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Communication Tips

Don’t Let Your Orders Confuse People

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder describes an old boss who was exceptionally bright and business-inclined, but he always gave vague orders that subordinates could not interpret. Sauder estimates that perhaps this boss was so bright that he thought the things he was asking for were obvious, but to lesser mortals, that was not truly the case. The takeaway is that it is important for you to give people orders on a level …

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Do You Copy the Right People?

Email is like snow. It accumulates and accumulates until you would rather just stay inside and not be bothered with it. In a post for Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses some good practices to apply on the subject of copying people on emails. For instance, while it is common to copy a lot of people on an email when you are not sure which person has the information you need, you should slim down who …

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Getting to Agreement

Disagreement is a healthy part of business. Opposing viewpoints need to collide in order to create the most fully realized perspectives. However, eventually, people need to come to an agreement. Lew Sauder discusses how to get there in a post at Consulting 101. In the first place, clarify that all parties agree on what the actual problem is that they are trying to solve. It is no wonder if people disagree if they were never …

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Operate Your Presentation like a Pro

In an article for Consultant News, Toastmasters International’s Paul Carroll outlines some basic tips to give a presentation that is actually worth remembering. A good presentation begins with understanding your audience, which means you should study up on them beforehand. From there, develop a clear message that will be of interest to them. Be as concise as you can while still conveying all the essential details; you might be surprised how much information you can …

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Practice Acknowledgement and Praise

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses how a little bit of gratitude can be very important, but people sometimes forget to give it. For instance, if you receive a hundred emails daily, you probably only respond to emails that specifically demand it. That does not include emails that report important information you requested, which may have required a lot of effort to put together. People can easily start to feel underappreciated when …

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Are You Getting ‘Stuff’ Done?

In a post for Consulting 101, Lew Sauder reminds us of the simple importance of clarity. It is easy to talk in vague speak, like, “I’m gonna see the guy about that thing,” and magically expect others to understand what you mean. But they probably do not know, and thus a conversation is lengthened like fresh pasta as you are forced to repeat yourself—but this time with terms that make sense. The longer it takes …

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Getting in the Middle of Client Disputes

You are the trusted and impartial consultant. People look to you for guidance… and they also look to you to complain about other people. In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas explains how you should behave when clients make a habit of complaining about each other to you. Basically, Haas says that maintaining an impartial air is critical to your consulting ability, and if you attempt to mediate for two …

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Engagement Dips with Enthusiasm

When consultants first come on board, clients are enthusiastic to engage deeply with them to spur results. However, sometimes that client enthusiasm dwindles over time. In a quick post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas discusses what to do in this situation. He estimates that if engagement is to decrease throughout the life of a project, it is mostly like to begin around a quarter of the way through it. It can …

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Structure Communications with the Pyramid Principle

Ex-McKinsey consultant Barbara Minto conceived what she called the Minto Pyramid Principle, a strategy for structuring communication. A post at Consultants Mind describes this principle in abbreviated terms. Perhaps you can use this technique to create more impactful reports and presentations. The View from the Top The pyramid principle structures information in such a way that everyone learns what they need to know quickly. And the flow of information is appropriately pyramidal in shape. For …

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3 Ways to Wow Communications-Averse Clients

Some people just like to keep their mouths shut. Whether it is because not all the information is clear yet, or they are just afraid of saying the wrong thing, clients can be reticent. An article at Consultant News offers three ways to keep engaged with client sponsors, even if you are the one doing most of the talking: Engage leadership in crafting the messages and delivery. Start small, because small wins are still wins. …

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