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Make the Connection

Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home

Steve Adubato

Publication Year: 2005

In this collection of compelling and practical essays, Emmy Award–winning broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and motivational speaker Steve Adubato shares concrete tips and tools that will help you connect more effectively at work, at home, under pressure, in leadership roles, and in high-tech environments. From avoiding unnecessary arguments with your spouse to coaching a valuable, yet difficult employee, Adubato’s essays delve into the key factors that motivate people to act and respond the way that they do.

            You will find answers to some of the most common questions about public speaking as well as advice on overcoming its anxieties. Whether the forum is a PTA meeting or a large professional function, essays explore topics such as:

·         Why even practiced speakers sometimes experience stage fright

  • How to keep your audience awake and  interested in what you are saying

 

You will learn essential skills for interacting in the workplace, including:

  • How to negotiate a good deal and still be honest and straight
  • How to keep team projects from falling apart
  • How to conduct yourself in confrontational situations, such as receiving a public insult

 

Drawing on examples set by public figures, including Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, Martha Stewart, Jack Welch, Joe Torre, and many others, Adubato addresses the unique communication challenges that those in leadership positions face. Essays examine:

·         What ordinary people can learn from leaders in high-profile positions

·         Why so many leaders have difficulty taking responsibility and apologizing for their actions

 

As technology continues to provide opportunities for quicker and more visual communication, Adubato also lets you know when hi-tech bells and whistles get in the way of making a more personal and human connection. For instance, 

·         Why do we hide behind e-mail messages when we have something very difficult to say?

·         How does communication deteriorate when cell phones and e-mail are competing for our attention?

 

Finally, Adubato reminds us that communicating at home is no less important or any less difficult than communicating in public or at work. From contemporary challenges to age-old questions, essays explore:

·         How you can more effectively talk with your kids about war and terrorism

·         What forms of persuasion are more effective than nagging

 

Filled with timely examples and practical suggestions, Make the Connection is a must-read for everyone looking to improve their professional and personal relationships.

 

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. ix-xi

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xiii-

This book could not have been written without the support and assistance of many people whom I would like to acknowledge and thank. Make the Connection is my second book—it’s also the second time I have collaborated with Theresa DiGeronimo.While writing Speak from the Heart, Theresa was with me every step of the way. Once again, she has helped me to stay focused and on time...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-6

In 1984, as a twenty-six-year-old delegate to the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, I was mesmerized, along with millions watching on TV, as Mario Cuomo gave the most passionate and memorable convention speech in modern history. I have always been fascinated by people who can make...

Communication 101

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1 Message Sent Does Not Equal Message Received

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pp. 9-11

What is effective communication? We talk about it all the time, but what does it really mean? I define effective communication as message sent (MS) equals message received (MR). Sounds simple enough, right? Fact is, more times than not message sent does NOT equal message received. Put another...

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2. Connecting Means Taking Risks

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pp. 11-12

Great communication comes from a combination of practice, persistence, and patience. It also comes from a burning desire to connect with other people in a more meaningful, personal fashion. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the more charismatic, and no doubt effective, communicators in the world of business. Charles Hamm...

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3. Body Language Speaks Volumes,

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pp. 12-14

Abusiness executive is undergoing a “mock” media interview. He is preparing for a real media interview he is about to face. The executive’s message is clear, and his content is solid. The problem is that as he speaks, his legs are tightly crossed, and he is clutching his left shoe...

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4. Mushy Messages Don’t Cut It

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pp. 14-15

Have you ever noticed that some people in the workplace have a tendency to use mushy language? I’m talking about senior-level executives and others who give a presentation and say things like: “I think if we possibly move forward on Project X, we might be able to accomplish our goals in the not so distant future.”What’s that supposed to mean? I am amazed at how many otherwise...

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5. Lose the Jargon No One Understands

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pp. 15-17

“We are the industry leader in providing a total visibility in the value chain using multi-layered technology that is inter-operable across platforms. . . . Our center-to-edge solution acts as a virtual e-Hub allowing proactive, agile responses throughout your ecosystem. . . . Our best-ofbreed collaborative commerce application is robust and highly scalable.” This is an actual...

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6. When Less Is More

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pp. 17-19

People often say the problem in an organization is “not enough communication.” But it is rarely more information that’s needed—it’s more effective and relevant information that’s missing from our communication today. The Internet is filled with lots of information, but how much of it is actually pertinent to our...

