Tag Archives: Management

Managers manage

Unions Administer the Contract

Management of Complexity
Management of Complexity (Photo credit: michael.heiss)

I had a discussion the other day that I haven’t had for quite a few years.  

It usually goes something like this:  “He’s a manager, but he says he can’t make his employees work because they tell him they have a union.”

This makes me crazy.  It’s not true, and it’s not that complicated. Manager’s direct the work as required by job descriptions,and classification assignment within the union contract. Employees perform the work as directed.

Rule #1 is managers keep their right to manage, even when a Collective Bargaining Agreement is in force.   You may have to follow certain rules, and you will likely face some limitations on what you can tell people to do, but you still keep the right to manage your business.

That’s why every collective bargaining agreement has a Management’s Rights clause that will include information like this, referenced below.

Management Rights clauses are contractual clauses found in union contracts that give management the ability to manage its business without interference from the union (except as agreed to).While not all inclusive, below is a listing of typical Management Rights found in union contracts giving management the right to:
  • Hire employees
  • Direct, control and assign employees work
  • To establish schedule and hours of work
  • Determine qualifications of employees
  • Discipline employees and terminate employees for cause
  • Expand and reduce the number of employees
  • Layoff
  • Recall from layoff
  • Establish and enforce rules of conduct
  • Consolidate, tranfer, or close its operations

 

ARTICLE 7—MANAGEMENT RIGHTS


The management of the Employer’s operations and the direction of its employees, including but not limited to the rights: to hire, classify, promote, transfer, lay-off, recall, discipline, discharge for just cause, suspend, direct, control, and determine the qualifications of employees; to maintain order and efficiency and to establish and enforce rules and regulations as well as absentee tardiness policies, safety standards, work loads, and schedules of production; to determine the location and extent of the Employer’s operations and their commencement, expansion, curtailment or discontinuance; to select, introduce, discontinue, eliminate or change equipment, machinery, processes or services; and to schedule and assign work to the employees, shall remain vested exclusively with the Employer.

The above are by way of example only of rights vested exclusively in the Employer and all rights which the Employer would have but for the existence of a collective bargaining agreement, including the rights to continue or discontinue any past practice or benefit, except as specifically modified by this Agreement, are vested in the Employer’s discretion.

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The Fierce Urgency of Now

 

I wish I could go to this event this. It’s Conscious Capitalism – The Fierce Urgency of Now: Building Fully  Human Organizations.  I don’t think I can make it happen in 2014.  Looks like some very cool stuff, including:

Accelerating Business Growth through Conscious Leadership

The Art & Science of Sustainable High Performance Fueling Human Capacity in a World of Infinite Demand

Elevating Your Business through Employee Engagement

From Insight to Action

Industry leadership, Strategic Storytelling and the Humanity of your Brand

It will definitely be on my agenda for 2015. Maybe they need a blogger because NOW I really want to attend!

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From Bud to Boss launch day is tomorrow

Help for making the move from worker to management

One of the most basic challenges any person entering management, or any leadership position for that matter, is making the transition from being a member of the core workforce, and assuming the rule of “boss”.

Last week, I received a preview copy of a new book that offers some great advice on how to tackle this very basic problem.   The book is From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a successful transition to remarkable leadership, written by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris.  The title is a mouthful, but the book is a pretty easy read, and packs in a lot of meaningful information that will be useful, whether you are a newly minted supervisor looking for some self-development,  or a trainer looking for a new resource for your organization.

The book breaks down into several different sections, including:

  • Succeeding in your transition into leadership
  • Change
  • Communication
  • Coaching
  • Collaboration
  • Commitment to success

The authors are using social media to promote the book in some interesting ways, including the creation of a Bud to Boss community around the book that extends the reader experience, and a Bud to Boss workshop.   I highly recommend the book!

Special Offers are available if you buy the book on launch day, just click here.

This is launch week for Kevin and Guy’s new book, From Bud to Boss.

We hope you’re ready to celebrate with us.

The best celebrations include gifts, right?

