In my survey of 686 people working in the United States, 77 percent indicated that they have felt extremely hurt when receiving negative written feedback on the job. That hurt shouldn’t be happening. Feedback should be constructive—not destructive. To give feedback that helps rather than hurts, avoid these Don’ts. 1....
A reader named Kris sent this question: "I notice that people are no longer writing or speaking pronouns at the beginning of sentences. Is this acceptable now? I was taught that an implicit 'You' did not need to be written/spoken, but I’m noticing 'I' and 'We' not spoken or...
I had an experience recently where an individual sent me an email reply with no message--just an attachment. I felt let down, disappointed that my gracious communication had prompted what appeared to be a hasty, minimal reply. I wonder: Am I overreacting? Please share your opinion in the comments. Here's...
With business communication evolving into shorter, quicker messages, people wonder about long-standing formalities like complimentary closes (for example, Sincerely and Best wishes). Do we still use them? If so, which ones belong where? Here are answers to frequently asked questions about complimentary closes for letters, notes, emails, and texts.    Question:...
Time to act! Your Canadian clients and customers will celebrate Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l'Action de grâce) on Monday, October 14. Your U.S. contacts will do the same on Thursday, November 28. Be wise and thoughtful, and take this opportunity to remember them before the holiday (c)rush. Consider how...
Do you know how to say no? Are you comfortable writing a message that says no to someone's request? Or do you ignore requests hoping they will go away? Read this post to learn the easy way to say no--and why to say it.  Background: In the past year I...
On Saturday The New York Times ran a humorous column "I Hope You're Well," by Kerry Elson. In case you are unable to access The New York Times online, here are two opening exchanges from the piece: ********************* Hi, Robin, I hope you’re well. I can’t seem to find the attachment. Please re-send. All the best, Laura   Dear Laura, I...
Rob wrote:  I thought you might be a helpful sounding board from something I'm experiencing at work.  Recently, one of our female executive leaders has been using the word Ladies as a salutation in her emails that include men in the To and/or the Cc of the email.  I'm indifferent to people...
At job interviews it's easy to stumble over at least one question, especially if it's unexpected. Interview blunders can cause you to dread following up on your application. But don't lose heart! A thank-you note can remedy the situation.  When you feel that you have blown an interview question, address...
My daughter's friends in college are interviewing for internships and permanent positions. Days after their interviews some of them ask, "Should I have sent a thank-you?"  To them I say, Yes! And this blog post will help them--and you--write it.  The purpose of the all-important interview thank-you is to thank the...