Networking like the Godfather – A business English text

A great text to practice your Business English and learn something about networking. The Godfather is an amazing movie, and there’s so much you can learn from it, including for business. Check this article about what you can learn about networking from the Corleone family.

By Brian Panichelle

the-godfather-1Many people are familiar with the Godfather Trilogy. The movies show up on almost everybody’s “Top Ten Lists”. Most people enjoy the movies for their action and suspense. However, businessmen like us can enjoy them as instructive examples of successful networking. I submit to you that the Godfather was one of the best networkers ever! I would like to point out three specific things we can learn from the Godfather-Generosity, Sincerity and Frequent Contact.

The first thing that set the Godfather apart was his generosity. People in the neighborhood knew that they could go to him when they needed a favor. He supported the businesses in the neighborhood with his patronage. He would offer to help when the business was in trouble, via loans, or entering into a partnership and providing financial backing. He gave plentifully to the church and to his friends and family. In fact he often made people offers that they could not refuse. When networking don’t make everything about you, but be sincere and give generously to your network partners.

Secondly, he was sincere: when the Godfather made a statement about what he was going to do, people took him at his word. They new that he could be trusted to do what he said he would do. He was sincere in his interest in seeing people succeed. He understood that when they made money, he made money. There was no competition, just opportunities for collaboration. He worked with others to make everybody profitable.

Thirdly, he was great at follow up and keeping in contact. Even if the Godfather was not personally walking into the neighborhood businesses and homes, his employees often were. He knew what was going on in the lives of the people in the neighborhood. He knew their trials and successes and was always in contact with them. It is difficult to be sincere with people if you are not regularly in contact with them. Make sure that you are not neglecting your relationships with your referral partners. Keep in touch with them, find out what is going on in their lives and take action to show you care. See how you can be of help.

These activities will heighten your visibility and credibility in your networks. The Godfather did not take out advertisements about his business or run propaganda campaigns about how great a guy he was. Yet people knew who he was. His reputation preceded him. Make sure that you are sending the right message in what you do. Your actions will speak louder than your words. Be active in your groups, be helpful to the members of the group. If you are just there to take from them, that is the message that will spread. This is a reputation that most of us do not want to precede us. We want people to want to meet us. This can only be accomplished if we take care of people-sincerely, generously and often.

So as you evaluate your networking, ask yourself, are you being sincere and generous often? These three things will allow you to have a network as powerful as the Godfather’s.

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How to Resolve Conflicts at Work?

Conflicts at work can be counterproductive and may cause a lot of stress. Look at the following tips to learn how to handle them.

1- Decide if you want to confront the person who is bothering you.

2- Speak to the other person calmly, politely and rationally. Focus on the situation and facts, avoiding gossip and personal attacks.

3- Be careful not to express hostility in your posture, facial expression or tone. Be assertive without being aggressive.

4- Listen to the other person carefully: What is she trying to say? Be sure you understand her position.

5- Express interest in what the other person is saying. You can acknowledge her ideas without necessarily agreeing or submitting. Saying, “I understand that you feel this way. Here’s how I feel…” pleases both positions.

6- Communicate clearly what you want, offering positive suggestions and recommendations. Be willing to be flexible.

7- Speak to your supervisor if a problem with a difficult co-worker seriously threatens your work, but avoid complaining a lot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deal with problematic personalities by trying to understand what motivates their behavior, then adapting your actions to work with that personality type. Once you get why people behave as they do, you will be able to interact with them more effectively.
  • For example, be firm with bullies at work: don’t allow them to pressure you into doing anything unwanted. Be forceful in your opinions, but be careful.
  • Around complainers, avoid acting too sympathetic if you feel their complaints don’t make much sense; instead, ask what sorts of actions they plan to take to change the situation. Try to find out what they want.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.


Tips for Successful Cross Cultural Communication

by A. J. Schuler, Psy. D.

In today’s global business environment, more and more of us are required to understand people who comes from countries and cultures different from our own.  While there is no short and easy way to learn about a given culture in any depth, there are some general principles that lead to success in communicating and conducting business with people of backgrounds unlike our own.

Getting Started with Cross Cultural Communication

Here are some important points to understand:

1.     Direct experience is the best way to begin to learn any culture.  Just as the best way to learn a new language is to become immersed in that language, so too is it most helpful to learn another culture by jumping right in.  This may not always be practical, but radio stations, music, trips to religious organizations or other clubs that cater to members of a specific group – all of these things can be helpful ways to begin.

