking for stability elsewhere, often turning to their business leaders for a sense of rational discourse and clear messages about values.

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Bringing Your “Genuine Self” To Every Interaction: Use your body language

01-10-2017

Have you ever listened to someone and thought, “something here isn’t right?” Why do some people come across as more genuine than others? It’s all about body language.

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A Story of Discrimination...Yes, I Am Judging You

12-15-2016

In corporate America, people rarely give us feedback on the “little” things that matter—like how we look or how we make them feel. But they discriminate based on these things—silently.

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It’s Not All About You

11-03-2016

To communicate more effectively, and distinguish yourself from those around you, communicate from the other person’s point of view.

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How To Successfully Respond To A Question You Really Don't Want To Answer

10-28-2016

If you watched the presidential debates, you may have come to the conclusion that answering questions is optional. If you don’t want to provide an answer, simply insert your own topic and carry on.

When you’re at work and your client or boss asks a question, however, it’s not always smart to change the subject and promote your own agenda. Questions need to be addressed.

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How To Get Promoted After Less Than A Year On The Job

06-15-2016

If you want a promotion after less than 12 months on the job, you'll need to show it's a more obvious choice than it might seem.

You’re six months into your job and doing well at your company. You feel you've already settled in, and you're ready for more responsibility. So you schedule some time with your boss and ask, "So, what can I do in order to get promoted?"

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How to Talk to Strangers

03-30-2016

Lessons from a 4-year old.

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The Self-Improvement Strategy You Didn't Realize You Learned In Science Class

02-24-2016

Experimenting on yourself doesn't have to be the stuff of horror movies.

Your third-grade science teacher introduced you to what may be the best strategy for picking up new skills and knowledge than any you'll ever find. You may not have realized it at the time or even remember it now, but it's been in use for hundreds of years: the scientific method.

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Oops! The Mistake That Still Haunts Me 15 Years Later

11-05-2015

Live by the words of Miles Davis: “When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” If things go wrong, work hard to make them right.

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Three Strategies For Introverts To Speak Up In Meetings

10-23-2015

"You need to speak up."

"You have to be more visible."

If you're an introvert, you might have heard these two bits of feedback before. And if you're a high performer, they can be especially irksome. Speaking up just isn't something you do. But be that as it may, failing to make your voice heard at pivotal moments might be hurting your career.

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Feedback Schmeedback

04-07-2015

Contrary to popular belief, people don’t do better just because you tell them they’re doing something wrong. Some things to consider before you offer feedback.

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The Power of Pretty

03-25-2015

Your appearance plays a part in your career. While we can’t Photoshop real life, we can take what we were born with and play up our aesthetic strengths.

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Influencing Snap Decisions

06-24-2014

We all make snap decisions. Many issues we decide on the fly should be made that way. Fax the document or e-mail it? Delegate the assignment to a junior colleague or do it myself? Do I want fries with that?

Unfortunately, we also make snap decisions about important matters. Which client’s work is a priority? Is Jack the best person for this assignment?

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Entrepreneur Pitch Presentations

12-06-2013

Lessons from the Front Lines

Entrepreneurs are headstrong and passionate – they live immersed in their idea and sweating out the details. Yet at the same time, they are often hard pressed to bring others into their world.

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7 Traits of Executive Presence

09-24-2013

The Key To Winning People Over

Larry Ellison has executive presence. So did Steve Jobs.

Although very different people, they both had that confidence and composure that allowed them to connect with others.

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Brief and Brilliant: The Technical Presenter’s Holy Grail

09-19-2011

“But why would I leave anything out? It's all important!” At first, I thought the chemical engineer was kidding. I even laughed at what I thought was an attempt to make fun of the prevailing stereotypes of engineers and other technical professionals. But this engineer was not joking. He was serious in objecting to my guidance that his presentation on bio-diesel be cut down to 8 slides from the 21 he had prepared. Well, so much for fighting stereotypes.

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Leveraging the Lunch and Learn

02-07-2011

These informal lectures are perfect practice for client presentations.

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Honest Feedback for Public Speakers: How to Get It and Give It

12-21-2009

Speakers crave useful critiques of their talks yet most people shy away from offering helpful feedback. But good speakers are always looking to fine-tune their craft.

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Five Steps to Delivering an Effective Presentation

10-01-2009

Presenting at a medical conference or to a group of your peers can be challenging and, for some, even frightening. Too often, one struggles to prepare and deliver a presentation, while the audience struggles to maintain interest. Most presenters, even those who fail, begin with good intentions. But effective public

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Hit the Ground Running

02-02-2009

Set goals, redefine relationships and communicate as a leader.

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Clear Messages are Crucial in Leadership

12-05-2008

As a professional in an intellectual discipline such as the law, chances are you were rewarded in life for being smart. You did well in high school, so you got into a good college. You did well in college, so you got into a good law school. You studied hard in law school and landed a nice job at a respectable firm.

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Developing Business in Tough Times

10-03-2008

In difficult economic times, two communication skills can help improve client relationships and generate more business. First, we can become our clients’ trusted shoulder to lean on as they deal with their own difficulties. Second, we can help them understand the many ways in which we can help them as they deal with their difficulties.

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Persuasion Through Story Telling

08-01-2008

As lawyers, we routinely need to persuade others. We need them to hire us, to find in favor of our clients, to work for us, to promote us to partner. In order to persuade others we must tell engaging stories about how we can help them.

