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Showing posts from February, 2018

Sticky & Sour: The Next Step After a Bad First Impression

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What are some of your most awkward professional blunders? In a recent social psychology article, Heidi Grant Halvorson shared the story of her friend Gordon and his job interview at a prestigious university:
During his campus visit, Gordon was dining with a senior faculty member named Bob. As they ate, Bob commented on the quality of his lunch. “You know, this is great,” Bob said. “You should try this!” Wary of offending, Gordon cautiously complied, reaching over for a bite. While the interview seemed successful, the job was given to another person. Years later, Gordon found the real reason for the rebuff was this: When Bob said, “You should try this,” he meant, “You should try this sometime,” not, “you should eat off my plate.” Bad manners left a sour taste of lasting consequence.
Knee Jerk Reaction or “Real Jerk” Response?
Humans naturally make snap judgments, and impressions are much harder to undo than to create. “First impressions are very sticky,” says Grant Halvorson, author of “N…

You Shouldn't Fear Your Competitors. You Should Learn From Them.

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As is true in most industries, there are days where it probably seems like every time you turn around you've got some new competitor to deal with. Your market space was already a tight one - now you've got to worry just as much about the companies that are vying for the same market as you do about the market itself.
For as frustrating as this can be, however, it also represents a fantastic opportunity that is just waiting to be taken advantage of if you really know what you're doing.
At the end of the day, you shouldn't actually fear your competitors at all. You should see them as a source of education and inspiration.
The Canary in the Coal Mine
One of the biggest reasons why you should try to learn from your competitors instead of fear them has to do with the fact that you're trying to accomplish the same goal. You just have two completely different approaches about how to best do that. You're still operating in the same industry, and you're still trying to r…

Why You Should STOP Checking Your Email First Thing in the Morning

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Thanks to smartphones and other types of mobile devices, we're more connected to the world around us than ever before. This certainly has both its advantages and disadvantages. 
On the one hand, it's never been easier to get more done while on-the-go. You can be just as productive in your office as you can be halfway across the globe on vacation.
On the other hand, this can lead to a definite feeling that "switching off" is impossible - especially when you consider that according to one recent study, 61% of people check their phones within five minutes of waking up in the morning. 
From a certain perspective, this makes a bit of sense - after all, if you want to get as much done in a day as possible it stands to reason that you should check those emails that piled up overnight as soon as you can, right? Well, not necessarily. There are some compelling reasons why you should STOP checking your email first thing in the morning, especially if you're concerned about pro…

Best Practices For Integrating Your Remote Workforce

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As technology continues to evolve, so do the lives we lead - both personally and professionally. According to one study conducted by Gallup, nearly 43% of employees in the United States spent at least some time working remotely in 2016 - a significant 4% jump from just a few years earlier in 2012. Remote work is such an attractive proposition that it has even begun to play a major role in an employee's decision of whether to work for a particular company - something that poses a number of interesting implications for their employers.
Chief among them is the idea of what a "team" is supposed to be. Your employees are all important individually, but their contributions are supposed to add up to a larger, more critical whole. How is that possible when a large part of your workforce barely sets foot in the office, if they do so at all? In truth, integrating your remote workforce into your in-office one is a lot more straightforward than you might think; you just have to keep …

Best Practices For Integrating Your Remote Workforce

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As technology continues to evolve, so do the lives we lead - both personally and professionally. According to one study conducted by Gallup, nearly 43% of employees in the United States spent at least some time working remotely in 2016 - a significant 4% jump from just a few years earlier in 2012. Remote work is such an attractive proposition that it has even begun to play a major role in an employee's decision of whether to work for a particular company - something that poses a number of interesting implications for their employers.
Chief among them is the idea of what a "team" is supposed to be. Your employees are all important individually, but their contributions are supposed to add up to a larger, more critical whole. How is that possible when a large part of your workforce barely sets foot in the office, if they do so at all? In truth, integrating your remote workforce into your in-office one is a lot more straightforward than you might think; you just have to keep …

Why Developing Good Leaders is Critical to Your Business' Success

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Regardless of the type of business you're running or even the industry that you find yourself operating in, everyone knows that quality leadership is essential. It's equally essential for you to realize that leadership doesn't begin and end with whoever's name is on the door. Experience goes a long way, but the type of raw, natural talent necessary to become a good leader isn't something that can necessarily be taught. It's something you're born with.
That's why when you do recognize that you've got the makings of an excellent leader working with you, it is imperative that you do whatever it takes to help cultivate and develop that talent whenever possible.
Identifying Good Leaders
First thing's first: not everyone working for your company has the makings of a good leader, regardless of how you currently feel about them. According to one recent study, only about one out of every ten people have the talent necessary to rise to this status. That mean…

From Survival to Full Bloom

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Eliza Blank was tired of the gloomy atmosphere in her cramped New York apartment. Eliza began dabbling with houseplants, and her passion quickly bloomed into a budding small business. In 2012, Blank launched “The Sill” to bring color and hope to stale Manhattan apartments, equipping new “parents” by transforming certified plant killers into botanical aficionados. The Sill works to match the right plant to the right space, offering hands-on coaching that helps “aspiring green thumbs (and potential customers) feel at ease.”
The Sill operates both on and offline, recently opening its second brick-and-mortar shop in New York’s Upper West Side. Last year, sales topped $2 million, and a website redesign doubled online traffic and newsletter subscriptions. But the Sill had a few obstacles along the way. In the first year, the company’s co-founder bailed as Blank hustled to handle marketing, orders, and deliveries. “It was me, a desk, and a computer – I was writing the product descriptions, po…