Are Your Students Too Familiar With You? Employers Try Texting for Beginning-Stage Interviews… You Know the Worst Filler Words?

Are Your Students Too Familiar With You?

Many professors are finding today’s students a bit too casual for comfort. From the automatic use of first names to carelessly written e-mails and text messages, students’ informal behavior has some instructors formally perturbed.

The overly nonchalant approach to the professor/student relationship may just be a symptom of a larger societal change toward informality. However, many professors believe the uptick of such conduct on campus is the result of students never being taught college classroom etiquette.

Instructors who advocate formality have their reasons. They say the use of titles is an important way to establish the authority and respect essential to the unique link between teacher and student. Addressing an instructor as professor, doctor, Mr. or Ms. also shows esteem for learning. Instructors likewise note that traditional classroom etiquette is good pedagogy. After all, part of the job of the instructor—especially those teaching business communication—is to correct sloppy or inappropriate prose.

To set the right tone with students, some instructors include specific parameters for student-teacher interactions on their syllabi and discuss proper classroom etiquette early in the semester.

–From The New York Times

Employers Try Texting for Beginning-Stage Interviews

Frustrated by millennials not picking up phone calls or ignoring e-mails, a number of employers are meeting the generation of new workers where they live—on their smartphones.

Using messaging apps such as Canvas or Jobr, firms are texting questions to potential employees to answer in lieu of conducting initial phone interviews or waiting for e-mail responses that never arrive. The practice allows recruiters to share the transcripts of responses to others within their organization and takes up less time than scheduling dozens or hundreds of phone calls.

Texting initial interviews gives candidates time to frame thoughtful responses rather than having to think on the spot. However, interview texting etiquette is still the Wild West. Should the applicant respond immediately? Use emojis? These nuances will likely be worked out as the practice becomes more widespread.

–From The Wall Street Journal

 You Know the Worst Filler Words?

We all use filler words—words or sounds like um and ah that mean nothing but can serve to fill in conversational holes. However, when speaking in professional contexts, filler words can make the speaker sound unprepared, nervous, or ill-spoken.

Increasingly, a new filler phrase is making its way into the lexicon, and it, you know, has some people, you know, pretty irritated. Saying you know instead of what is really meant not only sounds unprofessional, it’s confusing because much of the time, the listener does not know. Whether the speaker is a television analyst, job candidate, or business leader, the use of filler words dilutes a speaker’s message. Below are tips to help eliminate meaningless phrases from your speech.

Watch the pros. Ever notice how sports announcers report the action seamlessly? That’s because they think before they speak, and if they need a moment to gather their thoughts, they leave a pause instead of using a filler.

Record yourself. Observe yourself speaking for a few minutes to catch your own use of fillers. Consider including a friend while you watch to help pick up mannerisms you may miss.


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