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7. Communication: A Matter of Life and Death

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pp. 19-20

Quality communication skills are crucial to quality health care, and Peter Pronovost, medical director of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care at Johns Hopkins University, says failure to communicate costs lives and money. Consider the following insights offered by Pronovost, who is one of the country’s top experts on reducing...

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8. The Q & A

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pp. 21-22

Too often a simple question in the workplace gets a rambling, complicated, and confusing answer. Here are some tangible tips about how to answer clearly and concisely for improved communication: • Don’t accept the negative premise of a question. Say you get asked something like: “Why is your system of delivering services so complicated and confusing?”Now, assuming you believe in the system in place...

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9. The Power of Questions

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pp. 22-24

Too often we ignore the value of asking smart, probing, illuminating questions—mostly because we’ve been trained to focus only on answers. Many of us are obsessed with coming up with the right answers to difficult problems in the workplace. In school, students are taught to come up with the correct answers...

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10. The “Funnel”Approach

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pp. 24-26

Asking questions is an art form. That’s why it’s no surprise that the most effective professionals in sales, customer service, or counseling are those who truly understand how to ask questions. One of the most effective questioning techniques is called the “funnel” approach. Picture what a funnel looks like—wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. The...

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11. George Bush—the Father—Learns New Tricks

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pp. 26-27

Former president George Bush was never known to be a powerful public speaker. His communication skills were the butt of many jokes. Saturday Night Live had a field day poking fun when Bush would misspeak or fumble over his words. Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton, George Bush wasn’t. Fast forward. Former...

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12. Andrew Cuomo Is No Mario When Communicating

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pp. 27-28

This chapter was written after Andrew Cuomo dropped out of the New York governor’s race seven days before the September 10, 2002, primary. One reason he quit in the eleventh hour was that by his own admission, he was trying to communicate “too many messages.” At a press conference announcing that he was...

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13. Communication Resolutions for a New Year

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pp. 29-30

Making resolutions is a great way to start a new year, but any day is a good day for deciding to become a more effective communicator. How, you ask? One step at a time. Today, resolve to: • Be more honest and candid. We’re not talking about being mean or going out of your way to be hurtful. Rather, this is about being more up front so you don’t have to keep track of all those little white lies. For...

The Power of Passion andConnecting with Others

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14. Nine Tools of the Compelling Communicator

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pp. 33-35

The following are nine proven tools or techniques of a compelling communicator. (A list of ten would be way too predictable.) They can help you next time you have to make a presentation before any audience: 1. Use concrete, easy-to-understand examples that the audience can relate to. Examples are a powerful tool. They connect the audience to your main message. People tend to make presentations filled with facts, figures...

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15. Meet Sister Marianne McCann

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pp. 35-36

The following are nine proven tools or techniques of a compelling communicator. (A list of ten would be way too predictable.) They can help you next time you have to make a presentation before any audience: 1. Use concrete, easy-to-understand examples that the audience can relate to. Examples are a powerful tool. They connect the audience to your main message. People tend to make presentations filled with facts, figures...

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16. What’s Your CQ? (We’re Talking Communication Quotient

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pp. 37-

It’s time to get serious about your CQ—“Communication Quotient.” What good is it if you are really smart but can’t get your point across and connect with others? The most successful professionals are those with the best relationships, not always with the greatest intellect. But always, they are the best communicators. In order to reach you...

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17. “But I Have More Slides . . . ,”

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pp. 38-40

Timing is everything—as recently demonstrated at a national drug awareness and prevention conference. A large crowd of nearly 200 gathered to find out more about how they could protect their children and others from the scourge of drugs. This was a highly motivated audience. A panel of three teenagers, ages fifteen...

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18. Planning a Conference? No Detail Is Too Small

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pp. 40-41

You’ve heard them before—those incredibly long, overly detailed, and frankly boring presentations that cause otherwise dynamic events to grind to a halt. Follow these steps to run a dynamic, interactive, goal-oriented event: • Establish exactly what you want to accomplish in the event. What are your two or three main goals? What are the “takeaways” you want participants to...

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19. Why Are We Here?

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pp. 42-43

Jim is a long-time manager who recently attended a conference in which a corporate executive talked about his company’s newest product. The executive’s presentation was very detailed and very long. It was filled with lots of facts and figures, and it proceeded in a logical and orderly fashion. But it was REALLY boring. At the end of...

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20. Q = A 1

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pp. 43-45

Bridging is a communication technique that involves making a transition from a challenging or controversial question back to your main message. It can help you confidently handle any question—hostile or otherwise—whether you’re facing a reporter as tough as Sam Donaldson or an audience member looking to take you on in a question-andanswer session after a speech or...

