The structure of work -- any kind of work -- is simple. There are three types of activities you do at work no matter the particular task. Activity One: you count value. Activity Two: you add value. Activity Three: you subtract value.
Counting value means doing the task the right way. Adding value means doing the task the right way and going above and beyond to get a superior result. Subtracting value is self-evident. It's doing the task the wrong way and it shows up as not completing the task, disrupting the task being done, etc.
Work is done in human context. People get work done -- together. Working together means talking to one another. For example, a 2012 American Management Association (AMA) report claims that managers on the job talk 78% of the time. Talk, you see, is work in the 21st century.
So, the question asks itself: When you talk at work, do you count value, add value or subtract value?
The key to making talk valuable in the workplace: talk more or less -- depending upon the value indicator (how you answer the question above).
It's your choice.
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