CMI News

Performance Appraisals Without The Pain

Aside from meeting stated goals and objectives, what is a manager’s number one priority? If you said the performance development of their direct reports – the people who do the work to meet the goals and objectives – you are absolutely correct. Next question – what is the one job that is often delayed to the last possible moment? If you said preparing and writing performance appraisals/reviews, you are now two for two. Part of the problem is that most of us have an informal process for … [Read more...]

A few words about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    January is when we welcome the advent of the New Year, resolve to do better, select the Oscar nominees, determine the Super Bowl teams, and most notably, celebrate the birth of a very important American, Martin Luther King, Jr. As Black History Month approaches, it is appropriate to continue to acknowledge Dr. King’s invaluable contributions to the fight for Civil Rights and his unwavering stance on the value of human dignity.     A few of my favorite … [Read more...]

writeTrain® Online Business Writing Program – Customized for Your Team

Have you ever taken your car in for an oil change or tire rotation, only to be told that your battery is weak, the transmission fluid is leaking, and your brakes are shot? My reaction is to roll my eyes and assume I’m the easy mark. Whether I approve the work or not depends on how convinced I am of the immediate need to fix what’s broken (and my ability to cover the repairs). The last time this happened I ended up buying a new car. It was that bad. We had a similar experience recently with … [Read more...]

Effective Proofreading Tips

Offering business writing skills training programs, writeTrain® and instructor-led workshops, I periodically check topics our course covers. Lately I’ve been looking at proofreading. (This may or may not have been the result of an embarrassing mistake I made recently, but I digress.) After writing, most of us tend to give it a once-over and hit the send button. That’s usually enough, and certainly the colored squiggles that show up under words in our email and word processing programs will … [Read more...]

What’s new at CMI

For certain we have remained true to our mission – helping business professionals enhance their effectiveness in two critical communication skills areas – business presentations and business writing. However, we are now able to deliver service how and where it best suits your needs. If the order calls for onsite, instructor-led workshops, we can fulfill the request. If scheduling flexibility, user convenience and travel limitations are key considerations, we have e-learning … [Read more...]

Out of Sight, Out of Mind! Management Involvement Helps Propel Online Learning Participation

One of our financial services clients has found our online business writing course, writeTrain®, very beneficial in helping to improve their employees’ writing skills. Yet, in past years their Learning & Development Department had to spend significant amounts of time chasing users to get them not only to complete the program, but in many cases to get started. The idea that online learning is a convenient way to deliver training services to busy workers is still valid. However, even with … [Read more...]

Words Matter

Our usage of words and language appears to have changed. Conveying the essential point is what really matters. Business professionals will have readers who expect written correspondence to include the correct word use and adhere to standard writing conventions. This brings me to my word of the week there…their…and they’re. I realize there are those who are saying this is much too basic. Yet, I see misuses of this word enough to realize that a brief review is justified. So it can’t … [Read more...]

Writing Skills for Re-entering the Workplace

The workforce is a place that people leave or retire from for a variety of reasons – mandatory age, family responsibilities, personal ventures or preference. It is also a place that is dynamic and to which people return. For those looking to re-enter the workplace, being able to describe your suitability for a particular position in a crisp effective manner is essential. Readers want to know in a very short time frame whether an applicant is someone worthy of further consideration. The … [Read more...]

Are we talking about the same thing?

It's remarkable that we Americans communicate with each other as well as we do. Consider accents – Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, the South, Texas, the Midwest – many of us use the same words but say them with a unique enunciation or drawl. Add to this the fact that so many of our words sound alike, are spelled differently and don't have the same meaning (homophones). This blog will periodically provide examples of how easy it is to confuse readers when the wrong word is used. Which of the … [Read more...]

The Value of Communication Skills Training

Warren Buffett from Gillian Zoe Segal’s Book – Getting There On Communication Skills: Buffett reveals that up until the age of twenty had an acute fear of public speaking. Just the thought of it would make him physically ill. This all changed when Buffett forced himself to take a Dale Carnegie public-speaking course. He discloses, "That $100 course gave me the most important degree I have... In graduate school you learn all this complicated stuff, but what's really essential, no matter what … [Read more...]