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21. What We Really Want from Our Leaders

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pp. 45-47

January is the time of year when leaders in both the public and private sectors get ready to make important presentations to very important audiences. Governors of state and the President of the United States deliver annual addresses at the beginning of the year. CEOs and other top executives have been working feverishly...

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22. Most Great Speakers Are Made Not Born

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pp. 47-48

People seem to believe that being a great public speaker is something you’re born with.He or she is a “natural born speaker” I hear people say. They see speakers like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Dole, and Dr. Martin Luther King and say all these communicators were given a gift that...

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23. Mario Cuomo Speaks from the Heart

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pp. 49-50

Mario Cuomo is undoubtedly one of the most effective public speakers of our time.As former governor ofNew York and a much-soughtafter motivational speaker, Cuomo has studied other great orators and has worked hard to master the art of connecting with and persuading people. In 1984, along with millions of others, I watched Cuomo deliver a spellbinding speech at the Democratic...

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24. Rudy Is a “Hit” at the Yogi Classic

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pp. 50-52

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is a complicated guy. He’s a terrific public communicator. Much of the nation saw that in the summer of 2004 when he addressed the Republican National Convention in a powerful and engaging speech.While I disagree with his handling of the much-publicized Bernie Kerik affair surrounding...

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25. “Presidential” Presentation Matters a Lot

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pp. 52-54

Electing a president is about a lot more than politics and policy. In an age of instant, nonstop news coverage and an electronic media obsessed with the public “gaffes” of those who seek to lead the nation, elect...

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26. Dean’s Scream Ended His Dream

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pp. 55-56

Watching Howard Dean deliver his concession speech after the Iowa Caucuses in the 2004 Democratic Presidential primary underscored the point that often it’s not just what you say that counts, but how you say it. This chapter is not about politics or the presidential race, but rather illustrates why those in a position to communicate publicly must be aware of their demeanor...

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27. Why Kerry Didn’t Connect

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pp. 56-59

Massachusetts senator John Kerry lost the 2004 presidential race for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest was that he never really “made the connection” with many Americans. Kerry was smart and knew the issues. He was...

Leadership

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28. “You Like Me . . . You Really Like Me!”

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pp. 61-62

“You like me . . . you really like me.” Those were the unforgettable words of actress Sally Field when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1985. Like Fields, we all have a strong need to be liked.Yet, when it comes to real leadership, the kind that moves organizations forward when faced with difficult...

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29. Attitude Is Just About Everything

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pp. 63-64

You hear it all the time: “Jim has a really bad attitude and it’s killing his career,” or “Mary’s negativity brings down the whole team.” It’s so true that the attitude a person brings into the workplace has a tremendous impact on everyone’s effectiveness.How’s your attitude? Do you see a “problem” as an insurmountable...

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30. Take the Leadership Test

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pp. 64-66

In a recent boardroom episode of The Apprentice, the contestants for another Donald Trump “dream job” were asked by Trump if they considered themselves to be good leaders. The answers were predictable. “Of course I’m a good leader.” “People like and respect me.” “I give clear direction.” “Yes, I AM a leader.”We’ve all heard these things before. Most folks do consider themselves...

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31. Great Leaders Make Great Teachers

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pp. 66-67

In the recent edition of Fast Company magazine, Chuck Salter makes a powerful connection between the fields of leadership and teaching in his article “Attention Class: 16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher.” All types of teachers, from those in the classroom to CEOs of big and small corporations, weighed in on the...

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32. Hank Keirsey Steps Up

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pp. 68-69

There have been countless books written about essential leadership traits or characteristics; few mention that sometimes being a great leader involves taking the blame for the actions of someone on your team. It’s about sacrificing your personal and professional success for something larger...

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33. Great Leaders Aren’t Always in the Top Spot

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pp. 69-71

There are certain characteristics that great leaders share.Here is a collection of traits to emulate and some insights about leadership from my readers Great leaders: Have “unrealistic” expectations as to what is possible. Consider how Dr.Martin Luther King’s “unrealistic” expectations dramatically changed the course of history. Great leaders don’t simply make incremental...

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34. When Delegating, Don’t Undo

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pp. 71-73

One of the hardest aspects of a leader’s job is delegating. Yet, it’s a must if a leader wants to see the forest for the trees or the “big picture.” Some of the reasons we find it hard to delegate is because we fear: • we will lose control • we may not get credit • we may be outshone by a subordinate • others will not do the job exactly the way we would do it Clearly, fear has a lot to do with our delegation problems...

