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Honest questions, honest answers

Here are two questions for getting more honest answers from your staff and keeping them engaged: What is the dumbest thing you are working on?

And where do you think the company is wasting time or energy?

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Behaviour: How to rule out negative thinking

Do you receive people's ideas optimistically, feasting on the good rather than picking away at the bad? If not, venture capitalist Anthony Tjan recommends adopting the 24x3 rule.

The next time you hear an idea for the first time or meet someone new, wait 24 seconds before saying – or thinking – something negative.

Over time, as you learn to listen and withhold judgment, try to extend that to 24 minutes – and finally, see if you can routinely wait 24 hours before delving into the negative. Harvard Business Review Blogs

Strategy: when a weakness can be a strength

If you're asked in a job interview to name a weakness, blogger James Clear says don't offer a strength disguised as a weakness, as is common.

Instead, offer a technical weakness that is totally unrelated to the job you are applying for, and casually make the point that it is unrelated.

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Tech tip: staggering your program startups

WinPatrol is a free utility that allows you to control your computer programs at startup, stopping them from booting up automatically or delaying them until more immediately needed programs are functioning.

So Skype, for example, might usually come on five minutes after your e-mail and browser, unless you need to start it sooner yourself. Terry's Computer Tips Newsletter

Special to the Globe and Mail

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