Winning an Argument via eMail

An American proverb goes, “The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you have.” Well, possibly – but the fact remains that in business you are going to have arguments sometimes, and you are going to try to win them. However, as long as you stick to a few golden rules, you should be able to keep the process friendly.

Of course, resolving disagreements in writing is clearly not the ideal way to do it; it’s always better to talk face to face or pick up the phone. But in our increasingly interconnected world, much of our communication naturally happens in written form, via letters, emails and instant messaging. And when you’re trying to make a point in writing, without the clues of tone of voice, facial expressions and body language to help you, misunderstandings may occur. You therefore have to be extra careful about the words you choose and the way you phrase them.

Here are some tips to remember next time you find yourself indignantly sitting down to write an email:

1. Logic and reason win arguments. Most people are fairly reasonable, so if you can appeal to their sense of what’s right, you will probably win them over to your way of thinking. Stay professional at all times: remember, you’re trying to solve an issue, not taking this opportunity to express all the anger and frustration that has been building up inside you for ages. Even if you’re having a lot of problems with this person, concentrate on one issue. Don’t make personal accusations – you will simply anger and alienate your reader and you risk losing your focus, your temper and your argument. So stay logical, stick to the facts, explain your reasoning properly, and you will stand a better chance of getting what you want.


It's Finally Spring--Checkout the Bird Nests

It's Spring in Ithaca and the birds are having their babies. The Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology sponsors several "Bird Cams"; mounting Internet connected cameras and microphones in nests on campus and elsewhere. Here are a couple of sites:

Red Tailed Hawks

Great Blue Herons

Laugh and the Work World Laughs as well

Many of today's work environments are rife with moody bosses and co-workers, repetitive tasks and unpredictable market pressures. Stress abounds. Managers often tell me they can’t afford the time or cost for my humor workshops; how can they afford not to address workplace stress. 

We know clinically that laughter and play have medicinal qualities, offering physical, psychological and physiological benefits as well. In the workplace, humor and fun can increase productivity, encourage creativity, enhance team building, and thus improve esprit de corps.
While we may not be able to control everything that happens to us in our jobs and work environments, we do have control over how we choose to react. I coach others how to create an environment which is safe and friendly, and use humor to help maintain a healthy balance between the pressure and seriousness which comes from high stakes jobs and a competitive marketplace. Remember that humor starts from within. Being able to laugh at your own foibles goes a long way toward creating a healthy work climate in which to flourish.


Baffling IT Terms

Editors note:  We catch ourselves speaking "computerize" to our clients all the time.  Of course we try really hard not to.  But a word or a phrase that is totally foreign to a non-technical person today, becomes part of our language down the road.  In 1995, very few people knew what the "INTERNET" meant.  Today, it's a regular part of everyday conversation and our lives.  This article tries to explain a few of the more arcane terms used in technology.

When talking or reading about technology, it can sometimes feel as if you need to know a completely foreign language. Not only are many of the words confusing, but the use (some might say the overuse) of acronyms can further complicate the issue. According to the results of a survey conducted by IT recruitment consultancy Computer People, 75 percent of respondents admitted that they waste over an hour a week finding out what something means so they can complete their work.

Lost productivity isn’t the only problem. In a VIA Networks survey of small and mid-sized businesses, over 26 percent said that confusing technical jargon had led them to make the wrong purchasing decision. It’s time to cut through the confusion!


Top Computing Center eNews Articles 2012

What did our readers read in 2012?  We did a review of all the articles published in our monthly Computing Center eNewsletter as well as everything posted on the Business EDGE News site on the web.  Here's a list of the top five articles viewed in both which is a complilation of our web and email management stats.  Thank you for reading!  We're always looking for good story ideas for us to research and good articles to publish.  Send your story ideas and articles to:


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