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35. The Challenge of Change

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pp. 73-75

New York City is trying to implement a major restructuring of the public schools. In New Jersey, political leaders and child advocates rail about the need to overhaul the state’s child welfare system that some say is responsible for the recent deaths of two children in foster care. Countless corporations, nonprofits...

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36. With Feedback, Accentuate the Positive

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pp. 75-76

Being a great leader is largely about being a coach and mentor, yet much of coaching and mentoring comes down to knowing how to give constructive feedback to team members. So, let’s take a look at some methods of giving feedback in ways that won’t make you look like you’re criticizing or chastising: • When giving feedback, be as specific as possible. An example might be:“Mary...

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37. The Seven Deadly Sins of Leadership

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pp. 77-78

Leadership is a complicated craft. There have been countless books and scholarly articles written on the subject. There are leadership gurus like Tom Peters and America’s mayor,Rudy Giuliani.Yet, when you talk to most leaders, you find out that a lot of what they’ve learned about leadership has come through the mistakes they or those around them have made. Simply put, leadership...

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38. Ginny Bauer Leads with Her Heart

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pp. 78-80

By any standard, Virginia Bauer is an exceptional leader.What is particularly interesting about her is that she didn’t come to leadership by any traditional route. Virginia lost her husband, David, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, in the World Trade Center attack on September...

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39. Rudy’s Rules of Leadership

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pp. 80-82

Rudy Giuliani has written a new book called Leadership. In it, the guy who has become known as “America’s Mayor” as a result of September 11 offers a range of tips and tools for any leader dealing with any circumstance or situation. Much of what...

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40. Great Facilitation Pays Big Dividends

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pp. 82-84

Many people in business are asked to lead or facilitate meetings, conferences, or forums. Being asked to do this is often an honor and sometimes turns out to be an excellent opportunity to show your stuff and make a meaningful difference in your organization. Unfortunately, just as often, you might fall flat on...

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41. Jack Welch Leads “from the Gut,”

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pp. 84-85

Former GE chief Jack Welch has written a great book called Jack: Straight from the Gut. It’s an honest, straightforward, and highly practical work that focuses largely on issues of leadership and communication. One chapter that is particularly compelling is entitled “What This CEO Thing Is All About...

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42. Bill Parcells a Leadership Guru? Not So Fast

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pp. 86-87

In the late 1990s, the Harvard Business Review did a profile on one of the most successful, “confrontational” leaders in America, former Jets and Giants coach Bill Parcells, who currently coaches the Dallas Cowboys. While Parcells succeeded on the football field, winning two Super Bowls with the Giants, he is a much sought-after motivational speaker in the world of business. Those...

Organizational Life

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43. Micromanaging Doesn’t Avoid Mistakes

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pp. 91-92

There is a fine line between paying attention to important details and obsessively micromanaging an operation. Like you, I know countless people in the workplace who engage in this kind of micromanaging—no job or responsibility is too small for them. It’s not enough to assign a project to a particular staff person. They...

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44. Downsizing Requires Quality Communication

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pp. 93-95

No matter what the organizational, financial, or structural reasons for a merger, one thing that we must remember is that mergers, restructuring, downsizing, or “rightsizing” impact the lives of real people. And since people are at the heart of any organization, it is incumbent upon upper management...

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45. Change Can Be Good

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pp. 95-97

People often say that change is good. Change, they say, keeps us on our toes and ready to turn obstacles into opportunities. These people are sure that change is not only something important in our personal lives, but also crucial to the health of organizations.Well, if change is so good, then why is it so darn hard? And why...

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46. Swimming with the Fishes

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pp. 97-100

“There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.” This quote is taken from a great little book called Fish: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, written by Stephen Lundin. Fish is the story of the Pike Place Fish Market in...

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47. NASA: A Problem of Culture

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pp. 100-101

Much of what happens in professional life is the product of “culture”— organizational culture, to be more specific. These are the unwritten mores and values of an organization. You won’t find any of these rules in writing. You won’t find them in an organizational chart or the standard-operating-procedures...

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48. FBI and CIA: Not on the Same Page

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pp. 102-103

After September 11, 2001, you would have thought that the federal agencies involved in antiterrorism efforts would have joined together and started communicating like they were on the same team. But old habits die hard, and whether it’s the federal government trying to bring agencies together or a corporation...

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49. Plans for My Succession: Are You Nuts?