2.   Differences can feel like a threat at first.  No one likes to feel like a stranger, and feeling unable to communicate or to decipher aspects of behavior that don’t fit with our own habitual experiences can make any of us feel alone.  This is a natural part of human experience, but even so, it is important to keep these feelings in perspective and remember that differences are less important than commonalities.

3.     We tend to overlook similarities and notice just the differences when we first begin to interact with members of another culture.  And then, when we apply the standards of interpretation that we would use in our own cultures to the behavior of those in the unfamiliar culture, we will draw mistaken conclusions.  We all share 98% of the same DNA, and we are all far more alike than we are different, but that’s easy to forget in the beginning.

4.     Stereotyping due to overgeneralization is a common occurrence, especially among those who only interact with another culture infrequently.  When we are faced with uncertainty, the human mind naturally seeks to create some order or system from what we observe. 

5.     Cultures are always changing, especially as they interact with each other.  Even from within, cultures move and flow and change through time, even when they think they don’t. 

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.


Top 10 Resolutions for Your Possible New Year

Quais são as suas resoluções para o ano que começa? Confira o artigo e veja se você escolheu algumas destas dicas.

Top 10 Resolutions for Your Possible New Year

Recommended New Year’s Resolutions for People Who Work

The new year is a beginning so new goals and resolutions, new plans, new dreams and new directions fuel your thoughts. Here are ten New Year’s resolutions for people who work for businesses and organizations.

Be good to yourself this year. Promise that you will:

1- Do something you love to do, and that you do best, every single day. People who could answer the questions below affirmatively were more likely to be happy and productive:

Do I know what is expected of me at work?

Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

Get passionate about your work. Do something you do best every day.

2- Do something just for you every single day. As professionals, you can do things for others during every minute of your work day. Set time aside for yourself every day to exercise, relax, reflect, cook, eat ice cream, walk your pet or do any other activity that you like. You will feel as if you have a life.

3- Give yourself credit when you deserve it. According to researches, people who received praise or recognition for their work in the past seven days were more happy and productive.

4- Learn something new every single day.  Read an article; discuss a new approach with a colleague; research what other organizations are doing on the Web. The opportunities for learning are multiplying every day in this information age.

5- Make professional contacts and network. Look up colleagues you have lost touch. Make sure you attend at least one professional meeting each month. You will benefit from the friendships and relationships you develop from active participation.

6- Practice professional courage by stepping out of your comfort zone.

7- Listen more than you talk.

8- Develop a method to track your life goals, your daily engagements, and your to do list. Using a planner, whether in Microsoft Office Outlook, Google Calendar, or on your smartphone, allows you to empty much of the daily detail from your mind. This gives your mind room for more important thinking.

9-Read to continue to learn and grow. Try to read everything you can. Get out of the business books once in awhile to see how other subjects improve your point of view.

10- Take up a new hobby or activity this year. Maybe this is the year you begin your collection, a new sport, a new course, etc. You’ll add a new dimension to your world.

11- Take yourself a little less seriously.Take time to laugh. Enjoy people for all their differences.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.


Facebook depression

Do you suffer from Facebook depression?


          A new study suggests that social media sites have created a new phenomenon known as “Facebook depression”. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned parents about the possible dangers of networking websites on their children’s mental health. Report co-author Gwenn O’Keefe described the way social interaction is changing: “For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” she said. Ms O’Keeffe added: “A large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones. Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world, and comfortably parent in that world.”

          The report says it is essential for parents to be aware of how social media sites can affect children and that the Internet is not always a healthy environment for kids. The writers also urged parents to be on the lookout for cyber bullying, sexting and online predators. They recommended parents take an active role and discuss things like bullying, privacy and feeling down because of what’s happening on Facebook. A recent poll stated that 22 per cent of teenagers log on to a social media site more than 10 times a day and more than half at least once a day. There are conflicting reports as to whether Facebook helps youngsters, by allowing them to express themselves, or isolates them from society.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte. Registered & Protected

Motivating Employees to Behave With Proper Office Etiquette

Qual será a importância de mantermos uma “office etiquette” ( portar-se de forma correta e respeitosa no local de trabalho)?  Como fazer com que as pessoas sigam estas regras? Leia o artigo e confira!

