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The Content for Communicators service brings to your e-mail box every month positive, inspiring and informative articles like the ones you read on our website and in our 'Thank God It's Monday' newsletter so you may publish them in your organization's publications or intranet.
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You will find below many sample articles, ideas, and cartoons from our Content For Communicators service.
The Seven Sins of Confused Writing
Whether you're writing a business memo, report, or presentation, make sure you avoid these very common writing mistakes:
1. It's and Its: - "It's" is a contraction meaning "it is." Example: It's hot today. "Its" is a possessive form. Example: I read the book with all of its 500 pages.
2. You, Your, and You're: While the previous example is a grammatical error, the confusion of you and your is often a typo. You're is the contraction of "you are" and some people confuse it with your. Examples: You're a good person. Your sincerity is admirable.
3. Lose and Loose: Loose can have several meanings in English and is used as an adjective, adverb, or a verb (although that's not very common). Here are some examples: Unattended children ran loose through the store. That person has a pretty loose reputation. But lose is always a verb: His boss told him to lose his negative attitude while serving customers.
4. Compliment and Complement: - If you like your colleague's way of expressing herself, you'll compliment her on her communication skills. Complement is most commonly used to indicate that something completes a set or matches it well. Example: His positive attitude complements his wide knowledge of the product, making him a very effective salesman.
5. Principal and Principle: A principle is a basic truth, policy or value. (The Ten Principles of Effective Management.) Principals are the key persons holding responsibilities in schools or organizations.
6. Affect and Effect: Affect is a verb: it acts upon something, someone, or an emotion, while effect is both a noun and a verb, and hence comes the confusion. Let's see examples. Affect (verb): Because I have allergy, the weather affects me badly. Effect (Noun): The weather has a terrible effect on me. Effect (Verb): We will implement a new internal communication strategy to effect change. In this sentence, "to effect change" means "to cause change to happen."
7. Assure, Insure and Ensure: Assure, ensure, and insure all mean "to make secure or certain." Only assure is used with reference to a person in the sense of "to set the mind at rest": I assured the customer of our refund policy. Although ensure and insure are generally interchangeable, only insure is now widely used in American English in the commercial sense of "to guarantee persons or property against risk."
(c) HumaNext / Communication Ideas. This article is part of our Content for Communicators service. Add high value and interest to your publications: Get 12 volumes of articles and cartoons to publish in your print or electronic publications for $129.00
Content for Communicators brings you 12 issues a year full of inspiring content for your publication
Content for Communicators gives you a continuous stream of powerful articles and business cartoons delivered to your e-mail every month. You get 12 issues of Content for Communicators, in an MS Word file format, full of fresh, inspiring and educational content you can use. You can see many samples of this powerful and passionate content on the many pages of our web site, such as "Samples", "Best Practices", "Newsletter", "Change", "Team Work" and others. You will never run out of inspiring work-oriented materials and cartoons to use in your publications, presentations, and intranets. And our positive, gently humorous and uplifting materials will quickly become your readers' favorites. See sample articles on this page.
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Now you get business cartoons too in addition to the wealth of inspiring and informative articles to use in your company publications and intranets when you subscribe to Content for Communicators.
Some business cartoons are sold for hundreds of dollars each, depending on the circulation of your publications. You will get 12 cartoons per year in addition to all the articles for $129.00
- I DON'T GIVE DICTATION, BUT FOR SOME REASON I'M KNOWN AROUND HERE AS THE GREAT DICTATOR.
This is one of the business cartoons you get with your monthly package of inspiring articles, ideas, and stories to use in your company publications, intranet, or training materials. Subscribe to Content for Communicators for One-Organization-License for $129.00 per year.
Want to Stimulate Your Creative Juices? Form an Idea Exchange Network
Want to stimulate your creative juices with a constant stream of new ideas? Here is a way to do it:
- Get a number of your colleagues, say 10, to form an "Idea Exchange Network."
- Each member sends one idea every month to all members of the exchange. This way each member will receive 9 new ideas each month.
- Each member should be assigned a different target date for sending their ideas.
- This way you receive a new idea 9 times a month, or about two ideas per week.
- The ideas could be about how to improve work, how to work smarter, new products or services, new marketing techniques, new initiatives to create a better work culture, new work process, new tools and technologies to use at work, etc.
- The sources of these new ideas may include books, magazines, articles on the net, colleagues, team members, your work experiences, your kids, movies, TV commercials and programs, audio or video tapes, etc.
- Your mind will stay stimulated and youï¿½ll end up with over a hundred new ideas at the end of the year.
