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The role of personality in sales

The role of personality in sales

Museum of the City of New York

Let me escape from the limitations of my own personality to imagine how people of other personalities would think to sell books. I am an Idealist, as impractical a person as you can find, so it’s a no-brainer to ask other personality types to help draw a roadmap for successful book sales.

My next book is heavy on history, ancestry, and psychology. Conservative Guardian types would of course make sure every possible bookstore ordered a few copies and had me speaking and signing books at most of them.

The ever innovative Rationals would see from the book’s contents that the target markets would be most receptive in Southern California, Arizona, and New York City.  The book’s theme of respect for history, family pride, and a really good mystery story could allure merchants well beyond traditional bookstores. Such would include gift shops in museums, tourist destinations and airports. Even local branches of national stores like Costco could go for it. (My writer cousin in Newfoundland managed to get a stack into her local Costco.) Rational marketers would be the first to insist on online sales through my own site and on plenty of other entrepreneurs’ online stores.

The most action-oriented personality group are the Artisans who can’t sit still and would insist I don’t either. For them, I should do performance readings at workshops in museums, different deliveries than what bookstores get. They would want to be in on the entire book design so that even non-readers would brandish their credit card at the mere sight of it.

Finally, I think there is energy to light up the cause from people and groups who care deeply about lives similar to mine. They include Irish cultural groups, historians, adoption story writers, wonderfully fanatic geneaology students, and fans of memoirists. All personality types are to be found in such groups and, from among them, riciculously creative people have produced TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Who do you think you are? Maybe somebody will take that extra step of producing a show around the book and hawking the original on their online platforms? Yes, why not dream big!

HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEA AT WORK

Sell an idea at work
Jack in Persuasive Mode

 

Do you truly want  to sell your idea to the right people at work? And then watch your idea be implemented?

The Answer: Two Words. Gold and Green

Do you know that about 85% of all executives and managers could have either a Guardian Gold or Rational Green temperament? So if you want your idea accepted, consider selling to Gold and Green values and strengths.

Gold Guardians

Gold Guardians put your feet to the fire on their core value of responsibility. Here are some questions that Gold decision-makers surely have in their heads when you want to sell an idea.

Gold Question #1. Is the proposal perfectly clear? And ‘perfectly clear’ is no joke. You don’t want a Gold person to ask what you really mean? So is your idea countable, measurable, sketchable, and undoubtable?

Gold Question #2. Are you reliable, all the time? If your idea will inflict more change on the team than Gold people are comfortable with, do you have a reputation for consistently delivering sound, workable ideas? In other words, will your Gold manager not worry about regretting a decision in your favor?

Gold Question #3. Will we get value for our dollar from your idea? If nothing else, Gold managers are rigorously careful with money, so be ready with return-on-investment research that honestly reveals business risk.

Gold Question #4. Who else has done this already? This may be the most important question for Gold managers. Gold folks tend to be the most risk-averse.

Green Rationals

Green Rationals nail you for their core values of deep knowledge and trustworthy competence. Here are predictable Green questions.

Green Question #1. Are you a person worthy of respect for your knowledge and competence? Related to that, do you share connections with other experts that your boss respects? Are you the in­-house expert on this subject? Are you known for doing your homework? Do you deserve profound respect for your thorough research and careful presentations?

Green Question #2. Where’s the beef? In other words, where is all the research? And can I see it when I ask for it?

Green Question #3. Have you done enough work on this that I don’t have to fix it? Green managers pride themselves in the perfection of their work and they never, ever, want to be caught looking incompetent. So are you an icon of competence where you work?

Green Question #4. Am I learning something new from you? Perhaps the best way into the hearts of Green managers is to consistently wow them with new information based on an expertise they do not possess. If you do this regularly, you will be invited to more brainstorming meetings and your word will carry weight over others’.

So You Are Orange or Blue?

If you are an Orange artisan or Blue idealist, you might quickly agree with the advice above, but the odds are high that your standards of expertise, of detail, of completeness, and pure naked objectivity come nowhere close to what Golds and Greens actually expect. So try this: Run a few ideas by your favorite Gold and Green friends and ask them to critique the ideas severely. The truth may hurt at first, but you will probably learn how to prepare better when you need to ask for serious changes at work in the future.

