The challenge: To think, speak and act in ways that lead to better communication, productivity and ease — even in tough business negotiations, emotionally charged encounters, and fast-paced, deadline-driven, “put out the fire” business cultures.

Crisp thinking and clear communication are crucial to problem-solving and professional progress. Once people have reached a high enough level of professional success, it’s easy to take these skills for granted.

Yet, how often do people sense dissent within their organization? It might take the form of political maneuvering, gossip, useless meetings, missed deadlines, or a general sense that it’s hopeless to do more than endure the status quo…these are usually symptoms of poor communication and/or lapses in strategic thinking.

The good news is: communication and critical thinking skills are easily improved. Even minor changes can lead to strikingly better productivity and team spirit. Dan Clurman and Mudita Nisker offer practical communication skills that can be implemented immediately.