Connect with us

Tip Sheet

How Humor Makes Meetings More Productive and More Tips for April




How Humor Makes Meetings More Productive and More Tips for April

THE BENEFITS OF humor as a way to enhance creativity, elevate collegiality and boost morale in the workplace are well known. Yet most managers are wary of allowing too much good cheer in meetings, apparently out of fear it will derail the agenda or distract the participants. But according to a study by psychologists from VU University Amsterdam and the University of Nebraska, humor can greatly enhance the effectiveness of meetings, leading to long-term productivity gains. “Humor patterns triggered problem-solving behaviors, procedural suggestions (e.g., let’s talk about our next step), and goal orientation (e.g., we should target this issue),” reports Scientific American, adding it also promoted supportive behaviors like praise and encouragement. Such humor works best when it is positive (versus sarcastic), when it supports a group rapport and when workers have a level of job security.

Name Recall

Don’t fear foreign-sounding names. That’s the advice of Indira Pun, who as the chief concierge at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has built a reputation for remembering the names of thousands of guests. If you are not sure how to pronounce a name, Pun suggests you try it and let the person help you. Being corrected is better than not saying the name at all, she told the New York Times. “Everyone likes to hear their name,” Pun says.

Convertible Kids Corners of Sight

What to do with your kids corner when the kids have gone to bed? At Talisman Collection in El Dorado Hills, CA, the space becomes an adult playground of sorts: the iPads and little gemscopes are cleared away and the area becomes a performance venue at night “where we have live music, karaoke “sing for your bling,” and readings from authors, explains owner Andrea Riso.

Loupe Cred

It took years of urging by his sister before Chuck Kuba, owner of Iowa Diamond, in Des Moines, IA, finally got his Graduate Gemologist credentials from the GIA but he was quickly glad he did. One of the best side benefits was “a marked difference in people arguing with me after I got the GG behind my name,” he says.


The secret to negotiation? It’s the ability to read opponents and anticipate their moves, according to Philippe Dauman, CEO of media giant Viacom. “If you are prepared, you know your backup position. You can see many moves ahead, and you can do the give-and-take more effectively,” he told Barron’s. “In a lot of situations, someone is bluffing.”

Set Aside a “Chore Day”

Do chores, both business and personal, have you feeling like you’re not making progress on those important projects on your to-do list? Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project, recommends setting aside an entire day every week for things like meetings, paying bills and errands. “I had more time and attention for tasks that were important and more meaningful,” he says.


BFF Advice

Facing a difficult question and not sure what to do? Try this technique, as suggested by the prolific Heath brothers in their book, Decisive: Ask yourself, “What would you tell your best friend to do in this situation?” Usually, the answer is clear — stop doing the same thing you’ve been trying over and over.

Holding Off on the Frog

You’ve probably heard the old “eat the frog” advice, which says you should tackle your most dreaded task first thing in the morning. This works well for some, but there’s a solid case to be made for eating the frog later, after building up momentum with a series of “small wins.” That was the conclusion of a Harvard research team, which analyzed thousands of diary entries from workers. “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work,” they wrote in Harvard Business Review.

Trade Up

It’s trade show season, which means you could soon find yourself in a strange hotel room. Here are three hotel tips we plundered from Lifehack to help make your stay a little more comfortable: Take a picture of your room number with your smartphone as soon as you arrive so you don’t forget (keycards don’t have numbers), and if you need to charge your phone, most hotel TVs have USB ports at the back. Worried you won’t wake up: Stick your phone in a dry glass for added amplification.

Gold Watches…

Number of baby boomers who retire every day: 10,000. Percentage who won’t be dependent on Social Security: 74. Number who will be looking to reward themselves: We don’t know, but Eileen Eichhorn of Eichhorn Jewelers in Decatur, IN, thinks it’s a market worth exploring. “With the number of people retiring who are purchasing a ‘prize’ for themselves, jewelers should promote this more,” she says.






INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)


Latest Comments

Most Popular