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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Maybe you’d prefer not to compete, compete, compete. That’s what Alexandra McGilloway decided, so her business model is based on collaboration and complementary products rather than competition. In 14 years, East West has become the largest spiritual bookstore in the Northwest. Last year, it took in $1.7 million, about 5 percent more than in 2003.
Ask your vendors to tell you how they can charge you less.
Steve Demos, who once practiced Buddhism in a cave, started making tofu in a bathtub and selling it at his tai chi class about 20 years ago. By 2001, his organic food company boasted the nation’s best-selling soy milk: Silk.
Anybody can excel at the tasks they love. People who rise to the top also excel at what they don’t love.
You can find lots of reasons to covet someone else’s position: The person who’s in it has burned out; you can do it better; it’s time for a change, etc. But sniping and politicking make you look like the last person who should get that job if it comes open. Here are two better ways to position yourself:
Aside from his unearthly talent with a ball—“any kind of ball,” says a childhood friend—what made former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath almost unstoppable on the gridiron was his toughness. It came from his three older brothers.
By now, you’re probably sick of the wretched saga at Disney. Be that as it may, court testimony about the mess still offers lessons about precisely how not to confer and administer authority.
Meet Mike Iaconelli. Not your everyday bass-fishing champion, “Ike” is from New Jersey, not somewhere in the South, and he listens to rap music, not Country. Even though Iaconelli has won only the 2003 Bassmaster Classic and an assortment of other prizes and sponsorships, he threatens to become the Tiger Woods of fishing and blast the sport beyond its staid, rural roots. Here’s what makes Ike a leader:
Craig Newmark describes himself as a formerly overpaid software engineer who grew up wearing a plastic pocket protector and thick, black glasses taped together. One decade ago, he started an e-mail list of fun events in San Francisco. Craigslist grew and grew. Now, it has 7.6 million users in nearly 100 cities. But early on, Newmark stamped it with his personal code: Don’t be greedy. Here are three of the conscious decisions that helped make Craigslist what it is today:
Creativity. It’s a fairly new buzzword in business. Now comes research from Harvard business professor Teresa Amabile to debunk the myths about it. For the past eight years, she’s run a diary study of hundreds of managers “to look at creativity in the wild.” Amabile has uncovered these myths:
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