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How to Build Connections at Work and Other Tips This Week

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from


"Love is all you need," the Beatles told us. This wisdom has rarely been applied to the workplace, but it should be, says emotion researcher Barbara Fredrickson. Love can be thought of as the feeling of connection from any positive exchange. To foster connection among your staff, you should place an emphasis on face-to-face communication and meaningful conversation. Try organizing social events or team-building exercises.

This sense of connection also benefits creativity and strategic thinking. "It allows us to see the big picture and connect the dots," Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, says. "These micromoments of connection are the key to unlocking more generative capacity." More: Redefining Love at Work: How to Foster a Sense of Connection

Request strategic cover letters to weed out unsuitable candidates.

When you need to make a new hire, post the open position online and request a cover letter that answers key questions that would require applicants to research your company before applying. Questions such as "How do you see yourself relating to our core values?" and "What is it about our history that you most identify with?" will help you quickly narrow the field of applicants. More: How to Hire Superstar Employees

Create a daily action plan to get into CEO mode.

Whether you prefer to use a yellow legal pad, Google Calendar or anything in between, it's vital to create a plan of attack each day to keep yourself from getting bogged down in minutiae. Angela Jia Kim, founder of skincare brand Om Aroma & Co., created a personal system to keep herself organized, with lists for everything from random thoughts to her three most important tasks for the day. By using lists to offload distracting thoughts and remind herself of priorities, Kim says she is able to spend 80 percent of her time "in high-dividend long strategy planning instead of spending a day putting out fires." More: 3 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Productivity Secrets

Do a little work to reduce legal fees.

Entrepreneurs looking to hire legal counsel might balk when faced with the hourly rate of a small-business attorney. But there are ways you might be able to reduce the fees. Fred Steingold, author of Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, recommends asking a lawyer what you can do -- such as gathering papers and writing case summaries yourself -- to make things easier on your wallet. "If the lawyer is not willing to explore some of those options, it might raise a red flag," Steingold says. More: 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Small-Business Attorney

Heed your inner coach, not your inner critic.

Building a company can feel as difficult as training for the Olympics. Successful athletes know to focus on positive self-talk rather than beating themselves up for missed training days, lost matches and other setbacks. "What we go over in our minds will increase the likelihood of future behavior," says Lucy Jo Palladino, a psychologist and the author of Find Your Focus Zone. Great news: You can start coaching yourself to victory today. More: 4 Strategies Used by Superstar Athletes to Become Super Focused

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