Tag Archives: health

5 Ways to Tell If Someone Is Untrustworthy

By Thomas Koulopoulos, Founder, Delphi Group

I’m going to ask you to trust me on this. It’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, and it may be one of the most important ones I have to pass on.

It’s been said that the only way to definitively tell if you can trust someone is to trust that person. While that may well be true, there are certainly telltales that untrustworthy people almost always exhibit, which will help you mitigate the damage they may cause. If you’re building a fast-growth organization or if you are breaking new ground with a new innovation, trust is the superglue that will hold your team together. I’ve seen it repeatedly. Nothing propels a great team further or undermines a team faster than trust or its absence; the same can be said about virtually any relationship.

What I’ve realized over the years in working with countless people is that there is nothing as vital to a relationship and yet as fragile as trust. The plain truth is that if you are doing business and establishing relationships with trustworthy people, you will be able to weather almost any storm. By the same token, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to get into bed with someone who is not trustworthy, even a mild breeze will capsize the relationship.

Psychologists tell us that the first emotional bond we all develop is trust. Starting at birth, we seek out patterns of consistency that provide a reliable way to interpret the chaos of the world. This is more than just establishing comfort and familiarity. It is a deeply rooted, programmed survival mechanism.

Trust shapes our earliest relationships and it is in these formative years that we learn how to use trust to survive. In that respect, you can easily see how these nascent bonds can create enduring values that reinforce the importance of trust or teach us how to game trust to get what we want. That selfish aspect of trust is in each of us. And that’s fine as long as we reciprocate the trust we receive. But when you learn that others can’t be trusted at an early age, you lose confidence in the value of trust. If you don’t deserve theirs, they don’t deserve yours.

It’s because trust is so intimately woven into our psyches that it is so incredibly difficult to change. To be blunt, people are either trustworthy or they are not. That doesn’t mean they’re good or bad. It just means you can’t place your trust in what they say or what they promise.

Of course, we all tell occasional white lies (“why, yes, honey, there definitely is a Santa Clause!”), stretch the truth (“it really was the biggest fish I’d ever caught!”), conveniently forget facts (“gee, I didn’t realize I ate the last piece of pizza!”), and otherwise create hairline fractures in trust. But that’s rarely of concern. The danger zone is entering into relationships with people who see trust as something they can use to manipulate the truth to serve their own purposes, without regard for the impact it has on others.

Before I go further, I’ll caution you that my experience has consistently been that trying to rehabilitate pathologically untrustworthy people is a fool’s journey. Their perception of reality has been shaped in such a way, and at such a formative age, that nothing short of a direct emotional nuclear hit will dislodge the survival and coping mechanisms they have developed. What’s even worse is that these people not only distrust others, while they make effuse claims of “trust me,” but they also do not trust themselves. In other words, while their actions may let down, damage, and hurt others, in the end they are mostly undermining themselves. Which is why, over the long run, being untrustworthy is punishment enough.

So, how do you spot someone who shouldn’t be trusted? There are five telltale signs that I’ve observed in untrustworthy people. Usually these come in combinations of two or three consistent behaviors. Spot these and you’re pretty well assured that this is not a person you should be putting a whole lot of faith in.

1. They lie to themselves

One of the most striking behaviors of untrustworthy people is that they see themselves in ways that are simply inconsistent with reality. When you encounter someone who seems disconnected from the actual impact that their actions and behaviors are having, it’s a sure sign that they are trying to create a perception that conforms to their desires rather than to reality. For example, if someone constantly describes herself as a quiet person who seeks harmony, while her behavior is disruptive, arrogant, and confrontational, you’ve got a disconnect that should immediately start to raise red flags of trustworthiness.

