How to Prevent Bad Information From Spreading – Lessons From Missing Flight 370

As the news around Malaysia Airlines flight 370 demonstrates, when people don’t have the information they need then they will invent it – and, typically, what they invent is much worse than reality. You have three options for dealing with missing information, including “communicating that you can’t communicate.” Failing to communicate isn’t one of them. If you […]
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Learning from Legal Disasters: Three Rules to Improve Clarity in Writing

There are gremlins in the courthouse: It turns out that what a legal document says and what the lawyers who wrote it meant are often two different things. Here are three cases where the gremlins in law provide some rules for clear writing that you can follow. When I teach either Learning Tree’s Business Writing or Technical […]
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Two Steps to Gaining Influence by Understanding the Other Person’s Problems

Peter learns an important lesson from (of all people) a sales rep: The first two steps in influencing people you have no authority over. Back when I had a job (I’m an independent consultant now), I was the head of an IT department for a large, multi-national heavy equipment manufacturer. In my last year on the […]
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Negotiation Strategies & Why There are No Failed Negotiations

As the NFL demonstrates, a negotiation isn’t a failure if you don’t reach an agreement. A negotiation can be a failure only after you reach an agreement. Plus: What you need to know about the other party to reach a truly successful agreement. When you’re negotiating, it’s tempting to think that if you don’t reach an agreement […]
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Writing to Persuade: Three Kinds of Evidence You Need

You can learn a lot about being persuasive from two sources: The current state of American political parties and commercials for headache remedies. At the start of 2015, the president of the United States faces a difficult problem: He must deal with a legislature controlled by the opposing party. Obviously, since the president can veto […]
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