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1-Minute Strategies: June ’11

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in Best-Practices Leadership,HR Management

Mind your business P’s & Q’s. One of the cardinal sins of business dining: taking your guest’s bread or salad. To remember that your bread plate is to the left of your dinner plate, you can think of the BMW car. From left: Bread, Meal, Water.

Ask permission before giving feedback. If it isn’t something co-workers are open to hearing, there is no point in giving it, says author and consultant Keith Ferrazzi. Another rule: “Recognize that you don’t own the feedback,” he says. “It is a gift that you are giving. The recipient can do what they want with it and you have to be OK with that.”

Pose the right questions when you’re waiting, recommends Michael Hyatt on the blog “Inten­­tional Leadership.” An ­unhelpful question might be, “Why is this taking so long?” A better question is, “What can I learn while I am waiting?” or “How will this kind of waiting make me stronger?”

Is a cluttered desk the sign of a cluttered mind? Many HR managers interviewed in a new OfficeTeam survey think so. More than eight in 10 (83%) respondents said the appearance of an employee’s work space at least somewhat affects their perception of that person’s professionalism.

Can you distinguish the urgent from the important? Without knowing, you could easily focus on incremental stuff all day long, and never get around to your long-term goals. One idea: For a period of time—say, between 8 and 9 a.m.—do nothing but work on long-term proj­­­­­­­­ects. Don’t even launch your e-mail. With that sacred time, you can do things you might never do otherwise.

Make a more positive impression by culling “like” from your speech. A recent study revealed that interviewees who overused the word “like” were the least likely to make a good impression. By comparison, interviewees who used “uh” or no conversational markers were more likely to be hired.

Reduce the stress: Take a nap before tackling problems. Re­searchers found that type-A go-getters who try to tackle dilem­mas right away actually experience more stress than people who take a nap before taking on problems. “Disengaging from stressful roles tem­porarily may actually help,” wrote the authors of the study.

Never give up. As one of Ameri­ca’s greatest comediennes, Lucille Ball, once said, “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”

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