Researchers: Reading Bite-Size Bits of Information Hinders Our Thinking

Historically, humans have developed the brain capacity for "deep reading," that is, processing information, relating it to our existing knowledge, and asking questions about the material. But digital readers, jumping from one snippet to another, are losing the ability to think carefully and remember, according to researchers.

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Being Persuasive: Asking for Less can Lead to More

Too often, people ask for approval of their entire request, regardless of what it is. Asking for less the first time makes the request easier for someone to approve it, and if she approved it once, she is more likely to approve a subsequent request later.

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Should You Write the Way You Talk? To a Degree.

Writers should have a simplified, conversational tone, but not at the risk of wordiness. People are often told to "write the way you talk," but everyday speech is terribly inefficient, and the emphasis in business is on tight writing. Look for extra words in sentences that contribute nothing to the meaning.

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How Managers can Provide Effective Feedback

Feedback might be a manager's best tool for building stronger, more collaborative teams. Presenting specific, useful feedback in a way that is supportive and encouraging demonstrates caring and inspires trust.

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Keep Difficult Conversations in Balance

Uncomfortable conversations often get derailed because the core issue is lost in emotions: anger, embarrassment, resentment. Managers should not avoid having difficult conversations, because that can lead to further problems. But if both people try to understand each other's perspective and if both agree on an outcome that helps each person, the discussion is less likely to become toxic.

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By Ken O’Quinn

Focus on Them Focus on Them

As a contributing author in this book on leadership, Ken offers insights and tips for managing difficult conversations, providing effective feedback, and being authentic. Order here.

Perfect Phrases for Business Letters (McGraw-Hill) Perfect Phrases for Business Letters

Provides the right words and phrases for any situation - quickly. The book was reprinted in Japanese because of high-volume sales there.

TD at Work — Business Writing for Managers

The Association for Talent Development invited Ken to write this 22-page booklet for the TD at Work series.

Current Blog Post

  • Passive Voice is Not Always Wrong

    Passive Voice is Not Always Wrong

    The passive voice remains an easy target of business writing critics, but sometimes it is preferable to an active sentence. …

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