Forget everything you have ever learned about workplace communications. Ignore all the rules for office behavior you've followed for years. Throw away all the books you acquired in past decades on job interviews and networking. The world of work has been transformed in ways both large and small. In less than two years the workplace has undergone a shift that is as dramatic as the transition that happened when we moved from an agricultural to an industrial economy. A sea change has occurred and business has truly entered the twenty-first century.
The Great Recession of 2008 was the obvious tipping point for this transformation. However, in hindsight, it's a change that has been building for years, perhaps even decades. Optimists may hope it's only a temporary shift, a short-term symptom of a finite economic crisis, and that the world will soon return to the way it used to be. But it is realistic, not pessimistic, to accept that the economic crisis was the dawn of a new business world that will last for the rest of our working lives.
While this shift will impact every aspect of our money life, the most obvious day-to-day effect is in the way we communicate and relate to our fellow workers. Quite literally, the way we say things to each other in the workplace must be different now. That's because how we all think and feel about our jobs, our careers, our employers, our peers, and our employees has changed.
I've been closely examining workplace ...