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pp. 103-105

In 2004, top executives at CBS wanted to dump eighty-year-old Don Hewitt, the creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes. CBS brass wanted to replace Hewitt with a forty-seven-year-old producer they thought was better for the job. Don Hewitt said,“No way.”He said that he was at the top of his game...

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50. Yankees’Manager Torre: A Great Leader on Any Field

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pp. 105-106

I’m a life-long Yankees fan. I have three sons who are forced to root for the Yankees. I actually believed in the curse of the Bambino for many years. That’s why it was so hard for me when the “curse” was shattered by the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series. Who knew that the Red...

At Work

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51. Job Hunters Need to Prepare

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pp. 109-111

Being downsized? Right-sized? Unexpectedly find yourself looking for a new job? Landing on your feet in the unpredictable employment world often comes down to how well you communicate. How well you communicate is largely played out in job...

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52. Invest Early in New Employees

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pp. 111-113

New people come into organizations all the time. Too often, critical communication mistakes are made and opportunities are missed early on. Bad habits are developed and unhealthy patterns are established. If you wait too long, it becomes extremely difficult to fix the situation, and those new...

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53. Handling Employee Complaints

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pp. 113-115

The workplace is filled with employees that are unhappy and have complaints. Sometimes, you are not sure where these complaints are coming from or what the employee’s real motivation is.Yet, regardless of their origin, the feelings of team members matter a great deal.With this in mind, consider some tips...

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54. Don’t Hold a Meeting If . . .

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pp. 115-116

There are countless meetings held every day that don’t have to be called and are seen by many as a tremendous waste of time. So instead of talking about how to hold more effective meetings, let’s look at the meeting issue from a different perspective. Let’s ask whether you should hold a meeting at all.With that...

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55. Let’s Make a Deal

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pp. 117-118

Whether it is at work or at home, all of us are involved in negotiating nearly every day.We negotiate with our bosses and our kids, our coworkers and our spouses. But when you break down the art of negotiation, it’s really about communication. It’s about connecting and ultimately the art of compromise. As Herb Cohen, author of the classic book You Can Negotiate Anything and...

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56. Communication Is the Key to Great Teamwork

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pp. 119-120

Most of what goes on in the workplace takes place in teams. Lots of really smart or talented people don’t succeed in the workplace because they are either unable or unwilling to work in teams.Usually, these people have weak interpersonal communication skills. Unless you are some sort of computer..

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57. Workplace Debating 101

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pp. 120-122

Debating skills are critical to any professional who seeks to persuade workplace colleagues on important projects or initiatives. With this in mind, consider some tools that will help you in meetings, boardrooms, or any professional situation where debating skills are needed. • Plan but don’t cram...

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58. The Dangers of Multitasking

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pp. 122-123

Recently, two parents took their eleven-year-old son to the hospital for a stress test on his heart. As the doctor was reading the test results his beeper went off. He immediately asked the nurse/technician in charge to call his office. The doctor then proceeded to have a conversation with his office involving...

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59. Those Constant Interruptions

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pp. 124-125

All of us deal with interruptions in the workplace. It could be the phone ringing, “instant e-mails” that are crying out for an immediate response, colleagues walking into your office with something “really pressing,” whether a work-related item or a crisis at home. Sometimes it’s people coming in just to...

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60. Speak Slowly, Clearly When Leaving a Message

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pp. 125-127

Acouple weeks ago, I got a telephone message from a producer at a radio station requesting an interview regarding a column I had written. The problem was, as I listened to the recording, I couldn’t make out the name of the producer. I must have played the tape...

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61. Using PowerPoint? Better Have a Plan B

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pp. 127-129

Todd Edelson is a physical therapist and educator who has been making presentations for over fifteen years.He is also a dedicated student of communication who is fascinated by presentation tools and techniques that work, as well as those that fall short. Edelson is a big believer in low-tech communication...

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62. PowerPoint Is Great If . . .

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pp. 129-131

I am not a big fan of PowerPoint. Too many people hide behind it in too many situations where they should just be “talking” to people.Yet, I have seen PowerPoint used effectively on a few occasions. One of the best high-tech presenters I’ve worked with is Dr. Harold Paz. Although Dr. Paz is an avid...

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63. Tips for Company Parties

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pp. 131-134

Whether it’s the winter holiday party or the summer company picnic, there are often times when we must mix business with pleasure. While these events can be great fun, they can also be filled with anxiety and potentially awkward situations. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of social...

