Author: Pat Fontana

Pay attention!

Who are you? How frustrating is it when people don’t pay attention when you attempt to communicate with them, either verbally or through written messages? A recent experience with someone who was providing a service to me — making me her client — proved very frustrating and was an excellent example of how appropriate communication […]

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Stop striving!

There are a lot of weak words in the English language. Sometimes they are good for softening bad news or for being subtle. However, some are just … well … weak. “Just” is actually one of those weak words, of course. The word “just” minimizes the importance of the rest of the message. Starting a […]

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Shoulda, woulda, coulda

Ready for your grammar lesson? Ok, you probably don’t really look forward to celebrating Grammar Day every year (March 4). So, let’s just focus on some troubling contractions. Here are a few, easy things you might want to remember. Contractions can be confusing. Words like should’ve or could’ve only leave out a couple of letters […]

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Could you care less?

Have you ever heard someone say – or have you said yourself – “I could care less”? Good news! That really means you do care a lot! The phrase is actually “I couldn’t care less,” meaning you really don’t care at all. Of course, it’s better if you care more, but you should choose the appropriate phrase based on […]

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Words you need to know (and use)

Do you struggle with how to start an email or even a face-to-face conversation? A business writing professor in graduate school once drilled in the importance of starting any message with “you” or some similar reference to the other person. Why? Didn’t it catch your attention when this message started with a question about you? […]

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Pivoting and shifting and other new words for the times

We’ve all learned some new words this past year. Zoom has become a synonym for a meeting. Businesses have faced the need to pivot, to shift their business model. We’re all learning that we have to mask up before seeing other people. This is how language evolves. When you think back about different times in […]

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Empathy in words and deeds

Tis the season to think about others. We are more inclined during the holidays to think about those less fortunate. We give toys to kids who may not get anything else for Christmas. We feed families who are struggling to put a decent dinner on the table. We may even volunteer a few hours to […]

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Whoosh!

And here we are, a week into October. Where did the summer go? Where did the year go? Did you hear the whoosh? Whoosh is a fun sound. It’s also an onomatopoeia – a word that sounds like what it’s intended to mean. These words can often help us communicate an idea with clarity. (Isn’t that […]

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Reconnecting after a crisis

No, the current crisis is not over. Actually, there are several current crises and none of them is over. Another soapbox for another day. For now, let’s be optimistic and plan for what you will do after the crisis passes – any crisis. Many businesses have crisis communication plans that guide them through the midst […]

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Promises, promises

Respect is the cornerstone of REAL Communications. When you show respect, the empathy, attention, and listening follow naturally. How do you show respect? And, as many people ask, how do you earn respect? One very effective way of showing – and earning – respect – is to be consistent and honest in your message. If […]

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