Business Communication

Business Communication, Communication

Why Don’t We Have a Conversation?

Why don’t we have a conversation? No matter what business you’re in, I’m betting this sounds familiar. Email’s long since become the default for interacting with customers and colleagues and everyone else. At big companies, people notoriously send Slack messages to individuals sitting right down the hall or across the room. Younger people gravitate toward texting instead; many millennials never answer their phone, they don’t even listen to voicemails. Sure, you can call them—you’ll get a text in return. If you’re lucky. There are some advantages to typing versus talking. But, oh, what we give up!

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photo of two business people enjoying a conversation
Business Communication, Communication, Speaking

Some Like ‘em Strong and Wrong

Some like ‘em strong and wrong. It seems as true today as it was then. Former President Bill Clinton told the Democratic Leadership Council in 2002, “When people feel uncertain, they’d rather have someone strong and wrong than weak and right.” It was his post-mortem after Democrats went down to defeat in that year’s midterm elections. Fast forward to the present and notice how often you hear Donald Trump’s supporters say they’re with him because, “He’s strong.” “He’s a leader,” and “He fights.” They’re not agreeing with some arcane policy positions, they’re reacting to their perceptions of Trump’s personality. Loud, aggressive, freewheeling. And they like it.

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Strong and Wrong
Business Communication, Networking, Speaking

More is Less

More is less. They say less is more. They’re right, of course, when it comes to most of our business communication…and a lot of our personal conversations as well. A friend is editing a piece of her marketing material; she mentioned she thought there’s room to pare it down. “You know,” she said, “Less is more.” Absolutely! Also, as I told her, more is less. Sometimes much less. It happens often that the more we say, the less engaged our listeners are and the less they take in, much less buy into, what we’re saying. You know this from your own experience, right?

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photo of presenter talkng too much
Business Communication, Women in Business

Are You Ready to Shine?

Are You Ready to Shine? Some young women have stepped into the spotlight in a big way as millions of us watched the NCAA Women’s Basketball Finals. Ticket prices set new records. Ditto for TV ratings. Women’s sports—they’ve come a long way, Baby. And yet … Some things are slow to change. Interesting tidbit from an ESPN profile of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. Before she was the nationally known superstar she is now, making millions for her name, image, and likeness, Caitlin tried out for Team USA. “Possession to possession, shot to shot, she played free and bold. Head coach Cori Close, whose day job was coaching UCLA’s Bruins, saw the confidence immediately. ‘Women have been socialized to not want to take all the shine,’ she said. ‘She is an elite competitor who isn't scared to step into the moment.’” Women have been socialized to not want to take all the shine. Amen, Sister.

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University of Iowa basketball players prepare to step on the court at the, "Crossover at Kinnick," basketball game at Iowa City, Iowa, October 15, 2023. A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker of the 185th Air Refueling Wing flew over Kinnick Stadium before the basketball game with a record 55,000 people in attendance. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Everett)
Business Communication, Speaking

The #1 Skill We All Need

The #1 skill we all need. Sitting in church on Easter Sunday, I was thinking about you. And your presentation skills. Okay, not the whole time I was sitting in church on Easter Sunday. But you did cross my mind. Because I was listening to different individuals speak … and feeling their impact on the people in the pews. Here’s what I noticed. There were some announcements and some readings and the clergy and lay people who shared them with us were fine. Then there was a call for children to come up to the front of the sanctuary. And the youth minister talked to them … and us … in a way that was radically different from anything that had come before. His voice was strong. His tone was conversational. His energy was powerful. You could feel his impact on the kids right in front of him and on the adults in the pews as well. The way he spoke enhanced what he said. And it’s like that for all of us.

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close-up of microphone with blurred backgound of people