is a hidden pattern to our days, he says. Most people are at their best in the
morning and at their worst in early to midafternoon. Then they have a recovery
period later in the afternoon.
Pink advises booksellers to pay careful attention to endings. “There’s
incredible research to show that how something ends disproportionately
affects our memory and evaluation of an experience,” he says. Pink points to
restaurant research that has shown that the wrong amount on a check or a
forgotten coffee will lead to extremely negative reviews from customers. But
a surprise dessert or a waiter who chases after you to give you the keys you’ve
forgotten has the opposite effect. Just because a customer walks out the door
with a purchased book doesn’t mean that the buyer will return, if the ending
moments in the store don’t also go well.
For publishers, Pink recommends against editing a book after the last
meeting at the end of the day. Our peak times are ideal for intense, focused,
“head-down” work, he says. Troughs are the best for doing administrative
tasks like answering emails or doing expense reports. Recovery periods are
good for brainstorming and taking meetings.
More broadly, Pink’s research on endings puts to rest the age-old question
of what should come first, good news or bad news? Always, the bad news first,
he says, whether you’re a manager giving an employee a performance evaluation or a medical doctor offering a patient a prognosis. —L;; H;;;;;;
See Pink’s afternoon keynote on Tuesday, January 23, 3:25–4: 25 p.m.,
in Ballroom C & D.