Thursday, June 14, 2012

7 books for the business communicator's most-neglected skills

You don't need to write a press release or publish a website to be a business communicator--in fact, most of our communicating takes place in more mundane settings, from meetings and conference calls to networking events and emails. What's more, they're the communications points we complain about the most. When was the last time you raved about a conference call or a well-done email? Seems as if we're neglecting the skills that really drive our everyday business. I've found seven books that home in on these basic but essential talents so you can achieve more with less effort:
  1. Networking, offline: Face to Face Networking It's All About Communication will get you ready for your next networking event, business lunch or other offline encounter with a potential partner or prospect. In a social-media world, this in-real-life networking book focuses on skills that are still a must.
  2. Email: SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better comes from no less an expert than Bloomberg View editor and former New York Times op-ed editor David Shipley. There's no reason--is there?--that your emails can't improve. Pass this one all around the office.
  3. Note-taking, visual style: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity takes one of the latest trends in visual scribing and helps you translate it to your team brainstorms and meetings.
  4. Speaking up in meetings: Women Speaking Up: Getting and Using Turns in Workplace Meetings is a smart investment if your workplace wants to get at why women get talked over in meetings or just don't get a turn to speak. An unusual meta-analysis of research into meeting behavior and how to turn it around, it's a must for both male and female managers.
  5. Note-taking, minutes style: Taking Minutes of Meetings: Set the Agenda; Identify What to Note; Write Accurate Minutes might be the best gift you can give the marvelous person who gets stuck with recording your meetings, whether you're a manager or a committee staffer.
  6. Networking, online: Social Networking for Career Success: Using Online Tools to Create a Personal Brand offers you insights into how to turn those social tools into your best career friend. Time to open, or just time to use online tools to complement your in-person networking? Here's your friend.
  7. Conference calls: No More Lame Conference Calls: The 6 Principles You Need to Lead Great Meetings gets at the most common kind of public speaking we all do. If you've never had a good conference call, start here.

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