Yolofsky Law - June 2019


www. yol of sky l aw. com (305) 702-8250 JUNE 2019


Yolofsky Office

Here we are at the midpoint of 2019. My grandmother used to say that time moved faster as she got older. It seems like yesterday that we ushered in the new year. With summer plans upon us, how do you make the most of the time? For us, we continue to work on our core skills and knowledge. We look for new ways to wow clients and colleagues with wisdom gained from our summer reading programs. If we find innovation, you can be sure you’ll hear about it here or on our blog. Summer is also a great opportunity to seek out new experiences. For those of us packing our kids off to camp, we look forward to their stories about the new things they did and people they met. While they’re gone, what about going to that cooking class one evening? For many people, summers are one of the most nostalgic periods of their lives. What memories will you make?We’d love to hear your stories.

“When we make progress and get better at something, it is inherently motivating. In order for people to make progress, they have to get feedback and information on how they’re doing.” –Daniel H. Pink Every business owner knows that providing feedback to their employees is an essential part of their operations, and every one of them reading this article most likely holds annual or semiannual performance reviews to talk about employee performance. But are these reviews really substantive discussions that provide team members with actionable information so they can grow and develop, or are they just formalities in which you run through a list of standard questions and metrics? Are they the only real discussions based on feedback that team members receive? Regardless of your answers to these questions, the fact of the matter is that most business owners and managers could do a much better job providing regular, relevant critique to their staff. A Foundation IQ survey asked more than 30,000 employees to respond to the statement “I know whether my performance is where it should be.”Only 29 percent answered, “always,” 14 percent said, “frequently,” 21 percent said, “occasionally,” 15 percent said, “rarely,” and 21 percent said, “never.”That adds up to more than half of the workforce not knowing if they’re doing a good job most of the time. It’s up to business owners and leadership teams to correct these alarming numbers. If your feedback is deficient, follow these tips for better methods of reinforcing positive behaviors and reversing negative ones. FEEDBACK THAT FEEDS EMPLOYEE GROWTH How to Provide Guidance and Praise in a WayThat Resonates

-AJ Yolofsky


The first thing you can do to improve your feedback system is tomake it an ever-present initiative. If you let an employee make a mistake without correcting it, youmay think you’re giving them the benefit of the doubt. But what happens if they make the same mistake again, or a third time?

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Suddenly, a small but correctable problem is driving coworkers and management up the wall. What could’ve been remedied quickly and without fuss is now a serious issue. Scheduled, formal reviews must be supplemented with regular feedback. If an employee has project-based work, it’s helpful to debrief at the completion of each project to discuss what went well and what could be improved upon. These sessions can be held in groups or in one-on-one environments. What matters is that you don’t wait until a specific date on the calendar to discuss issues or celebrate good work.

Consider these two brief statements:

these topics, but you have to be tactful and empathetic about it.

“Bernice, you are a scheduling rock star.”

Let’s say you have an employee who brings up relevant issues but does so in a way that tends to leave people feeling upset. You should not take the employee to task for their personality, but instead, point out the results of their“pedal to the metal”style. Giving them tools to be more delicate will make themmore effective, which is what they’re after in the first place.

“Bernice, we really appreciate the way you schedule things with an eye toward both patient satisfaction and a work schedule that allows us to perform efficiently. The fact that you balance both is amazing and makes our lives so much easier.” Not only is the second statement going to make Bernice feel better, but it also lets her know just what she is doing that makes her valuable. You can bet that reinforcing this specific behavior will enable it to continue. Feedback, first and foremost, is about the work. It should never stoop to petty snipes at somebody who rubs you the wrong way. Now, that’s not to say you can’t critique the way an employee presented something or suggest a different communication style with their coworkers. You should discuss BUT IT SHOULD NEVER BE PERSONAL


If somebody’s attitude is so noxious (or their performance is so inadequate) that you can’t think of anything constructive to say, perhaps you need to consider having a different conversation with them. However, in the vast majority of cases, honest, measured feedback will help an employee improve and make them feel more secure in their role. Whether it’s positive or negative, employees want to know how they’re doing. It’s up to you to start telling them.


It’s always nice to hear, “Good work,” but it’s not super helpful. Sure, it’s an affirmation of effort and dedication, and it’s decidedly better than nothing, but it also doesn’t tell an employee very much. Instead, point out exactly how the employee excelled.