2. They project behaviors on you that are clearly not ones you are exhibiting

People who are untrustworthy also have an amazingly consistent habit of accusing others of behaviors that they themselves are exhibiting or are contemplating. This one is a classic seen regularly by relationship counselors. It goes something like this. Mary is constantly accusing Jack of contemplating new employment. Jack knows that he is not only perfectly happy where he is and not seeking employment elsewhere but he has also never made any indications that he might be. Jack is befuddled by Mary’s ongoing accusations. Guess who is looking for new employment? That’s right, Mary. If someone is constantly accusing you of something which you know to patently false, chances are very good that what that person is doing is projecting his or her own untrustworthy behavior and insecurities onto you. This one should ring in your head like the bells of St. Paul’s when you hear it.

3. They breach confidentiality

This one has always amazed me. We all remember as kids swearing someone to secrecy only to have them break the promise and then rationalize it by saying, “But I only told one other person.” Well, it’s baffling how that same behavior plays out among adults. Confidentiality, when agreed to (and in the absence of any illicit or illegal activity), is a sacred bond. This one to me is a nonnegotiable. Once someone has broken a pledge of confidentiality, there is no second chance because that person has already demonstrated a desire to gain favor with others that is greater than his or respect for them. By the way, it’s incredibly easy to pick this one out because inevitably these people will share things with you that you can tell were said to them in confidence by others. You can be assured that if they did it to somebody else, they will do it to you. There is zero hope for trust where there is no respect for confidentiality.

4. They show a lack of empathy

This is perhaps the one shared behavior of nearly every untrustworthy person. They are able to rationalize being untrustworthy by diminishing the impact, pain, damage, or inconvenience they cause others. This is also the most dangerous of the five behaviors, because once you lose empathy for those whom your actions affect, you have started down a slippery slope with no bottom. Even worse is the fact that people who truly lack empathy have no awareness that they do, or they’re selectively empathetic when it serves their agenda. It’s simply all about them. Look for clues to this in how people generally treat those they interact with as well as their track record with others. This is the classic example of observing how someone treats those who are not in a position to give them anything of value, such as a waiter or janitor. When I was hiring senior and midlevel execs, this was the single-most important ability I needed to see them demonstrate. I learned quickly that people who lack empathy are among the most volatile and dangerous people of all.

5. Their emotional state is volatile, and they have a pattern of inconsistency and fickleness in their decisions

Remember at the outset I mentioned how trust is formed in our earliest relationships just after birth? If trust is missing in these formative years, it creates uncertainty, doubt, and inconsistency that linger over a person’s entire lifetime of interactions. While it is certainly possible to have people who are not volatile be untrustworthy, it is far more likely that someone whose emotional state fluctuates wildly is. The reason is that they will make promises they quickly regret and retract. They are never certain of why they are making the decisions they are making. And they are far too easily influenced by external factors over their internal compass. Again, we all change our minds now and then, but if someone has a pattern of consistently flip-flopping, look out. Nothing is anchoring that person to an emotional state you can trust.

None of these five behaviors make someone a bad person. And the temptation to fix these behaviors in others can be very attractive to someone who is trustworthy. But that’s because you understand the value of trust. What you’re dealing with is someone who does not. So, unless you’re a licensed therapist and have years to dedicate to the process, I’d strongly advise against it. Sure, as I’ve said, we all exhibit at least a few of these behaviors periodically, and calling someone out on them is entirely appropriate, but if you see two or more consistently, you need to consider carefully the degree to which that person deserves your trust.

Read the original article HERE


How to Improve Your Self-Confidence at Work in 2017

By Anne Fisher

Dear Annie: Your recent column about how to go from an “ideas person” to “management material” really struck a nerve with me because, like that other reader, I was just passed over for a promotion too, for a somewhat different reason. My boss told me I don’t speak up enough, especially in team meetings where someone disagrees with me or starts picking apart an idea I’ve recommended. He said I need to “work on my self-confidence.” It’s true that I tend to back down if someone challenges me, because I don’t want the meeting to deteriorate into an argument. But I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to be more confident. The question is, how? Any suggestions? —Wendy the Wallflower

Dear W.W.: Actually, yes. First, keep in mind that your reluctance to risk conflict with colleagues by sticking up for yourself is a particular hurdle for women, and that’s partly for good reason: Decades of research have shown that strong, assertive women are often perceived as less “likable,” and hence less likely to get ahead, than their male peers.

