Doctor-patient communication

My Little Heart Scare and Doctor-Patient Communication

I learned some valuable lessons about doctor-patient communication last week—and all I had to do was spend the night in the hospital. This is a tale of two healthcare professionals: one offered assurance, and the other almost gave me a heart attack. (Which would have been ironic, since I was in the hospital for a […]

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Too Much Communication

Communication is Like Cake: Know When to Say When

How much communication is too much? That’s a question that inevitably arises whenever I do a presentation or interview. Specifically, people will ask: When expressing emotion, how much emoting is too much? When doing business, how much chit chat is too much? When presenting to an audience, how much eye contact is too much? A Matter […]

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How to write a eulogy

How to Write a Eulogy: Lessons From My Dad’s Funeral

My father died a year ago tomorrow, on September 11 of all days, and I was privileged to deliver a eulogy. For anyone struggling with this task, my advice is this: the first rule of writing a eulogy is there are no rules. And ignore anyone who pretends there is. Ignore the Rules At the […]

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Bezos Buys Washington Post

Jeff Bezos’ Master Class in Employee Communications

The news that Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post was a shock. Almost as shocking was the textbook way he handled the delicate communication to employees. The Post is much more than a newspaper. It’s practically a national institution — one that many people, not the least of which are its employees, hold dear. So […]

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Humor in the Workplace

Great Moments in Funny Signage: Elvis Edition

When you drive nearly 1,800 miles in four days, comic relief is a welcome part of any road trip. On a holiday weekend swing through the southland, Elvis Presley’s Graceland provided an unexpected moment of laughter. And it wasn’t just his sideburns or his jumpsuits or his carpeted kitchen — I’m talking intentional humor, right there […]

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Tips for Apologizing

How to Apologize: 10 Essential Steps

Last week, the fundraising site Kickstarter got itself into some pretty hot water over a campaign for a “seduction guide” that a lot of people found offensive and misogynistic. I wasn’t aware of the controversy, but I am a huge fan of the world-class apology they published. It’s a textbook guide on how to apologize. (A few […]

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From SNL to The Fugitive: Check Out This Podcast

I had a great conversation about storytelling and presentation skills and other topics with writer, speaker and communications consultant Donna Papacosta. It’s all captured in this podcast on her site at Trafalgar Communications. We talk about some of the classic lessons from my book, including: The power of stories. How to cut to the chase in […]

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Image is Everything: 3 Vital Tips For Your Business Headshot

If you’re a professional and you’re serious about your work, you need a professional business headshot that communicates who you are and what you’re about. You’ll need it for your LinkedIn page and other social media profiles, your website or bio and any time you’re invited to speak or serve on a panel somewhere. Understand […]

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Has Tragedy Tweeting Gone Too Far?

In the wake of every national tragedy, from shootings to natural disasters, it happens like clockwork — celebrities and companies and everyday folk tweet their thoughts and prayers to the victims. There’s an interesting debate over “tragedy tweeting” at Arik Hanson’s Communication Conversations blog, and I admit it amounts to somewhat of a “damned if you […]

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Be Here Now: A Lesson from Clark Griswold

It’s hard to visit the Grand Canyon without thinking of that scene from Vacation where Chevy Chase runs over to the rim, gives the canyon a quick once-over and dashes back to the car. (The only link I could find is dubbed in Spanish, but fortunately the language of comedy is universal.) Of course, he’s in […]

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