Relationship Roundup

Reap the rewards of relationship strategies that can deliver results on your goals in this week’s Roundup. Get the fundamentals of earning respect, read how isolation improves productivity, become a pro at managing challenging conversations, and more.

Get some R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Earning and offering respect boils down to the basics of effective relationship building. Read the Inc. article about the fundamentals of earning respect here:

Accomplish more with isolation – Sometimes getting to your goals mean exercising some selective isolation to get important things done. Read how to effectively isolate yourself for productivity here:

Manage difficult behavior – Get helpful strategies for neutralizing challenging conversations. Watch the HBR Channel video blog here:

Build confidence – Start feeling like you can tackle anything by pushing yourself through small zones of discomfort. Learn how in this CBS MoneyWatch article here:

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Program & Community Director.

The Fabulous Five

Landing a job can be harder than the job itself.

To give you a leg up, here are the five top traits employers look for, according to a recent article by Forbes.

  1. Professionalism: Potential employers assess this from the moment you walk in the door. “From the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your first hand-shake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets. “
  2. High-energy: you want to be the person who raises the energy level, not the stick in the mud. Think about it, who would you rather be around at work?
  3. Confident: sell yourself. If you don’t believe you’re worth it, why should anyone else?
  4. Self-monitoring: no one has the time to babysit you. Make it clear that you’re focused and on task without any help.
  5. Intellectual curiosity: “An employee who will grudgingly adopt a new database is not as attractive as one who is truly passionate about learning new things.”

Do you concur that these are the top five, as an employer or as a coworker? What other traits matter more?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Is Facebook Your Pleasure of Choice?

“Facebook is as pleasurable as food or sex” says the title of a recent Yahoo News article. Two neuroscientists researched and led this study and came to the conclusion that “‘self disclosure’ produces a response in the region of the brain associated with dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure or the anticipation of a reward.”

Apparently, the reward that the brain receives after posting our thoughts and views on Facebook is very similar to the pleasure from food or sex. This is attributed to a less complex idea that we’re all familiar with. As humans, we love talking about ourselves. In fact, we spend about 30 to 40 percent of our speech disclosing our subjective views. Continue reading

Heidi Roizen Gives You an All-Access Pass to Meet Anyone

One of the key relationship-building tactics that myGreenlight encourages is to research potential contacts to find a point of common interest to warm up conversations and create opportunities for true connection. In his interview with Heidi Roizen, Never Eat Alone co-author Tahl Raz noted that one of the critical aspects to confidence in meeting new people is giving yourself the context, or permission, to approach them in the first place.

Heidi said:

“You have a context as a human being to approach anybody else. I think it’s an interesting thought to have. You could probably find a connection with every other person on the planet if you probe enough about your interests, beliefs, style, passions, what music or TV shows you enjoy, or how you like to spend your time. There’s probably a connection point somewhere because we’re all very complex beings.”

For more great insights from Heidi, don’t miss the full transcript of the Social Capitalist interview: Social Capitalist Transcript – Heidi Roizen.

Jodi Glickman’s “Learn Strategy” to Get Noticed and Get Ahead

This week’s Social Capitalist Tip is from Jodi Glickman, who recently participated in a Jodi GlickmanSocial Capitalist Masterclass with Tahl Raz. Jodi, author of Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say it. The Secrets of Getting Ahead, laid out the best practices for making a positive impression in everyday business conversation.

If you are in a new job, you’re a junior in an organization, think about creating opportunities for you to do something, which I call The Learn Strategy. Give yourself a chance to learn new skills, to excel at areas you’re good at, to assist others with work that may not be fun or interesting but needs to get done, to redirect work that is unwanted or not helping your cause. And/or think about strategically getting involved by offering to work on specific projects or with specific people in your organization. Continue reading

Turn Your Volume Up

There is a lot of advice out there on the right way to act at work. Obviously, maintaining a certain level of composure and professionalism is necessary, but does that mean you can’t be yourself?

Not necessarily.

A study by Kellogg School of Management offers some reasons why.

By being yourself we don’t mean that if you sing loudly and off-key at home, you should do the same thing at work. “We all have various masks that we put on and take off as we move through the day. We may act one way with a spouse and another with a close friend, one way at work and another at home. It’s not that we switch personae entirely, but we certainly offer different glimpses of our true selves to different people,” the author writes.

I like the way this person puts it: “I’m my true self at work, but I set my volume at 3 or 4 instead of 7 or 8.”

You may ask, why be myself at work? It’s easier to just be someone totally different. The answer is that “despite our best efforts, our true selves will always show through, and any contradiction will confuse the people we work with,” the author concludes. In other words, you may come off as fake.

