Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Careers - Employment
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions


Not looking for a job? Tell us about your ideal job,
and we'll only contact you when it opens up.
https://www.dwsimpson.com/register


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-12-2018, 03:50 AM
The Drunken Actuary's Avatar
The Drunken Actuary The Drunken Actuary is offline
Member
CAS SOA Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Favorite beer: Early and Often
Posts: 84,682
Default Work Place Lessons from TDA: Lesson 2 - Work Place Communication

In lesson 2 we will dive a little deeper into communication. First, written communication. In today's work place that generally means email. Email communication should be short and to the point. Goldfish have an attention span of 8 seconds, in the Modern Age apparently humans have an attention span of even less than that at 7 seconds with all of the smartphones, internet, computers, etc that we have available to us. No one is going to read a long dissertation so get to the point and get to it quickly.

If your email actually warrants more than a couple of paragraphs then you need to open with some comment like please read this entire thing, this pertains to you, you freaking dumbass so read it because I know you have the attention of a goldfish so read this whole email because there's shit that you need to do. Of course you will can only say that if you are some kind of a boss, otherwise keep the email short because the higher-ups don't want to read your long-ass bullshit.

Also, white space is your friend.

Do not send an email back to someone where the entire message is the word 'Thanks!'

And unless you are a teenage girl do not end a message with the word thanks and an exclamation point. Speaking of exclamation points be careful with your punctuation because too many exclamation points, multiple question marks or Dot dot dot are not good. Not good at all.

Finally on written communication, if you don't know about basic grammar then learn it. Know when to use commas but more importantly know the difference between an object and a subject. For example unless you were doing something to yourself you don't use myself, it's me. Even if you don't think it sounds right, it is. Don't use I when me is the correct word. I see this all the time and you're moron if you do this. If it's the object of a sentence it's me, if it's the subject it's I. For example, John gave a gift to Alice and me. Not Alice and I. Not alice and myself. I gave a gift to myself.

Okay, now a few points on spoken communication. I touched a little bit about this on lesson one. Body language is important but again that's not actually spoken so I'll skip that for now. Use a strong confident voice, I covered some of this again in the earlier lesson so review that if you need details. If your voice is naturally high pitched or whiney or nasally, listen to yourself in a tape recorder or something and see if you can make it better. That's all I'm trying to say.

Beyond sounding confident, look into your delivery as well. Record yourself giving a speech or just simply talking about something that you might say in a meeting. Try to avoid saying um or you know and other nonsense like that. These are known as verbalized pauses and the reason that they exist in the first place is because if you are actually silent for the time that it takes to say you know subconsciously you are worried that someone else will interrupt before you have a chance to finish your thought. But generally in business this isn't necessary as people will let you finish your thought so you can just stay quiet for the 1/2 second that it takes to say you know and then you will have a significantly more professional-sounding delivery.

Okay, now for my favorite part...non verbal and non written communication. This is all about attitude what do you want to convey to your co-workers? What kind of a person are you, what kind of a worker are you, what kind of person and worker do you want to be? Everything that you say or do that anyone ever hears or observes is in some way communication. If you go to the bathroom and don't wash your hands and someone else is in there then you just communicated that not only are you disgusting slob, you do not give a flying rat's ass about social norms, or care than anyone knows that you were disgusting slob. Or maybe you just communicated that you are so stupid you don't even know that it's normal to wash your hands. People talk, and if that's what you do, they're talking about you. I don't care if you never wash your hands when no one's around when you're at work wash your hands so people know that you're not a complete disgusting loser. The same thing if you're the guy that's going to leave stuff in the kitchen for the secretary to clean up. Clean up your own damn mess. Nobody may ever say anything to you but everybody will talk about you behind your back.

Here's another tip, if you are a married guy do not spend an inordinate amount of time talking to the ladies. People notice, trust me on this one. I've had several people who report to me in this situation and I actually had to confront them about it. Awkward.

Think of everything that you do as building a brand. Remember that pretty much everything that you do is noticed by pretty much everyone. And the people who don't notice it or informed about it by the people who do notice it. For example if you are spending half your time on Facebook or the AO or other non-work-related websites and your computer screen faces anything other than only you then trust me people notice and talk about it and I don't care how much actual work you get done. So the question is, what kind of brand are you building for yourself? Is it the kind of brand that says I work and get my shit done and I want to be paid more because I'm a baller? Or is it the kind of brand that says well I might hang out on Facebook in the AO half the day but at least I get most of my work done. There is no right or wrong answer to this by the way.

