Author: Pat Fontana

Let’s go farther!

Writing workshop participants often ask for help with clarifying the differences between words that are very similar and often confused. Two of those words are further and farther. Let’s take a look and determine whether we are going for the distance or need to discuss it a little more. Okay, so those were clues. Farther […]

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Is it a waste of time?

Am I just wasting my time? Many people tell me they agree with me that we spend too much time on our electronics, and I get encouraged. Then I get deflated when so many people don’t seem to want to do anything to change the situation. Groups of people, sitting right next to each other […]

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Are you using your words for good?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” When we were children, we attempted to deflect the words of bullies (or just other insecure children), by reciting this chant. The message was, of course, that we could tolerate name-calling or verbal taunts, as long as there was no physical violence. […]

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Communicating across the generations

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” ~~George Orwell   Let’s take a look at the six (count ’em, six) generations that are alive today. Five of those (count ’em, five) are active in the workplace. We start […]

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Surviving the challenging conversation

Difficult customers, escalating situations, internal conflict – all of these (and more) can lead to the need for a challenging conversation. How do you calm a screaming customer? How do you defuse a potentially volatile situation? How do you address an employee’s or a coworker’s negative behavior? Let’s start with what not to do. None […]

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This Friday or next? It’s all in the interpretation!

Let’s get together next Friday and work on the project. This Friday? Right, next Friday. Which Friday? Ugh. The Friday that’s coming up. Ok. That’s this Friday. Sound familiar? Do you sometimes feel you’re going around in circles when you’re trying to get someone else to understand you? Although your language may be the same, […]

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Why do we care about empathy?

Empathy in the workplace … the human communication connection Empathy has become a kind of new workplace buzzword, even though it certainly has been in existence for a very long time. Empathy is not sympathy. When a team member empathizes with a customer, it simply means that person can understand what the customer needs, perhaps […]

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The power of the unplugged word

What is the power of the unplugged word? Have you ever misinterpreted an email or text – or worse yet, not received the message at all – and decided that the sender must be mad at you? Have you sent countless messages back and forth, trying to clarify the intent or content of the original […]

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HumanComms: Easy for you to say!

When I tell others that I help business people with human communications, they nod and smile in agreement that ?something needs to be done? in that area. We are all bombarded by electronics and have forgotten how to communicate on a human level. However, we then all go back to our desks, to our meetings, […]

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Try PATY for customer retention

True story: Went through the drive-through of a fast food restaurant. (Isn?t that how these stories always start?) While waiting at the window for my food ? after getting a very pleasant greeting of ?$9.71? (and literally no other words) from the restaurant?s employee ? I noticed a sign on his side of the window. […]

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