Obscenities, ethnic and sexist epithets, cutting jokes, subtle put-downs -- whether shouted, said with a smile, or sent via e-mail -- are all verbal abuse. For many it is the everyday language of doing business. Suzette Haden Elgin, nationally recognized linguistics expert and author, applies her acclaimed techniques for combating verbal violence to common on-the-job situations. Forceful yet nonthreatening, her proven strategies will empower workers of every level to recognize verbal abuse, gently defuse it, and replace it with courteous and effective communication.
Citing examples grabbed from the headlines, Dr. Elgin reveals the cost of demeaning and destructive language to any business. Step by step, she shows how to identify, and conquer the verbal toxins at the root of workplace hostility and tension. Readers will learn how to avoid "malpractice of the mouth" and sexual harassment; communicate sensitively and clearly with non-native English speakers; come across as strong, straightforward, and truthful; and take complete control of any verbal confrontation -- calmly. Workout sections throughout the book provide plenty of opportunities for practice.
With a look at communication skills crucial for e-mail, voice mail, and the Internet, as well as the special challenges facing homebased and virtual businesses, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work is the definitive guide to effective and humane communication on the job.