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Planning For An End to the Pandemic, Flowers For Mother’s Day, And More Tips for May

Plus how to keep it cool in conversations or negotiations.

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NEGOTIATIONSKeep It Cool

A conversation or negotiation getting out control? Refocus on agreement, says Joseph Grenny in an article in Harvard Business Review. “When people feel threatened, they tend to focus exclusively on areas of disagreement. It’s remarkable to see parties who agree on 90 percent of an issue obsess over and even magnify the 10 percent they disagree about.” You can change the tone of a conversation by stopping this pathological divisiveness and saying something like, “Can I pause for a moment and point out what we both agree on?”

MANAGEMENTStay Busy, Stay Sane

Ellie Thompson of Ellie Thompson + Co. says her Chicago neighborhood has become a ghost town, but that didn’t stop her immediately putting the quiet time to good use. Among the items on her COVID-19 action plan: A gift-card special and promoting a “new collection in progress” while also working to polish her social media game. “I’m also thinking about offering a ‘pre-sale’ ahead of the launch of the spring collection,” she says. It’s such super productive use of quiet time that will not only ensure you’re on the front foot when we emerge from this crisis, but helps take your mind off things you can’t control.

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CREATIVITYDare To Suck

Here’s a perfect theme for a weekly video meeting with your staff: Dare To Suck. The idea, courtesy of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, is that every member of that band would have to come to the meeting and present an idea that they thought was probably terrible. “And nine times out of 10, the idea is actually terrible,” Tyler told a MasterClass. “But one time out of 10, you get ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’ or ‘Love in an Elevator.’” The brilliance of the idea is that it takes the fear out of the creative process.

STAFF MORALEClean Up, Clean Up

You may have seen video of quarantined Italians singing patriotic songs to keep their spirits high. At Abracadabra Jewelry/Gem Gallery in Ann Arbor, MI, they instituted their own songs to encourage frequent hand-washing. Such hand-washing routines are likely to remain long after the current pandemic has ended.

MERCHANDISINGLeverage Flower Power this Mom’s Day

To serve your clients, partner up with a local florist for Mother’s Day and have bouquets ready for sale on Saturday and Sunday, says Kathleen Cutler of Kathleen Cutler Strategy. “Help your male clients take something off their list and, who knows, maybe they will buy a bit of sparkle from you.”

MOTIVATIONKeep Identity Goals Quiet

According to a recent study in Psychological Science, you need to be careful when announcing “identity goals” because they are less likely to be achieved if made public. Tell everyone you’re committed to being a better boss, a great bench jeweler or a more active citizen, and you may slack off — most likely because your brain confuses telling people with taking real action, the report says.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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