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New STL Post-Dispatch Career Column: Choosing Your Words Wisely

Workplace Disagreement Advice

My most recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch Career Column discusses an issue too few professionals understand – how to choose your words wisely in a crucial workplace conversation. Below is an excerpt from the column. You can read the whole thing here.


I’ll cut to the chase: I believe the art of effective communication has been lost in the workplace — and I’m not alone.

ACCOR research recently showed 86% of managers think they are good communicators, but only 17% of employees said their managers communicate effectively. Another stat uncovered only 14% of people rated managers in their organization as “good” or “very good” at communicating.

So what should workplace managers do in order to turn these stats in the right direction? What do you do if there is a workplace conversation breakdown that impacts you and your career? What will you do in order to navigate your way back into effective, productive communication with your coworkers?

The answer to these questions starts with having a real conversation with the person whom communication is difficult. I have a four-pronged approach to ensuring there are no breakdowns in THAT conversation. Some of this thinking is inspired by Vital Smarts, a company known for providing excellent training in managing “Crucial Conversations” — conversations that help manage conflict in the workplace. I have partnered with them, applying their methodologies with some of my Career Coaching clients, and have seen impactful results.

Read the rest of this column here.