Elevate Summit 2017 – Philadelphia

Here’s my annotated slide deck from my Elevate Summit talk, titled “How We Fail Each Other In Our Communication.” Believe it or not, the talk is about …

… wait for it …

… wait for it …

… how we fail each other in our communication.


If you found the topic interesting (and if you’re checking out this page, I’m assuming you do on some level), here are some additional resources that you might like.

First off, here’s a quick guide to politeness strategies in English:

Polite Expressions in English: Words, Phrases and Questions to be Kind

And a more thorough scientific analysis:

Linguistic Approaches to Politeness

These next two studies pretty much fall under the category of “duh, who doesn’t know that?” Still, I found it interesting that there’s actual scientific weight behind these seemingly obvious concepts:

Difficult to Communicate Emotions in Email/Text

Emojis and Emoticons Often Clarify Message

Just to complicate the issue even further, additional studies have found disparities in the use of politeness strategies by men versus women, with men using them to express uncertainty and women using them to facilitate conversation. This can lead to women being seen as indecisive, when they’re really just being courteous. Women in a workplace setting also face a catch-22 when it comes to being direct versus being polite, with them taking more heat than men regardless of which communication style they employ. For these reasons, the style misunderstandings I’ve described can have far more adverse effects on women than on men.

Then there’s the issue I touched on (but didn’t have a chance to delve into) of cultural differences and how they affect communication style.

And finally, if you have any comments or communication tips you’d like to suggest yourself, please post them below!

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