Comcast recovers nicely from a slippery situation

Everybody loves to hate Comcast, America’s biggest cable company. On Monday, in Indianapolis, its repair technicians created a situation that led to multiple car accidents, then behaved arrogantly and denied being responsible. Comcast’s response is not bad; it’s direct, personal, and promises to make things better. What happened in Indy? Several Comcast repair trucks with “cherry-pickers” … Continued

Writing a company profile that’s not awful (Ask Dr. Wobs)

Dear Dr. Wobs Company profiles are some of the most boring pieces of content. How can they be improved?  — Alessandra Dear Alessandra: A typical company profile — often shown on the “About us” section of a Web site — is a political exercise that makes everyone at the company unhappy, even as it mystifies customers. … Continued

How to deal with schmucks (like the guy Delta Air Lines just banned)

There’s a lot more public nastiness since the election. For example, there’s the passenger who, as a Delta Air Lines flight was boarding, starting shouting offensive stuff like “Donald Trump, baby! We got some Hillary bitches on here?” Delta has banned him for life. Is this the right way to deal with real-life trolls? Here’s part of … Continued

Nordstrom: “We sell what sells, including Ivanka Trump”

Should Nordstrom continue to carry Ivanka Trump merchandise? It sells. So Nordstrom will keep selling it. In its rambling email to employees, it wraps that fact in tissue paper and packing peanuts. Why not have the courage to tell the truth? A friend of mine recently emailed Nordstrom to protest its decision to continue to … Continued

The bad faith lesson of Donald Trump at the New York Times

Donald Trump’s latest statements at the New York Times demonstrated an amazing “flexibility” (in other words, he changed long-held positions). If you were scared of Trump’s rhetoric, perhaps this encouraged you. But once you understand the dangers of negotiating in bad faith, your optimism will evaporate. What is bad faith? In a negotiation, each side … Continued

Who won the Trump University lawsuit? Look at the statements.

The Trump Organization settled fraud suits against Trump University for $25 million, removing the trial from the President-elect’s schedule. But because a settlement is a negotiated solution, you can’t immediately tell who came out on top — maybe $25 million is a lot less than the plaintiffs could have gotten. That is, until you read … Continued

Post-election, Microsoft’s Brad Smith shows tech CEOs how to lead

What’s a leader to do in the wake of a divisive election? For Silicon Valley CEOs from Apple, eBay, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the answer is smile, give us a all a hug, and tell people to get back to work. But Microsoft’s President Brad Smith showed us how a leader ought to lead in a crisis. This election is … Continued

Responding to objections to “Writing Without Bullshit”

A lot of people think my writing advice is wrong. When you apply the principles in my book at work, you’re going to encounter resistance, because the way I teach writing is not conventional. Here’s a set of objections and counterarguments for when people tell you you’re doing it wrong. Business writing has worked fine for many … Continued