• Jul 19
    2017
    Does this sound familiar? “When I become a manager, I’m never going to be like __________.” Most of us, before we become managers, have an idea of what kind of manager we want to be, and it’s usually our response to some manager we have worked for. But if that’s your guiding principle for being a manager, you’re going to have a great deal of trouble, and let me suggest ...
  • May 17
    2017
    One of my favorite stories from the annals of computing comes from the mid-1960s. Joseph Weizenbaum of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory created a program designed to hold conversations. He named it ELIZA, after Eliza Doolittle, a lower-class character in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion who was taught to speak English like a member of the upper classes. The user would converse with ELIZA by typing on a keyboard and reading responses ...
  • Apr 19
    2017
    You are an internet user, so I am quite certain you have seen the video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago last week. It captured the public imagination, not just because the passenger screamed so plaintively, but because most people never realized that buying an airplane ticket is reversible in that way. Who knew that an airline doesn’t have to honor its commitment to ...
  • Mar 30
    2017
    “I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.” That was how Donald Trump characterized his model of leadership one year ago in the Republican presidential primary debate in Detroit. I criticized that remark at the time. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, ...
  • Mar 20
    2017
    There are a lot of stereotypes associated with the Millennial generation. They are said to be confident, assertive, team-oriented, tolerant, and multi-tasking. These are just a few of the adjectives I picked out from the article on them in Wikipedia. There is no shortage of articles on the web that tell how to communicate with and manage Millennials. By now, we all know we are supposed to provide them with ...
  • Feb 20
    2017
    The concept of executive presence has lately captured the imagination of the business press. When I did a Google search on the term, it came back with more than two million hits. This article in Business Insider (the first hit from my Google search) suggests that the seven aspects of executive presence all begin with “c”: composure, connection, charisma, confidence, credibility, clarity, and conciseness. This may be a tour de ...
  • Feb 08
    2017
    Most of us have forgotten about our resolutions we made for ourselves when the ball dropped. So, let’s start fresh and resolve to be a better communicator, learning from 2016’s mistakes. The year 2016 was a big year for communication failures. They were many, varied, and costly. Here are my top four New Year’s Resolutions for better communication (hey—better late than never and these could really save you and your ...
  • Nov 17
    2016
    I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the election is over. It had its low points, and it had its high points, but taken as a whole, I think it was unique in the annals of American public speaking. For most of us, it was exhausting just to watch it. Simply in terms of communication, without considering the issues, it was the toughest, most bizarre presidential election I have ...