Blog

  • Humor Writing Contest: Great Chance to Flex Your Funny Bone

    Inkitt’s latest Humor / Comedy writing contest “Laughable” is now open for submissions!

    Inkitt is a free writing platform that aims to help writers achieve their fullest potential. On August 7th the site launched a new Humor / Comedy writing contest:

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  • Can a Frog (Or a Little Humor) Boost Your Sales?

    Can a little humor help you negotiate a better deal? A study conducted by Karen O’Quinn and Joel Aronoff suggests that it can. In their study, participants had to negotiate over the final sales price of a painting. The seller made a final sales offer in one of two ways: half the time the seller said he’d accept $6,000; the other half of the time he gave the same final offer, but this time he added a little humor into the mix by offering to throw in his pet frog. The impact of the humor was substantial. Regardless of gender and regardless of the degree to which the final price was above the amount originally offered, the potential buyers made much bigger compromises when they were offered a pet frog!

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  • Humor That Works, Humor That Doesn’t

    I often get asked, “What happens if my attempt at humor backfires?”

    To which I reply, “Have you been to one of my talks?”

    As a Hall of Fame international business speaker and occasional humorist, I’d be the first one to admit that sometimes my humor doesn’t work. Maybe it’s a joke, an anecdote, or a turn of a phrase that in my mind was hysterical, but from the audiences’ perspective…not so much. Maybe it was an attempt to ad-lib and riff off something an audience member says to me that, again, falls flatter than a Saskatchewan pancake. It happens. And it happens to the best of us.

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  • Employee Retention: Start Holding “What Will Keep You?” Interviews

    If employee retention is an issue in your workplace then chances are you are spending time and money conducting exit interviews. Okay…I suppose exit interviews are important, IF they are done right. The challenge is that often employees don’t open up about the real reasons they are leaving your company, for fear of retribution or for a number of other reasons. The bigger issue, of course, is that exit interviews are akin to closing the barn door after the horse has left the barn. What any successful company needs to do is to build the kind of inspiring culture that turns long term employees into truly loyal employees (there’s a world of difference between the two) and nurture the kind of workplace culture that doesn’t just keep your top talent, but that keeps top performers happy and inspired.

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  • What Core Beliefs Drive Your Approach to Business and Success?

    What beliefs do you bring to your workplace every day?  How often does your team discuss the underlying beliefs that drive everyone’s attitudes, values, and ultimately behaviors at work? It seems to me every organization could benefit from a robust discussion of what everyone’s underlying beliefs are as they pertain to workplace culture, the role of leadership, and the role business plays in society. 

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  • Why Having an Average Day is Really AWESOME!

    Time for some more random musings, thoughts and ideas on inspiring workplace cultures…

    • The next time you are frustrated by a colleague’s behavior, rather than getting judgmental, be curious. It’s a much healthier and solution-oriented approach to ask yourself, “Why might this person be behaving this way?”

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  • Business Reminders from My Trip to Scotland

    I recently spent two weeks meandering around Scotland, a fabulous country that I highly recommend as a great place to visit. As in all my travels, I was reminded of some business lessons that any business can benefit from.

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  • Creating French Fry Moments at Work

    Google has a phrase they use in their company, “French fry moments,” which they use to convey the concept of anticipating employees’ needs. The phrase and the concept came about after an executive saw a scene on the sitcom 30 Rock, wherein one of the characters, Tracy Jordan, becomes outraged after an employee brings him a burger but doesn’t include the fries he didn’t order, prompting Tracy to shout: “Where are the French fries I didn’t order? When will you learn to anticipate me?!”

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  • HR Management Strategies for Maximizing Employee Potential

    Fifty-five percent of high-potential employees being developed by employers leave for competitors within five years, costing their companies billions of dollars annually, according to a report from CEB. This high turnover rate is attributed to the mis-identification of which employees to concentrate on developing, leading to resources being diverted from the most suitable candidates. However, the reward for successfully cultivating employees is high; CEB found that organizations that developed strong leadership up to doubled their revenue and profit growth. Encouraging professional growth among employees can be profitable — provided you take the right approach.

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  • The Search for Happiness at Work

    Last weekend my wife and I watched the charming comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness. Hector is a not terribly happy psychiatrist who undertakes a global search to uncover what truly makes people happy. Here are a few of the things he discovers along the way, all of which echo findings in numerous studies on happiness. And all of them apply as much to work as they do to life!

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