Did you know that the ‘Easy Button’ of the highly visible Staples commercials has its own Facebook page?! Wildly successful in its first year, the Easy Button increased brand recall by 73 percent and grew profits by 18 percent. Millions of Easy Button buttons have been sold, and the agency that created the concept won an Effie Award, the Oscar of the marketing world.
The notion that so many things in life are hard, makes easy is an ‘easy’ sale. Easy feels really good, plus it saves time, energy and sometimes money. You will get much more out of life if you are easy… easy to be around, easy to understand, easy to please. Here’s a fresh approach to making everyday interactions a little easier for the people in your presence.
Speak in the affirmative. While seemingly simple, this practice is not exactly easy for the speaker. Challenge yourself to use only positive words. This means avoiding sentences that include no, not, won’t, don’t, can’t, shouldn’t – and so on. Choose the affirmative action. Try ‘Please do’ over ‘Please don’t’ and ‘I can…’ instead of ‘I can’t…’ It might be tough in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it. Try it out for a day and notice how it changes the texture of your interactions.
Share what you mean, simply. Sometimes there are better ways to express an idea other than sharing verbally. When possible, use pictures instead of words. Shorter sentences are preferable over longer. Utilize common words instead of ‘extra’-ordinary vocabulary. You’ll also want to steer clear of acronyms and abbreviations when possible.
Honor communication preferences. Assume nothing…with an exception! Ask how your friends and colleagues prefer to communicate. For example, some people love email and text messages while others hate it. I have a friend who recently shared, “I am so annoyed when people leave me voicemail messages. It’s so rude. Why don’t they send a text to save me the trouble of listening to voicemail?!” There’s also my colleague, who asked if her teammates could email her their requests, instead of talking to her directly (across the table). Who knew! In the digital age, there are so many different ways to ‘talk’ you can only assume that people’s predilections vary.
Keep real-world easy-buttons handy. Some ease-adding shortcuts I regularly share with busy women include:
- Arranged by Erin: a Chicago-based personal organizing service designed to make things easy to find
- Taskrabbit: a national, woman-owned task and errand service that assists with random jobs of every type;
- Peapod and other shop-for-me services
- Chicago’s own First Slice offers healthy and delicious meal preparation that you can feel good about splurging on.
Take it easy. It’s far easier to give love…or ease…when you get some so remember to practice what you preach.