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Devote an Hour to Guilt and More Tips for February

Like watching your ‘buts’ and letting staff win.




Devote an Hour to Guilt and More Tips for February
Homemade tasty vegetarian sandwich with fresh vegetables and cheese, copy space

Watch Your Sandwich

By now, you probably know the concept of giving “sandwich” criticisms. (Short version: say something nice, make your criticism, end with something nice.) One other thing to watch out for, according to T.J. Schier, author of Send Flowers To The Living, is using the word “but” as part of the sandwich. That one small word can ruin the taste of the whole sandwich. Instead, use “and.” For example: “John, normally you are my best employee and it’s critical you are here on time so you can do that awesome job of guest service. Now get out there and make it happen.”

Share the Knowledge

Doctors are often hard to understand when it comes to sharing their medical knowledge but a more streamlined approach can be remarkably beneficial says Ryan Corte, OD, a Charlotte, NC-based OD and founder of “You’ll be surprised how receptive your patients will be and you can always shift gears towards more detailed information for those patients who admit to having prior subject knowledge.” There are also a number of high-quality, inexpensive resources available to supplement your educational efforts.


Try a Guilt Hour

Here’s something to experiment with in the coming slow months: A weekly Guilt Hour dedicated to nagging, uncompleted jobs. New York-based creative consultant Nick Jehlen explained the idea recently to “Every Wednesday at 10am, we sit together and look at our task lists [and] identify the one thing we feel most guilty about not having done yet. Then we go around the table and name our One Guilty Task, and commit to spending the rest of Guilt Hour working on it.”

Let Staff Win

You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you should win all the arguments. Ease up, says Phil Dusenberry of ad agency BBDO in Fast Company magazine. Cede a debate point, or even ownership of a concept at least once a day, and your staff will praise your open-mindedness and feel freer to act boldly.

Seuss Frosting

Want to give your marketing copy more impact? Try what Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” calls “Frosting” or “Seussing” it. The first technique, named for poet Robert Frost, means “transforming drab communication into razor-edged wordsmanship.” The second, after children’s author Dr. Seuss, invites you to make up your own words to spice up predictable sales prose.


Invite and Offer

Want to shake things up on your “last call wall” (the area of your store where you keep your heavily discounted items)? Remove all the prices from the case or boards and put a sign on it which reads “Make me an offer!”

Go South

Outside a major city and want to compete with the big boys? Turn your location into a competitive advantage in your ads, like one suburban used-car dealer profiled in Entrepreneur magazine did … using the phrase “We’re just 16 minutes south of higher prices” in all advertising.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at


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