 

Some people cannot vote

Some people cannot vote

Some people cannot or will not vote for real-world reasons.

My wife and I have been on the streets of Phoenix registering new voters this election season. You would be amazed how many people cannot vote, or will not.

Felons, for example, are forbidden to. Surprisingly both felons and ex-felons that we spoke with tended to admit up front that’s what they are. Of course plenty of people are not  full-blown felons, but are hiding outside the law. Consider folks with multiple DUI’s,  missed court dates, or persistent creditors from hell. Voter registration would shed more light on them than they want.

Plenty of Americans say they are working hard to keep the government out of their affairs. They can, and do, choose not to have government ID’s like driving licenses, medical cards, and voter registration cards. Because social security cards are issued to us as children, very few people can escape that ID, but they can still choose to reject nearly everything else. And we all know that plenty of people earn their living from unreported cash. We are not only talking about illegal immigrants.

Some politicos are pushing legislatures to make voter registration automatic for all citizens. I wonderful if they know they will get blowback from the many people who do not want to be on the grid, automatically or any other way.

We even met a few individuals who wanted to escape jury duty because, as you know, voter registration rolls are often the data source to locate jury candidates.

Homeless people want to get registered, but life can be so challenging that addresses and other contact info become quickly obsolete. So they may opt to not even try.

The saddest reasons we have heard for not registering deal with mistrust and disgust. Thousands  honestly feel their votes do not matter. Many say they know nothing about the candidates or about the issues — which is probably true in most cases. Plenty believe the system is rigged.

If you are an idealist who hopes for a hundred percent voter turnout, you must realize that’s an impossibility. On the other hand, the citizens who choose to vote continue to be the majority, at least we hope so. That’s why we’re in train stations, bookstores, and neighborhoods signing people up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lochke: From Apology to Atonement

Lochke: From Apology to Atonement

I am glad I waited for Matt Lauer’s interview with Ryan Lochke (8/22/16 Today Show) because the preceding slam of headlines portrayed Ryan as a jerk from a despised fraternity. Yes, his early statements deserved harsh judgment from both Americans and Brazilians, but it’s clear he finally got close to “getting it” in the apology department on the Today Show.

Apology

The proof that an apology is effective can be revealed in the hearts and reactions of the injured parties.

Focusing on the Brazilians, just imagine being called third-world for decades. Imagine getting tagged a banana republic by journalists, tourists, even politicians for a lifetime. Imagine being constantly demeaned as some family’s poor relation longer than anyone should bear. But in face of all that, you still throw the biggest possible wedding for your rich cousins, expending all of your resources, and then you get branded inferior during a toast by the best man who makes international headlines effectively calling you a violent, low-class relative.

Ryan Lochke effectively had done that, but he clearly moderated his message in this last interview with Lauer.

He owned up to the facts as he knew them and also to the evidence provided by local police and others. He took full blame for his role in vandalism, intoxication, and confrontational behavior with the Brazilians who pulled him out of a taxi and demanded restitution. He owned up to messing with the truth in early interviews.

And yes, he did express regret to the Brazilians. He acknowledged they put on a great Olympics. He said the people of Rio were warm, welcoming, and generous and that they did not deserve the smear he launched with bad behavior and thoughtlessness in front of the world press.

But did these words change the minds and hearts of the injured Brazilians? Did they look like a real apology?

Atonement

Probably not. Victims understand actions more than words. Certainly Ryan Lochke’s current and future sponsors will understand actions more than words. To take an example we can all relate to, if I break your window, I not only replace the pane, but I might also pay a carpenter to repair and paint the frame around the glass, then invite you over for a barbeque to celebrate a new relationship. We all know this as atonement. Unfortunately for Lochke, his atonement would have to be on a scale far beyond the stuff he broke in a bathroom. Personally, I would hate to see Ryan wait around and end up succumbing to penalities possibly applied by the IOC or by American Olympics interests. Right now, he could announce measures of sincere atonement that would likely hit both hearts and minds of Brazilians, his teammates, and all of us in America who are embarrassed. He could very well regain respect.

