Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

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Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962, the same year that far bigger retailers started Kmart, Woolco and Target. Arkansas was so far off the beaten path, though, that Walton didn’t attract much attention. At least, not until he came from behind and pulled up nose to nose with the big boys. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s interesting to note how simple Walton’s success formula was:
Sometimes, a leader’s duty is simply to ensure the institution’s survival. In the case of Queen Elizabeth II, her duty is to preserve the British monarchy, an institution more than 10 centuries old. Also known as CEO of “the Firm,” Elizabeth accepted her duty as most of the world’s monarchies were crumbling away.
Leaders solve problems. So, it should come as no great shock that Barbara Kavovit, who owned her own construction company but wanted more creative work, would hit on the idea of designing a tool kit for women. She got the notion while watching “Sex and the City” in 2001, when one of the female characters wanted to put up curtains but didn’t know how.
When the Royal Bank of Canada transferred Shelley Gunton and Brian Connolly to Hong Kong in 1985, their beloved pointer-lab mix Joey languished in quarantine for six months as a precaution against rabies.
Ever wonder how military leaders persuade men and women to risk their lives? Here’s an excerpt from a “fight talk” Gen. George Patton gave troops before entering battle:
Want to win? It’s simple. Besides talent and laser-beam desire, you need something that racing great Bobby Rahal sees in champions: a chip on the shoulder that says: “You don’t think I can do it? Come out and take a shot at me.” Danica Patrick has that.
“Exactly what’s keeping us from moving ahead?” That’s the most productive question you can ask a team. To use the question effectively, try these techniques:
Sometimes, you just have to manufacture an opportunity … even when it’s sitting right there in front of you. That’s the story of Michele Hoskins, a single mother of three who had read that the 1980s was to be the “decade of the woman” and knew she wanted to strike out on her own but didn’t even know what an entrepreneur was. She had to look it up in the dictionary.
Lack of candor can destroy your credibility. Perfect example: When former NFL player Pat Tillman died under fire in Afghanistan, his fellow soldiers knew almost immediately that they’d killed him by mistake. But in a stupid attempt to look good, the Army shushed its soldiers and told Tillman’s family that he’d died while storming a hill, shouting orders to his Rangers.
Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley tells a tale of getting down to core issues when a valuable employee wants to leave. It happened when Lafley once resigned from P&G. His boss, Steve Donovan, tore up the letter of resignation. “Go home,” Donovan told Lafley.
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