People trust others who they believe understand them. 1 How does an old-line manufacturer in a stagnant industry manage to grow 25% per year for 10 years? The answer, made in a recent Inc. Magazine cover story, is, by taking its employees seriously and listening to them. Atlas Container makes cardboard boxes. They also practice “open book management” and engage in workplace democracy. 2 In another instance, the Ford Motor Company turned its poorest-performing plant operating near Atlanta to one of its best, simply by engaging in dialogue with the entire 2,000-member unit. 3 Both of these anecdotes illustrate that a tremendous amount of employee trust and energy is liberated simply by engaging in dialogue, rather than in the more traditional top-down communiqués that occur throughout the business world.
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Practice 2: Dialogue With Employees; Don’t Just Talk to Them
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