3 Ways to Keep Up Productivity During the Summer DEFEATING THE SUMMER SLUMP

DRESS DOWN If shirts and ties are the norm at your business, you might want to consider embracing the laid-back vibe of summer by relaxing the dress code a bit. It’s a small way to ensure employees don’t feel like they’re missing out on all the perks of summertime without losing productivity. Plus, who wants to wear a suit in July? It’s tough to compete with the allure of a warm summer day, but sometimes those days can work to your advantage if you make a few simple swaps in your everyday work routine.

June 21 marks the official beginning of summer and the productivity slump most businesses experience. The sun’s tantalizing rays draw your eyes from computer screens or conference room meetings to the outside world. A weekend of fresh air, sunshine, and cool evenings on the back porch infiltrate your mind. Your productivity is sapped, but you’ve still got work to do. So, what can you do? Here are a few ways to combat the summer slump.

RELAX THEWORK HOURS If you’re in a management position, consider tweaking the standard 9-to-5, Monday through Friday schedule a little bit. Some businesses will implement a 9/80 schedule, meaning employees work 80 hours in nine days instead of 10, so they can get every other Friday off. Some businesses will let employees work half days on Fridays during the summer, and others will let employees work remotely on certain days.

GET MOVING Sitting at a desk for eight continuous hours can stagnate productivity at any point during the year, but during the summer, there’s an easy way to remedy it: getting a little exercise. Since the sun is shining, why not take advantage of it while you work? Try scheduling a “walking meeting” outside, or implement exercise breaks every couple of hours. Moving around boosts productivity, and doing it outside can be a great change of scenery.

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Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression.

This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions tomodern problems. WHAT IS MEDITATION? Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promotingmindfulness, focus, and awareness. DOES MEDITATIONWORK? It depends on what youmean by“work.”Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are somany benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain. Another

HOWDO I MEDITATE? Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a fewminutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calmor Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.

Take a Break

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts

With raw zucchini, toasted hazelnuts, and a robust Parmigiano-Reggiano, this early summer salad is a delight of different textures and flavors that will make a great side at your next cookout.


3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.)

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated

Mint leaves, for garnish

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.




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Kids often look up to their father as one of their greatest heroes. There are the long drives to sports tournaments, the late-night movies, and the sweets when Mom isn’t looking. We probably all have some reason to look up to our dad as one of our biggest influences. It’s Father’s Day this month, a special time of year when we take a moment to think about the sacrifices the father figures in our lives have made for us. Most dads are pretty great, but some go above and beyond the fatherly call of duty. Let’s take a look at some heroic dads who risked everything to keep their families safe. BRAD LEWIS: OVER THE LEDGE Life can change in a split second, and how you choose to react in a moment of peril can define your legacy forever. Few people know this as well as Brad Lewis. When Brad and his young son, Oscar, were deeply entrenched in an intense Nerf battle, he surely didn’t think the situation would turn as dangerous as it did. When a few darts missed his father and INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Yolofsky Office PAGE 1 Is Your Feedback Just Static? PAGE 1 3 Ways to Keep Up Productivity During the Summer PAGE 2 Take a Deep Breath PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3 Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts PAGE 3 A Few Dads Who Went Above And Beyond the Call of Duty PAGE 4

Heroic Dads Who Didn’t Back Down Being a Parent Isn’t Always a Walk in the Park

landed on the balcony, Oscar ran after them but soon found himself teetering on the balcony’s ledge, 12 feet above the ground. Thinking fast, Brad grabbed his son just before he fell over, both taking the plunge while Greg protected his son with his own body. Just as he’d intended, Brad absorbed most of the blow. While Oscar sustained serious wounds, his father’s injuries were more severe. Brad was left fighting for his life in the ICU, with severe fractures to his skull and vertebrae. Thankfully, Brad is expected to make a full recovery and has made serious strides since the accident. He and his son will live to play another day. GREG ALEXANDER: COULDN’T BEAR TO SEE HIS SON HURT While camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in June 2015, Greg Alexander awoke to the sound of a nightmare. The screams of his son intermingled with the roars

of an unknown assailant, beckoning Greg to his son’s tent. There, he found his son Gabriel being attacked by a bear. The bear had his son by the head and was dragging him away. Greg jumped on the bear’s back, desperately trying to take attention away from Gabriel. Amazingly, it worked, and in the end, the bear ran away. Gabriel was left with serious cuts to his head, but thanks to his dad’s heroism, the two were able to walk away from that campsite and back to their lives together. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to take a leap of faith or fight a bear to be a hero in your family’s eyes. Just be yourself, show some support, and do the best you can. Happy Father’s Day, everybody.

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