Personal, Active & Brief

We pay more attention when someone speaks directly to us. Salespeople know that, so do good writers, speakers, teachers and leaders. Write Like You Speak, and Speak Directly to Your Audience. Be personal—write or speak directly to your audience, readers, or participants. Although school trained us to be formal and impersonal, it’s better to use...

Clear Writing for Schools: Communicating with your Student Body

I’ve attended several post-secondary institutions. All were wonderful places, run by motivated, caring administrators, but most failed at providing information. To clarify, they failed at providing student-centric information. Many schools suffer the same problem. The Problem Before a term starts, students receive numerous emails and letters containing time-sensitive information about registration, payment, accommodations and course materials. They also...

Navigating Negative Feedback: How to fix problems and get what you want

Someone messed up. An employee mishandled a project; your new car is a lemon; the waiter forgot your meal. From big to small, problems can be solved—and often fixed—if you know to complain, and what to do next. Handled skillfully, negative feedback can generate positive outcomes. Here’s how to make it useful, actionable and...

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