OG Tuesday Issue #108

The Assist Newsletter
October 18, 2022
Start your morning with this affirmation:
10.18 affirmation
Today’s checklist: Learn three secrets to better conversations, create a company wiki, and doodle your way to proactivity.


Let’s Talk About … Talking


Talking. We do it often, all the time even, but we rarely have time to think about it, even when (especially when) we’re actually doing it. There’s simply no time!

According to How We Talk, one of the books featured below, most people give themselves the timeframe of a blink (200 milliseconds) to answer a question.

That’s hardly long enough to consider all the aspects that make up a solid exchange, including, but not limited to:

  • What we just said
  • What our conversational partner(s) just said
  • What we’re about to say
Absorb these conversation secrets to increase your chances of thinking without talking when you’re caught up in the fast pace of an actual conversation.

Secret 1: Conversation = A Common Goal 

The book: How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation, by N. J. Enfield

When you engage in conversation, argues Enfield, you agree to work with the other person toward a common goal. In her delightful Chapter 2 summary, Cathey Armillas summarizes the concept as follows:

“You can compare a conversation to taking a walk with someone. You are walking side-by-side in the same direction at the same time. As in walking, people will tend to correct or self-correct to keep things moving smoothly and coherently. Same in conservation.”

Secret 2: Specificity fuels conversation 

The book: Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness, by Amanda Goodwin Caporaletti and Alan Garner

Caporaletti and Garner advise readers to use specific positives when giving feedback or compliments. Instead of stating that you generally like someone’s business plan, list the specific aspects you appreciate about it.

Secret 3: Absolutes are absolutely dull 

The book: The Art of Witty Banter: Be Clever, Quick, & Magnetic, by Patrick King

King says absolutes are hard to answer and contemplate. You know these kinds of closed-end questions and comments: Alien is the best movie of all time. Jacque is the smartest person at work. What’s your favorite book? What’s your favorite place to eat? Etc.

He describes the harrowing experience of conversing with an “absoluter.”

“It was a tortuous conversation full of long pauses and subsequent judgments of my tastes and opinions.”

King says too many absolute questions interrupt the sweet, sweet flow of conversation. You might as well ask people to complete math problems.


The #1 All-In-One Platform You Didn’t Know You Needed


 monday.com dashboard

If you’re old school and keep a notebook and pen handy to write down your to-dos, or use a handful of apps to stay on top of projects, monday.com can either supplement your workflow or become your sole solution to get things done.

The really cool thing about it is that you can manage all your team’s work in one place (oh, and you can get it free if you’re strapped for cash).

No more endless e-mail threads or long meetings. With monday.com you can keep track of everything your team’s working on, communicate in context, and get started in minutes with a super easy set-up.

Signing up for free won’t just help you become more productive, you’ll also be supporting The Assist 😊.

Try it free


Create a company wiki


A wiki, according to Merriam Webster, is a website that allows visitors to make changes, contributions, or corrections.

In terms of company collaboration, wikis are like friendlier, more democratic intranets. They make information and documentation easier for anyone to post and easier for anyone to find.

Why is this important? Most people are swimming through information and still struggling to find exactly what they need. According to a McKinsey & Company analysis, many modern workers spend up to 19% of their weeks just “searching and gathering information.” Ouch.

Help everyone save time and get more sh*t done with your very own internal wiki. Document 360 has your comprehensive guide.

Not ready to dive in? Browse a list of 5 user favorite wiki services to explore the possibilities.


Get This Handy Retention Checklist


Bonusly's The Ultimate Retention Checklist for Managers

More than half of employees who have left a job say their manager could have done something to keep them around for longer 😬.

Get the free handy checklist for managers to retain top talent on their teams — you’ll get:

  • ✅ An interactive PDF that yes, lets you literally check off boxes!
  • 💡 Actionable tips to improve retention that can be put in action immediately.
  • 🔄 Different areas of the employee lifecycle to focus on.
  • ⚒️ New tools and resources to consider when working with your teams.

Yes, give me the free checklist


Doodle your way to proactivity


Managers laud the ability to be proactive. Job descriptions demand it. Employee reviews gush about it.

But what if you’ve never been labeled “proactive” and you want to be? “Just be proactive” is hardly helpful advice. You need something less vague and more actionable.

Start being more proactive right now by sketching out your Circle of Influence and your Circle of Concern.

  • Make a list of all the things you’re worried about
  • Draw 2 circles, one labeled “Concern” and the other “Influence”
  • Sort through your list of worries:
    • Place items outside your control into the Concern circle
    • Place items within your control into the Influence circle
  • Look at the distribution of worries
  • Do you have more items in one circle vs another?
  • Consider what changes you can make to ensure you have more items in the Influence circle
This exercise demonstrates the ultimate prerequisite of being more proactive: You’ll get more results if you anticipate and act on things within your control.


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Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!


Riddle me this: What was the biggest island in the world before the discovery of Greenland?

⭐ Answer here.

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