Okay, I think that is it for tonight. It's getting late here in California. Anyway I think that there are a few more topics that would fall under communication such as how to ask for a raise, how to tell an underling that they are not getting a raise, or just in general that they kind of suck, or how to tell a client no, or how to push back on higher ups or clients or people who are more important than you in general in any way.

As always follow this advice at your own discretion. Results May Fail and you may not be baller enough to implement this advice and if not and you get fired because you don't do it correctly that is not my fault. Thanks!
__________________
I think the dollar will crash irreparably by 2012.... bottom drops out of the dollar. ....Dollars are worthless, 401ks are bust, the markets are valueless...government assumes control over all industry and everything is nationalized by the end of 2012. - gomer_tree
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-12-2018, 03:57 AM
The Drunken Actuary's Avatar
The Drunken Actuary The Drunken Actuary is offline
Member
CAS SOA Non-Actuary
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Favorite beer: Early and Often
Posts: 84,682
Default

A lot of that first post was constructed using the talk to text feature on my Google pixel 2 XL whatever it is and it doesn't seem to have worked perfectly. I think you'll get the idea but I will try to edit it and clean it up when I get a chance but it's almost midnight and I just don't have the energy right now.

Thanks!
__________________
I think the dollar will crash irreparably by 2012.... bottom drops out of the dollar. ....Dollars are worthless, 401ks are bust, the markets are valueless...government assumes control over all industry and everything is nationalized by the end of 2012. - gomer_tree
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:14 AM
kmhst25's Avatar
kmhst25 kmhst25 is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,028
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drunken Actuary View Post

Do not send an email back to someone where the entire message is the word 'Thanks!'

And unless you are a teenage girl do not end a message with the word thanks and an exclamation point. Speaking of exclamation points be careful with your punctuation because too many exclamation points, multiple question marks or Dot dot dot are not good. Not good at all.

Finally on written communication, if you don't know about basic grammar then learn it. Know when to use commas but more importantly know the difference between an object and a subject. For example unless you were doing something to yourself you don't use myself, it's me. Even if you don't think it sounds right, it is. Don't use I when me is the correct word. I see this all the time and you're moron if you do this. If it's the object of a sentence it's me, if it's the subject it's I. For example, John gave a gift to Alice and me. Not Alice and I. Not alice and myself. I gave a gift to myself.

Okay, now a few points on spoken communication. I touched a little bit about this on lesson one. Body language is important but again that's not actually spoken so I'll skip that for now. Use a strong confident voice, I covered some of this again in the earlier lesson so review that if you need details. If your voice is naturally high pitched or whiney or nasally, listen to yourself in a tape recorder or something and see if you can make it better. That's all I'm trying to say.

Beyond sounding confident, look into your delivery as well. Record yourself giving a speech or just simply talking about something that you might say in a meeting. Try to avoid saying um or you know and other nonsense like that. These are known as verbalized pauses and the reason that they exist in the first place is because if you are actually silent for the time that it takes to say you know subconsciously you are worried that someone else will interrupt before you have a chance to finish your thought. But generally in business this isn't necessary as people will let you finish your thought so you can just stay quiet for the 1/2 second that it takes to say you know and then you will have a significantly more professional-sounding delivery.

Okay, now for my favorite part...non verbal and non written communication. This is all about attitude what do you want to convey to your co-workers? What kind of a person are you, what kind of a worker are you, what kind of person and worker do you want to be? Everything that you say or do that anyone ever hears or observes is in some way communication. If you go to the bathroom and don't wash your hands and someone else is in there then you just communicated that not only are you disgusting slob, you do not give a flying rat's ass about social norms, or care than anyone knows that you were disgusting slob. Or maybe you just communicated that you are so stupid you don't even know that it's normal to wash your hands. People talk, and if that's what you do, they're talking about you. I don't care if you never wash your hands when no one's around when you're at work wash your hands so people know that you're not a complete disgusting loser. The same thing if you're the guy that's going to leave stuff in the kitchen for the secretary to clean up. Clean up your own damn mess. Nobody may ever say anything to you but everybody will talk about you behind your back.