Ryan Lochte surely wants to regain his image as a great Olympian. Probably his best chance is to be a Great Atoner. For instance, he could fly back to Brazil right now and directly apologize to the property owner he hurt, the security guards he disrespected, the local Olympic committee he offended, the national leaders whose fortunes and sweat were laid on the line to pull the Olympics off, and the millions of people whose pride was hurt. Beyond that, if Lochke does this right, he will continue to get endorsement contracts that he can leverage to provide trust funds for much needed causes in Brazil, perhaps especially for young athletes and scholars.

And even if atonement, even the sincerest form of it, does not win over hearts and minds, the very act itself is healing and the right thing to do.

A manual typewriter produced this post

A manual typewriter produced this post

I am writing this blog post on a manual typewriter and you are asking why. On this portable Royal made in the 1940s, I get no interference from the internet. Nobody is spying on me. I feel I am carving letters into stone instead of floating temporary nothingness into a cold, silent universe. Finally, a typewriter demands more focus on correctness of spelling, grammar and well-constructed thoughts.

Typewriters once freed me from loneliness when I was a teenager. Some innate passion to write bubbled up around age sixteen and has only grown more ferocious over many years. When my son Jason gifted me this machine last year for my birthday, I had no idea what joy lay before me. From his perspective, hearing me clack and sound the carriage bell immediately triggered memories of his father at the dining room table with a chain of cigarettes hanging from his lips. These were nice memories for the both of us. Yes, I am sorry cigarettes are death threats to us. I gave them up around 1979, but still miss them and the sexiness surrounding the smoking culture of my generation.

So are you now asking how this hard copy typing got digitalized for a blog post? To me, it was surprising how easy it was to just take a photo through the Microsoft Office Lens app, then edit it digitally right away.

I am including a photo of the original typewritten piece so you can peek at the process.

At least the next few posts will start on this Royal. I am speaking my own Personality as a Second Language (PSL) through a typewriter. I even love how the machine smells. The bottom line, and this IS the bottom line, is that THE REAL ME IS BACK!

manual typewriter
First draft on manual typewriter
Appreciating what’s driving other people

Appreciating what’s driving other people

The only way to change the world, according to Tony Robbins at the very end of his TED Talk Why We Do What We Do, is to “appreciate what’s driving other people.” People in my training sessions have all experienced what other people’s values actually look like. For example, Orange people are driven to compete, but non-Orange people can judge all that competition as just plain annoying. So instead, shouldn’t non-Oranges step back for a moment? Should they not consider that their NASCAR-loving brother-in-law Mike gets high on life when he gets a chance to be top dog? Orange Mike is driven to compete. Mike gets off on winning, or at least trying to win. What business do we have raging at Mike’s great joy in life? Perhaps we should ask ourselves what core values in our own lives will make us just as passionate as Mike.

It can be hard to see what’s driving other people

My own mother unknowingly tortured me, my sister and Dad with tales of heroic frugality at every dinner table. I am not kidding. She listed the prices of all the food items. She walked us down the aisles of the stores she visited.  Mom recalled the coupons used.  She smiled at her own cleverness of heating up leftovers when possible. She bragged our desserts were homemade and surely finer and healthier than the expensive goodies advertised on TV. Sadly, it was only decades later that I realized she was glowing with pride for high Gold achievement. For Mom, frugality enshrined the Gold core values of responsibility and conservation of resources. She was certain she was always striving to do the right thing. She used the dinner table to role model and teach the right thing.

So I ask you. Imagine how smoother my relationship with Mom could have been. Her core values were definitely not my core values. I too often chose to get angry about hers. I chose to demean her for being almost ridiculously true to her own belief system. Needless to say, I could have figured it out. She did grow up in the Great Depression. Believe me, her family had been dirt poor, but came out on top because of unrelenting hard work and, yes, frugality.

And what else might I have done to have better conversations with Mom? For one, I could have learned to speak Gold. For example, when I wanted to urge her to buy store-bought desserts, I could have countered with nutrition info. I could have comparison shopped. I could have made a case for time savings. I could have bought a few items with paper route money for her to sample.

I like to think I could have changed my little world a little by appreciating better what was driving Mom.

 

Are we born with a personality?

Are we born with a personality?

If we really are born with a personality, as many psychologists tell us, there is plenty of evidence to makes us think so, but also plenty to argue against it.