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Clear Writing Equals Greater Impact

06-06-2008

Yesterday, I received four voicemail messages and 62 e-mails. The tide has turned and we now communicate at work far more through writing than through actual conversation. So here are a few things to keep in mind about effective writing:

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Conveying Effective Feedback

04-04-2008

As an associate, I was once in a colleague’s office when a clearly annoyed partner walked in. He threw a letter on my colleague’s desk, a junior associate, and asked, “What’s wrong with this?” The junior associate stared blankly at the document, trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong. Had he left out some important information? Was it addressed to the wrong person? Was the caption wrong? The font?

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Effective Delegation

02-01-2008

Business professionals change titles every two or three years. Along with those changes, they generally receive training on how to work effectively in their new roles. At law firms, our roles change more subtly. We may refer to associates as junior, mid-level or senior, but our business cards don’t change, our clients may not see the change (except on fee statements) and our firms may not acknowledge the changes with training to give us the necessary skills for our new roles.

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Connecting With Your Audience

11-23-2007

In college public speaking classes, we were all told to make eye contact with the audience. Most of us heard
that message as, “Scan the audience. Make eye contact with as many people as possible.” Unfortunately, when we scan the room, whether we are talking to three people or 30, we increase our anxiety because we try to process information about each person we see.

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Building A Reputation As a Listener

09-07-2007

As workloads begin to pick up with summer’s end, it’s time to focus once again on how best to impact those around you. In a recent survey conducted by my firm, 74 percent of more than 1,800 legal and business professionals listed “listening skills” as one of the three most important communication skills a leader must possess. No other communication skill was listed more often. “Conveying clear messages” was a distant second, at 59 percent.

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Influencing Snap Decisions

07-06-2007

We all make snap decisions: attorneys, clients, jurors, our colleagues. Many issues we decide on the fly should be made that way. Fax the document or e-mail it? Delegate the assignment to a junior associate or do it myself? Do I want fries with that?

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Communicate Clearly and Confidently

06-01-2007

Convey to your employer that you possess the intellect, dedication and maturity to help serve its clients.

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Goal Driven Interviews

05-04-2007

As you advance in your legal career, you’ll find your role at the firm changing. Although your job initially is to  crank out billable hours, after a few years part of your job becomes helping to plan for the firm’s future. At large and small firms alike, this often means helping to hire new attorneys.

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Reading More Helps Make You A Better Writer

04-30-2007

While taking a business writing program, whether it's with bankers, accountants or lawyers, a participant will ask how to become a better writer. The answer is easy: Become a better reader.

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Negotiations: Listen More, Talk Less

03-02-2007

With your game face on, you walk into the conference room to meet opposing counsel. Your client has given you the guidelines for what they want to achieve from the negotiation. It’s the first time you are on your own with the other side. You’ve always known you were tough, and now you get to prove you can play hardball with the big guys.

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Leadership 101

02-05-2007

It takes values, a vision, a plan—and good communication skills.

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A Crash Course In Writing Effective E-Mails

02-04-2003

We have a love-hate relationship with e-mail. Perhaps no business tool has moved faster from being a tremendous boon to a tremendous burden than e-mail.

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Crisis Communication

12-15-2002

Sometimes, who tells and how they tell it is as important as the missive itself. How can you make sure that the message reaches the right audience in the way you had in mind? It's all part of a well-thought-out communications plan.

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Effective Encounters

10-15-2002

Positive Client Meetings Build Strong, Lasting Relationships

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Motivating Through Tough Times

09-01-2002

Communication becomes even more important when you're hashing out solutions to tough problems.

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Coaching And Counseling: You Need To Do Both To Retain Talented Employees

07-15-2002

Today's reduced workforce demands that fewer employees take on more responsibilities. For managers, this means maximizing the talents and potential of their subordinates and making sure they are fulfilled and challenged by what they do day to day.

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Play Nice

06-01-2002

Skip the tricky ploys—try these tips to negotiate successfully and ethically

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Put Your Best Foot Forward With the Press

05-15-2002

Getting mileage out of your public relations program takes planning. How you relate to reporters, what you say to them, and how you say it can make or break your company's public reputation. Your company's image is particularly challenged when an unplanned crisis occurs and grabs the attention of reporters. They want to know what happened and why, so you need to have a communication strategy in place that puts you and your company in the best possible light.

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The Big Cheese

05-01-2002

Senior executives can't afford to have presentations skills that stink, but many do. Here's how to meet the challenge and come out smelling like a leader.

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Every client meeting provides a dynamic new opportunity

04-01-2002

Are you taking every advantage offered to you?

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Coaching and counseling

03-25-2002

You need to do both to retain talented employees

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Coach and Counsel to Retain Top Producers

03-15-2002

If Companies know that a productive workforce improves shareholder value, why do so many neglect the coaching and counseling of their human capital? Unfortunately, many companies ignore the value of human capital — an asset that directly affects the bottom line. The high: costs of rehiring and training for positions vacated by unmotivated, underutilized individuals are strong, support for the need to make the employee's career growth a priority. So if managers know these skills are crucial for employee retention, why do many resist using them?

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Ethical negotiators use smart strategies, not ploys

02-01-2002

Your goal is to win the sale and keep the relationship

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