Motivation

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64. “You Have Two Weeks: Tick-Tock,”

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pp. 137-

Sometimes it’s not just the message you send, but the vehicle you use to send that message that can wreak havoc on an organization. E-mail definitely has its place in the modern workplace, but as a tool to lead, motivate, and potentially threaten large numbers of employees, it can be a disaster waiting to happen...

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65. A Pat on the Back Pays Big Dividends

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pp. 139-140

Most people think that motivating employees is largely about how much we pay them. This is a simplistic view, which isn’t particularly helpful for team leaders and managers who are trying to get the most out of their people in these most challenging of times. First of all, most organizations don’t have...

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66. “You Need It When?”

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pp. 141-142

All of us who have projects and deadlines at work have been frustrated by procrastinating peers and colleagues. These are the people that “yes” you to death but just don’t get important work done on time.Very often they are nice, pleasant, and you wouldn’t mind hanging out with them after work, but boy...

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67. A Resistant Audience Presents a Big Opportunity

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pp. 142-144

Recently, I was asked to give a motivational speech to 500 employees of a corporation that was about to merge with another corporation. Many of these employees would soon be laid off. Others were hanging on to their jobs by a thread, but all were fearful of the change that was about to take place. It was very clear early on that there were pockets of resistance to the idea of an...

The CustomerIs Always Right

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68. The Customer Is Always Right

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pp. 147-149

Small things matter. Listen to customers when they tell you what they want. If customers say they don’t like tomatoes or onions in their salad or they want dressing on the side, give it to them the way they want it. Did you ever notice that when your meal comes out and it doesn’t match what you asked for, the waiter...

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69. Customer Service Should Never Be Subpar

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pp. 149-150

Jerry Pagano is an educator who spent many years moonlighting as a head waiter in a great Italian restaurant. Jerry is big on interpersonal communication and customer service. He believes you can’t provide quality customer service without caring enough to listen to your customer. Jerry is also...

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70. “Guerrilla Marketing”Makes Sense

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pp. 150-152

Virtually every professional is involved in promoting, selling, or advertising something. Put together, these activities come under the umbrella of marketing. A colleague of mine recently described marketing this way: “Marketing is the strategy you apply in order to sell your idea, concept, service, or product to...

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71. Jack Mitchell “Hugs”His Customers

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pp. 152-154

Hugging your customers. Sounds pretty weird, right? Not if you ask Jack Mitchell, CEO of Mitchells/Richards, an extremely profitable clothing business based in Connecticut, and author of the book Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way...

Communicating withStrength in Tough Situations

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72. Confrontational and Contentious Are Not the Same Thing

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pp. 157-158

Paul is a thirty-year-old bank manager who is well liked, hardworking, and respected in his company. Yet, recently Paul’s CEO suggested some executive coaching as a way to help him take his skills to the next level. A little background. While no one questions Paul’s willingness to work hard and be a...

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73. Going Beyond Honesty to Empathy,

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pp. 159-160

It’s good to be candid when communicating difficult or sensitive information, but that’s not always enough. Attempting to be straightforward and truthful, an executive might say to a room full of employees, “I want to be honest...

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74. “The Chandelier Is Perfect—for the Waldorf!”

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pp. 161-163

Recently my wife, Jennifer, and I got into a heated argument about a chandelier she purchased for our home.When she asked me how it looked, only half in jest I said to her,“The chandelier is perfect . . . for the Waldorf!” I was trying to communicate that the chandelier was simply too big for the space. She...

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75. “You’re Such a Jerk” and Other Insults

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pp. 163-164

“You are such a jerk. I don’t know why the boss keeps you on the payroll.” “You’ll never last here. You just don’t fit in.” “You look terrible in that dress. Have you gained weight?” Insults.We’ve all been the target of them and most of us have hurled them at others. But how...

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76. The Real “No Spin” Zone

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pp. 164-166

Consider an example from the world of baseball on how not to communicate. This is a story about the New York Mets and their star player Mike Piazza, whose days as a catcher appeared to be numbered...

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77. The Feds Are Not on the Same Page with the Anthrax Scare

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pp. 166-167

Since September 11, 2001, the information communicated by numerous public health professionals and government officials has often been confusing and contradictory, particularly when it comes to anthrax. Clearly it’s not an easy job to communicate to an especially anxious public in the midst of a...

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78. A Respectful “No”Helps Business Go

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pp. 168-169

Saying “no” or rejecting someone’s idea, proposal, or advice seems simple enough, but for many on both a professional and personal level, effectively communicating what seems to be a simple “no” can be complicated. With this in mind, consider the following tips on being clear for saying “no” while minimizing...

