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The Monthly Memo.

You Receive Bad Career News. Then what?

Firings. Layoffs. Downsizing. Outsourcing. Limited buyouts. Through my official duties and unofficial experience (and a personal episode) I’ve had opportunities to learn a lot about how best to handle bad career news. Besides providing counsel for high-profile execs,...

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Improve Your Writing by Better Using White Space

What makes writing work? My journalism professors would tell you it comes down to using five words where someone else might use twenty. Just as importantly it is, of course, about picking each word carefully, no matter the number you use. It is said Ernest Hemingway...

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The Subtle Business of Doing Follow-Up Right

Here’s the scene: you’ve been wanting to meet with someone and the day finally arrives. The meeting goes well, and then what? How do you best follow-up and make sure it keeps the spirit of all of the good things that took place during your visit, reminding the person...

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The tricky business of delivering a message you disagree with

Every experienced leader – and some inexperienced leaders – have found themselves in a tough position. They are the messenger when they don’t believe in the message. Can you feel yourself breaking into a sweat just thinking about the possibilities? It can happen at...

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Solving Problems for the Different Learners in the Room

Have you ever explained something to a colleague and they totally get it – then the next person gives you a blank stare? What just happened? And why doesn’t everyone see this is so obvious! As a communicator and a leader, you’ll forever be adjusting to the different...

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That Uncomfortable Conversation: How to Handle it Well

Everyone has one from time to time. The chat with an underperforming employee. Addressing a conflict that seems ready to boil over. Sorting out a client relationship which is going sour. No matter the specifics, here are some keys to make that tough talk go more...

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Are you nervous when you are asked to give a talk? Why?

The answer to the above question can be found in any excellent performance you have ever witnessed. My wife and I recently saw “Hamilton.” The answer was right there for all to see. Have you watched an outstanding athlete at the top of their game? Your answer can be...

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20+ Years Around John McCain; What I Learned

John McCain was a funny, smart, maddening, driven, awkward and caring person all wrapped in a short, gray haired package. From the 1980’s until 2006 I covered him as a news reporter, then stayed in touch as I transitioned into the business world. While a lot has been...

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Ending the Conversation Trail: When is enough, enough?

Is there a place where politeness and professionalism give way to old fashioned annoyance? With the best of intentions, we can mistakenly drag out our communication for too long and have people scratching their heads. What does that look like and might you be guilty...

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Why We Often Discount the Very Things We Know

If I could summarize this topic in a single sentence it would be this: “Too often we assume if we know something, then others must know it as well.” It’s as if we automatically devalue what we know, and that can hurt us or make it hard on others. Perhaps you’ve even...

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