The eyes have it!

We often look at communication through an organizational lens: CEO messages to x number of employees, or collaboration platforms, or networks flowing vertically and horizontally. But the reality is that communication within organizations is based on building blocks of interpersonal communication between two or more people.

Which made me wonder about this: What affect does mask wearing during this period of Covid-19 have on interpersonal communication?

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Are you suffering from Zoom fatigue?

Meetings have been a fixture of organizational life for as long as…well, as long as there have been organizations. But the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief why meetings can be so frustrating, unproductive, and stress-producing.

So, what can we do about it?

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Stories create experiences and make careers

For Dr. K. Dawn Rutledge, who graduated from our program in 2012, storytelling has been a constant thread throughout her life and career as a communicator. Dawn vividly remembers entering a poetry-writing contest in eighth grade. “I actually won first place in that contest, and so my love of writing started very early. I was also fascinated with how people like Oprah Winfrey could move their audiences with compelling stories.”

That love of storytelling has led to a long professional career in communication in a wide range of sectors: First a stint in journalism, then work in the nonprofit, corporate, governmental, entertainment and educational sectors. Now, as a consultant and educator, Dawn enjoys helping others tell their stories.

In a recent interview, Dawn describes three stops along her journey and shares some excellent advice for communicators at the beginning of their careers.

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Find your alumni network!

Northeastern University is a network spread across the United States and around the world. From special interest groups to local geographic communities, and everything in between, there is a part of the network for everyone.

One example is our community in Beijing. 欢迎! The Community offers a variety of opportunities that will help you to expand your social and professional networks in the country, meet fellow Huskies, and stay connected to Northeastern. China is home for 8,080 alumni and 3,985 current students.

Whether you’re a student or an alum, learn how to connect with this worldwide network.

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Are you applying the principles of persuasion?

Persuasion. Isn’t that what communication is all about? Effectively and ethically applying Richard Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion can make all the difference in whether a message has impact, or not. The six principles – reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus – are motivational levers. If we have a deep understanding of our target audience, we can calibrate them for maximum effect.

In this podcast, I discuss stakeholder analysis and the principles of persuasion as I reflect on my career as a communicator.

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