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79. How to Deal with Workplace Bullies

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pp. 170-171

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.As parents, we worry that our kids will be picked on by the bully in school.We also hope that our kid won’t become a bully. Funny thing is, bullies aren’t only kids.We all know bullies, and others who get bullied, in the workplace. Recently, my nine-year-old...

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80. Sweating It Out at Fox

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pp. 171-173

Awhile ago, I appeared on the Fox News Channel program The Big Story to offer analysis on how the media were covering the Laci Peterson murder and the Kobe Bryant sex scandal. I had done this kind of work countless times, and public communication...

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81. Don’t Play Word Games When Apologizing

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pp. 173-175

If saying “I’m sorry” is so easy, then why do so many people have such a hard time doing it? How do you apologize effectively and have the offended party forgive you? Consider the highly publicized apology of U.S. senator Bob Torricelli...

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82. Bush’s Blind Spot

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pp. 175-177

One of the most important attributes of a great leader is the ability to admit his or her mistakes. Since leaders are faced with so many problems and challenges and are in a position to make countless decisions (or avoid them), things inevitably go wrong. Mistakes are made. The sign of an evolved leader...

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83. Lessons from the McGreevey Resignation Crisis

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pp. 177-180

Jim McGreevey’s story is a sad one. He will always be remembered as the youthful-looking governor from New Jersey who was forced to resign after appointing his gay lover to head up the state’s homeland security after 9/11. Interestingly, two memorable speeches will serve as bookends over those tumultuous...

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84. Martha Whips Up Real Thin Image Spin

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pp. 180-182

At the time that Martha Stewart was convicted and sent to jail in 2004, beyond all the legal and criminal issues facing the domestic diva, she had a huge challenge ahead of her in the effort to restore her reputation and gain the public’s trust. She embarked on an aggressive media and communication strategy...

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85. Communication Crisis for the Catholic Church

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pp. 182-184

The Catholic Church has become the latest poster child for how not to communicate in a crisis. Thanks to Church leaders’ inept handling of the ongoing pedophilia problem among certain priests, Enron and Arthur Andersen have...

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86. Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

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pp. 184-185

For physicians, one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with patients involves communicating news that is less than positive. Simply put, how does one communicate “bad news” to a patient who is anxious, nervous, and downright afraid? Doctor-patient...

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87. What’s Up, Doc?

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pp. 186-187

This book talks about the importance of great communication in customer service, team building, sales, and leading an organization. Every professional, whether an accountant, lawyer, or clerk, must be a first-rate communicator in order to connect with their audience of one or one thousand. One area...

Relationships, Kids,and Communication

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88. Communicating with Our Kids

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pp. 190-192

Some kids are better communicators than others. Did you ever notice that certain children look you right in the eye, speak in a clear voice without rambling, and do it with genuine enthusiasm? What makes other kids mumble, look down at the ground, and rock back and forth when they have to speak...

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89. Helping Our Kids Stand and Deliver

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pp. 193-194

Many adults have problems and issues with having to get up and speak in front of others. This book covers that topic in a variety of ways. But before most of us became adults who felt anxiety about public speaking, we were kids that experienced the same thing. Recently, my son’s sixth...

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90. Communicating with Kids about a Scary World

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pp. 194-196

The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, beheadings in Iraq, children murdered en masse in Russia—communicating with our kids about terrorism, war, and violence, particularly since 9/11, has not...

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91. Managing Anger Is Better Than Yelling

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pp. 197-198

Recently, I profiled Yankees manager Joe Torre as someone who seems to handle difficult situations in a calm, supportive, and rational fashion. This chapter deals with anger. It is meant for all of us who have to work extra hard on...

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92. Are You a Sniping Spouse?

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pp. 198-200

Anyone who is in an everyday relationship, either at home or in the workplace, understands how easy it is to get into stupid arguments. Sometimes these arguments seem to have no beginning or end. Other times we aren’t even sure what...

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93. Woman Execs More Empathetic? Think Again

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pp. 200-202

We’ve all been trying to make sense of this most recent wave of corporate executives acting badly. The president and Congress can do all they want to change certain laws regarding what corporations are required to report, but ultimately much of this corporate ethics problem comes down to leadership or the...

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94. Even Casual Flirting Implies a Sexual Agenda

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pp. 202-204

Men and women use flirtation as a powerful form of communication in the workplace, whether it’s to obtain a job, move up the corporate ladder, or simply get on the boss’s or client’s good side. But is flirtation between the sexes in and around the office simply innocent and inconsequential,...