Also you use up the energy you could otherwise be using on doing actual work. “You expend a lot of creative energy on keeping up appearances, and this can lead to stress,” the article reveals, and we all know nothing good can come of excess stress.

So why not give your real self a go?

Are you your real self at work? Do you think it’s worth it? Please share!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Ladies, Make Like Men and Take a Personal Break at Work

I read this article on female workers burning out at 30 and sent it around to a few female colleagues with this comment:

Take care of YOU first, ladies. Everyone else will follow suit when they see that – especially in a professional context. PS I’m burned out and moving to Tahiti.

Here’s what I immediately got back (anonymously since I didn’t have time to ask them for permission):

Coworker 1: The thing that is troubling is that women are killing themselves and burning out…and men aren’t killing themselves, and are getting promoted. And they didn’t even talk in here about the whole working Mom thing. Trust me ladies, that’s no picnic :)

Coworker 2: I find this particularly interesting and disturbing in light of all the stats I’ve read that there are more women in the workforce now than there are men. It’s time for women to shift their natural multi-task syndrome over to tasks that benefit our well-being as well as our career climb. Continue reading

Non-Verbal Intelligence with Joe Navarro

Check out an excerpt from the transcript for The Social Capitalist interview featuring Joe Navarro. Read Tahl’s Raz’s blog post on the interview here. Access the audio recording here. Click here for the full transcript: Social Capitalist – Joe Navarro. Enjoy!

Tahl Raz:    So much of what you advise and so many of the concepts that you teach seem to be and revolve around the ability to detect discomfort or comfort in someone. How does that work? Is that true that it’s a central concept and is that something that people should focus on?

Joe Navarro:    Well, yes absolutely. You know from the time we’re born we are reflecting whether we’re warm or cold, whether we’re comfortable or uncomfortable, whether we’re hungry or satiated. Our bodies are immediately reflecting how we feel, what we think, what we desire, any mother or father will tell you that. And throughout our lives we’re constantly reflecting are we comfortable or uncomfortable. You’re sitting at a business meeting and somebody just says the most impolite, politically incorrect joke and you will see immediate discomfort in everybody at that table. It’s instantaneous, it’s authentic. Now, it will manifest in different ways but it’s there. The reason that I have focused in my books on comfort and discomfort is because when I looked at all the books that had been written on body language over the years … oh my God is was painful. It was painful for me to read that. I said, “Why don’t they simplify this?” because it really is quite simple. What we see when we’re with other people whether you’re dating somebody or you’re in a business meeting or so forth … are they comfortable with us? Do we see the signs of comfort or do we see signs of there’s some sort of discomfort? Now, is it discomfort because of what we’re talking about? Is it because I’m standing too close? Is it because my body smells? Or is it the topic? Has something been brought up that’s causing discomfort? And what we find, universally, is that our limbic system will reflect, very precisely, whether someone is comfortable or uncomfortable. And what I found was is most people don’t know where to look on the body for that information. They tend to either focus on the face or the eyes but really not pay attention to the whole body.

Tahl Raz:    Well, let’s bring this down to a place where we can really apply it and people can see how it functions in their work. For instance, I know that in your work with poker players you say you can sit in observing a game, even on television, and tell whether people are bluffing or not. And that obviously, if you can do that more than the average poker player, there’s something for them to learn there. For business people, what have you seen in dealing with them and teaching them in your interactions with them where some of this stuff comes up and their greatness weaknesses lie? Because they just haven’t been taught to read or process any of this? Continue reading

Former FBI Interrogator Joe Navarro Teaches How to Read Every BODY

If you could see me now, you’d see that my head is slightly tilted and my hands are clasped, and I’ve got a pleasant smile going with a gaze that’s gently focusing on you. You couldn’t hate me if you tried! With my head tilt exposing my neck just so, your unconscious limbic system is yelling, “Oooooh, la, la. This guy makes me feel so comfortable!”

Non-verbal communication is as powerful a tool as language itself, whether it comes to creating immediate rapport, maximizing your influence or reading other people to discover their true intentions. That’s what Joe Navarro learned how to do during his 25 years in the FBI interrogating suspected criminals, spies and terrorists.

As one of the original founding members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, Navarro mastered his ability to read non-verbal body language. When he retired in 2003, he discovered his expertise and skills could be taught and benefit everyone from professional poker players to executives who wanted an extra edge. Since then, he has authored numerous books including the now-classic, What Everybody Is Saying.