- Implementing a few of these ideas that are applicable to your area may pay off handsomely, and you and your organization can reap the rewards.
(c) HumaNext LLC- This article is part of our Content For Communicators service. Add high value and interest to your publications: Get 12 volumes of articles and cartoons to publish in your print or electronic publications for $129.00
How to Motivate Your Boss: An Article from Content for Communicators
Until recently, almost all writings on motivation were designed to give the manager techniques to motivate his or her staff. It was assumed that motivation was a one-way street that runs from top to bottom. The same thing used to be thought of communication, until someone discovered that it was a two-way street. The new thinking says that employees should be concerned about motivating their bosses, and should not take a passive role toward this issue. But how do you motivate your boss? Here are some of the most effective ways:
1- TAKE THE INITIATIVE: Don't wait for your boss to "give" you work. Find out what needs to be done and suggest to your boss that you do it.
2- GENERATE NEW IDEAS: Think of better ways to do the work in your area and outside of your area too, and tell your boss about it.
3- OFFER YOUR HELP: Your boss needs your support and help. Show her that you're there to provide full support.
4- ASK YOUR BOSS TO DELEGATE: Your boss might not be aware that you are ready to assume more responsibilities and take on new challenges. Ask the boss to delegate responsibilities you think you can take on.
5- OFFER SOLUTIONS: Don't limit your contacts with the boss to the times you bring up a problem or a request for help. Bosses need to hear solutions, not just problems.
6- OFFER COMPLIMENTS: The boss is human. She needs to receive compliments when she does something truly outstanding, or when she helps you in a positive way. Don't worry that it might sound insincere. Compliments, done in good taste and for a good reason, are always appreciated as long as you don't over do it.
7- SHOW COMMITMENT: It's important for the boss to know that you care about your work, about the organization, and about the boss. Show that you care, in words and in action. Go out of your way to provide good service and promote the company, and the department's name.
8- STAY POSITIVE: Employees who talk and act in a negative way can depress people around them, including the boss. It's important for your own mental health and for that of others that you stay positive and enthusiastic. Try saying "Thank God It's Monday" instead of the usual "Friday" reference. But it's a matter of your general attitude, not just what you say. If you want a positive relationship with your boss, be positive yourself.
Subscribe to Content for Communicators to be able to publish this and many more educational and motivational articles in your organization's publications or Intranet. Get articles and ideas for a whole year of Content for Communicators for $129.00
Sample Article: Not Too Late for New Year's Resolutions
Every new year, every new day, is a great opportunity for a new you. Starting fresh with big expectations is exciting. Humans cannot live without hope, and every new day creates an opportunity for hope. Hope for the soul is like water for a flower.
Having hope means you have confidence in your ability to create a better future. This self-confidence is a sign of higher emotional intelligence, which proved to be a better predictor of success than I.Q. Emotionally intelligent people can only be hopeful and optimistic about the future and their ability to shape it. They cannot be pessimistic or negative.
Having hope is an active feeling of enthusiasm and energy. It makes it possible for you to get excited about new ideas you dream, new projects you start, and new people you get to know. It makes it possible for you to keep renewing life as you live every moment of it. You cannot start making a positive impact on anything or anyone unless you believe that creating a more positive experience of the world is a real possibility.
In this New Year, this new day, open your mind to new ideas, your heart to new feelings and your arms to new people. Plan to go places you haven't visited. Try a thing or two or learn a new thing or two. Knowledge cannot come from reading alone. You only get information from reading. But true knowledge comes from experience. What new experiences will you offer yourself this year?
Having hope is to believe with Robert Browning that "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" Have a vision and look up to see it and achieve it. And on your way, learn a lot, laugh a lot, and love a lot. All what you need to be happy in life is something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
© 2011 HumaNext. This article is part of our Content for Communicators service. Add high value and interest to your publications: Get 12 volumes of articles and cartoons to publish in your print or electronic publications for $129.00
Communicating Teamwork: Ten Tips for Building Teams (A Sample Article from Content for Communicators)
"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together. " -V. M. Kelly
Just because people happen to work together in one department does not mean they make a team. They may be merely a group. Groups seldom achieve great things. Just imagine if a football team consisted of people who did not compensate for each other's weaknesses, did not have a common strategy known to everyone, and did not really want to play together. You can easily predict the results they would get. Many groups have learned to become teams that produced breakthrough results. Here are ten ways to do it:
1- Make sure the team has a challenging goal to achieve.
2- Ensure all team members understand the goal and are committed to it.
3- Provide the necessary training to master the needed skills.
4- Stay the course even when things are tough. Keep all eyes on the prize.
