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HUMAN RESOURCES

Hot Tip: Making Tough Calls

Heather Howitt, the CEO of Oregon Chai (#18 on the 2000 Inc. 500 list), makes her toughest business calls during her morning jog through the park.
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Heather Howitt knows how to make tough phone calls. Every day, when the CEO of Oregon Chai (#18) goes for a run in Portland's Forest Park, she brings her cell phone and makes her most stressful calls as she slows to a walk through the country's largest urban park. Howitt uses this technique when she has to fire a vendor, discipline an employee, or make any of "those calls that have been eating at me for a week," she says. The relaxed atmosphere helps her defuse the tension, she adds. "When I'm out jogging, it's like a combination of meditation and recess. That's where I can collect my thoughts, and because I'm relaxed, I can think and speak more clearly."


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