In our interview Navarro shared his incredible insights. Here’s a small sampling:

They Might Lie, But Their Limbic System Tells The Truth

“Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by the brain’s limbic system. It doesn’t have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel. Someone gives us bad news and our lips compress; the bus leaves without us and we are clenching our jaws and rubbing our necks. We are asked to work another weekend and the orbits of our eyes narrow as our chin lowers. These are discomfort displays that our limbic brain has perfected over millions of years, whether we are in China or Chile.” Continue reading

Four Key Skills to Acquire Power

Tahl Raz is the co-author of Never Eat Alone and the host of myGreenlight’s Social Capitalist series. Click here for the full transcript from the interview: Social Capitalist Transcript – Jeffrey Pfeffer. Click here for the audio recording.

You won’t find the nitty-gritty realities of career advancement in most business self-help books and you won’t find it in the autobiographical leadership tomes of America’s most revered CEOs. You won’t find out what they really did to get to the top or how they really operated once they got there because so much of those realities have to do with power.

Getting and using power can be an ugly sport that just doesn’t jibe with the legacies CEOs want to leave. For academics and gurus, maybe it’s political correctness or an earnest desire of how things ought to be, but they too produce books heavy on feel-good notions like following your inner compass and the importance of humility. These lessons are important, but fall short on prescriptions for the work world as it really is.

To put it bluntly: the world is not just, your workplace is not fair, and how smart you are, how well you do your job, or how many people think you’re swell has far less to do with your success than almost anyone is willing to tell you.

Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer is one of the willing, and he shared those often unspoken power rules on a recent eye-opening session of the Social Capitalist. An outspoken truth-teller and academic rebel willing to question the orthodoxy, Professor Pfeffer proves again with his book, Power: Why Some People Have It and Other’s Don’t, why he’s one of our very top thinkers in management theory. (MyGreenlight members can click here to download the MP3 of my interview with Pfeffer.)

It’s natural to assume that the powerful of any organization have power because they’ve earned it through performance. But studies have shown it’s actually the other way around – power creates peak performance.

Pfeffer outlines four skills useful in acquiring power:

1. Self-knowledge and a Reflective Mindset: Obtaining power is in part theatre. The stage is your reputation and the steps to creating it are straightforward: make a good early impression, cultivate an image by focusing on your strengths, use media and events to help build your visibility, and create a large enough network of people who will sing your praises. But what kind of impression do you make now? What are the strengths on which to build your image? Do you look people directly in the eye, which connotes not only power but also honesty and directness, or do you look down and project weakness? Being objective about yourself in the moments in which you interact, paying attention to your strengths and weaknesses and how you’re viewed by people, are critical if you’re to adapt and evolve your reputation.

2. Confidence and the Ability to Project Self-assurance: Authority is 20 percent given, 80 percent taken. We take authority through the way we act, talk, and appear. You need to project confidence and assurance, even if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. Any one particular event is less important than your reaction to it: Are you upbeat? Are you projecting sure-handed confidence? To convey that everything is fine and under your control, even under dire circumstances, often means acting in ways contrary to your real feelings. Most people can’t do this, which is exactly what makes it so valuable a skill.  But remember: just as important as the skill itself is making sure the right people notice. The best way to ensure those at higher levels know what you are achieving is to tell them. The importance of standing out contradicts much conventional wisdom. Fact is there isn’t a leader anywhere who hasn’t told the right person or people at the right time, “I’m the greatest and here’s why you need me for this job.”

3. The Ability to Read Others and Empathize with Their Point of View. Many of Pfeffer’s strategies revolve around self-enhancement—the idea that people like to feel good about themselves and do things to ensure that result. The surest way to build a better power base is to help those with more power enhance their positive feelings about themselves. Is this just a fancy way of telling us we should all be ass-kissers? Not entirely. The key is to understand what matters to those around you. Genuine flattery is certainly effective, but so is asking for help or going out of your way to do a seemingly small task—a bit of extracurricular research into an interest of your boss, attending a birthday party or even a funeral of a colleague, or visiting them or their family members when they are ill.

4. Capacity to Tolerate Conflict. You have to be willing to scrap. Because most people are conflict-averse, they avoid difficult situations and difficult people, frequently acceding to requests or changing their positions rather than paying the emotional price of standing up for themselves and their views. If you can handle difficult and stress-filled situations effectively, you have an advantage over most people. Powerful people get things done, and to get things done it’s almost universally assumed that sooner or later push will come to shove and the powerful will be on the right side of that equation. That’s probably why studies show that the people we perceive to be the most competent are also those that are perceived to be a little tough, and even mean.

The reality is that we all exist in hierarchical settings where there are always competitors for status and advancement.  So assert yourself and actively promote your own interests. You don’t need to become a ruthless power-mongering monster, just a little more aware of the real rules of the game and a little more confident that you have what it takes to be a player.

What about you: Are you playing the power game? Got tips for doing it without being a bully?