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Why We Should Be Asking, ‘Can We Talk?’

Richard M. Steinberg | November 11, 2014

Whether or not you liked her humor, Joan Rivers was a force of nature, perhaps best known for her catchphrase, “Can we talk?”

She said she was given the line by another comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, and she ran with it. While she reportedly was in good health, her death came during what was deemed a routine throat procedure at a clinic on the upper east side of Manhattan. We could discuss the risks associated with the procedure, but here we focus on the broader role of communication in business in general, and risk management in particular, that could be summed up by River’s memorable line.

To me, “Can we talk?” calls for a truly open, forthright, and timely...

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