Technology has changed the way we do everything in communication, but it has not changed our need to put our best foot forward. The Communication Clinic: 99 Proven Cures for the Most Common Business Mistakes is a guide dedicated to addressing the top mistakes people make while communicating in business, whether they are sending a quick email or conducting a career-making sales presentation. It serves as a go-to book for common questions about communicating professionally on modern technology such as texts, social media and blogs.
What is The Communication Clinic About?
The Communication Clinic addresses the gap in proper English usage in the face of new technology. As professionals, we no longer communicate by phone or on paper. We communicate verbally and non-verbally in a lot of ways: PowerPoint presentations, blogs, Tweets, Facebook comments, webinars, Skype, instant messaging, and Slack. This list is growing larger by the year as technology creates more ways for us to share our thoughts and ideas with our fellow human beings. Despite this rise in technology, the need for clear and effective communication has not changed. That’s what drove a business etiquette expert (Barbara Pachter) and a former editor (Denise Cowie) to tackle the top problems modern people face in communicating with others in a professional setting.
In the book’s view, the substance of professional communication involves five principles: clarity, conciseness, effectiveness, engagement and grammatical and factual accuracy.
These principles apply no matter what type of technology or format you happen to use.
The style of professional communication lies in the details that support those five principles. Each form of communication requires an understanding of the conventions involved. For example, the communication style in a Tweet or a blog is a little more relaxed than in a formal report for your boss. That being said, the rules governing spelling and grammar apply to both the Tweet and the formal report. Yes, you can abbreviate certain words in a Tweet compared to a report, but those words must be spelled correctly and make grammatical sense to communicate effectively.
This overall message of applying the basic communication principles to modern technology so you can continue to communicate at your best is what The Communication Clinic is all about.
Pachter is a business etiquette and communications expert, coach, author and speaker who founded Pachter and Associates, a business communications training company. Pachter is also an adjunct professor at Rogers University.
Co-author Cowie is a former editor and writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a former regional director of the Garden Writer’s Association who launched her own gardening blog platform.
What Was Best About The Communication Clinic?
The best part of the The Communication Clinic is the diverse collection of communication issues in one book. Readers will rarely find a book that covers as many areas of business communication (and etiquette) in the modern world as this one. Another notable feature is the deep insight that Pachter and Cowie bring to the world of presentations and seminars. This advice focuses less on technical details and more on perfecting the skill of presenting. This is an area that many books fail to emphasize.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
While The Communication Clinic covers a lot of topics within the realm of business, one area that could be improved upon is navigation. The book presents issues around a loose theme (writing, presentation, assertive communication and careers), but additional navigational markers like section headings and more refined chapter titles might help readers who just need a quick answer to a communication issue.
Why Read The Communication Clinic?
The Communication Clinic is designed for the professional who wants an updated style and reference guide to communicating in the work world. As mentioned above, technology evolves faster than our ability to create proper grammar and style rules. So, if you’ve ever wondered if you should respond back to a recruiter or a boss with a “Hi!” by text or in an email, this is the book for you. The Communication Clinic will outline the basic principles for responding professionally by text or instant message. If you have ever wanted to improve your presentation, The Communication Clinic will help you identify obstacles to prepare for and provide a checklist to evaluate your speech afterward. For all of these situations and more, The Communication Clinic provides an answer and a set of principles to guide your communication, no matter what technology you happen to be using while doing business.