Monday, March 31, 2008

Watch Watercooler Chat

Everyone likes to chat about the latest developments on their favorite reality TV show – come on, who won’t cop to watching “American Idol?” “Big Brother?” “Survivor?” “The Biggest Loser,” “Celebrity Apprentice?” or other reality shows?

I, too, can’t wait to share my take on what happened the night before with various staff members.

But, when it comes to gossip, and spreading rumors, that’s a whole other story. Although tempting, it’s just not nice to share stories about those you work with – whether your bosses or colleagues. Gossip can be hurtful, dangerous and rude.

So, resist the temptation to chime in, when others start dishing their latest theories on who’s been dating who, or having an affair. Also, stay away from gossipers -- you don’t want to be associated with them.

Remember, what goes around comes around.

Karma’s a funny thing … you certainly don’t want to be the topic du jour for next week!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Words Are Powerful

How many times do you say something to someone in haste, only to wish you hadn’t?

If only you could hit a “rewind” or “delete” button before it comes out of your mouth or on your screen.

Words are powerful tools in every day communication – whether you are writing or speaking them. And, they are often abused or misused.

For example, why on earth would you use the word “heretofore” in a letter instead of “previously?”

Just because it’s the written word doesn’t mean you can’t choose words wisely. After all, sounding pretentious is not OK.

Here’s some guidelines.

•Keep it simple. This includes avoiding jargon and acronyms.
•Avoid “power robbers.” Words like “I believe” or “I’ll try” don’t exactly instill confidence.
•Don’t use “weasel words” like “sort of,” “kinda,” “probably,” and “maybe.”
•Use confident language like, “I suggest,” “I recommend,” and “I urge.”

Choose your words well. Remember they are powerful.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Business Travel Used To Be Fun.

Well, maybe it wasn’t fun, but it sure wasn’t as frustrating as it is today.

Aside from late arrivals and departures, hours on the tarmac, no food, overbooked flights, and lost luggage (carry-on rules!), the behavior of fellow travelers has deteriorated to the point of no return.

Let me tell you about a recent experience.

I was returning after speaking in Las Vegas, and enroute was struck once again about the impact of our travel behaviors. On my flight from the East Coast was a group of people who were attending the convention and sponsoring a booth. To say that they were rude on the flight is an understatement. The beer and vodka flowed. They were loud and even “hit” on one of the flight attendants. The other passengers around them were not amused by their disruptive behavior. As I observed, I was wondering if any of their customers were watching this.

The next day I did an educational session called “Successful People Are Connected People.” At one point an audience member said, “I was flying here from the East Coast yesterday and a group of attendees were so obnoxious on the flight. Before the trip I had thought of contacting them about buying some or their products, but I wouldn’t consider it now.” This was no surprise to me. I had to wonder how many people felt the same about the group on my flight, and how many other flights this same thing was happening.

If you are a fellow road warrior, you probably can relate – the goal, of course, is to put up a mirror and ask yourself, “Is she talking about me?”