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Canvass customers with personal touch

Author Dan Pink was impressed recently by a restaurateur who has a poster of himself on the premises, with an "I need your help!" headline asking patrons who have a less-than-great experience to call him on his cellphone, with the number given. Consultant Bill Hogg was impressed by a hotel that had a comment card asking what it was doing right and wrong but also allowed guests to call a special phone number and leave a voice-mail message rather than have to fill out a questionnaire. Dan

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: Net job losses slim in leveraged buyouts

A study of 3,200 companies that were bought by private-equity outfits in the 1980-2005 period found that, relative to control firms, employment fell by 3 per cent in existing operations by two years after the buyout, and 6 per cent by five years' time.

But those target firms also created more jobs at new establishments, bringing the net relative job loss down to less that 1 per cent of initial employment, researchers Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, Josh Lerner and Javier Miranda found. Harvard Working Papers


Disarm your critic by being agreeable

If you're being verbally attacked, consultant Guy Harris offers these phrases as handy defences: "If I were you, I would feel the same way," or, "You may be right." Recovering

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Changing Word's default paste format

One of the best changes in Microsoft 2007, according to tech columnist Dennis O'Reilly, is the ability to set the default option so that when you paste new material into a document, it matches the document's format. To do this, click the Office button, choose Word Options > Advanced; in the "Cut, copy paste section" select "Match destination formatting."

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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