Even so, “there are plenty of people, and not just women, who lack the self-confidence to be comfortable speaking up in meetings,” observes Andy Molinsky. A professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University’s International Business School, Molinsky wrote a book forthcoming in January that you might want to check out.

Called Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence, it’s packed with real-life stories, based on Molinsky’s 15 years of research, about all kinds of people—from executives to actors to goat farmers—who conquered various anxieties that were holding them back. By analyzing exactly how they did it, Molinsky came up with a step-by-step system that he says will work for anyone who’s trying to get beyond his or her own comfort zone.

The starting point is what Molinsky calls the three Cs: clarity, conviction, and customization. Clarity has to do with the fact that your own perception of a situation may need some adjusting. For instance, hesitating to defend your ideas “often arises from not wanting to ‘turn the meeting into an argument,’ as you say, or be seen as a troublemaker,” Molinsky notes. “But is that really accurate? If you ask around, you’ll probably find that people you work with would respect you even more if you were more assertive. They may actually expect people to speak up and defend their ideas.” Obviously, your boss does.

The next step, conviction, is about the reasons why you want to be more self-confident—not just to get promoted, but to express your thoughts and describe your work in ways that will make the best use of your smarts and help the organization. Old habits are notoriously tough to break, and a foray out of one’s comfort zone isn’t quick or easy, so Molinsky suggests giving yourself lots of what psychologists call positive reinforcement: “Keep reminding yourself that building your self-confidence is worth doing, and why.”

One of Molinsky’s most fascinating findings, in Reach, has to do with the third step, customization. It turns out that people who seem effortlessly skillful at tasks many of us dread—public speaking, for instance, or delivering bad news to a team—usually started out disliking (and avoiding) these things just as much as the rest of us. The difference is, they’ve learned to make it look easy by customizing whatever the task is, so that they do it their own way.

You can, too. One approach that works: “Before a meeting where you think you may have to stand up for yourself, think of specific words and phrases you could use,” Molinsky suggests. “You could say, for example, ‘You’re making a good point, but here’s what we may be overlooking…’ The key is to practice asserting yourself in ways that don’t seem to you (emphasis his) likely to turn the meeting into an argument.”

This will take some practice. Molinsky recommends you try it out before the next big team meeting with a mentor or other trusted coworker. You can also give your ideas a test drive with small groups of colleagues in what he calls “pre-meetings“.

If you find yourself slipping back to your wallflower ways, be patient and keep trying. “Sometimes it really helps to remember that it’s not just you,” Molinsky notes. “Everyone struggles with having to move beyond his or her comfort zone at some time or other.” The effort, he adds, “usually creates a kind of positive spiral, where one small success leads to another, and then another. People are often surprised to find that making even a major change is not as hard as they thought it would be.” Here’s hoping that’s true for you, too.

Happy New Year!

Read the original article HERE

Why You Shouldn’t Bother Making New Year’s Resolutions

By Michael Hyatt

Why You Shouldn’t Bother Making New Year’s Resolutions

Click here to view original web page at michaelhyatt.com

New Year’s resolutions are as old as time, but that doesn’t mean they’re very effective. It only takes a day or two into January before the #resolutionfail hashtag starts trending on social media.

Roughly 200 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions at least some of the time, according to research by the University of Scranton. But the same research says most of us are wildly unsuccessful.

Many of us only stick it out a while. A quarter bomb in the first week. A third don’t make it past the first month. Fewer than half are still plugging away after six months. Only 8 percent of us are actually successful.