We’ve got plenty of gifts prepared for people who buy our book on launch day.
Click to learn about the gifts you receive for purchasing today
Because you’re interested in leadership, we’ve asked other leadership experts to partner with us. As a result, we have an impressive list of resources from these experts available to you when you buy our book.

When you buy multiple copies, you will be able to access even more gifts.

These gifts include exclusive e-books, audio content, videos, consultations, webinars,  and more. When you buy a book, we’ll even enter you into a drawing for a chance to win other gifts, including a Kindle (loaded with From Bud to Boss and Remarkable Leadership.)

Visit our launch page to see the gifts available when you buy the book during the launch. The gifts are available for a limited time.

They will be up through Wednesday and possibly all the way until Friday. To claim your gifts, order today.

The buzz is building and we’re glad that you are joining us for the celebration. We hope you’ll invite all your friends, fans, and followers to celebrate with us!

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Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!

Krige as the Borg Queen in First Contact
Image via Wikipedia

New Manager Assimilation Process  is a bright idea

If you are a human resources manager, then you want to be reading today’s post.  I am sharing a link that will take you to a 2000 word document that I guarantee will help you make your organization more effective and productive.  There is no charge, no sell, and strings – just the steps of a very simple, not very time consuming process that will literally save your new managers and their employees months of time spent on productive courtship rituals.    Courtship rituals, you may say?  WTF is he talking about now?  

I am talking about a proven process for shortening the time it takes for a new manager and their staff to become familiar with each other, and function effectively as a team.  You can do this quickly and cheaply with this classic process developed by General Electric.  It is called the New Manager Assimilation process.

The New Manager Assimilation Process can be an extremely effective intervention for any level of manager entering a new organization. It’s objectives are quite straightforward and the steps to follow are uncomplicated and relevant in any business environment or culture.

The major objectives in utilizing the New Manager Assimilation Process are really threefold:

  1. First, to provide direct reports with the opportunity to “get to know” their new manager in a very short period of time.
  2. Second, to begin to build the basis for a longer-term working relationship between the manager and their team of direct reports, and
  3. Third, to lay the foundation, very early on, for open communications, work planning and problem-solving between the manager and their direct reports.

The process itself consists of five sequential phases:

  1. Data Collection
  2. Feedback to the New Manager
  3. Response Preparation
  4. Assimilation Meeting
  5. Follow-up

The process begins with the help of a consultant, either internal or external, who is viewed by the Manager and the direct reports as an objective third party. The credibility of this consultant is extremely important to the process since they will used to gather highly confidential data from both the manager and the direct reports. The willingness of the people participating to share such data can be enhanced significantly if the consultant is viewed as objective, able to handle confidences, and competent in organizational development processes.

Follow this link to  find the document describing the full process and steps for the New Manager Assimilation Process.

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GENERATION “WHY”?

Pop!Tech 2008 - Malcolm Gladwell
Image by Pop!Tech via Flickr

TWO QUESTIONS

(Ed. note:   This is a guest post from Dan Crosby who is a friend of a friend of mine.  You may know her too – Trish McFarlane, who is one of the stars of HREvolution.  Tickets for the 2011 HREvolution are now on sale.)

I know, I know, forgive the easy pun. I’ve got two important questions for you that will be highly predictive of how happy and successful you are at work. The first question is, “Do you want to be the best in the world at what you do?” Be honest with yourself, some people see work as a means to an end and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your idea of the good life is working a predictable 9 to 5, taking sixty minute lunch breaks, and rushing home to watch “Dancing With the Stars”, you can stop reading now and head back over to TMZ.com. I’ll wait for you to leave…thanks for reading this far, I know how much it hurts your brain!

So, if you’re still reading, I’ll assume you have some desire to be great at what you do, perhaps even the best in the world. If so, my second question for you is, “Do you find your work meaningful?” If you answered “yes” to Question 1 and “no” to Question 2, please walk into your bosses’ office, hand in your resignation, find a small cardboard box, and begin packing your personal effects. Why is that you ask? Because, if you do not find your work meaningful, you will never be the best in the world at what you do.

