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Tip Sheet

The Most Powerful Button on Your Phone, and More Tips for July

Plus 19 words to bring out the best in your employees.

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hand holding phone

salesPound for Pound

The most powerful key on your phone is the # button. Why? According to Deb Hiss, whose company Debbie Hiss Consulting provides product and sales training to the jewelry industry, it’s because after leaving a message for your clients, the pound sign will almost always give you the opportunity to listen to your message or delete and start over if you’re not satisfied with it. “How you come across aurally is just as important as the impression you make visually,” she notes.

MANAGEMENTSet the Standard

Employees generally hate reviews. Managers generally hate giving them. What to do? In his book, Culture Code: The Secrets Of Highly Successful Groups, Daniel Coyle recommends using 19 words to bring out the best in the situation and deliver the feedback that will lead to a “dramatic improvement” in performance and effort. The words? “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.” Why does it work? According to Coyle, it builds trust, signals belonging, and combines high standards with the assurance that people can reach those standards.

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BUYINGGet Show Ready

If you’re off to Vegas next month, Dan Pink, the widely traveled business author and speaker, recommends you follow this routine after checking in: Clear everything off the desk in your room and then establish your own “personal inbox.” To do that, he spreads a small towel on the desk and lays out everything he’ll need each day: his pen, notebook, passport, wallet, show pass, phone, etc. “And every time I come back to the room, I put everything back here so that I’m not always searching for my notebook, for my keys,” he says.

MANAGEMENTSchedule Breaks

A recent Columbia University study makes the case that you’ll be more creative at work – and perhaps more refreshed in your soul – if you schedule your breaks, rather than stopping whenever you feel like it. “Participants who didn’t step away from a task at regular intervals were more likely to write ‘new’ ideas that were very similar to the last one they had written,” the authors explained. So, if you’re hesitant to break away because you feel that you’re on a roll, be mindful that it might be a false impression. It’s notable, too, that the “break” in each case merely involved switching tasks. A change, it seems, really is as good as a rest — so long as you do it on schedule.

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TIME MANAGEMENTSay “Hell Yeah”

Like a lot of small business owners or just about anyone living in 2021, you’re likely often over-committed or just too scattered in your approach to life. You know you should say “no” more often, even to the worthwhile sounding things. But it’s tough. To guide you, entrepreneur and author Derek Sivers suggests this easy-to-remember heuristic: If you’re not saying “Hell Yeah!” about it, say “no.” Everything has an opportunity cost, not just in time but in your attention and energy. “When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say, ‘Hell Yeah!’” he says on his blog at sive.rs.

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She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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