There can be some solid mental health benefits from having an occasional moan, says Guy Winch, a clinical psychologist and author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining The Right Way. The secret is don’t go on for too long and never let your words devolve into a whine. When it comes to criticizing employees, Winch recommends a “complaint sandwich” — placing your criticism between two positive statements. “The first positive statement will lower the other person’s defensiveness and make them more open to the complaint itself. The last will motivate them to resolve the issue,” Winch told New York magazine.
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INVISION.
➤ When faced with a dearth of good suggestions on how to tackle an issue, tech blogger Jon Bell suggests his McDonald’s Theory. When applied to eating, it goes like this: “When we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s. An interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic!” Bell says the same strategy can be used for just about any issue, especially creative projects, where the first step (deciding) is harder than the second.
➤ Overwhelmed by your to-do list? Use this productivity flowchart to quickly sift the “must‑haves” from the “nice-to-haves” to get started whittling away at those items. invmag.us/productive
KNOWING WHEN GOOD IS ENOUGH
➤ We like Louis CK, and one of the main reasons is because in much of his humor there is wisdom. Such as his take on what to do when you’re struggling to choose a new phone or cable service provider: If you’re 70 percent happy with your decision, just go for it. “That false perfectionism (of trying to make the correct choice) traps you in this painful ambivalence, but it also bleeds into big decisions,” he told GQ magazine. “So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ’Cause ... who the *!#! do you think you are, a god?”
THE POWER OF POTLUCK
➤ Over the years, we’ve heard of numerous practices that once a week get together for a potluck lunch. Leading food blog Epicurious recommends something similar. It’s called a “lunch swap,” and will ensure that for several days a week everyone eats healthy, family-style meals that boost communal feelings. It also recommends easy-tomake recipes here: invmag.us/recipes.
WE’RE ALL GOING ON A ...
➤ As a reward for performance, bonuses have their place, but employees often use them to pay bills. To get his staff excited, Dr. Blake Hutto at Family Vision Care in Alma, GA, booked a getaway at the luxurious Amelia Island Plantation for his entire staff (monogrammed towels included). “It was a reward for their hard work, and for a bit of ‘forced relaxation,’” Hutto says, adding that after the announcement, staff huddled around a computer, checking out the resort. “It’s a reminder to go above and beyond in all aspects of practice,” Hutto says.
NEVER LET THEM WALK
➤Want to know the No. 1 rule of running an eyewear business? It is this: Never, ever let customers walk out without buying if you can close them at that moment. If the client happens to be waiting for a prescription, don’t tell him it’s OK to come back later when he has his information. Instead, show him your frame offerings, style him to the best of your ability, get his agreement on the frame that captures him best, take the measurements you need, write down the job order, and finally, collect a deposit. The prescription isn’t the issue. That information can easily be gotten by call, email or fax later. Stop losing sales by forgetting this simple rule of business survival.