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Sunday, February 24, 2013

'Smart talk' tips for workplace success

Submitted by Hannah Auerbach Newman Communications of Watertown, MA
As businesses become increasingly globally focused, managers need to understand how to lead, motivate, and inspire multicultural, virtual, multigenerational teams.

Communication expert Lisa B. Marshall created an authoritative reference guide - 288 pages of tactical and practical inspiration to help people master what Lisa calls "smart talk". SMART TALK (St. Martin's Griffin; January 22, 2013) is a swiss army knife of communication-a comprehensive set of tools to avoid communication breakdowns in any business situation.

Here are three tips from her book:

Provide restorative feedback:
When utilized correctly, feedback is one of the fastest ways to improve productivity. To emphasize this importance, Marshall created the term restorative feedback, which is a respectful and collaborative way to illuminate blind spots and reinforce a job well done. For maximum improvement, use a 5:1 positive to negative feedback ratio--researchers have found that this ratio can predict workplace performance with remarkable accuracy.

Say "no" more: The ability to say no is a sign of professional and emotional maturity. While Marshall addresses the popular "sandwich" model of saying no, she also provides 8 alternate models of equal effectiveness.  Learn how to identify when a situation calls for no, and how to say it in a polite and respectful way. A correctly uttered 'no' is pleasantly assertive, and can enhance your business reputation and sought-after appearance.

Develop authentic charisma: Inner charm, or authentic charisma, is by definition, "a quality of pleasing or delighting to attract strongly or irresistibly." While some view charm in the workplace as superficial or manipulative, authentic charisma is an ethical and often overlooked step to success. While it can come naturally, charm is not intangible--research suggests it is a set of behaviors that can be developed by choice. In an increasingly virtual workplace, human interaction and perception of charisma is more important than ever.

About the Author:  Lisa B. Marshall is a communication expert, author, and speaker who helps organizations build stronger teams. Her award-winning podcast, The Public Speaker, has earned over 9 million downloads since 2009. Lisa has been featured on CBS Money Watch,, Woman's Day, and many other media outlets. She holds a master's degree in interpersonal and organizational communication. She lives near Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

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