Here's another tip, if you are a married guy do not spend an inordinate amount of time talking to the ladies. People notice, trust me on this one. I've had several people who report to me in this situation and I actually had to confront them about it. Awkward.

Think of everything that you do as building a brand. Remember that pretty much everything that you do is noticed by pretty much everyone. And the people who don't notice it or informed about it by the people who do notice it. For example if you are spending half your time on Facebook or the AO or other non-work-related websites and your computer screen faces anything other than only you then trust me people notice and talk about it and I don't care how much actual work you get done. So the question is, what kind of brand are you building for yourself? Is it the kind of brand that says I work and get my shit done and I want to be paid more because I'm a baller? Or is it the kind of brand that says well I might hang out on Facebook in the AO half the day but at least I get most of my work done. There is no right or wrong answer to this by the way.

Okay, I think that is it for tonight. It's getting late here in California. Anyway I think that there are a few more topics that would fall under communication such as how to ask for a raise, how to tell an underling that they are not getting a raise, or just in general that they kind of suck, or how to tell a client no, or how to push back on higher ups or clients or people who are more important than you in general in any way.

As always follow this advice at your own discretion. Results May Fail and you may not be baller enough to implement this advice and if not and you get fired because you don't do it correctly that is not my fault. Thanks!
Thoughts:
1. TDA does not like to be thanked. In any way. Ever.
2. TDA is not okay with writing like a teenage girl but is okay with having a teenage girl as his avatar. His feelings about teenage girls are very unclear.
3. Teenage boys are not allowed to send "Thanks!" emails. Unclear why. Perhaps teenage boys are not allowed to be thankful?
4. I didn't read the whole thing b/c my smart phone gave me a 4 second attention span.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:38 AM
Whoaminoneofyourbusiness's Avatar
Whoaminoneofyourbusiness Whoaminoneofyourbusiness is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: The Grand Tournament
Studying for PA
Posts: 257
Default

Thanks!
__________________
Spoiler:
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:11 AM
fdsafdsa's Avatar
fdsafdsa fdsafdsa is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,386
Default

Do not send an email back to someone where the entire message is the word 'Thanks!'

This will vary by corporate culture. If you're in a culture where everyone else does this, you'll have to do it too.
__________________
Isn't one man's black out another man's street nap?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:16 AM
fdsafdsa's Avatar
fdsafdsa fdsafdsa is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,386
Default

This one should be much harder to misconstrue for noobs, just do what this guy says.

There is also a trick to communicating briefly, keep it short, but, here's the trick, it still needs to be complete. This is a skill you'll have to practice. Generally whatever length you first draft is should be cut down to about a quarter of that.
__________________
Isn't one man's black out another man's street nap?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:28 AM
redearedslider's Avatar
redearedslider redearedslider is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13,407
Default

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraham Weishaus View Post
ASM does not have a discussion of stimulation, but considering how boring the manual is, maybe it would be a good idea.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:31 AM
Colonel Smoothie's Avatar
Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is online now
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
College: Jamba Juice University
Favorite beer: AO Amber Ale
Posts: 48,016
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drunken Actuary View Post
Also, white space is your friend.
that's racist
__________________
Recommended Readings for the EL Actuary || Recommended Readings for the EB Actuary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigmeister General View Post
Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:49 AM
NormalDan's Avatar
NormalDan NormalDan is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: NJ
Posts: 6,844
Default

I think this advice is pretty good, with some variation on corporate culture as was said, but this piece has me ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drunken Actuary View Post
Here's another tip, if you are a married guy do not spend an inordinate amount of time talking to the ladies. People notice, trust me on this one. I've had several people who report to me in this situation and I actually had to confront them about it. Awkward.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-12-2018, 09:55 AM
Marcie's Avatar
Marcie Marcie is online now
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 8,857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drunken Actuary View Post
Here's another tip, if you are a married guy do not spend an inordinate amount of time talking to the ladies. People notice, trust me on this one. I've had several people who report to me in this situation and I actually had to confront them about it. Awkward.
Surely this is just limited to the workplace, Mr Drunken? I mean, this behavior is acceptable at Hooters, amirite?



Asking for a drunken friend.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.27155 seconds with 9 queries