THE POWER OF “WHY”

I’m of the mind that the “why” of our work is at least as important as the “how.” More specifically, I believe that the “why” is instrumental in driving the “how.”  There are myriad reasons this is the case, and I’ll talk about the power of meaning in the workplace over a series of posts. The first reason that I think having a purpose to your work is so imperative is that it catalyzes the effort necessary to be great.

BLOOD, SWEAT, AND MEANING

Malcolm Gladwell has my dream job. Namely, pursuing his varied intellectual interests, writing about them, having awesome hair, and making a gazillion dollars. His most recent work, “Outliers” touches on those folks who hang out on the far right extreme of the bell curve measuring success. Gladwell’s question is, “Why do some people succeed while others never really reach their true potential?” SPOILER ALERT: Gladwell arrives at two remarkably unsexy conclusions: 1.) greatness requires hard work and 2.) even if you work hard, you still need to get lucky. It is the first conclusion, the necessity of hard work, that is so inextricably tied to meaning.

One of the most often-quoted findings of “Outliers” is what is referred to as the “10,000 hour rule.” Americans love a story of effortless, preternatural talent. We like to imagine our business heroes as geniuses, miles above the rest of us, that have million dollar ideas with the same regularity that we other Philistines eat at McDonalds. Gladwell’s book puts this enticing, if fallacious notion to bed once and for all. What he found to be true, of everyone from Bill Gates, to the Beatles, to violin virtuosos, was that all of them had put in at least 10,000 hours of hard work at honing their craft. And guess what was necessary to put in those long hours? A deeply felt sense that the work they were doing was meaningful and bigger than them or the task itself.

There are no magic shortcuts to the top. Despite our fondest dreams to the contrary, success has been, and always will be deeply rooted in the bedrock of hard work. There is however, some magic in the way that doing work that we find personally meaningful can make 10,000 hours seem like the blink of an eye. So, I ask you again, “Do you want to be great?” If so, you’d better know why your work matters to you, or you’d better start looking.

Dr. Daniel Crosby is a President of Crosby Performance Consulting (http://www.doctordanielcrosby.com/consulting/index.html), a corporate psychology firm specializing in talent assessment, leadership development, training, and consulting around issues of persuasion and influence. Daniel likes old houses, the St. Louis Cardinals, hanging out with his family, and obsessing about how to make work life more meaningful. Stay tuned for more in the “Generation Why” series coming soon! You can follow Dr. Crosby and CPC on Twitter @crosbypsych.

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TWO QUESTIONS

I know, I know, forgive the easy pun. I’ve got two important questions for you that will be highly predictive of how happy and successful you are at work. The first question is, “Do you want to be the best in the world at what you do?” Be honest with yourself, some people see work as a means to an end and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your idea of the good life is working a predictable 9 to 5, taking sixty minute lunch breaks, and rushing home to watch “Dancing With the Stars”, you can stop reading now and head back over to TMZ.com. I’ll wait for you to leave…thanks for reading this far, I know how much it hurts your brain!

So, if you’re still reading, I’ll assume you have some desire to be great at what you do, perhaps even the best in the world. If so, my second question for you is, “Do you find your work meaningful?” If you answered “yes” to Question 1 and “no” to Question 2, please walk into your bosses’ office, hand in your resignation, find a small cardboard box, and begin packing your personal effects. Why is that you ask? Because, if you do not find your work meaningful, you will never be the best in the world at what you do.

THE POWER OF “WHY”

I’m of the mind that the “why” of our work is at least as important as the “how.” More specifically, I believe that the “why” is instrumental in driving the “how.” There are myriad reasons this is the case, and I’ll talk about the power of meaning in the workplace over a series of posts. The first reason that I think having a purpose to your work is so imperative is that it catalyzes the effort necessary to be great.

BLOOD, SWEAT, AND MEANING

Malcolm Gladwell has my dream job. Namely, pursuing his varied intellectual interests, writing about them, having awesome hair, and making a gazillion dollars. His most recent work, “Outliers” touches on those folks who hang out on the far right extreme of the bell curve measuring success. Gladwell’s question is, “Why do some people succeed while others never really reach their true potential?” SPOILER ALERT: Gladwell arrives at two remarkably unsexy conclusions: 1.) greatness requires hard work and 2.) even if you work hard, you still need to get lucky. It is the first conclusion, the necessity of hard work, that is so inextricably tied to meaning.

