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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: March 2013

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OPERATIONSTurn It Off

Define clear stopping points at the end of the day, so when you’re with your family and friends, you’re really with them, advises Tony Schwartz, author and CEO of the Energy Project.

Toss It

A spring project: Streamline your working life. Throw out all the stuff from storage under the showcases, says Ruth Mellergaard, principal at interior design firm GRID/3.

Reason #22 to Shed Fat

As if you didn’t already know it’d be a good idea to lose some weight, now this: a new study says those extra pounds are making you look less “leaderly.” “Executives with larger waistlines and higher bodymass- index readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace, both in performance and interpersonal relationships,” reports the Wall Street Journal, according to a study by the Center for Creative Leadership.

GENERALMention the Competition

When applying for a business loan at a bank, it’s important to show that you have a thorough knowledge of the industry and have spent time thinking about the competitive landscape, says celebrated entrepreneur Richard Branson. Writing in Business Review Weekly, he says: “If a bank or other investor is looking at your business, then they’ve probably looked at your competitors as well. Show you understand your competition and irreverently explain why your business will do better. Don’t be overly negative. At best you’ll seem humorless and self-important and at worst like you don’t take your competitors seriously enough.”

Speak, Wait, Listen

Just about everybody believes they need to improve their speaking skills. Yet just about nobody wants to do the one thing that can help them improve fastest: to listen to recordings of their voices. Christy Fletcher, a spokesperson for QVC, advises you use this trick: Don’t play the recording back immediately. “You must allow time to separate yourself from whatever you have recorded, so you can be more objective,” she says in a column for eHow. “Record something. Wait a day. Then listen to your voice.” 5 Avert Advert Avoidance 4.6 billion. That’s how many times American’s voluntarily chose to watch online video advertising last year. The secret of course to be entertaining (and include a cat if possible). In addition, video campaigns that build suspense (like those launched prior to the Super Bowl) generated 600 percent more views in 2012.

MANAGEMENTInsecure? You Decide

It’s true, be a critical boss and your staff will think more highly of your expertise, be it jewelry or store management. But they are also more likely to leave your employ and are less likely to suggest improvements even when they know what could improve an area of business. That’s the conclusion of The Knowing- Doing Gap, a book by Jeff Pfeffer and Bob Sutton that cites reams of research. Their advice if this is an issue at your store: Stop being so insecure.

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Goodbye, Poor Performers

As a professional trainer, Harry Friedman fervently believes in people’s potential to improve, but even he doesn’t think you should invest the time needed to turn a lump of coal into a diamond. “If you are a poor performer and we train you, all you are is a trained poor performer. If you have a smile on your face and love in your heart, you are going to sell some jewelry. That doesn’t make you a good performer. I don’t waste my time with these people. They should be good from Day One.” Let your poor performers go, he says.

Provide Regular, Consistent Feedback

To be effective, feedback needs to be specific, actionable and timely. But that’s not always how it works. In a study by Leadership IQ, 53 percent of employees said that when their bosses praised them, the feedback didn’t provide enough useful information to help them repeat what they’d done well. And 65 percent said that when they were criticized for poor performance, the review didn’t provide enough useful information to help them correct the issue.

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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