More Than Numbers

Some industries count on our failure. Fitness centers, for instance, sell year-long contracts knowing most of us won’t actually show up. Their business model depends on most members getting distracted, overwhelmed, or uninterested after a few visits.

But this is about much more than numbers. It’s about people’s dreams. Here were the top 10 resolutions people set in 2015, according to the Scranton research:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others in their dreams
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with familyOur resolutions concern our health, wealth, relationships, and personal development. In other words, they’re about the things that matter most to us.

    I’m sure you have your own personal stories of starting the New Year strong only to get busy, fall behind, and eventually lose motivation.

    It’s happened to me. And it’s exactly why I don’t bother making New Year’s resolutions anymore—at least not the usual kind. When I think of my health, my family, my spiritual life, my business, I know for certain: Some dreams are just too important to entrust to a faulty system.

    Resolutions That Actually Stick

    Instead, I utilize a proven goal-setting process that incorporates safeguards for many of the pitfalls and failings of typical resolutions. It’s taken me years to develop this process, and I’ve seen it work not only in my own life, but also in the lives of countless people with whom I’ve shared it.

    Some people will say that the best way to make our resolutions stick is to only pick one or two for the year. But that’s leaving too much on the table for me—and probably a lot of you too.

    We’re talking about the things that matter most, right? Why leave so many things undone and miss so many opportunities to grow? Instead of cutting back, we just need to use a system that actually works.

    An effective goal-setting system must factor at least five dimensions of goal-attainment:

    Past experience. Dragging the worst of the past into the best of the future is another reason our resolutions fail. If we get closure on the past, especially those efforts that went unregarded or unrewarded, we’re able to more confidently step into the future. The trick is to get honest about

    Life’s too short for typical New Year’s resolutions almost guaranteed to fail. The good news is that you can shortcut the hard knocks, stop counting on luck, and finally succeed.

    I designed my 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever course to address these five dimensions of goal-attainment. I only open registration once a year for a brief window. It’s almost closed for 2016. If you’re tired of missing your resolutions, now’s the time to act.

    Question: What would your life look like twelve months from now if you reached your most important goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

5 Steps to Help Yourself Recover from a Setback

By Neal J. Roese

This was not your best week. Something didn’t go right. Let’s say it was a negotiation that didn’t play out your way.

What do you do afterward? You might go to a bar with friends, talk to your spouse, or call your mom. But those are just delay tactics. Soon the ruminating will begin. You’ll wonder what went wrong and blame yourself, others, or external factors. When that becomes exhausting, you’ll tell yourself that you need to forget the past and focus on what’s ahead.

This is a natural and perfectly reasonable reaction, but it’s psychologically painful without much benefit. It won’t prevent you from experiencing the same kind of failure a second or third or fourth time.

There is a better way: a mental protocol through which you ask yourself a series of brief, structured questions and put some effort into answering them. Based on new research on counterfactual thinking (which is exactly what it sounds like: imagining alternatives to what just happened), this process is not difficult, and it promises to both ease the pain of the setback and position you to do better next time.

Counterfactual thinking is something most of us do all the time — “If I hadn’t bumped into my old friend last year, I would have missed out on getting this great job with his company!” or “If only I had said yes to that overseas assignment, I probably would have been promoted.” But researchers are now categorizing it into different types and determining why we use them and when. There’s still a lot to be learned, but studies suggest that certain forms of counterfactual thinking can be particularly helpful when people need to recover and improve performance after negative events.

Let’s come back to that just-concluded, unsuccessful negotiation. Your company is trying to be more agile in the face of changing customer demand, and you had asked an important supplier to leave the working agreement more open-ended than usual so you would have the ability to change course during the year. His only concession was to make it a six-month agreement, rather than 12-month, and you and your boss consider this a pretty significant failure.

You avail yourself of a couple of the usual recovery activities listed above. You beat up on yourself for being incompetent and unlucky. You blame the stiff who represented the supplier, as well as those dry turkey sandwiches that the caterer provided. “Ah well,” you say as you drain your beer with a colleague, “lessons learned. Time to move on.”

