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How to Use March Madness for Small Talk With Employees

 

March Madness is here and has taken hold of workplaces, large and small. It’s a rarity to find an office associate – whether on the loading dock or rug row – who’s not pulling up online scores and checking over their brackets. Even the Oval Office has a March Madness pool.
 
Most likely you’ve heard of the productivity stranglehold of this hoops hoopla. One major study estimates this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will result in 8.4 million hours of lost productivity among U.S. workers.
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Oscar-Winning Film, The Artist, Inspires Us to Really Listen

At 100 minutes, the Oscar-winning Best Picture, The Artist, may be the ultimate practice session for improving your listening skills. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that it’s a silent movie – an extraordinary resource for training to listen with your eyes and zoning in on non-verbal cues.
 
Watching this brilliant black and white film requires fixed focus on the actors – their facial expressions, hand gestures and body movements – to fully comprehend the storyline.
 
And the same applies when it comes to communication at the office.

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Get on the ‘Linsanity’ Wagon and Up Your Game

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Even if you’re not a sports fan – it’s hard not to know about Jeremy Lin. The New York Knicks point guard has spawned a fanatical following dubbed “Linsanity” that has taken over The Big Apple, the country and points well beyond.

 
Lin’s on-the-court performance this month has been insanely stellar. In less than a week, he sealed a Knicks Valentine’s Day-victory with a last-second (actually, .5 second) three-pointer. Twenty-four hours later, he helped the Knicks’ winning streak climb to seven games. Over the weekend, a disappointing February 17 loss against New Orleans proved to be a small bump in the road—because Lin rebounded with a 28-point performance against the Mavericks two days later and  moved the victory needle another notch. The Knicks have won eight of their last nine games—and Lin has netted 20 or more points in all but one of those games.
 
 

Is Communication MIA in Your 2012 Business Plan?

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I had a call with a business leader last week to talk about the business horizon for 2012.

It was the first time I had spoken with this leader, who heads manufacturing operations at a major global company. One of the things I wanted to know about was his business plan for the new year. He immediately started talking about safety, quality and some other operational goals, which was expected. After a few minutes, I asked him where communications fit into the business plan and he responded that it didn’t.
 
It was just assumed.
 
The truth is, it was absent. And, the leader’s company is headed for a 2012 of dramatic upheavals in workflow and workforce reductions. Visible, painful changes will hit just about every department and level. And yet, missing in action is a game plan for openly, regularly and consistently talking about what’s happening, why it’s happening and what people need to do to stay focused and work together.
 
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Take a Cue from NFL Commissioner and Score Big With Employees

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If you’re a sports fan like me, chances are you’re gearing up for this weekend’s Super Bowl showdown between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The rematch between these two rivals is expected to draw a record global audience and advertising frenzy.

One of the biggest players in the game, however, won’t be doning a helmut or shoulder pads. He’s Roger Goodell, the NFL’s Commissioner.                                           

Recently, “60 Minutes” aired an interview with Goodell, an extremely likeable guy whose love of the football spans his lifetime. Goodell makes $10 million a year to oversee the NFL’s 32-franchise, business machine that generates $10 billion in annual revenues. He’s a highly-respected CEO with a proven success record honed by some fundamental communication skills.
 

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Webinar Materials | How to Boost Engagement With Measurement

Thank you to everyone who attended the How to Boost Engagement With Measurement webinar!

We hope that you will contact us (rgibboni@dulye.com | 845-987-7744) to take advantage of your complimentary 60-minute consulting session to apply the lessons of this webinar to your organization's specific measurement needs.

Follow Linda on Twitter! You can follow Linda's tweets on all things Spectator-Free (with a little college sports thrown in) at twitter.com/dulye.

Below is a copy of the slides from the webcast:

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Five Ways to Seize 2012 Goals Right Now

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All the hustle and pressure from holiday shopping, cooking, entertaining and over-indulging reigns supreme. As a result, most of us enter the New Year feeling utterly exhausted and, often times, go back to work with a post-holiday hangover.

That’s not exactly the ideal mental or physical state for re-engaging employees when they return to work in January. That’s why it’s so important to make the time and have a game plan to get your team back on track and restore the momentum you had before the holiday frenzy.

You need to move quickly – don’t procrastinate on this action. Of course everyone needs a little ramp-up time after a few days away from the office, but in this economic climate, losing ground can mean the difference between having an edge – or losing it.
 
So make sure you use January to get team members into the groove of seeing and seizing 2012 goals.
 
Here are five ways to get your team moving forward:
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Kick Off 2012 With One Common Goal in Mind

With only two weeks left to go before ringing in 2012, I have been thinking a lot about the past year–about the milestones my company set forth back in January and the opportunities that team members need to seize to make 2012 successful.

Goals grab people. Yet few companies nail them succinctly.

 

Just last week, I lead a focus group at a client business. During the session, I asked a group of front-line employees two specific questions: What’s the No. 1 goal the business had to achieve in 2011? What’s the vision this goal supports?

 

People really struggled to answer the questions, and this reaction is far from unusual. The thing is – these two questions should trigger an instant and consistent response from any company’s employees. If they can’t, it’s an indicator the company’s goals are too complicated, too obscure, or, worse – unknown.

 

Reverse Mentoring: Tips for Getting Started

 

Going back to my GE days, I recall the raised eyebrows when we started reverse mentoring. There were a lot of 40-somethings who had never had a one-on-one conversation with top leaders, and meanwhile some ‘new kids on the block, fresh out of college, were having coffee and conversation with them.
 
And that same phenomenon holds true today. So, if you’re thinking about starting up a reverse mentoring program in your company or department, work it from an aspect of inclusion rather than exclusion. Some people are going to feel like they’ve been left out—and generally, these are the 40-somethings and the 30-somethings. Which is why everyone needs to understand the greater benefits of the program for the entire organization, rather than the dozen or so who will actually be participating. And, it needs to operate with some process discipline.