Communicating change during a crisis

In the past, the easiest way to introduce change was slowly.  This gave people time to accept the changes and to adapt to new ways of doing things. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the current Covid-19 crisis, time is not something that most companies or governments have a lot of right now.  Decisions have to be made quickly and then communicated to audiences clearly.

And therein lies the problem.

Let’s look at a case in point.  Last week, The Guardian ran an article about an ongoing conflict between the UK government and the Travelodge hotel group.  Apparently, Travelodge evicted … Read the rest

Communicating change

Change isn’t coming. Change is here. Covid-19 has seen to that.  Millions of people who have never before worked from home are now expected to telecommute. Meetings are now done exclusively online – even at the highest levels. And even for people like me who work from home on a regular basis, the way we work has changed dramatically.

The problem is that people don’t like change – even if that change is subtle. A recent article from Bain & Company pointed out that change, particularly during a crisis, reduces people’s sense of control, which would explain why even small … Read the rest

Keeping your focus when working from home

I’ve been hearing from people all week about how difficult they find working from home. This article from the BBC has some suggestions that deal with motivation and work/life balance – which are good. But how do you deal with distractions? Truthfully, most of them involve turning things off. Here are my tips:

  1. Turn off your emails unless you are expecting urgent, time-sensitive information. Let’s face it. Most emails do not need to be read immediately. Set a timer to check your emails every hour or 1/2 hour.
  2. Turn off social media platforms and messaging apps for the same
Read the rest

Working from home: online meeting etiquette

Working from home

Normally, I spend my working week dashing from one client’s office to another. Our sessions are always face-to-face, up close, and personal.

That changes as of today as I will be working strictly from home. Unfortunately, I could see this coming. I wouldn’t call myself a pessimist; however, my old army training taught me to always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. And that’s what I did.  Last week, I set up everything to do my lessons online until this crisis passes. I don’t have any problem with this change – to me, it’s business as usual. … Read the rest

Behold the power of the comma

Happy Monday everyone, and here is your Monday Morning Tip from Marshallsay English!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had so many questions about punctuation that I decided to write a series of short articles on the subject. Today, we are going to start with the easiest – writing lists using commas and semi-colons.

Basically, we use a comma to separate items in a list with more than two items.

I like peaches, apples and pears. [No comma before the last item.]

or

I like peaches, apples, and pears. [A comma before the last item.]

It is important to … Read the rest