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Do “I-statements” Help or Hinder Communication in Professional Contexts?

In her internationally best-selling book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, advises women to “speak your truth” but to do so in an appropriate, yet non-threatening way—to be “not brutally honest but delicately honest.As one way maintain this delicate honesty, Sandberg provides some fairly standard conflict negotiation advice:

Statements of opinion are always more constructive in the first-person “I” form. Compare these two statements: “You never take my suggestions seriously” and “I feel frustrated that you have not responded to my last four emails, which leads me to believe that my suggestions are not that important to you. Is that so?” [1]

Sandberg’s advice is commonplace professional communication advice. In a magazine article for Industrial Engineers, Eileen Brownwell urges her readers to learn what she calls communication basics” such as owning messages by “starting statements with ‘I need’ or ‘I want.’” Multiple articles on the Beyond Intractability conflict resolution database advocate the use of “Imessages” that take the form of “I feel (emotion/s) when (circumstance/s).” [2].

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IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication Call for Submissions: Special Issue on User-Generated Content and Its Effects on the Profession (December 2019)

Guest editors: Josephine Walwema (Oakland University), Hilary Sarat-St. Peter (Columbia College Chicago), and Felicia Chong (Oakland University) A smartphone user types “extend smartphone battery life” into a browser search box; the results … [Continue reading]

Joanna Wolfe on Gender Dynamics in Engineering Teams

In engineering teams, gender dynamics can disproportionately impact women, limiting or circumscribing their roles in those team environments.  At our last conference in Madison,  Joanna Wolfe - Director of the Global Communication Center, Teaching … [Continue reading]

1Q18 Issue of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

The March 2018 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication has recently been published online. If you are a paper subscriber, you will receive the issue, printed together with the June issue, in early June. Volume 61, Number 1, … [Continue reading]

Podcast: George Hayhoe interviews Guest Editors of the Special Issue on Plain Language in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

Listen to George Hayhoe interview the three guest editors of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication special issue on Plain Language - Nataliya Mateeva, Michelle Moosally, and Russell Willerton - as they discuss the role, the history, and … [Continue reading]

Reminder: ProComm 2018 Abstracts due Feb 5th, 2018 … and here’s some tips on how to write a good one!

We're really looking forward to seeing you all in Toronto in July for ProComm 2018, so here's a quick reminder about the abstract due date and process, available on our Call for Papers page. Writing an abstract can sometimes be an intimidating task, … [Continue reading]

Ryan Boettger, Editor of the IEEE PCS-Wiley Book Series, interviewed on the challenges of integrating and engaging with Millennials in engineering organizations

Ryan Boettger, editor of the IEEE PCS-Wiley Book Series, was recently interviewed in Supply & Chain Demand Executive. He spoke on the challenges of integrating and engaging with Millennials in engineering organizations, nothing that “when Baby … [Continue reading]

Engineering Career Coach Anthony Fasano interviews Traci Nathans Kelley on Slide Rules

Traci-Nathans Kelley, former editor of our IEEE Professional Communication Society book series, is interviewed by The Engineering Career Coach's Anthony Fasano about her book, co-authored with Christine G. Nicometo,  Slide Rules: Design, Build, and … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Karen A. Schriver, Winner of 2017 Joenk Award, Interviewed by George Hayhoe

As indicated previously, Karen A. Schriver is the 2017 winner of the Joenk Award for the best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication for her paper "Plain Language in the United States Gains Momentum: 1940–2015."  Listen to her … [Continue reading]

Karen A. Schriver wins Joenk Award for Best Paper in the Transactions (2017)

The editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Rudolph J. Joenk Award for Best Paper in the Transactions is Karen A. Schriver for "Plain Language in the United States … [Continue reading]