Category Archives: Communication

Collaboration

Collaboration can become "coliberation" when done right. When, exactly, are "two heads better than one"?  When the overall goal and task at hand deserve this form of closely aligned partnering.  Of course, not every type of work, every goal or every task deserves it, and when collaboration is warranted, success depends on the willingness and skill-sets of collaboration partners.  Key is to Continue Reading ...

Presentations that Don’t Suck

Why is PowerPoint a cue to take a nap for so many professionals? Is it because they can? Nobody is watching them, and they can finally catch up on some much-needed rest? Unfortunately, nobody is watching the presenter, either. Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most used and most loathed tools in business today. It’s the go-to tool for 99% of presentation visuals intended to communicate with others. Continue Reading ...

New Rules for Communication @ Work

By Daniel Robin This article describes a set of new rules for effective workplace communication in an ever-changing economy. It assumes that you are part of a high-performing organization that values innovation, stuff participation (collaborative vs. command-and-control styles of leadership), mutual accountability and, to some extent, sustainability. Doesn’t sound like your workplace? Perhaps Continue Reading ...

Exploring the Inner Frontier, Part 2

Skills to Set and Maintain Healthy Workplace Boundaries -- part 2 of 3 By Daniel Robin Setting healthy boundaries at work can be your saving grace; it can also be a daily testimonial to your courage and skill. Whether you’re the boss who has not enough staff and way too much to do, or you’re a member of that staff, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is an invisible and challenging Continue Reading ...

Sailing the Seven C’s of Collaborative Business Relationships

By Daniel Robin To some folks, the phrase "business relationships" is effectively an oxymoron. The more pressure to perform, the more likely there’ll be a bump in the road to collaboration that sends things flying out of control. Hopefully the "bump" isn’t the tip of an iceberg, but just a bit of rough water that will soon pass. Collaboration at work isn’t required, it’s just a lot more Continue Reading ...

Why is Not the Question (nor is it the answer)

By Daniel Robin Kevin and Denise have learned how to fight. With comments like "How could you ...?!" and "I hate it when you do that," they share little more than a difference of opinion. If we ask them "why" they are fighting, we will probably hear "because he's being a jerk" or "because she won't listen to reason." That response explains only the cause of the fight, but not its purpose. A more Continue Reading ...

Communication Skills for People Under Pressure

By Daniel Robin "There comes a time ... when we must grab the bull by the tail and face the situation." - W.C. Fields You walk into a meeting with your agenda brandished on your frontal lobes, ready to get the team's unwavering commitment and blast into action. The last time you had an assignment with this group, some joker disagreed, it threw you off, and it took forever to get it done. This time Continue Reading ...

The Gentle Art of Confrontation

By Daniel Robin When you have a difficult message to convey to someone, how do you get them to listen non-defensively? This article explores methods of delivering so-called "bad news" with maximum effectiveness and minimum offensiveness. Consider the following situation at the office: a co-worker consistently deflects, resists, or lashes back each time you initiate an Continue Reading ...

Right-Wrong Thinking … is Just Plain Wrong

By Daniel Robin "It’ll never work, asserts Max, after reading the proposal. "What won’t work, Max? I’d like your input … or is it too difficult to let somebody else be right occasionally?," I ask. "Fine, you can be right all you want," sweeping his arm graciously, "-- but your idea stinks." "Hey, I’ve no interest in being right. I just want there to be room for us to openly and constructively Continue Reading ...

Trust: Part 3

Trust This: Five Ways to Be Reliable By Daniel Robin The last two articles redefined trust as being able to predict the other person's behavior, describing some of the dynamics that help you minimize the risks of counting on others. Like most facets of interpersonal relations, on that two-way street called "Trust," you'll get where you want to go if you focus primarily on your own driving. If the Continue Reading ...

Not Just the Facts, Ma’am

By Daniel Robin "Hey, the boss is all upset," reports Todd, looking a bit worried. Curious to know what Todd observed, Nancy asks "How do you know the boss is all upset?" "Well," Todd explains, "I just saw her jumping up and down and pounding her fists on the desk. I’d say that means we’re in trouble." "Relax ...," says Nancy in reassuring tones, Continue Reading ...

Please Hallucinate the Way I Do

By Daniel Robin A study of expert communicators has provided a powerful set of distinctions to help us notice and adjust for our human tendency to interpret, distort or delete, generalize, and make assumptions. This article looks at the ways that we tweak information. We all tend to fill in the gaps from our own experience. This is also known as hallucinating. (Usually Continue Reading ...