interpersonal

Being A Difficult Person Has Its… Disadvantages

I once heard a story about a traveler harassing a ticket agent at the gate of an airport terminal. The traveler didn’t want to wait to get on the plane so he went into a tirade. “Do you know who I am!” he shouted repeatedly at the poor woman handling the tickets. But the ticket agent handled him beautifully – she simply picked up the intercom and announced over the loudspeaker that this man needed help because he didn’t know who he was. Everyone at the gate laughed – especially those who witnessed his bad behavior.

How to Really Mess Up a Sales Letter

I was recently cleaning out some old emails and found a couple of emails from a vendor that got me thinking. Before we get to the actual email, let me tell you the situation. A few years ago, I had downloaded a trial version of a piece of software. Many companies require you to provide some information prior to allowing you to download, so I had provided whatever info they had requested. It’s not uncommon for companies to have someone in their sales group follow up. In this particular case, this vendor was in the same city as me (I’ll refrain from sharing the name of the company or sales person) so a salesman emailed me requesting a meeting.

Here is the email I recieved, with the subject being “[his company name] visit – [my company name]:”

It’s Okay if People Don’t Like You

I was driving the other day and an experience with a rude driver got me thinking about how you not only can’t please everyone, but you shouldn’t want to please everyone or even try to get everyone to like you. The bottom line is that while there are a lot of great people out there, there are also a lot of not so great people out there. In fact, there are quite a few people out there who are, to be blunt, just plain jerks.

Should a Gentleman Hold the Door for a Lesbian?

I had my first experience in training in 1996 when I was an instructor at what’s now Bentley University while earning my Masters Degree. In the brief training I had before getting unleashed upon five groups of mostly first semester freshmen, something stuck out in my mind. The syllabus that I was to hand out to my students noted that the only dumb questions were the ones that were never asked. The point of it was that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a question out of fear that you’ll look dumb. I get it – and even bought it, for a little bit. But then after fielding some of these questions, I realized that some questions were better off not being asked.

I was reminded of this recently when someone asked me the very question that is the title of this post. It was in response to my review of the book “How to Be a Gentleman.” At first, I thought it was a dumb question. Phrases like “being open minded” popped in my head and I decided to be open minded about the question and my answer. And guess what? It’s actually an interesting question that warrants a legitimate answer.

The Social Media Trap

I recently took a step back from social media because I found things getting to be quite intense and wanted to reflect on the role it’s played in both my personal and professional life. No, there weren’t any heated arguments or steamy love affairs. Instead, I found myself falling into a trap that many people fall into when it comes to social media – getting too immersed.

How to Be Liked

You’ve probably heard the infamous phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know” – the phrase is true to some extent. In the extreme case, you have the incompetent and under-qualified son or daughter that takes over the family business. More commonly, someone who is likable or able to communicate a connection between themselves and the decision maker is able to land jobs or clients despite competing with others who have stronger qualifications.

Finding a connection such as attending the same school, growing up in the same small town or having a similar hobby is an easy way to create instant rapport. Equally as helpful is having a personal connection such as a family relationship or mutual friend or associate. Sometimes, we don’t have these connections but there’s something else that can tip the odds in our favor: likability.

On Being Shy

I have a confession to make: I’ve spent the majority of my life being shy. When I was a kid having to meet new people – adults especially, but even kids – was a challenge for me. I grew out of it in high school and college but then when it was time for me to hit the workforce, it came back.

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