5- Resolve conflict before it distracts people and splits the team.
6- Measure the team's progress, and make the score known to all.
7- Ask team members for their input and find out what they need to win.
8- Encourage diversity of styles within a shared dedication to the goal.
9- The team coach's role is to motivate and guide, but not to hold players' hands.
10- Celebrate small wins until you achieve the big one.
You can publish this articles and many others like it in your company publication or intranet by subscribing to Content for Communicators at the current introductory rate of $129.00 a year.
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Not only you will get a powerful, easy to use newsletter and announcement creation templates and e-mailing system, but also, if you need it (Constant Contact) but we can also offer you, if you need it, complete content to use in your newsletter as well (Content for Communicator service.)
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Are You Wasting Your Life Just Cutting Stone?
"What are you doing?" A passerby asked of three workers standing beside a building under construction.
The first worker, looking tired and drained, replied, "I'm just cutting stone."
The second one answered, "Working to make a living."
The third worker, who was singing, said, "I'm building a cathedral!"
Are you just cutting stone at work? Is that why you're often drained of energy and void of enthusiasm? Are you just trying to make a living? Is that why you find no excitement in what you do? Or are you building or doing something great?
Ask yourself: What great thing do I want to do today? Don't waste your life just cutting stone. Start building cathedrals.
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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Company Publications
What content must be covered by a company publication to make it highly effective? TGIM asked Patrick Williams, one of the country's leading experts on employee publications and corporate communications. Mr. Williams served as editor of The Ragan Report for several years and currently offers onsite workshops on effective employee publications in collaboration with Communication Ideas. His list for what content to include in a company publication follows:
1. Select stories that help your organization solve its problems.
2. Select stories that help your organization meet its goals.
3. Select stories that show how management's plans are in the employee's self-interest.
4. Select stories that advance the cultural values and traditions of your organization.
5. If possible, use editorial boards to uncover the business plans of individual departments and business units. These boards give you "inside" information on what is happening in the organization.
6. Use opinion surveys to reveal reader interest.
7. Use readership surveys to find out the effectiveness of your story-selection decisions.
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Ford Motors Company /
Raytheon Co /
National Instruments /
Pacific Corp. /
Michigan Department of Management & Budget /
Manitoba Lotteries, Canada /
Foreign language Institute /
University of Chicago /
Lone Star Health Centers /
Rexall Sundown /
Stevens Institute of Technology /
Bright Horizons /
St. Joseph Medical Center ...
And many others business, government, and non-profit organizations around the world.
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Get Electronic Publishing and Other MultiMedia Magazines at no cost
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Ten Leadership Lessons From Ronald Reagan
Sample Article from Content For Communicators
In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of Communism.That's how Lady Thatcher started her great eulogy of Ronald Reagan, summarizing in one sentence his personal qualities and his great achievements. This combination of highly admirable personality and great accomplishments has made Ronald Reagan the most popular American President in the past half a century and one of the most important American Presidents in history. So what were the leadership qualities that made it possible for Ronald Reagan to achieve such a status in American history and in the hearts of the American people, including his political opponents?
1- The Messenger, Not The Message
A key aspect of leadership that is often forgotten is the fact that people will follow a leader only if they liked him or her personally, before even considering the message, or the mission, that the leader is proclaiming. Reagan was a likable fellow. He was described by people who worked for him as a kind, humble, and decent person who was void of meanness and pettiness. To become an effective leader you must start with yourself, and do the necessary self examination that leads you to refine your personal qualities and strengthen your character. Without this, nothing will work.
2- Have A Great Vision
America is too great for small dreams, said Ronal Reagan. And this is also true for great leaders, who won't be satisfied with small dreams. Instead of trying to get just an edge over the Soviet Union, Reagan went after the total dismantling of the "Evil Empire." And he succeeded. If you want to be a great leader, ask yourself and your team: What is the greatest dream we can possibly have for this organization?
3- Communicate Your Vision To Gain Followers
Having a vision of what needs to be done is crucial for a leader. But what truly distinguishes a leader from others who might also have the same vision is the ability to communicate this vision in such a compelling way as to attract followers who become excited about the vision and commit to achieving it. Napoleon declared that "The leader is a dealer in hope." To deal in hope you must be able to package it, describe it, and sell it to others so that it becomes theirs. Communication skills, therefore, is crucial to the effectiveness of leaders. Reagan was not just a good communicator, but was called, "The Great Communicator." He was able to articulate complex issues in simple, often visual, ways that enable people to understand them and get excited about them. His most famous application of this was his continuous referring to the United States as The Shining City on the Hill. Who can't actually "see" this vision and feel good about it?
