Work Different Issue No. 4

Asking better questions, revisiting the fundamentals of retention, & paving a path to economic justice beyond Juneteenth.

Victor Saad


Hey friends,

There have been two grand celebrations in the past week: Juneteenth and Father’s Day! I had a chance to celebrate both. Juneteenth was spent with nearly 3,000 Chicagoans peacefully marching in Chicago’s South Loop, and Father’s Day was spent with a mentor who’s been a fatherly figure for the past 10 years. He’s one of the people who really supported me when my dad passed from pancreatic cancer a few years ago — I find those relationships are more important than ever. Wherever you were over the past few days, I hope you had time to celebrate both events in your own way.

As for this week, I’m about to announce a brand new 7-day virtual retreat. I’ll be sure to send you the announcement in the next few days. But for now, take a peek at this week’s reads.

Go get ’em this week,

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On How to Ask Better Questions

Now more than ever, interpersonal relationships and communication serve to boost our mental health and wellbeing. The key to better communication begins with asking meaningful questions. Many of us ask others, “how are you?” without really stopping and taking the time to listen to the response. This might be a sign that we are not asking the right questions. In this piece, Elizabeth Weingarten highlights the power of questions in our daily conversations. “They are interpersonal relationship magnets, compelling us to reveal personal information that builds mutual trust. They can make us more likable, seem more competent, and even increase our ability to empathize.” Whether in a conversation with your partner, parent, sibling, or colleague, the questions we ask will elicit a variety of responses — from cursory ones to more meaningful, thought-out responses that shed light on the other person’s state of wellbeing. Give this a read, and think about how you can start to ask questions that will enhance mutual understanding in your daily conversations. Quartz.


On Staying True to the Fundamentals of Retention

It’s almost an understatement to say that these are uncertain times. Regardless of your job or position, all of us have made drastic changes to our personal and work lives. If you run a B2B or B2C business, the same goes for your customers. And it’s likely that some customer behavior and habits have changed for good, which means you will have to change messaging and the ways in which you communicate with your potential customers. In this piece, Fareed Mosaat and Brian Balfour write about the key fundamentals of customer retention, which are only more essential during current times. “1. Retention is about building and deepening habits. 2. Retention is about usage, not revenue. 3. Retention is an output.” Depending on how customers view your product in the Covid environment, their motivations affect their psychological and logistic inputs, which shift your business’s output. I found this particularly insightful. I hope you do too. Reforge.


Photo: Credit: Ryan Williams

On Paving a Path to Economic Justice Beyond Juneteenth

Last week, the celebration of Juneteenth was particularly significant with the backdrop of recent nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. In this piece, co-founder of real estate investment technology company, Cadre, Ryan Williams reflects his personal experience as a Black professional. He emphasizes the need to empower young people entering the professional workforce: “the most important step we can take is to move from one-time, symbolic donations to sustained, structural investments in underserved communities. For too long, we’ve accepted a lack of diverse talent as an excuse for a lack of diversity in the workforce and on corporate boards. The talent pipeline is definitely a problem, but instead of shrugging, we must make it our job to fix the pipeline.” Our society is actively calling for change, and it is up to us to do better for our future generations, starting today. Fortune.


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Victor Saad


I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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