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Bottom Line

Don't Speak! The Power Of Silence In Business

For Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked By Melissa's mini-cupcake creations, sometimes saying less does a lot more. That's a lesson she learned the hard way—after a breakup with a high-school boyfriend and a failed final exam.

Breaking up really is hard to do. But it can lead to breakthroughs, too.

Consider the case of Baked by Melissa president and CPO, Melissa Ben-Ishay. After failing a final exam in her senior year of high school, Ben-Ishay learned a valuable lesson. The test happened after her boyfriend had broken up with her, and the distress damaged her performance on the exam. That's when Ben-Ishay's teacher pulled her aside. He told her that because she was letting her emotions get the better of her, Ben-Ishay's work was suffering.

Melissa Ben-Ishay

Years later, the incident serves as a reminder during stressful situations. "I think I could apply not letting my emotions getting the best of me to at least one thing a day," she says. "You just have to keep yourself cool and respond professionally."

Five years after leaving a job in corporate advertising and opening the family-run boutique bake shop known for those tiny, delicious, well-protected cupcakes, Ben-Ishay is going strong (there are now 11 shop locations in New York and New Jersey), in part by going more quietly. Sometimes, it seems, saying less does more.

"Stay silent, don’t say anything, and speak when you’re ready. Silence is powerful."

Bottom Line: Silence is a powerful tool when it comes to business relationships

[Video produced by Shalini Sharma; Camera & Edit by Tony Ditata]

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