4- Offer Hope, and Act to Achieve It
Reagan was described as an eternal optimist. He offered Americans a positive, uplifting vision of America and its future. Former President George H. W. Bush said of him, "Our friend was strong and gentle. Once he called America hopeful, big hearted, idealistic, daring, decent and fair. That was America and, yes, our friend. And next, Ronald Reagan was beloved because of what he believed. He believed in America so he made it his shining city on a hill. He believed in freedom so he acted on behalf of its values and ideals. He believed in tomorrow so the great communicator became the great liberator." President George Bush observed, "He came to office with great hopes for America. And more than hopes,¦Ronald Reagan matched an optimistic temperament with bold, persistent action." It's important for leaders to hold an optimistic view of the world, so that they can stir the aspiration of people who will then follow with enthusiasm to achieve great accomplishments.
5- Lead, Don't Micromanage
A key problem many leaders fall into is when they micromanage everything. This inability to delegate not only deprives the work being done from the contributions of the entire team, which are always better than those of one person, but it also de-motivate the talented people working around the leader. By not having the freedom to do things themselves in their own ways, they lose interest in their work and become mere robots doing only what they are told. In dictatorial regimes like the old Soviet Union, the results have been dramatic loss of productivity, quality, initiative, and innovation. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the natural result. A company can suffer the same fate if a leader is too managerial and doesn't create a participatory culture at work.
6- Don't Become a Prisoner of Your Own Perceptions
Even though Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, this did not prevent him from negotiating and dealing openly with the leaders of that Empire, following his policy of Trust But Verify. He proved to be flexible in his thinking and was able to free himself from the limits of a rigid dogma and adjust his views of his enemies, turning them into partners in building world peace. To be an effective leader, be careful not to become a prisoner of your own rigid perceptions of others and the world. Adhere closely to your core human values but open up your mind to different interpretations, views, and possibilities.
7- Admit Mistakes, Change Course, and Move On
Upon facing a devastating blow to his policy of intervention in Lebanon with the attack on the barracks that killed 240 American soldiers, Reagan quickly realized the futility of his policy, ordered the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, and abandoned his policy of intervention there. Another president, perhaps with less flexibility and more ego, would have possibly started a war there to retaliate the incident and demonstrate America's strength. America could have been mired in un-necessary fighting there for years, perhaps with thousands of casualties. Reagan's quick change of course enabled him to move on to achieve greater goals, such as the eventual demise of the Soviet Union. Leaders understand that strength requires restraint. A great leader is one who knows how to manage both his weaknesses and his strengths, and those of the country, or the organization, he is leading.
8- Use Humor
Reagan used humor almost all the time. He used it because he himself was "a jolly good fellow" as the song says, and because he knew that the smile that humor generates is the shortest distance between two minds. And he skillfully used humor to avoid answers that create animosity and problems, as well as to win crucial arguments in difficult public encounters. In attacking the US Congress' delaying of turning his policies into laws he said, "I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress." Some of his humorous comments reveal how he did not take himself too seriously even as President of the most powerful country on earth. "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting", he said.
9- Stay Human
In his eulogy of Ronal Reagan, Former President George Bush relayed the following story, "Days after being shot, weak from wounds, he spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. He worried that his nurse would get in trouble. The Good Book says humility goes before honor, and our friend had both, and who could not cherish such a man?" Other people who worked closely with Reagan told of how he used to greet everyone he met with respect and generosity of spirit, whether that person was a president of another country or a waitress at a dinner he attended. He was pleasant and gracious to all without regard to rank, title, position, or any other social status. A leader must not feel he is above the people he leads, but that he is their servant. That how Reagan felt and acted. And that's why people followed him lovingly.
10- Lead a Balanced Life
One of Reagan's admirable traits was his total devotion to his wife Nancy. In his eulogy of Ronald Reagan, President George W. Bush said, "In a life of good fortune, he valued above all the gracious gift of his life, Nancy. During his career, Ronald Reagan passed through a thousand crowded places, but there was only one person, he said, who could make him lonely by just leaving the room." Reagan was often accused of not working hard enough as a President, taking a lot of time off to be with his family and his horses at his ranch. Using humor to deflect this accusation, while confirming it, he said, "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?" Reagan was a great example of a leader who kept his life in balance. He did not allow the demands of his work, even at the highest office in the world, to overtake his obligations to his family. In this regard, management consultant Stephen Covey writes of the importance of doing "First Things First." Leaders who keep a healthy balance between work and play, and have a role for family and friends in their daily lives, not only succeed as great leaders, but also manage to lead a happy life.
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