If I were a Badass Orange person, for example, you just might agree I was probably born with great physical abilities and an adventurous nature. I would tell you that, yes, I worked hard to get skillful, but that I honestly feel that I was gifted at birth with a terrific body type, a bottomless cauldron of endless energy, and a ridiculous comfort level with risky behavior. I’d say, yes, you are looking at a naturally born Badass. I am Orange, Orange, Orange.

On the other hand, we just might discover that our individual temperaments are nothing like our parents’. Our siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and our own children have core values in direct contrast to our own. How could our own DNA manifest itself so differently? How is it, then, that we are ‘born’ with this personality?

I challenge you to look back over your whole life for just a minute. How different are you, really, from the kid in grade school you remember? Was your main core value that much different from now? For example, if you were dependably responsible then, are you still that way now? I mean, is ‘dependable responsibility’ still more important than harmony seeking, than knowledge and competence, or than personal freedom? If that principal core value remains the same, there’s a case to be made that you came into the world with a strong DNA-based temperament. You always were and always will be Gold, a Loyalist, a logistical thinker.

Needless to say, you were a hostage of your parents until your teenage years, so you have to wonder how much of ‘who you are’ comes from a natural temperament and how much comes from the intense nurturing that your parents and community thrust upon you for over a dozen years. All those people influenced your thinking, your philosophy of life, your religion, even your politics and career choices. You have to ask yourself, “How many of my life choices came from the real me, from my innate temperament, and how many were influenced by the society around me?

Whose life?

So am I living my own life, or someone else’s idea of life?”

To paraphrase Rene Descartes, we can’t live until we reject everything we’ve been taught and then begin to design our own life. Descartes’ thinking must have come from the realization that a real, innate self needs to trump the weavings of the cultures swirling around us in order for us to truly fulfill our destiny. Ah, there’s the word: Destiny. And I don’t think the word ‘destiny’ here means ‘pre-destined fate’ that we really cannot control, but a pre-determined set of talents and intelligence that need to blossom under our own control, in the face of the cultures around us, to find the best possible path for a lifetime.

So do I think we were all born with a temperament? You betcha. Both nature and nurture contribute to who we are as whole persons, but I am certain our brains and bodies arrive with some kind of pre-installed hard drive (temperament) that develops into a whole character through configurations with the apps of life.

The trick, I think, is to discover the right path early in life rather than later. And if it’s clear our own path differs significantly from the paths of the gang that lives around us, our choice to follow our own right path will probably demand a ton of uncomfortable honesty and raw courage.

Can clothes reveal your personality?

Can clothes reveal your personality?

Can you guess a person’s personality type by their clothing? I spent hours in crowded airports the last few weeks and I am convinced that even amateur personality typers can eyeball clothing and correctly guess a personality type at 50% or higher. Yes, you can guess wrong, sometimes more than 50%, but do pat yourself on the back and let yourself to be pleasantly surprised when you find out you can nail the personality of lots of people by noticing their clothes.

For me, Blue Gurus are the easiest to spot. Dead giveways of course are tie-dye skirts and loosely tied-up hair, but Blues would be horrified if you stereotyped the lot of them as hippies. Still, twenty-first century Blues can tend to wear not-so-trendy “comfort clothes” that hippies surely favored, like loose-fitting shirts and skirts of soft and simple fabrics — more outdoorsy cotton and wool than silky or sythetic flash. Notice soft functional shoes and sandals, minimal earthy jewelry, as well as satchels with wide shoulder straps.

Gold Loyalists aren’t so difficult to spot either. Obviously the ultimate Gold attire is trendy-conservative to the point of looking “uniform”. Relax, Golds, that too is an unfair stereotype. But face it, Gold clothing tends to be good quality yet economical, not-over-the-top trendy, appropriate, clean, matching, color-coordinated, and acceptable for each setting. The Gold “package” says “I care” and “I am careful about my outward appearance.” This includes manicuring, near-to-trendy hair, and tasteful quality jewelry. Golds are modest and of course want to look sexy “when appropriate,” but rarely over-the-top.

