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Breaking barriers for the quiet employee

If you have a shy employee who doesn't speak in meetings, executive coach Joel Garfinkle suggests calling on the individual by name and asking him a simple question, such as seeking his opinion about another person's proposal (rather than asking for an original idea). Also, take the employee aside to discuss what's holding him back. If it's a question of self-esteem, for example, a little praise from you might break the barrier. CareerAdvancementBlog


Why managers should pray for rain

It is often thought that a dull day dampens productivity, but new research suggests that worker productivity is higher on bad-weather days, rather than good ones. Based on cognitive psychology, researchers Jooa Julia Lee and Francesca Gino, of Harvard University, and Bradley Staats of the University of North Carolina, believe this is because when the weather is bad, people might focus more on their work rather than thinking about activities they could engage in outside of work. Harvard Business School Working Papers


A simple question to gauge your leadership

The ultimate leadership test, according to trainer James Hunter, is: "Are your people better off as a result of their time with you?" LeadChangeGroup


Compare new devices with online site

If you're trying to decide which smartphone or tablet to buy, tech columnist Rick Broida recommends using , which allows you to fill in your options and receive advice about the advantages of each.