One of the most often-quoted findings of “Outliers” is what is referred to as the “10,000 hour rule.” Americans love a story of effortless, preternatural talent. We like to imagine our business heroes as geniuses, miles above the rest of us, that have million dollar ideas with the same regularity that we other Philistines eat at McDonalds. Gladwell’s book puts this enticing, if fallacious notion to bed once and for all. What he found to be true, of everyone from Bill Gates, to the Beatles, to violin virtuosos, was that all of them had put in at least 10,000 hours of hard work at honing their craft. And guess what was necessary to put in those long hours? A deeply felt sense that the work they were doing was meaningful and bigger than them or the task itself.

There are no magic shortcuts to the top. Despite our fondest dreams to the contrary, success has been, and always will be deeply rooted in the bedrock of hard work. There is however, some magic in the way that doing work that we find personally meaningful can make 10,000 hours seem like the blink of an eye. So, I ask you again, “Do you want to be great?” If so, you’d better know why your work matters to you, or you’d better start looking.

Dr. Daniel Crosby is a President of Crosby Performance Consulting (http://www.doctordanielcrosby.com/consulting/index.html), a corporate psychology firm specializing in talent assessment, leadership development, training, and consulting around issues of persuasion and influence. Daniel likes old houses, the St. Louis Cardinals, hanging out with his family, and obsessing about how to make work life more meaningful. Stay tuned for more in the “Generation Why” series coming soon! You can follow Dr. Crosby and CPC on Twitter @crosbypsych.

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The “Human Cliffs Notes” of Leadership

John Spence is a leadership consultant you should know

One of my favorite speakers at HR Florida the past two years has been John Spence.  John is professional speaker with a deep expertise in leadership.  He is also one of the most prolific readers of leadership books that you will ever encounter.   He also acts as an interim CEO from time to time.  He lives in Gainesville, Florida.   If he isn’t on your radar yet, he should be!  If you want to know anything about a leadership book, you can check it out at John’s web site.  If you know a good leadership book, he says he is always looking for recommendations.

Either way, you should see the site, check out this slide deck, and definitely follow him on Twitter.  He wrote a pretty good book  called Awesomely Simple too!

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Why I need a To Do list

Getting Things Done
Image by drewdomkus via Flickr

I don’t use this simple technique often enough

I just spent a bit of time this morning organizing myself and writing a To Do list for today.    On any given  day, I tend to have a lot of stuff going on.

There is a typo on my To Do list.   What do you call a handwritten writing mistake – a writeo?  Seems like an oxymoron.

From Drop Box

Anyway – why am I writing about To Do lists, and stuff?

Our friends at Rypple are helping promote a book about Getting Things Done, by David Allen.   According to the blurb:

For nearly a decade, the Getting Things Done book has been a bestseller around the world and is the foundation for a wide-range of offerings from the David Allen Company. This groundbreaking work-life management system transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity. GTD will teach you the tips and tricks of how to get — and stay — on top of it all.

Part of the promotion is a GTD quiz.  I am a sucker for these things.  Here is what I learned about myself.

I’m a GTD Visionary/Crazy-Maker

On the positive side, you’re a Visionary. You have no shortage of ideas and inspiration. You’re probably pretty good at setting goals, being creative, and staying focused on “the most important thing.”

On the developmental side, you’re a Crazy Maker. Your ideas, projects, and commitments may be outstripping your ability to keep up with them. Things fall through the cracks, details get missed, and you end up with a general sense of being overwhelmed. You might not adequately consider constraints or limitations when making commitments, which can overload those around you.

Sounds like I have some issues.   Ok – how to deal with it.  I made a To do list.  I am going to go buy this book, and I am also going to buy Rework.

That’s all for today.  I’ve got to go and get some shit done now!

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Be a better leader by communicating

A casual conversation between two people.
Image via Wikipedia

Three leadership skills to develop

Anyone out there had a candid conversation with their employees lately?

