Scenario: Imagine that you run a classy beachside hotel. Many of the hotel rooms have balconies that face the beach. Everyone walking from the beach toward the hotel can see the balconies.  When guests hang wet bathing suits, towels, and other items over the balcony railings, the view is tacky--not...
The other night I was traveling from Boston to my home, Seattle. When I arrived at my connection city, Denver, at 7:15 p.m. I received this text message: Your Flight ___ on August 6 from DEN now departs at 11:55 p.m. We're sorry for the delay. Please visit .  The website...
In my survey on business writing and relationships of 686 adults, 81 percent of respondents said that a thank-you note they received had a definite positive influence on their decision to do business with a company or an individual again.  In an informal survey of blog commenters last week, all...
It's the season of graduations and weddings, wonderful opportunities to celebrate graduates' accomplishments and individuals' commitments to one another.  If you are a recent or soon-to-be bride, groom, or graduate, congratulations! Life is just beginning for you in many ways. One of the ways people celebrate your new life is...
Texting customers, colleagues, clients, and others is mainstream business behavior. But with regular use, there can be abuse. Don’t text just because you can. Text because people want or need to hear from you, and make the messages convenient for them—not just for yourself. Review the 10 tips below, and then...
So you’ve decided to start your own e-commerce business. You’ve probably read every textbook and online guide you can get your hands on, and you feel like you’re ready to launch your online shop soon. While that may be true after you’ve chosen the perfect niche that’s not ultra-competitive...
The other day at my health club I asked an employee what time the bank parking lot was available for club members' use. I knew I could use the bank lot when the bank closed, but I wasn't sure what time that was. The employee responded, "You'll have to...
I led a class for a group of writers who respond to citizen complaints about airplane noise. The writers cannot make the planes quieter, and they can't make them go away. What can they do? They can respond in ways that help citizens feel heard and helped. When you can't give...
The other day I participated in an online chat about cats being allowed to roam free in our neighborhood. Opinions for and against piled up minute by minute, with some people expressing strong views. Reading the comments, I noticed this one:  I'm sorry you were offended by my tone. The passive...
Last week I went with two friends to visit an assisted living facility they were considering for their mother. A warm, welcoming man shook hands with us and led us into his office. As we entered, I noticed the door plate. It said Sales and Marketing.  We were not there...