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How to have healthy collaboration with team W

hether it’s water cooler gossip, an unsupportive boss or team leader, or

an insubordinate employee, the last thing a business needs is drama. Most dysfunctional company

dynamics often stem from office drama. Office drama causes infighting, petty rumors, meaningless meetings and turf wars that drain energy and/or deflect the work team from the collaborative pursuit of important goals. Regardless of the type of organization, leaders often avoid dealing with drama in the workplace or deal with it badly.

The Drama-Free Office: A Guide

to Healthy Collaboration with Your Team, Coworkers, and Boss by father-daughter duo Jim Warner and Kaley Klemp describes four energy-draining personalities — the complainer, the cynic, the controller and the caretaker — that sabotage workplace collaboration and synergy. The authors blend humorous

and relatable case studies with proven tools for managing “office saboteurs.” The book breaks down the four major drama roles and lays out a detailed road map for managing

difficult people in difficult situations. Readers will see their co-workers

(and themselves) in this entertaining and action- oriented blueprint for addressing the dramatic behaviors that cripple so many teams. Warner and Klemp detail simple methods for defusing office drama and fostering clean, authentic interactions that can have a direct impact on organization productivity. The authors’ extensive research

for The Drama Free Office included intense, candid sessions with more than 3,000 senior leaders in executive teams, partnerships, family

businesses, elite sports teams and other environments where drama has hampered the effectiveness of a group. In hundreds of off-site retreats, mediations and coaching sessions, they witnessed the full spectrum of drama, including whiners, pouters, kiss-ups, bullies, mavericks, narcissists, manipulators, loners and martyrs, and have determined that almost all of these drama-laden personas can be distilled down to the antics of the four sabotaging roles. Diagnosing and directly managing these four roles is the gateway out of drama.

The Drama-Free Office Jim Warner and Kaley Klemp copyright 2011, Greenleaf 160 pages $14.95


Technology is great, but keep it personal


oday is the age of technology. Almost everything we know has a technology twist to it

or soon will have. Businesses have seen

transformational changes from almost every aspect of what they do and who they are as a business. This technology trend will continue even at a more rapid pace throughout the rest of the year and into 2012. As a small- business owner, think of all the changes you have experienced

Dale Stefancic

or are considering. Just the administrative part of business is far more technology driven and less personalized. Sometimes physically speaking to someone can be a challenge without a predetermined set appointment. I can remember when the fax machine was the techno marvel for quickly sending letters and documents. Now many companies do not even use fax machines. Letters, contracts, etc. are scanned electronically and sent by email. Think of all the different ways

business owners communicate or market who they are and what they offer. First, it was the all-important website. Most, if not everyone, realized the need and importance to have a web presence or risk loss of business. Even the website no longer is

enough. A continuing technology blitz of how businesses need to adapt to this constantly changing world has led to Facebook, Twitter, e-newsletters, mobile marketing and video marketing. As a result, we have had to reinvent how we function and communicate our message as business owners.

Not only has the technology shift changed how we need to think and react to the needs of the consumer, but we need to consider how it relates to our business and how to implement the change for our company. With so much to think about and consider, do not abandon some business staples of communication to let people you deal with, whether customers, employees or vendors, know their value to your company. The biggest problem with all the technology, as important and effective as it has become, is that it is not personal. Even today,

business still is and, I believe, always will be about building and developing relationships. That actually can be a challenge with all of today’s technology. Even with the value of Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, do not abandon or think “the reach out and touch someone” methods that have been mainstays for years should stop being a part of business activity. If you have made a connection on social media, try to personalize it by setting up a phone meeting if far away or a face-to-face meeting if local. We still are people who love attention and being recognized and valued. Thus, personalized

BUSINESS Q&A Advertising regulated by federal laws

Question: Who establishes and en- forces advertising laws? Answer: The Federal Trade Com-

mission (FTC) has broad authority to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Under this mandate, the FTC has issued regulations barring false and misleading advertisements. Only the FTC has the authority to enforce its regulations. In addition, most states have laws against unfair trade practices and false advertising.

Q: What does it mean for an adver- tisement to be deceptive? A: Generally, an advertisement is

deceptive if it contains a misrepresenta- tion or omission that is likely to mislead reasonable consumers. Even if it is true, an advertisement may be consid-

ered deceptive if it is likely to mislead or cause injury, assuming the likelihood it will mislead or cause injury outweighs benefits to consumers or competitors.

Q: Must advertisers provide informa- tion to support their claims? A: Yes. The FTC requires advertisers

to have a reasonable basis for making objective claims in an advertisement. For example, if an advertisement claims that “tests prove” a certain result, then the advertiser must have appropriate test results that prove the claim.The level of support required depends on what claims are made or implied.

Q: Does the FTC also make sure advertisers don’t use other people’s copyrighted material or trademarks?

A: The FTC does not regulate the

use of “intellectual property” (copy- righted works or trademarks such as pictures, images, characters, songs, logos or brands) in advertisements.An advertiser, however, must get permis- sion or a license from the owner of a copyright or trademark before including the work or trademark in an advertise- ment. Advertisers who do not open themselves to lawsuits.

This information was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and offers general informa- tion about the law. Seek an attor- ney’s advice before applying this information to a legal problem. For more information on a variety of legal topics, visit


Mind Capture: How You Can Stand Out in the Age of Advertising Deficit Disorder by Tony Rubleski

communication still is tremendously effective. The phone, for example, still can be an effective tool. Instead of returning an email, pick up the phone and call. Use custom mailings such as cards and articles or a gift to show appreciation. Use direct-response mailing to grab the attention of prospects to identify who your company is and what you offer. Those types of personalized communication will achieve great results and distinguish you from your competition. It also will keep your market remembering you. With so much going on and trying to figure out if and what is the right fit for your company, I can assure you the personal touch of you and your company will be the mainstay. Take the time, and your business will reap many rewards for many years.


Dale Stefancic can be reached at Learn more about Dale at

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