The Communication Problem Solver 1

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The Communication Problem Solver 1. Managers need top-flight communication skills to keep their staffs productive and collaborative. But often, those who manage lack the ability to get things back on track once miscommunication occurs. This book helps readers analyze their communication skills and challenges and explains how they can use simple problem-solving techniques to resolve the people issues that derail productivity at work. Easily accessible and filled with real world management examples. This no-nonsense guide is packed with practical tools to help any manager be immediately effective, as well as a handy list of common communication problems and corresponding solutions....

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  1. Advance praise for The Communication Problem Solver: ‘‘You must read this book to conquer communication concerns once and for all. Nannette Carroll’s The Communication Problem Solver is content- rich with how-tos and step-by-step processes that you can apply imme- diately. It is bursting with stories of real managers wrestling with actual situations.’’ —Dr. Tony Alessandra, author, Communicating at Work and The NEW Art of Managing People ‘‘Examine any career setback and it’s likely to stem from problems in interpersonal communication. It may be unclear expectations, a lack of listening, not empathizing, or any number of other preventable prob- lems. This book will show you, easily and practically, just how to change problems into successes and how to avoid future communication prob- lems. Nannette Carroll has done a fine job of building your tool kit. Keep it handy every day.’’ —Jim Cathcart, founder,, and author, Relationship Intelligence ‘‘An employee misses a deadline—again. Two coworkers aren’t getting along. A meeting deteriorates into blaming and shaming. Would you like to know how to handle these all-too-common workplace challenges? Buy this book. It’s packed with specific suggestions on how to turn con- flict into cooperation and reasons into results. Read it and reap.’’ —Sam Horn, author, POP!, Tongue Fu!, and What’s Holding You Back?
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  3. THE C OMMUNICATION P ROBLEM S OLVER Simple Tools and Techniques for Busy Managers Nannette Rundle Carroll American Management Association New York • Atlanta • Brussels • Chicago • Mexico City • San Francisco Shanghai • Tokyo • Toronto • Washington, D.C.
  4. Special discounts on bulk quantities of AMACOM books are available to corporations, professional associations, and other organizations. For details, contact Special Sales Department, AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Tel: 800-250-5308. Fax: 518-891-2372. E-mail: Website: To view all AMACOM titles go to: This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for and is on record with the Library of Congress. 2010 Nannette Rundle Carroll All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Printing number 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  5. To Chuck and Danielle, communicators extraordinaire, who are my muses and loving support and In loving memory of Coach Bob Rankin, who energized athletes, business colleagues, family, and friends with his message, ‘‘Stay Positive!’’
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  7. Contents Foreword by Michael Soon Lee—ix Preface—xi Acknowledgments—xv PART I: THE SECRETS TO CREATING AND SUSTAINING ENERGIZED RELATIONSHIPS—1 Chapter 1: The Power of Relationship—3 Chapter 2: Setting Expectations with Turbocharged Clarity—20 Chapter 3: Communicating Your Expectations: What to Say and How to Say It—44 PART II: HOW TO USE YOUR PROCESS SKILLS TO PREVENT AND SOLVE COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS—65 Chapter 4: Workflow Management: Communication Tools—69 Chapter 5: Top-Tier Questioning Techniques—81 Chapter 6: How to Break the Judging Habit—101 Chapter 7: Common People Problems—A Handy Reference—129 PART III: LEADING COLLABORATIVE CONVERSATIONS—169 Chapter 8: Giving Feedback—Sweet or Sour?—175 Chapter 9: Compelling Coaching Techniques—196 —vii
  8. C ONTENTS Chapter 10: DREAM Delegating Ensures Clarity and Collaboration—220 Chapter 11: Don’t Have Time to Listen? Try These Tips—240 Conclusion: Be a Gold Medal Communicator!—250 Appendix A: Basic Job Expectations—265 Appendix B: Communication Issues Unique to First-Time Managers—271 Index—279 About the Author—285 viii—
  9. Foreword As a professional speaker, author, professor, and motion picture actor I like to think of myself as a good communicator. Yet, there are always times when I just don’t know how to express what I want or what I say is not perceived the way I had intended. Communication seems so simple—so why is it so hard? It is the most important skill for success in business as well as in life. Studies show that people in organizations typically spend over 75 percent of their time in interpersonal situations. That is why Nannette Rundle Carroll’s book, The Communication Problem Solver: Simple Tools and Techniques for Busy Managers, is so valuable. It is a practical, hands-on, no-nonsense approach to how to get your message across clearly and concisely. What I believe separates this book from others on the topic are the practical tools like the step- by-step how-to’s and the real-world management examples. They cut through the theories to enable you to analyze your communication skills and challenges. Most important, The Communication Problem Solver shows how to develop clarity that builds trust, relationships, and communication with others. I wish I could have had this resource on my bookshelf when I was the dean of a university business school. Dealing with students, fac- ulty, staff, and administration challenged all of my communication skills and then some. This book would have made my life so much easier. I trust it will help you in all of your communications, regardless of the situation. —ix
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