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95. Gender Communication Is Not So Clear Cut

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pp. 204-205

Imagine you are delivering a speech on the issue of leadership to a women’s business group. You are sharing observations about the differences between men and women when it comes to management and communication styles. Your analysis centers on a variety of commonly held beliefs regarding women...

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96. Crying Has No Place in Baseball or Business

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pp. 205-207

I’ve believed for a long time that there are some basic differences in the way men and women approach things, and one of the biggest issues is tears. I work with a great team of talented producers, most of whom are women. Recently, we had a problem that wasn’t being handled in the most effective fashion...

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97. “Get Over Yourself, Steve,”

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pp. 207-209

I recently wrote a column regarding women crying in business. The day after it ran, I received at least a dozen e-mails from women criticizing me. One that really got my attention came from Deb Di Gregorio, president and CEO of Camarés Communications. Said Di Gregorio, “Get over yourself, Steve! No...

Mailbag

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98. Knowledge Is Important but Passion Is the Key

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pp. 213-215

Check out this letter from Tom Vishia, who had some strong criticism of a column examining the importance of passion when communicating in public. Tom says, “I’m a communications consultant with over 30 years experience. . . . We...

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99. Reading from the Script

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pp. 215-216

I got lots of great feedback to the column on the danger of scripting your presentations and reading verbatim. Educational administrator Anthony Molinaro agrees that speeches are better when they are not read verbatim. “People need to believe in you as a person before they will believe in what you are trying to convey. . . . It seems so basic...

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100. Cue Cards,Motivation, and Presidential Blunders

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pp. 216-217

Dee Fazio wrote in with some tips on giving a small-group presentation. Fazio says she puts “cue cards” strategically around the room, which identify key topics. “For example, when speaking about a certain software, I have at least five things that I wanted to mention in bullets up on the wall. This also helps the...

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101. Communicating with the Media Takes Discipline

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pp. 218-296

A reader recently wrote: “You argued recently that [the NFL’s New York] Giant’s rookie Jeremy Shockey should do a better job communicating with the media. You also said if you are honest with the media, they will give you a fair shot. But the media frequently takes things out of context; it’s one of their...

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102. Management Tips for the Younger Boss

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pp. 219-221

One reader raises an issue that is increasingly common for older professionals in the workplace. Says this person, “Due to the current economy and 9/11, I was unemployed for 11⁄2 years. I ended up taking a job in my chosen field, but for the first time in 20 years, I am now a line staff employee (not the Program...

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103. Readers Respond to Parcells, Torre, and Boss Steinbrenner

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pp. 221-222

One column profiled the “confrontational” leadership style of former New York Jets and Giants coach Bill Parcells. Some of Parcells’s more memorable quotes in a Harvard Business Review article include “Don’t wait to earn your leadership; impose it . . . apply pressure—that’s the only thing that any...

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104. Playing at Work

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pp. 223-224

A reader writes: “I just got finished reading your article on attitude. I work for a company that is based out of New York and we have just incorporated into our daily routine the “Fish” philosophy (from the Pike Fish Market in Seattle) of “Play.”What suggestions do you have for playing in the workplace?” FISH! is a great book...

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105. People Skills and Listening Tips

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pp. 224-226

Following is some feedback from my column on people skills as well as some advice on a listening pet peeve. Ron Reich, a leadership development trainer, wrote in response to a column on people skills, saying, “I agree with you that relationships are key to success.However, I disagree with your advice regarding the ‘golden...

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106. The Bottom Line on Listening

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pp. 226-227

Following is a sampling of what some readers had to say in response to a listening quiz given by the Star-Ledger’s Business section. Marilyn Rohrbach says, “Several years ago, ‘active listening’ was a huge tool—‘probing’ questions, confirming statements and body language that confirmed...

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107. Children Offer Insight on Managing Anger

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pp. 228-229

Past “mailbag columns” have featured letters from professionals in business, education, and the nonprofit arena. But awhile back, I got some feedback I frankly didn’t expect. A teacher from a grammar school in Union County,New Jersey, wrote that he was struck by my column on managing anger and apparently...

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108. Too Little Data to Judge the Leadership of Women

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pp. 230-231

An executive who wrote in to me is also a diversity trainer and manager and responded to a recent column examining gender differences and their connection to communication styles in the workplace. “Gender is a complex issue. . . . The fact is more men are still heading up corporations globally...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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E-ISBN-13: 9780813539171
E-ISBN-10: 081353917X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813536521

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2005