Not a discussion about business objectives, or water cooler conversation, or even that performance appraisal that you had to do – you know, the one you dreaded because you had to tell someone that they aren’t getting a raise again this year.

It’s tough to be a leader in tough times.  That is why you are still making the big bucks!    So what should you be doing as a leader for your employees in tough times?

Help them by helping yourself.   Here are three skills you can work on right now that will help you grow as a leader, and that will also benefit the people you lead right now.   All three skills blend together into one unified skill set.

  1. Be candid
  2. Be conversational
  3. Be a communicator

Why is being candid so important? Your employees are probably experiencing a lot of insecurity and fear right now, despite the recent announcement of an improving job market.   Their wages are stagnant,, advancement opportunities limited, and many face the ultimate fear – loss of their job.

As a leader, they need you to be aware of these fears and provide assistance to your employees during these difficult times.  One of the best ways to do this is to practice being honest and candid when you talk with them, or when they seek information.  They need you to be as open and honest as possible when discussing concerns.   It is often easier to try to deflect such concerns, but you will help your people deal with their concerns more effectively by practicing candor.

Why is being conversational important? Employees want to talk to you, but they may afraid to do so.  Not all, but some, and those are the ones you need to reach out to.   By doing so, you can gain insights into what they are thinking – both good and bad.  This provides insight and helps to address the concerns that could be impacting your workforce.  Understanding of these issues is critical to being successful.

Why should you be a communicator? Communication is the lynchpin of leadership.  When you fail to communicate, your staff may falter. If they are insecure or afraid, they need you listen to them, and tell them the facts about what is going on.  They look to you to be their two way conduit within the organization.

These skills may seem simple and obvious, but they are critical.  All too often,  leaders choose to abdicate their responsibilities in these areas because it is easier and less stressful.   Don’t be one of these types.  Be a pro-active leader. You owe it to yourself, your employees, and your organization.  It will make your role and that of your employees more meaningful, and your organization will benefit in the long run!

Note: this piece was originally published over on Make Work Meaningful, so if you think you read it already, You probably did! – Michael

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How many HR Managers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Expert jono
Image via Wikipedia

Just one, but they are probably wearing 97 different hats

I have been a generalist HR practitioner and site manager for most of my career.   I have done almost everything you can do in a generalist role at one point or another.    Today, I am a specialist, and a consultant.   I don’t manage anyone directly.   I don’t even deal directly with clients that much anymore.  Some days I feel like a stranger in a strange HR land.

For some odd reason, when I start feeling like this, I start looking at HR job postings.  I always have.   Before the Internet, I used to read the Help Wanted ads in the Sunday newspaper every week.  I wanted to see who and what local companies were hiring for, what my local competitors were doing, how they wrote their ads, and most importantly back then, if they were publishing any specifics on starting rates and benefit packages.

Today when I want to gather that kind of information, I just use web research tools.  When I want to read job ads, I check JobShouts or LinkUp or TweetMyJobs.   I felt like doing that this morning, and I ran across this job posting:

HR MANAGER (PLANT) non-union

Our client is a very prominent durable goods manufacturer actively pursuing a Plant Human Resource Manager due to a recent internal promotion. This is a 400 person non-union plant that has experienced seven consecutive years of year over year growth. This company has a very outgoing and energetic company culture and is seeking a Manager who has great interpersonal skills. The Corporate Director of HR is looking to fill this position as soon as possible!

The HR Manager will have 5 direct reports and responsibilities will center around typical generalist duties (benefits, safety, environmental, recruiting, etc).

QUALIFICATIONS

-Bachelors degree is required for consideration
-MBA, Masters degree, or SPHR certification is considered a plus
-Candidate must have a strong generalist background
Non-union experience is an absolute must!  (union avoidance experience a plus)
Greenfield Startup experience is a plus

RELOCATION IS OFFERED FOR THIS POSITION

If you want to see the posting, see it here.

That is a lot of hats, even with a staff of 5, and they didn’t mention a lot of the other hats this type of job typically wears.  You know the others – compensation, training, communications, local charity liaison, party planner, confidante, OD, security, and the rest, whatever they might be.

