Passion + Focus

Do you have what it takes to work less?

There’s a great story that almost sounds like a fable: a man decides to work less and his life improves. The End. While we’re left with more questions than answers, the tall tale continues through time, giving working people everywhere just an ounce of hope that someday work life will be better.

Well, fable this. There’s a real man named Josh Epperson who succeeded at what seems impossible: he worked fewer hours, his productivity increased, and his happiness soared. WTH? It’s a story worth reading in the Atlantic.

Are you willing to give Epperson’s experiment a try? Tell us all about it, please – inquiring minds!

To Gift or Regift

That is the question.

Regardless whether you’re on the appalled or clever end of the spectrum, re-gifting is here to stay. Let’s forget about re-gifts you may have received, and focus on gifts you do receive and care to pass on. Here are some solid suggestions to follow:

  1. Re-gift a gift that’s appropriate for the recipient. A tennis racket to someone who doesn’t play tennis does not scream “you should try a new sport,” but rather says “I got this racket and now it’s yours.”
  2. Re-gift the item to someone in a completely separate circle of friends and family. Think about it.
  3. Re-gift new items only. If you have to search your closet for something to give someone, I assure you, they’d rather not have anything. Not everyone expects a gift, especially the older we get. That said, used gifts can be appropriate if they are family heirlooms and come with history and a good story. A broken display plate is never a good story unless your uncle used it as a shield in the Revolutionary War.
  4. Care. Sounds easy enough, but the physical gift is rarely what people remember. What people want to know is that they are loved, and that your thoughtfulness and kindness behind the gesture can be felt that way. So regardless the gift, take the time to write a sincere card with only positive statements. The latter can be tough, so practice it. It’s important. Nothing negative.

While there are other tips to consider, these 4 should keep you off the gossip list as a dreaded Re-Gifter.

However, let it be known that there is another viable strategy: to be renowned as The Re-Gifter. Do it. Own it. Keep that strategy going like a hot potato and you might be crowned King Re-Gifter, a title one can be proud of.

However you approach it, I say go full re-gift and simply be honest and consistent. Don’t be surprised, though, if the gifts stop coming. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Consider it a blessing, less toil on the the re-gifting.

Carry on, good humans!

Keeping the Peace

From interviews to family table conversations, here are some ways to keep the calm and carry on

Indeed has put together a nice list, much of which involves listening and focusing on the person(s) with whom you’re speaking. People loooove to talk about themselves, so this is a nice parlor trick if you haven’t already figured it out. An abundance of conversation starters from Readers Digest here claim to make you more interesting.

If you’re like me, you remember names the way others remember license plates, so I repeat the person’s name over and over to myself after being introduced, hopefully silently. This doesn’t always work. What do you do?

Asking people questions about themselves, particularly ones that require an explanation or at least something beyond a simple yes or no response is a guaranteed winner. By getting them to talk more, you have more info to mine when asking follow-ups.

Listening was clearly dropped from the American academic curriculum, so a reminder to STFU while also paying attention to their answer.

My personal tip when in a group network? Ask and learn about one, maybe two, people at a time. More than that and you missed your calling as a game show host.

More tips provided by Indeed seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t put them into their own practice. Basic advice like:

  • Introduce yourself (people appreciate not having to ask)
  • Say something about yourself (ideally a shared experience)
  • Ask for (or offer to) help

The latter surprised me at first, but makes sense when you realize that people like to be able to help (and appear to help) as much as they love talking about themselves. Get them talking about themselves and how they’ve helped, sit back with the cocktail nuts. Humans are fascinating.

Here’s to smooth sailing on your next opening sentence!

November 2023

… More

Yam or Sweet Potato?!

Answer: Not the same

Sweet potatoes are prevalent in the Americas and come in a number of varieties of substance and sweetness. These are typically the orange colored ones, though you might see them in purple and other colors.

Yams, on the side of the tubular continuum, are common in Africa and are more fibrous and whiter on the inside than a sweet potato. In fact, you likely have never seen a Yam.

Bonus Tip: Best Scalloped Sweet Potato Dish: 3 easy ingredients. You got this.

Best In Show Awards

InsideHeads ad in Quirk's Marketing Research Review
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The votes are in! Out of nearly a hundred exhibitors, InsideHeads received an honorable mention for Best Event Experience at the first annual Quirk’s Event earlier this year at the Brooklyn Marriott in NY. The Best in Show awards came from responses collected in the event app and the post-event survey to attendees.

InsideHeads at the Quirk's Event
Event attendee displays her digital caricature from InsideHeads

With the 2nd Quirk’s Event already scheduled for the same bat time, same bat channel, InsideHeads is doing some advanced planning as well. Stay tuned for more fun and fabulousness from InsideHeads at the 2016 event February 23-24!

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