But actually no lessons have been learned, and it’s not time to move on. Not yet.

Instead, follow these five steps, in order:

  1. Imagine a better outcome, Part 1. Challenge yourself to conceive of an upward counterfactual, a path that might have led to a better deal. Make sure to focus on your own actions, not someone else’s. For example, your counterpart had seemed close to agreeing to several of your suggestions on flexibility, but then you both took a break. Afterward, he was more adamant. Maybe if you had pressed for an answer before the break, the outcome would have been better.
  2. Imagine a better outcome, Part 2. Challenge yourself to think of yet another upward counterfactual. Why? The idea is to combat your natural tendency to fixate on the first alternative scenario as the only one, a trap known as hindsight bias. The apparent obviousness of the first alternative, now that you’ve thought of it, induces overconfidence; you begin to feel as though you were aware of it all along. Imagining a second path to a better outcome helps you to avoid attributing your failure to a simplistic, pat reason. As an example of a second scenario, imagine that you put the flexibility issue on the table at the beginning of the negotiation. Would that have yielded a better outcome than springing it on your counterpart later in the talks, as you did?
  3. Imagine a different path leading to the same outcome. This is known as semifactual thinking, or an “even if.” For example, breaking the negotiations into two distinct talks with different counterparts — the first talk being about price and the second about nonprice terms, for example — would have been a very different experience, but it might have led to the same outcome. Next, ask yourself why the outcome might have been the same. In this case, was it because there is widespread worry among the supplier’s staff that the marketplace is shifting rapidly, and they’re afraid to allow any contract change that might hurt their position? The purpose of this step in the failure and recovery process is to reveal obstacles you might not have noticed or articulated. Later on, you can circle back and try to figure out how to overcome them. For example, it might be possible to allay the supplier’s anxiety by offering something else as potential compensation, such as an option to raise prices during the life of the contract.
  4. Imagine the same path leading to a different outcome. Think of how a different outcome — better or worse — could have resulted from the same process you followed. Picture your counterpart smiling and saying yes to your suggestion about flexibility. Or frowning and insisting on no changes at all to the contract’s length. One purpose of this step is to highlight the randomness in outcomes. In most cases, the reality is that the very steps you took could have led to different endpoints. People have trouble accepting that. If you’re going to recover effectively, it’s important to maintain a healthy respect for outside forces. This step can also help you think about backup and contingency plans to cope with these forces.
  5. Imagine a worse outcome. This downward counterfactual is partly a feel-good tactic. Think of a different path that might have led to a poorer result, and then pat yourself on the back for having avoided it. But there’s another purpose to this step: to broaden your understanding of what just happened. Let’s say you thought about making, but then didn’t make, a comment about your counterpart’s declining sales. The idea would have been to underscore that his company doesn’t have a good grasp of what’s going on in the marketplace, but you realized in the nick of time that the comment might have put him on the defensive and made things worse. Pursue that idea a little further and you might end up with a big-picture understanding of the supplier’s present sense of vulnerability.By completing these five steps, you avoid blame and bias and other kinds of mental ruts, and you see an enlarged, nuanced picture of the failure. You’re better positioned to know what really did and didn’t cause the setback. And the upward counterfactuals give you a starting point for planning the next go-round and improving your subsequent performance. You may not follow your imagined scenarios precisely, but you’ve learned to stretch your mind to incorporate new possible tactics.I’ve seen this method work for managers and entrepreneurs in various contexts. The links between counterfactual thinking and interpersonal effectiveness are underscored by research on schizophrenia, which demonstrates that an inability to do the former partly explains patients’ social dysfunction. Neuroimaging studies suggest that since counterfactual thinking happens in the same part of the brain as planning, it might serve as a sort of interface between emotional thinking and goal setting.

