Author Archives: Phil Stella

Phil’s Faves – Best Words

If you were a participant in one of in my writing, interpersonal or presentation skill workshops, you’d often hear me talk about the importance of making the extra effort to choose your words wisely:

Go beyond the ‘first word you can think of’ or the ‘word you usually think of’ for this situation  all the way to the ‘best word you can think of’ to accomplish your intended outcome with your reader or audience. 

Why I Hate ‘Soft Skills’

I love the concept but hate the term – let me explain. I’ve dedicated my entire career to empowering business leaders to enhance their workplace communication skills. Taking away some of their pain when they interact with colleagues, staff, managers or customers in writing, in person and in presentations  – that’s what I love most and do best. Read More »

Become a ‘Platinum Rule’ Workplace Communicator!

Many business professionals diligently attempt to practice the ‘Golden Rule’ at work that we all learned as youngsters. A workplace communication version of that philosophy would be ‘Communicate with other people the way you want them to communicate with you.’  While a nice warm and fuzzy concept, a quick reality check indicates two serious flaws in the logic: the ‘Golden Rule’ assumes ‘everyone is the same and that ‘everyone is the same as you.’ Read More »

WordPower – Does Good Writing Really Matter?

This edition of ‘WordPower’ deals with the impact of poor workplace writing skills. Here’s a summary of a conversation I had with a business reporter on this topic. Read More »

Heard Any Good Books Lately?

Confused? I’ll explain shortly.

As busy business leaders, we face lots of challenges doing our jobs or running our businesses. One of the most important challenges we face is the need for on-going professional education. We may recognize the importance of Life Long Learning, but who has the time and energy to do any of it? Read More »

Does Your Message Suck?

The last two months we’ve discussed powerful audience-centric presentation Introductions and Summaries, as if the two book ends holding your presentation together. So, now let’s focus on what’s left – your powerful Message in the Middle. Read More »

To Change … Or Not To Change?

Regular readers see me rant and rave all the time and might assume I’m that way in my workplace writing workshops, Surprise – I’m not. I don’t ask people to change any of their word use or writing style habits. I do ask them to challenge their habits in light of the contemporary Best Practices we discuss in class.

If they decide to change any of those old habits, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine, too, as long as they remember the old adage, ‘If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.’

Hiring Good People

I recently responded to a blogger about hiring good people. Here’s a summary of our conversation: Read More »

I Love ‘reply to sender’

On the opposite of this month’a rant, I really appreciate it when people select ‘reply to sender’ or something similar on a group response email. I actually don’t know when that happens because I never see the response, I just assume the person responded properly. Read More »

I Hate ‘reply all’

I hate being copied on responses that I don’t need to see. I bet you do, too. Someone responds to a question asked in a group email with a careless ‘reply all’ response because they were lazy or inept to do the right thing.
Read More »