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.


How much should you reveal online? – Quanto você deve revelar online?


Here are five things you need to know about how to protect your privacy on social networks and how to avoid serious problems caused by sharing too much information.

1.) Just because you’re cautious, don’t assume you’re safe.

The biggest error people make is thinking that being cautious removes all risk.  Most of the harm we see across all ages is caused by things that other people post about you, sometimes even without your knowledge. Anyone can tweet about you and post photos — and thanks to facial-recognition technology, you can always be identified and auto-tagged! To take control, set up alerts with your name, monitor social networks and ask your friends and network to keep you informed. offers a free monitoring tool, ReputationAlerts, that keeps you informed of everywhere your name appears online.

2.) Be careful about third party apps.

There are hundreds of third party apps on social networks and smart phones that transmit detailed personal information to the companies that make them. You may enjoy playing with some of the apps, but it is best to maintain privacy control and use them carefully. Allowing companies to access your Twitter and Facebook account, which is what you do when you download an app, could also result in personal data being shared – not just for advertising, but even to your healthcare company.

3.) Don’t overshare.

It’s tempting to announce via your online megaphone that you got some days off on the beach .Or that you’ve gained 15 pounds after the holidays! But if you do so, you may well be handing over your life’s keys. This information is now known to be used by home intruders, insurance companies, health care providers, employers, etc.

4.) Resist accepting ALL friend and follower requests.

When starting out on a social network, it’s tempting to accept every friend or follow request that you receive. On Twitter specifically, if you don’t have your tweets protected, anyone will be able to follow you and see your updates. The basic rule is to only accept requests from friends and family. This will help avoid strangers having access to your profile information.


5.) Encrypt your social life.

If you are really concerned with your privacy online, you can download a free plug-in from that allows you to post and put photos on Facebook in a way that even Facebook can’t see them! And you can delete them completely whenever you want. If you use this solution, you can post whatever you want and then set the “nuclear option” to delete everything when you need to.

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

By Michael Fertik,


Are you a good colleague?

 Você acha que é um bom colega? Faça esse quiz, pratique seu inglês e descubra se você é do tipo que as pessoas querem ter por perto no escritório.

1) A colleague has been promoted to a position you also applied for. You:

a) avoid him / her

b) organize a party

c) congratulate her

2) People from another department have a lot of work and are looking for a volunteer to help them out for a couple of hours. You:

a) volunteer straight away

b) wait for them to ask you

c) hide when you see anyone from the department

3) You and your colleague are working on a project and you’ve just found out she’s made some mistakes. Do you:

a) tell him / her to correct them

b) tell your boss

c) explain what he/she has done wrong and help him / her to correct the mistakes

4) Your colleague has been admitted to hospital. You:

a) call to see how he / she is doing but also find out when he / she’ll be back as it’s very busy at work

b) buy a card and get everyone in the department to sign it and do a collection to buy him / her a present

c) find out from your colleagues what is wrong with him / her

5) Your colleague is late and your boss is in a bad mood and asks you where he / she is. You:

a) say you haven’t got a clue

b) say he / she has gone to another department to discuss some work related issues

c) say he / she has called and is stuck in traffic

6) You have a radio at your department. You:

a) ask your colleagues whether they want to listen to it and what they want to listen to

b) change the station if you don’t like the music without asking your colleagues

c) get to work first so you can choose the station

7) You have to send some letters by mail. This work is normally done by the secretary of the department but she has a few days off. Do you:

a) mail the letters

b) put them on his/her desk so she can do it when he / she gets back

c) find out who takes over his/her tasks

8) A colleague you don’t really like has just started using a new computer system that is new for him / her, although you’ve been working with for a while now. She is having trouble getting to grips with it. You:

a) do nothing

b) suggests he / she goes over her notes or takes a course

c) ask if he / she would like some help

9) Your colleague has a headache and isn’t feeling well. You have a lot of work to do. You:

a) get him / her an aspirin

b) tell him / her to stop complaining

c) tell him / her she should go home, you can manage

10) You and your colleagues are doing exactly the same work and have received the same workload for the day. You:

a) try to finish first

b) do your work and when you finish go for a cup of coffee

c) do your work and if there is somebody still working when you are finished, ask them if they want some help.

11) You are in a meeting and your colleague is making a suggestion that isn’t very good but he / she is trying to explain it. You:

a) let him / her finish explaining

b) interrupt him / her and say that it is a stupid idea

c) listen to what he / she has to say but role your eyes and sigh a lot while he / she is speaking.

12) Your boss has told you that you or your colleague has to stay at work till 9 p.m. next week but he lets you two decide. You:

a) decide to take turns but insist on doing Tuesday and Thursday as it is one day less

b) volunteer to do it

c) flip a coin for it and hope it is not going to be you.






















































The result: Add up the number of points scored and read the corresponding description.

12 – 18  You shouldn’t work in a team as you do not seem to be very considerate. Try to change a little and then your colleagues might be a bit nicer to you.

19 – 29  You are a good colleague although you could be a bit more considerate sometimes. In general your colleagues won’t complain about you.

30 – 36  You are a colleague from heaven. You are always there to help everybody out and are very considerate. People love having you as a colleague but be careful people don’t take advantage of you.

Os resultados do teste não estão embasados em nenhum estudo científico. Têm apenas propósito recreativo.

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


Autor: Roy Pieppers Registered & Protected

Bullying in the workplace – Bullying no local de trabalho – 2

How can bullying affect an individual?

People who are the targets of bullying may experience a range of effects. These reactions include:

  • shock  and  anger;
  • feelings of frustration and/or helplessness;
  • increased sense of vulnerability and loss of confidence;
  • physical symptoms such as inability to sleep loss of appetite;
  • panic or anxiety, especially about going to work;
  • family tension and stress;
  • inability to concentrate, and  low morale and productivity.

How can bullying affect the workplace?

Bullying affects the overall “health” of an organization. An “unhealthy” workplace can have many effects. In general these include:

  • increased absenteeism and turnover;
  • increased stress and increased risk for accidents / incidents;
  • decreased productivity and motivation;
  • decreased morale;
  • reduced corporate image and customer confidence, and  poorer customer service.

What can an employer do?

The most important component of any workplace prevention program is management commitment. Management commitment is best communicated in a written policy. Since bullying is a form of violence in the workplace, employers may wish to write a comprehensive policy that covers a range of incidents (from bullying and harassment to physical violence).

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

Fonte: Registered & Protected

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