    Leaders are often told to maximize their “return on failure,” but so far there has been little focus on the specific steps one should take to learn from mistakes. Challenging yourself to use counterfactual thinking and formulate detailed alternative scenarios is one way to bridge that gap and ensure you do better the next time around.

The Importance of Fitness in Running a Company

How does fitness, healthy lifestyle and getting outdoors help grow a business? CEOs and founders explain their logic.

A healthy lifestyle and a healthy dosage of outdoors have a lot of unfathomable advantages. It keeps one motivated, punctual, active and inspires new ideas and creativity. One puts in more concentrated efforts and active time and mind to work which ultimately helps in the growth of an individual and the organization. These positive vibes end up inspiring colleagues to follow in the same footsteps and become leaders.

According to Yashish Dahiya, Founder and CEO of PolicyBazaar said, “Fitness is extremely important for the overall growth of an individual. If you want to fare well as a professional, you need to be high on energy and have a positive attitude in life and towards your work. Sports teach you this and teach you to never give up. This attitude is crucial for the growth of an organization. There will also be challenges and both the employer and employee need to have perseverance and optimism to sail through difficult times. Sports teaches you all this and this is the reason why most sportspersons have a great career outside their sport.”

Mr. Dahiya is a triathlete who completed his first Ironman on August 20th, 2016 in Kalmar, Sweden. “I feel the amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance that I have put in my sports, be it swimming or anything else, has taught me to be all the more dedicated to my company. Being a sportsperson, I am always high on energy,” he added.

Mr. Dahiya says it is always good to interact with your employees who are going through difficult times themselves and helps by encouraging them to take up a fit lifestyle. “We organize sports meets for our employees annually and also encourage them to participate in different sporting events in and around the city. Apart from these, we also have fitness trainers onboard to drive our employees to take care of their personal fitness and nutrition goals.”

66-year-old Sushil Kumar Bhasin, who works at Bhasinsoft India Ltd. based in Bangalore, India, told The Outdoor Journal in an interview, “Exercising keeps body and mind in good sync/health, hence enhancing enjoyment of everyday life. A fit and healthy body keeps mind alert. A healthy person can better input physically and mentally for a greater error-free output.” Mr. Bhasin started his fitness regime quite late in his life, suffering from backache for nearly a decade. In the last few years, he has finished six full marathons, ten half marathons and five ultra races.

On the same lines, the founder of an Indian fitness and lifestyle app Fitso, Saurabh Aggarwal, said, “Sports has helped me in a way that it has made me optimistic and carry on till the end. It has given me a ‘never say die’ attitude. It has made me learn how to carry my team along and to take care of everyone, similar to any mountain expedition. One step at a time and passing through the low times is of the utmost importance as it is a part of the game.”

Most vs. Enough

By Seth Godin

Most vs. Enough

Click here to view original web page at sethgodin.typepad.com

It’s easy to be confused about the difference.

“Most” as in the best, the fastest, the cheapest.

“Enough” as in good enough. And that means just what it sounds like.

If you run an ambulance company, you need to be the fastest at response. (The “most quick”). Anything else is a reason for potential users to switch.

On the other hand, if you’re delivering flowers, ‘fast enough’ is plenty fast.

Everyone competes on something. That thing you compete on is your most. The other things you do, those need to be enough.

The two mistakes organizations and freelancers make:

  1. They try for ‘most’ at things where ‘enough’ is just fine, and they waste their effort.
  2. They settle for ‘enough’ when the market is looking for the one with the ‘most’.The only way to maximize your most is to be really clear where your enough is.

If Your Life Were a Game, What Would the Score Be?

What if you could measure yourself in the areas that matter most? What if you could get an overall score for your life, gain a newfound sense of control, and create the life you want?

My new and improved LifeScore™ Assessment will show you how.

I designed this tool with one goal in mind: to help you identify a baseline of health in all the major domains of your life. That way you can improve any area that’s lagging and experience a richer, more rewarding life—no matter what’s going on in the world around you.