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The Key to Taking Breaks? Forcing Yourself to Stop Working

It’s one of six helpful pointers on this month’s Tip Sheet.




Smile Right

A smile originates in two places – the mouth and the eyes, says Paul Timm in 50 Powerful Ideas You Can Use To Keep Your Customers. Give your customers a mouth-only version, and it looks like your smile was pasted on. It’s like saying “Cheese!” for a photographer. But your eyes are the true window to your soul. If you can’t muster a convincing smile, practice in front of a mirror until you get it right.

Purposeful Accident

A good job interview idea from Selling Power magazine is to have a little accident. Tip over a trashcan or spill a cup of coffee on your desk. If the job candidate immediately leaps up to help … well, then they have cleared another hurdle in the interview process.

Built-in Skill Sets

Kelly Taylor, Metropolitan West, hires those who are smarter than her and who can do more within a specific area of expertise, like solar control window film. “It makes sense to give them the opportunity to educate and improve themselves,” she says. “The clients benefit, too, as they get an educated and experienced staff member working with them.”

Manage the Middle

Don’t concentrate too much on the top 10 percent of your performers. They can take care of themselves, says Susan Lucia Annuncio in Contagious Success. And the bottom 10 percent … they will be gone soon, or at least they should be. Instead, spend most of your time and attention on those in the middle, who are already doing some things right but need more instruction and support.


On a Roll? Take a Break Anyway

According to a Columbia University study, the key to taking breaks – meaning to maximize their impact on your creative thinking and to ensure you stay refreshed – is to stop even when you don’t feel like it. “Participants who didn’t step away from a task at regular intervals were more likely to write ‘new’ ideas that were very similar to the last one they had written,” the authors explained in Harvard Business Review. So, “if you’re hesitant to break away because you feel that you’re on a roll, be mindful that it might be a false impression.” The “break” in each case merely involved switching tasks. A change, it seems, really is as good as a rest – so long as you do it on schedule.

A Mantra for Success

A great sales mantra via sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer on A reader writes that while he is selling to a customer, he keeps telling himself, “I am transferring enthusiasm. I am transferring enthusiasm.”




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