Gadgetry SOS? Two Rules in Response on Managing Americans

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 140,000 readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.

This month’s post explores communicating in our mobile environment.

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Hey Dick Tracy, Maxwell Smart and Inspector Gadget, I have a beef with you.  I thought all this gadgetry was supposed to help us communicate better and solve problems.  Why are we still having communication issues?  User error, you say?  It’s not the gadget itself, it’s how we use it? 

Here’s the tip of our very large communication iceberg. We leverage technology for a myriad of uses:

    • Customer interfacing
    • Global connection
    • Mass distribution of information
    • One-on-one bursts
    • Finding locations
    • Confirmation of activities
    • Remote working

In our highly mobile environment, communication is as important as ever but it is obvious we need some rules for our technology use regardless of what we use it for.  Let’s look at two simple etiquette rules. Benefit of the doubt is given here that you will obey your local laws when it comes to appropriate technology use!

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Gen X-PECTATIONS: 3 Lessons for Communication Turbulence on Managing Americans

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 140,000 readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.

This month’s post offers communication lessons for the multiple generation workplace.

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We’ve got turbulence brewing. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belts. Make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position. Generation X (born 1965-80), the first generation of latch-key kids, is taking over the leadership reins. And it’s going to be different kind of ride.  We can navigate well if we understand their expectations of communication and how it impacts teamwork and delegation.

It makes sense. Along with our families of origin, we are influenced by the culture around us as we grow up. We take those influences into the workplace.  Sarcastic, freedom-loving, hybrid-creating Gen X likes to do things their own way. We see friction as Baby Boomers (born 1946-64) want Gen X to conduct business by Boomer’s prescriptions.  In this case, Bart Simpson is a long way from Donna Reed!  Or as a Gen X might say….hmmmm….Donna who?

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4 Communication Tips to Open Your Mind & Strengthen Your Vocabulary on Managing Americans

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 140,000 readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.

This month’s post offers communication tips.

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Blah, blah, blah.  We speak the same language and yet so many times it’s like we are talking in tongues!  How come?  Admittedly, according to any dictionary, we have multiple meanings for the same words.  But what I am alluding to goes deeper than the dictionary — we assign meaning based upon many different influences.  Why is communication so hard?  Most of the time, our equipment is the same: Two ears and one mouth.  What’s the problem? 

In 1995 at the tender age of 32, the answer hit me.  While in conversation with a Director at my employer, I was confused that Mark and I had differing opinions.  I was trying desperately to understand where he was coming from and why he did not see the answer I clearly saw as the best viable option. I was then knocked over by a cosmic 2’ x 4’.  I had a light bulb moment so intense that he stopped mid-conversation asking if everything was okay.  I blurted out, “Oh, geez, I just realized you don’t think the same way I do!”

While this might be a duh moment for some readers, I surmise that the crux of many workplace communication problems is what I learned that day. Somehow in this crazy mixed up world with different work experiences, different genders, different generations, different cultures, different families of origin and different world views, we harbor the impression that others think exactly the same way that we do.  And yet, it is clear, we are DIFFERENT.

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Communicating Change In a World Traveling at Break-Neck Speed on Managing Americans

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 140,000 readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.

This month’s post explores communicating about change in the workplace.

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When was the last time you saw an employee leap for joy when an organizational change was announced?  Can’t remember?  Yea, that’s not the usual reaction we see. 

In our fast-paced global economy, change at break-neck speed is becoming the norm.   While itcan create tempered excitement in those who choose to embrace change, it tends to evoke more negative than positive responses.  Fear is the often sited reaction.  Employees may believe their already meaningful work is jeopardized, skill sets are no longer valued and, in some circumstances, their livelihood threatened.

Whatever the cause, the employee status quo is disrupted.  For those who have seen their fair share of changes, it can mean the start of yet another cycle. Ahhh, just what we need — change fatigue!  Amazing isn’t it?  Life is about change and yet organizationally we tend not to deal well with it. What goes wrong?  Communication is vital here.  How we choose to communicate can help or hinder success.

Read the full article here.

OMG, We Need to Establish Work Text-iquette

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Sherri Petro, President and Chief Strategy Officer of VPI Strategies, represents VPI Strategies on the Expert Panel for Managing Americans. ManagingAmericans.com is a management blog with more than 300,000 readers. Sherri contributes monthly to the Workplace Communication Skills Blog and is one of the most highly read columnists.

This month’s post tackles the viability of texting as a strategic communication channel for organizations & managers.

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We all know texting and driving is a monumentally bad combination.  What about texting and working?  This is not in reference to texting personally while at work, it’s about using texting as a viable communication channel in our organizations.  How do we use it well?  While HR departments have been modifying their e-policies for use of personal texting, we don’t see much on how to use texting to effectively enhance organizational communication. texting culture

In 2008, while educating CEOs in the US and Canada on leveraging generational communication, this author asked whether the execs intended on allowing texting in their organizations.  The answer was an unequivocal no!  At the time, texting was done by youth and studies showed Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) might be texting in five years.  What was completely underestimated was Boomers’ desire to communicate with our kids.

And we learned fast.  Three years later, while addressing another such group, I did not have to ask.  The CEOs were texting their HR departments during my presentation to inquire on their company’s workforce generational demographics.  Recognizing the need for immediate accessibility and the value of short bursts of information, they were on board with using texting — for themselves.

Read the full article here.