December 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm (Communications)
Tags: Dictionaries, Merriam-Webster, Oxford Dictionaries, Selfie, Words of 2013
It’s that time of year when news outlets begin to compile the top news stories and dictionaries release their words of the year.
As someone who always does the vocabulary quiz in Reader’s Digest, I’m always curious to see what words make the cut.
One of my colleagues is caught taking a selfie (Photo by Jenn Atkins).
Oxford Dictionaries recently announced that its Word of the Year for 2013 is selfie, which means “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
According to Oxford research, the use of the word selfie has increased by 17,000 percent since this time last year.
Ironically, the word has not made it into the dictionary yet.
Meanwhile Merriam-Webster announced its 2013 word of the year, which is science.
According to the Merriam-Webster website, “This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year.”
Most of the words were not new but rather the words “behind the stories in this year’s news.”
Communicators might be intrigued to learn that communications came in at number four on the list. Part of it was due to the ongoing discussion about the NSA wiretapping program and what constitutes private communications, the site noted. The word also was looked up frequently by those who wanted to use it for resumes.
What do you think of the selections?
November 27, 2013 at 8:31 am (Communications)
Tags: Voice mail
The Detroit emergency manager spokesman has ticked off some reporters because he asked reporters to not leave him voice mail messages.
His reasoning? They take too long to respond to.
I don’t disagree with him. When I worked for a major police department, and there was a big case, it was almost impossible to keep up with voice mail. Emails were easier. With voice mail, I’d have to pick up the phone, dial, enter codes and wait to hear what the caller needed. Then I’d have to track the information down, find the person’s email and send it, or I’d have to return the call. With email, I could take a quick glance and determine immediately what the person needed.
In my current position, I’m often in meetings and there is no way for me to answer a call. But if there is a five-minute break, I can pull up my email and quickly respond. Smart phones also help because I can always have my email at hand, which means that even in a busy airport where I can’t hear anything, I can quickly peruse my emails and respond.
Voice mails and, more importantly, a phone conversation still have their place in business, particularly if you need to ensure understanding. Sometimes, having a conversation whether on the phone or face-to-face provides much needed clarity.
In this era of technology, it makes sense to use the tools that make one most efficient given the setting.
November 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm (Communications, Organization)
Tags: Bejeweled, Wasting time
The other week a colleague asked me how much time I slept because he thought I was one of those people who only needed a few hours. It was the only way he could figure out how I do as much as I do.
(Captured from Bejeweled)
The truth is I need sleep, and at least 7 hours. Any less and I’m cranky and not on my game. More than eight hours, I get a headache.
My success is that I am able to prioritize and focus. But not always.
Sometimes, I trick myself and set a timer. Until the timer goes off, I have to write, or clean, or pay bills. Sometimes I buy a venti-sized coffee, extra hot, shut my door and work for hours – or at least until the coffee is gone.
When I’m not getting much done, I stop and look at how I’m spending my time. I’ve discovered I most likely could have built the Empire State building in record time. Or walked a few times across the Wall of China – at least according to the statistics for how much time people spend playing Bejeweled. I’ve contributed many hours.
Television is another time zapper, and most people know that. For me, though, getting lost in a good book can zap my time. If I really want to put off getting work done at home, I’ll delve into an extra long book and try to justify the time even though I know better.
We all need to decompress, but it’s also important to ensure that we aren’t simply wasting time or avoiding a deadline. Do you know what your time wasters are?
November 17, 2013 at 11:03 am (Improvement)
Tags: Chief Life Officer, Lincoln Financial Group
Are you the boss of your life?
It’s a question that when I saw it stopped me in my tracks – literally. I was walking through an airport and the question was part of an advertisement for the Lincoln Financial Group.
Inspiration strikes at an airport (photo by Cynthia Price).
I stopped to look at the sign not because I wanted financial assistance but because of the other messages.The Lincoln Financial Group suggested it could be my Chief Life Officer and that it could help take charge of my future.
While waiting for my flight, I pondered if I was indeed my own Chief Life Officer. I thought about what I was doing to take charge of my life. I’d been working too many hours again and not hitting the gym. That’s not a good combination for me. I also wasn’t enjoying unscheduled time. To compound things, too many house projects were piling up, some of which could have disastrous results if not handled.
I took advantage of the waiting time and made some lists.
The first list I made was a workout schedule to follow while I was traveling. I achieved 75 percent of the goal, and overall was pleased. Since returning, I’ve created a two- week schedule, which seems more manageable to me. I’ll stick with that until I’m back on track.
A second list included all the action items for my house that need to get done. I’ve made all the phone calls, and now I’m looking forward to crossing them off the list as the repair work gets done, which also means being careful with my funds.
My first weekend back in town, I allowed myself the luxury of doing nothing. For me, that means getting lost in a good book, watching television, puttering around the house and cooking – but only when I felt like it. It also meant some naps – clearly, my body needed some extra sleep. The unscheduled time was much needed.
The sign was a good sign for me. Are you ready to be your Chief Life Officer?
November 10, 2013 at 8:59 am (Communications)
Tags: Office Personalities
The other day I saw a great infographic about different office personalities. Of course, I don’t fit any of them and I’m sure you don’t either! Seriously, I think we all have a tendency at some point to fall into a few of the categories so it’s good to be aware of them.
Let’s take a look at a few of them –
The Chatterbox: While a 30-minute conversation to talk about last night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy may not be appropriate for the office, a 30-minute conversation that develops naturally around a work topic can be a good thing. The other month I ran into a colleague with whom I have not had much interaction. We decided to grab a soda and sit and chat. In the 30 minutes we covered a lot of ground and even resolved a few concerns we both had. The time was well spent.
The Meeting Scheduler: I like to ensure that the dots are connected and find that meetings can be helpful for this. However, it’s often just as easy to connect with the key individuals by email and save the meeting for another time. Another option is to call a 5-minute stand up meeting to ensure that all bases have been covered. If a meeting doesn’t have a clear purpose, cancel it.
The Email Overloader: Sometimes it is important to include multiple people on an email but at some point in the email chain it may be best to reach out directly to the one person who most needs the information. Another good thing to do with email is to clearly note in the subject line the purpose of the email. Is it for information only? Is an action required? If so, by when?
The Noisemaker: Whether you work in a cube or an office, it’s good to be aware of the noise you make. The office in which I work has thin walls so sometimes when I am Skyping over a bad connection, I raise my voice. I need to be careful that I’m not disturbing colleagues who are right outside my work space.