The workplace environment and etiquettes have a great impact on the performance of the employees. A workplace with people having a negative attitude and always having a conflict with one another will never help the organization. On the other hand, a workplace having a positive environment will motivate the employees to give their best performance.

Here are some of the ways to motivate them in the right direction:

 First, you must decide on the set of workplace etiquettes that you want the employees to follow. Based on the desired outcome, you can decide upon the positive environment that you should create. To decide the list of etiquettes, you can consult your colleagues.

The next thing you must do is to set an example. You will get what you give. So, practice what you expect from your employees.

In case you are planning to make changes in the given set of etiquettes, you must inform the employees. Approach them with a positive attitude. This can be done in any one of the following ways:

·         By calling a meeting.

·         By individually approaching the employees.

·         By giving a notice of the changes to be introduced.

Some new etiquette may lead to confusion and conflict within the organization. In such situations, you must make sure that you handle the situation efficiently and delicately. You must explain to both the parties the possible ways to resolve the conflict. This will help you improve the work environment.

Some of the etiquettes may not be approved by some of the employees. In such a case, you must stress on their relevance and importance to the organization. This will help the employees to work in the right direction. If you want to look at some real world examples of great employee interaction and company support, check out employee blog sites.

You can also motivate the employees by rewarding those who strictly adhere to the workplace etiquette. This will encourage the remaining employees to follow suit.


Outcome = result

To follow suit = to follow the same pattern. To follow someone’s example.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.


Freelance Life: How Much Are You Worth?

With less hiring right now for traditional employee jobs, it seems more job seekers are taking on paid projects instead, i.e., freelance or contract work.

          Whether by choice or by necessity, one of the hardest parts of being a freelancer is trying to figure out how much to charge. Yes, I am begging the question – how much do you think you are worth?

          First of all, think about how much money you NEED to make to keep the lights on, food on the table and a roof over your head. Next, make a list of expenses related to your business – equipment, office, meetings, travel, and of course, taxes! If you are not sure about these things, try to break them down monthly. For example, you may allot $500 a month for meetings, which can include lunches, drinks, travel to meetings, coffee, and anything else you might need. Equipment, think about any big purchases you may need to make – computers, smart phones, printers, etc.

 Then, you need to figure out how many hours you want to work each week – and how much of your time you realistically can bill clients for. While it is great to be working every day, it rarely happens. A good estimate is that you will spend one-third of your time billing, one-third of your time doing non-billable work to support clients (admin/organization) and one-third of your time working to get new clients.  

         The next part of the equation is tricky. What do your competitors charge? You want to keep your prices near your competitors ?  Curious about your competition? 

         A word of caution on rates: at least initially, you may be inclined to lower your rates in order to earn money, feeling the pressure to bow to a client’s needs. Only do this if you a) really – and I mean REALLY – want to do the project; b) your lights are about to get shut off; c) the project can honestly help you build your business with the likelihood of more work; or d) you have absolutely no other work to do and an empty calendar.

          It’s really important to do some research on rates and set yours before you go diving head first into something. It will help you to organize your time and know when to say yes and when to say no to an offer.


 Allot (to allot): destinar, alocar, repartir.

Freelance: doing particular pieces of work for different organizations, rather than working all the time for a single organization.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.

Fonte: Registered & Protected

Are You Really Committed To Your Career Goals?

Are you working on your career goals or just going through the motions? Are you “in” one day and “out” the next? Are you waiting for your goals to inspire and motivate you, and then you will jump in completely?

          Many of us want a guarantee before we fully commit to our goals. If only we knew it would work out, then we would not question our choice or the direction of our future. Guess what? Your career will not give you the guarantee you are seeking. What you will get is a strong feeling inside guiding you in the right direction. Then, you listen to your heart, follow what you hear, and work on your goals everyday. That’s when momentum takes over. That’s when you get inspired. That’s when you reach your goals. The miracles in your career happen when you throw yourself fully into what you want to achieve.