How many hats can the average HR generalist wear competently?

It seems like I just took it for granted and did all these things as best I could back in the day.   I would start my day with a meeting with the contract security guard who did watch on the 3rd shift, collect his reports and keys, then show up at my office in time to be there to hand out safety equipment to the first shift, and collect some notes and field some insurance questions from the 3rd shift.   Then I would walk the floor to touch base with the various department supervisors, union shop stewards, and others who might want a piece of my time first thing in the morning.   Then I would run back to my office, check emails and draft a series of bullet points in Word covering HR topics for review and distribution at the 10 AM “All Managers” meeting with the plant manager.   I would say hello to my staff, discuss their problems, give some assignments, and move on the next thing, if no one called from Corporate, or no shop steward was knocking at my door with a disgruntled employee, union contract and grievance form in hand.   I was truly a Jack of all trades, and a Master of few.

Of course, some of these duties, like environmental or safety at a local plant site really aren’t the type of role that require a deep technical expertise in order to complete paperwork, and deliver some canned training programs, but they do cast you as the local expert, and the “go to person” for related issues, whether you are or not.

This has often made me wonder, is this one of the reasons it seems so difficult for HR to get “respect”?  Do we wear so many varied and diverse hats that we are essentially “OK” at doing a lot of things, but not really expert at any of them?   As practitioners, are we too wide, and not deep enough?

I don’t have an answer here, just the question.    When I worked like this, it seemed natural, and I felt like I was pretty effective.  When I look at it from my role today, it seems to be a role that is is fractured and absurd at best, and somewhat schizophrenic at worst.   I know there are a lot of generalists who will tell me that this is a good way of doing things, and that they enjoy the challenges.  I recognize the economic reality that most plant sites cannot afford to staff with an army of specialists.   And being big, and having lots of specialists isn’t really a magnificent alternative either.

No one is running  any “buy one , get one free” specials down at the “Expert” store, are they?

Our field just seems very difficult to structure.

How does your company do it?  How should we change it?

I’d love to hear some dialogue on this one, people!

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Being Strategic in a Non-Strategic World

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  HRH Prince William...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Slightly behind Schedule

I am still working on my “Lessons from the Drop Forge” post promised yesterday.   Here is something else instead.

So, you want to be strategic? Who doesn’t?

How can you be a strategic player in a role where not every opportunity challenges you to work in a strategic capacity? Work within your boundaries to demonstrate to your colleagues and team members, and create opportunities that will allow you to add value.

Adding strategic value through HR

Add value by:

  • Recruiting employees who will engage themselves in the organization and eventually create a work team that is driven by pride and passion for the company and the work they do.
  • Establish a strong culture built around the core values of the business, and ensure that most, if not all decisions are guided by, and more importantly, drive those values.
  • Allow room for workers to be innovative, involved, and to have some fun in the work place.
  • Understand the objectives and plans of the business so that when opportunity knocks, you can present ideas and suggestions that demonstrate your ability to be a strong business partner, and an ally to your peers.
  • Always communicate: Listen, Discuss, Process and Provide Feedback to all levels (hopefully in a positive light) when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Use metrics to measure success and recognize and celebrate success stories, large and small.
  • Manage talent or help in the planning of talent management to direct employees to the best opportunities for them AND the company to take advantage of their skills and knowledge.
  • Embrace a Global view of the world. No matter how small or large your organization may be, you are no longer competing in one labor market or even one country for talent, or for customers. You are competing against the entire world. Recognize this and understand your competition so you can develop ways to differentiate from them.
  • Have good management in place to manage good people.
  • Add value when possible via an exceptional total compensation package. Market the value of each segmented portion of your total compensation portfolio.
  • Identify the competencies you need to drive your business strategy, and train these at all levels of the organization. Good organizational performance is a team sport.

As an individual:

  • Develop excellent leadership skills, including people management inside and outside the organization.
  • Manage your People strategy, including sourcing, the initial selection process, on boarding, etc.
  • “Walk the Talk” at every opportunity.

Originally posted: November 2007)

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