Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 30th 2014 Contents BG18 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt OCTOBER 2014 • WEEK FIVE
precious free time
There are 168 hours in a week. That should
be enough time to succeed at work, at home
and at everything else that makes up a ful-
filling life. Yet we always feel stretched too
thin. Follow these steps to reclaim your
• Don t fall for time sucks. These are
trivial activities that you keep doing because
they re comfortable. Limit yourself to a few
hours of TV or gaming a week, to 30 minutes
a day on Facebook or to just one sports
• Block off free time in chunks. An hour
of play with your kids feels like more time
than four distracted 15-minute interactions
in between other stuff. Set aside real time
for greater enjoyment, relaxation and mind-
• Limit your technology use. Set limits
such as "no screen hours," letting everyone
at work know the one time you ll check e-
mail each night, and banning devices from
the dinner table.
(Adapted from "Relax, You Have 168 Hours
This Week" by Scott Behson.)
Before you pay for
tweets, know how to
Social ads let companies reach target cus-
tomers with impressive efficiency - and
they re cheaper than any other paid ad chan-
nel. You just have to know how to use them
effectively. Here are some tips to get start-
• Use free social media to beta-test paid
ads. Your company is likely already tweeting
and posting to Facebook and LinkedIn. Track
which messages are working, and use the
high performers for native social ads.
• Take advantage of targeting features.
LinkedIn lets you target regions, industries
and job titles. Twitter lets you drill down
based on demographics. And Facebook lets you send
sponsored posts to a long list of interest groups.
• Rotate ads frequently. Engagement plummets if
you hammer users with the same message. But you
can reuse social ads by targeting them to multiple
(Adapted from "When (and Why) to Pay for Tweets"
by Ryan Holmes.)
Keep your next
negotiation on track
We waste too much time and emotion during nego-
tiations. We argue about items that don t really matter
and let our feelings override our logic. If you want
to move a negotiation forward and advance to where
you want to be:
• Understand the common goal. You both should
articulate your goals and interests in writing and
share them to ensure clarity and alignment.
• Be transparent and explain the why of your points.
It s surprising how seldom people explain why they re
fighting for something.
The other side likely doesn t know why you re
asking for a term or condition. If something is going
to affect you personally, think about disclosing it -
the other party may understand.
• Calculate what s actually important. Figure out
how material each point is. Then determine what s
really worth fighting for in the bigger picture - and
what you might be able to use as leverage.
(Adapted from "Keep Time and Emotion From Killing
a Negotiation" by Anthony K Tjan.)
Improve your ability to tell
stories that persuade
If you want to convince someone to support your
project, or explain to an employee how he might
improve, or inspire a team that s struggling, you need
to be able to tell a persuasive, compelling story. Start
by asking yourself: Who is my audience and what
is the message I want to share?
Next, look to your own life experiences for any
anecdotes that highlight struggle, failure or success
that might resonate with listeners; but don t try to
make yourself the star.
The ultimate focus should be on people you know,
lessons you ve learned or events you ve witnessed.
You could even make the audience play a role; they ll
be more engaged and willing to buy in to your message.
Keep it simple and straightforward, with just a few
key details. And don t forget to practice.
(Adapted from "How to Tell a Great Story" by Car-
olyn O Hara.)
and do it fairly
People want their contributions to be acknowledged.
But fairly assigning credit is difficult in collaborative
environments where several people come up with
new ideas together. If you want to eliminate resent-
ment over recognition, you need to give credit the
Tie individual recognition to the overall success of
the group. This reduces tension over who did what
and reinforces teamwork. Recognise results instead
Align your reward systems with the outcomes you
want, not metrics like length of service or attendance
that may not have a direct bearing on those outcomes.
And embrace risk-taking by recognising team efforts
even if something fails. This will encourage people
to learn and improve.
(Adapted from "A Fairer Way of Giving Credit Where
It s Due" by Joe McCannon and Sachin H. Jain.)
@2014 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.
Distributed by the New York Times Syndicate
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
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