So, How Do You Fully Commit To Your Career Goals? Follow These Four Steps Below:

1. Decide To Commit to Your Goals


          Decisions are the turning point for real change and transformation. If you are unhappy in your job, decide that you will do something about it. If you want a career change, decide that you will have one. If you want to move up in your present position, decide that this will happen. Decide that today is that start of something brand new

2. Act On Your Goals


          Get ready to reach your goals by arming yourself with the tools you need to be successful. Is your resume and cover letter ready to go? Do you have a list of schools to investigate so you can gain new skills if that’s what is necessary to get ahead? Do you have your list of contacts in front of you for networking purposes? Have you researched what your skills are worth in the marketplace so you could use this information to make more money? Make a list of action steps to move your career forward. Then, work on one action step every day.

3. Let Go Of  What’s Holding You Back


          Let go of your fears, disappointments, and the mistakes you have made. They are a part of your past, and not your future. Let these things go because they are keeping you from having an extraordinary career. Once you tell yourself that you will not fail, your chances of success increase substantially.

4. Celebrate


          Committing to your goals is a big deal. Once you have committed, it is time to celebrate. You are free to go after what you want. You can create the future you have been thinking about and wishing for. You have more power than you think to change the direction of your career

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.

From Deborah Brown-Volkman



Bullying in the workplace – Bullying no local de trabalho – 1

          Quando ouvimos falar de bullying, imediatamente pensamos em crianças e adolescentes e nos tempos de escola. Será que isto também pode ocorrer no ambiente de trabalho? Veja o artigo:

What is workplace bullying?

          Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could ‘mentally’ hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact too. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behavior that wants to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people.

Is bullying a workplace issue?

          In general, there will be different opinions and sometimes conflicts at work. However, behavior that is unreasonable and offends or harms any person should not be tolerated.

What are examples of bullying?

          While bullying is a form of aggression, the actions can be both obvious and subtle. The following list is included as a way of showing some of the ways bullying may happen in a workplace. Examples include:

  •          spreading malicious rumours, gossip.
  •          excluding or isolating someone socially.
  •          undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work .
  •          physically abusing or threatening abuse.
  •          removing areas of responsibilities without cause.
  •          constantly changing work guidelines.
  •          establishing impossible deadlines
  •          criticizing a person persistently or constantly.
  •          blocking applications for training, leave or promotion.

          It is sometimes hard to know if bullying is happening at the workplace. Many studies say that there is a “fine line” between strong management and bullying. Comments that are objective and provide constructive feedback are not usually considered bullying, but are used to help the employees with their work. If you are not sure if an action or statement could be considered bullying, you can use the “reasonable person” test. Would most people consider the action unacceptable?

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.

Fonte: Registered & Protected












Secrets of successful teams

Being a success is not always to be a success individually. In fact, most of the times we achieve our successes as part of a team. We are all part of teams. Our family is a team. Our place of work is a team. The community groups we belong to are teams. Sometimes we are the team leader or “coach,” while other times we fulfill the role of follower, or “player.

Some principles of successful teams

Communication Leader
The leader needs to communicate the vision. If they are setting the pace, they need to let people know where they are going so that the team can follow.  He/She communicates the vision frequently, so as to always be updating the team as to where they are at and what changes need to be made.

Watch a good basketball team. They are talking to each other all of the time. Helping one another out, encouraging one another, praising one another, and telling each other how they can make changes so the same mistakes aren’t made again. The same is true of successful teams in the professional world and in life in general.

Great teams are the ones that are committed to excellence. In everything they do, their goal is to achieve at the highest level. And this commitment is held throughout the team and at every level. A successful team cannot have members who are not committed to excellence because in the end they will become the weak link.


Good teams are filled with people who are committed to following and getting the job done.


Understanding Roles

Every team works best when their members have clearly defined and understood roles. Some do one thing, others do another. One isn’t better or more important than the other, just different.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Every team member has strengths and weaknesses. The successful teams are those who on a regular and consistent basis enable the members to operate out of their strengths and not out of their weaknesses. And what is one person’s strengths will cover another’s weakness.


The team that plays together stays together. Is your team all work and no play? If you’re smart, that will change. Get your team out of the office once a month and go have some fun. Enjoy one another.

Common Goals and Vision

I have found that these need to have three aspects. Short, simple and clear. Can you say it in less than 30 seconds? Is it simple? Can you and others understand it? Does the team all know what they are working together for?


All through the “game,” successful teams appreciate one another and show it in a variety of ways.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.

  by Chris Widener