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March 26, In the Beginning was the Word. In the photo above, students practiced their speech sounds while playing the game.
David Allen's methods for "Getting Things Done" have become time-honored techniques for turning words into action and streamlining communication. But on the surface, some of the methods can seem mechanical--and even a little rude.
For example, there are times when Allen will send an to his wife about getting wheatgrass for their dog, even when his wife is sitting in the same room. Ask him why, and he'll say, "Because if I don't, then she'll have to write it down.
Conversation can be fun and it can be reassuring. But in the end, it's not always efficient. So here's the challenge: How can you create a workplace culture in which chats are useful, rather than wasteful? At the same time, how can you make sure the office doesn't become a library-like climate, where talkers are silenced as time-wasters and laughing loudly is frowned upon? Hard as it may be to believe, this sort of balance is possible.
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Here are four techniques that can help:. You know how it goes at meetings: Sometimes it's the first time you've been away from your desk all day. It's hard to resist the temptation to talk casually with coworkers.
But what happens, more often than not, is the meeting itself doesn't get underway until 10 or 15 minutes after the appointed time. What's to be done? After all, it would be no fun--and difficult to enforce--a meetings culture permitting no time for personal chats or catching up. One technique experts recommend is a "warm-up" round: You go around the table, with participants sharing something from their life--either business or personal--taking no more than a minute, sometimes as little as 10 seconds if it's a large meeting.
It breaks the ice, and it helps establish a tone that is efficient without being brusque. Of course, you need not be so formal about the ice-breaking.
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Meetings expert Michael Begeman suggests scheduling five or 10 minutes of open time at the start, where attendees talk about whatever they want. This window also allows attendees to vent about whatever's bugging themallowing them to be more present when the meeting begins in earnest.
In his new book, " Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It" consultant Phil Simon notes that too many communications include jargon, bogging down the give-and-take needed for efficient collaboration.
If there's too much jargon in an exchange, that exchange lasts longer than it needs to, or it eventually has to become a clarifying conversation. That's a conversation that didn't have to happen if there was no confusing jargon in the first place.
What to do? If you're a leader, you simply have to be more careful with your speech.
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Tangents can be fruitful, but they're seldom fast. The Young Entrepreneur Council recommends "parking" those tangents, so they can be discussed at proper length, at the appropriate time. This hack works well to keep the balance. You could also apply his list to conversational habits.
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You might be surprised how many words and phrases--"Can I pick your brain? Top Stories. Top Videos.
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