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Centerpiece

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The best meetings don’t happen by accident. For Al Pittampalli, author of Read This Before Our Next Meeting, the key to worthwhile meetings is to distribute relevant material to participants ahead of time, and hold them accountable for reading the content.

Some teams struggle to work together. Personalities clash, disagreements intensify and meetings turn into protracted turf battles. When groups become polarized, shake up the status quo. Try these techniques to reverse a downhill spiral so that teams regain their footing.

It happens all the time: An employee approaches someone from HR to ask for help. But occasionally, HR pros find their work conversations veering dangerously toward inappropriately personal topics—from how to handle retirement investments to life-and-death health care decisions.

Although high-income taxpayers entered 2013 with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads, this much was clear: You’ll have to contend with a new 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment earnings. The new surtax was included in the 2010 health care law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s been a month since many of your employees made New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking in 2013. Are they sticking to their plans? The fact is, you should know. Plenty of evidence reveals that an employer can play a big role in helping employees snuff out their last cigarettes.

Hourly employees’ use of smartphones (as well as online email access from remote locations) has boosted worker productivity. However, it has also substantially increased the risk of off-the-clock-work violations.

You might spend more time navigating in Word documents than you actually do creating or editing content. Unlike pilots and boat skippers, we’re not taught to navigate the sea of text we encounter every day in our documents. Some handy tips:

If you’re still tracking your time for projects or clients with a spreadsheet, it’s time to transition to a modern tool, program or application such as one of these suggested by columnist Lindsay Olson.

Every company wants managers who can efficiently identify, define and resolve problems. Don’t assume that management applicants with top references and experience have great analytical skills. Instead, find out for yourself by asking some of these questions.

Nervous public speakers tend to rush. They mumble, mutter and stammer their way through their speeches, yearning to finish and get off the stage. Yet there’s a simple technique that calms anxious presenters: the well-timed pause. Use these guidelines to decide when to apply one.

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