I have written a lot about writing condolences to people who have experienced a serious loss--deaths in the family and environmental tragedies. But recently I caught part of a KUOW radio program The Conversation, which focused on Unemployment Etiquette. I realized that messages to those who have lost a job can be...
In a communications class this week, I worked with some managers and directors who recognized their many meetings were not as productive as they should be. Part of the problem was that their meetings did not have a stated purpose with specific outcomes. Sure, they knew they were getting together to...
The other day when I led the online course Meeting Notes Made Easy, an attendee I'll call Sheila asked how to avoid going into too much detail. Sheila worried that she usually writes a transcript, when what people need from meeting minutes are key points, decisions, and action items....
Last week I taught Meeting Notes Made Easy online. One attendee named Rhett said his biggest challenge in taking meeting minutes was facilitating the meeting and taking notes at the same time. To Rhett and everyone else I say, "Don't work so hard!" The meeting facilitator should not be the meeting note-taker....
Alexandra wrote to ask what to write in a follow-up email to people she meets at important meetings in Bucharest. At the meetings, she often talks to potential clients or partners for only a few minutes, and she would like to take those brief contacts to the next level. She...
We are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Better Writing at Work, our monthly e-newsletter, or ezine. Given my five years of experience, I share these tips for creating and writing electronic newsletters. Please share your tips too. Be sure your content is practical, something your subscribers can use. Be honest: Readers can't use an...
Today I received an email from a client, Marie, whose job is being eliminated at a prestigious investment company. She wrote to say goodbye. Because her email is an excellent example of how to say goodbye with class and to keep professional relationships strong, I asked her permission to share her email,...
Let's discuss the proper way to write time, whether standard, military time or the 24-hour clock. To start, let's discuss standard 12-hour clock that uses a.m. and p.m. Two commonly seen formats are 4pm and 4:00pm. Which is correct?  The answer is: neither! Both renderings are incorrect. You need to insert periods and a space...
Friends and colleagues who have lost their jobs need to hear from us. But it can be challenging to decide what to say, with job loss having so many sides to it: stress, opportunity, rest, disillusionment, freedom, fear, elation. Or all of the above. Yes, it's difficult to know what to say,...
In a professional discussion board I am a part of, there has been talk lately about coming up with topics for blogs. Some people are not posting to their business blogs as often as they want to, because they can't think of things to blog about. Here are some ideas that...