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Communication

The (Double) Objective of Your Meeting

Today, I would like to talk about a basic topic: knowing the objective of a meeting. Meetings remain an essential part of projects. Whether they are traditional meetings, teleconferences, or virtual meetings, you will need to talk to various persons. Yet meetings can have a bad reputation. They can be viewed as a big waste of time. And indeed, some of them are. I am sure we all can share bad experiences of useless meetings. …

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Question Your Questioning

Is the way you gather information effective enough? In an article for Lifehack, Mike Martel challenges you to level up your questioning. For starters, avoid yes/no questions. Ask questions that make people explain themselves, which in turn challenges them to decide what information is really pertinent. Then dig deeper with follow-up questions that clarify vague points and expand potentially interesting nuggets. Do not worry about there being periods of silence between questions and answers; allow …

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Learn to Ask Better Questions: 4 Tips

In an article for Harvard Business Review, John Baldoni shares four fast pointers to expand your perspective and improve your ability to ask questions: Be more interested in listening and learning than in getting first and last say. Ask open-ended questions that make the recipient think before answering. Express active physical interest in the questions you ask, to inspire full and earnest answers. When no one is delivering bad news, dig deeper to confirm if …

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Get What You Want from Someone by Asking Better Questions

You really need a helping hand from Horatio in accounting to finish this project on time. How do you win over Horatio quickly? In an article for Forbes, Emma Johnson shares some reliable advice for how to ask him: Ask for advice, rather than a favor. (But then maybe build off of that.) Ask specific questions that can be clearly answered within a few minutes. Articulate how that person helping you will also be helping …

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How to Ask ‘Beautiful’ Questions

Leigh Buchanan interviews Warren Berger on the subject of “beautiful” questions for Inc. A beautiful question “reframes an issue and forces you to look at it in a different way.” These are the types of questions that, by their nature, inspire innovation or solutions to problems. And Berger goes far with this idea. For instance, he thinks businesses should replace mission statements with lofty questions, like “How might we use robotics to improve the world?” …

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5 Things That Great Questions Should Do

Have you ever stopped and thought about what a question should really do? Probably not. But used strategically, questions can serve a few purposes beyond simply soliciting an answer. Stephanie Vozza shares five things a question can do in an article for Fast Company: Questions can empower. For instance, if you ask, “How do you feel about the project so far?” instead of, “Why are you behind schedule?” you give the person better footing upon …

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7 Tips to Ask More Powerful Questions

Knowledge is power, and the right question can be a spear through the heart of your worst problems. Thus, you should work on improving the strength of your questions. In a post at his website, leadership author Michael Hyatt shares seven tips to do just that: Ask open-ended questions in order to generate conversation and uncover insights that might be overlooked in yes/no questions. Ask yourself and colleagues what your assumptions are. False assumptions are …

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5 Little Tips to Become a Better Communicator

Do you ever sense a quiet exasperation in the people to whom you are talking? As if maybe they wish this conversation or presentation would just end? Maybe your communication skills need work. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall shares five quick tips that might make the difference in your improvement: Join Toastmasters. Use visuals. Study great communicators. Read books on communication. Ask for feedback. Communicate with Purpose About that unique …

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How Emotional Intelligence Affects Project Outcomes

Emotional intelligence (often going by the awkward “EQ” abbreviation) is the simple principle of being able to address and work with colleagues’ emotions. Intuitively, we probably always knew it was important, but it is only just now becoming formalized. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander discusses the impact that EQ has on project outcomes. I Second That Emotion For starters, project managers can use EQ to take communication from customers and translate it into …

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Don’t Let the Boss Look Bad Either

Making the boss look good is one thing, but not making the boss look bad is also something we should be mindful of in our careers. A post from A Tank to a Bank sends us this reminder. Of course, only a treacherous person would intentionally try to undermine or sabotage a boss, but an employee can do things to unintentionally set up a boss for failure too. Specifically, the post discusses how there will …

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