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Eight is enough

Mind-numbing meetings are the quickest way to drain energy and morale from any team. But there are steps you can take to improve productivity and ensure healthy outcomes. Clear agendas, timely starts, and defined goals are the most commonly discussed fundamentals of meeting science, but it turns out the invite list is another key component …

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Phrases to overcome friction

Conversations, relationships and negotiations all have their ups and downs. Interactions and transactions – large and small – occur constantly in our daily lives. Sometimes you’re negotiating which restaurant to go to. Sometimes you’re buying a car. Sometimes you’re buying a business. And some go quite smoothly. While others do not. But at some point, …

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Dreaming small

Last Sunday, as dozens of pro golfers were starting the final round at the U.S. Open in Southampton, New York, retired touring pro and TV analyst Paul Azinger made a special comment. He said that while playing in and being in contention for a U.S. Open title might be the biggest dream of any pro golfer, winning …

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Communicating with kids

While it’s nice to be recognized today for being a father, it also seems like a natural time for some continuing education as well. Knowing how to talk naturally with children – at any age – is a valuable skill. It shows interest, empathy, and kindness. It makes them feel that you really care. Here …

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Managing uncertainty

Evolving business models, changing technology, and tightening labor markets are enough to cause any company (or individual) to take pause. It’s natural. The instinctual reaction to uncertainty is to freeze. (Hence, “deer in the headlights.”) But inaction can’t be a default response. Retired U.S. general and former CIA director David Petraeus knows how to handle uncertainty …

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Jobs to be done

We spend most of our time here at the Snippet sharing ideas about the softer skills of business life: communicating, persuading, listening, speaking, inspiring and motivating. But this Snippet is squarely focused on the nerdier disciplines of innovation, product design, marketing and sales. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can stop here this …

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On being a great listener

My listening skills need work. A lot of work. I’ve known about it for 30 years. And I’ve no doubt paid for it in hurt feelings, lost opportunities, and avoidable mistakes. I start conversations and meetings with the best intentions, but then I can’t help myself. I interrupt. I talk over people. I think about …

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Stop trying to do business in coffee shops

It’s been convenient and cool for a long time now to set up new business meetings or meet & greet’s at coffee shops. And I’ve had a lot of meetings in coffee shops. From 2011 to 2013, as I was establishing ClientKudos, I probably had well over 250 meetings in coffee shops. I was driving all …

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All in

A few months ago I bought Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” for my wife, Sarah Jane, thinking she might enjoy this exhortation to women to pursue work, success, and the perpetually elusive work-life balance. Her reaction was a bit surprising, but I expect, not unique. “Lean In, that’s the title?” said Sarah Jane. “Yes,” I …

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Back up for better understanding

Remember what it felt like in school when the teacher asked a question and you knew the answer? Your eyes would get big. Your pulse would quicken. And your hand would shoot up – you might even wave it back and forth to show the teacher how confident you were. There was no better feeling …

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