I think Greens are the hardest to spot. Yes, many dress like stereotypical “geeks” with more function than fashion — unashamed to wear a Go-Pro camera or Google glasses, mismatched shorts and shirts, ugly but comfortable shoes, and unkempt hair. On the other hand, perfectionistic Green Geeks who are sensitive about their image of careful competence might choose to wear attractive and comfortable outfits that range from formal business to less formal. They might pro-actively choose what’s professional and what makes them approachable. In any case, many Greens will agree they don’t want their clothing calling attention to their physical selves over their good ideas and accomplishments.

Orange Badasses dress with style — personal style. Their clothes tend to scream “I am free and I am me.” I am a star athlete or a cool musician or a dancer or the best carpenter in the world or the bravest fire fighter or the sexiest dude in town or the most laid-back artist on the river. If any personality type is over-the-top, it can be an Orange Badass — creative, colorful, tattooed, very “today,” or one of a kind — in any case, cool — a player, a free agent, a physical star, an action seeker, a risk-taker, or even an introverted but free spirit. You’ll be surprised at how many startlingly creative dressers are introverted Oranges. Like Badass words and behavior, Orange clothes can make a stand that “rules are for other people.”

Try guessing the four personality types in crowded places. I prefer airports because all Colors will show up there for sure. Even better are crowds of tourists in other countries. If you really want a slice of society, check out shopping malls in December.

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Choosing Just ONE New Year’s Resolution

Look up “change one thing” at Amazon.com and you’ll find a handful of self-help books with such a title. I myself am living proof that it works, not only because changing one thing is easy, but because it has a domino effect on the rest of your life.

Take a look at your weakest Window Color and find a strength there that you KNOW you need, then work on that one thing. If you’ve forgotten your Windows Color Spectrum, click here to take the survey. It’s free.

In my case, a long time ago, I chose to arrive early for all my sales appointments. Being on time or early is a signature Gold Window strength. Gold was so weak in my character that it hardly registered on any scale at all. Bottom line, by making the change to show up early at appointments, my sales career turned around. And I surprisingly gathered other Gold strengths without thinking about them, such as not cancelling appointments, by preparing better, and by developing pretty good follow-up techniques.

So I urge you to consider making just one New Years Resolution for 2016. And consider scanning the strengths of your weakest Window. Here are some suggestions.

If your GOLD Window is foggy:
• Save money regularly.
• Make a financial management plan and follow it.
• Buy something that will appreciate.
• Commit more strongly to something or someone.
• Never be the first to change an appointment or be late for one.
• Spend a little more time on projects that test your patience.

If your ORANGE Window sheds little light:
• Be in the now, embrace the now, and wallow in it gleefully.
• Set up triggers to lighten up.
• Take up some physical activities and don’t stop doing them.
• Follow impulses – for some fun.
• Learn or develop skills — for art, sport, or fitness — especially for self-expression.
• Kill your fears and welcome new things to do, at least one a week.

Do you need to clean your BLUE glasses?
• Devote yourself passionately to someone who needs your help and cannot give anything back.
• Stop judging and be more adaptable to others’ ideas.
• Understand someone’s feelings as a possible logical indicator of reality.
• Be more enthusiastic around others.
• Regularly ask yourself how others might be thinking and feeling.
• Study morals and ethics.

Is it hard being GREEN?
• Regularly and aggressively understand at least two sides to controversies around you.
• Before buying something expensive, do deep research on it, demanding thoroughness, quality, and excellent scientific inquiry.
• Use words to express yourself accurately, avoiding vagueness and sloppy thinking.
• Upgrade the level of information you take in by choosing better quality reading and media.
• Make a hypothesis, do some research, then carefully explain your findings.
• Read about nature and how to interact with it better.

Yes, there are 24 possible resolutions above. Don’t get crazy with ideas. Choose JUST ONE, stick to it, then watch some magic happen throughout 2016.

Do you know what “sonder” means?

Do you know what “sonder” means?

The free and grateful Amanda Knox writes a regular column in the West Seattle Herald. She loves words and wrote recently about the word ‘sonder’: Sonder – n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

The one word missing from this definition is the logical conclusion from the definition, i.e., a ‘different’ perspective. Thus, people live a life as vivid and complex as our own, and therefore live it from a different perspective. For example, if you and your siblings were raised by the same two parents, you are shocked to find twenty years later that individual  memories and perspective of those parents can be wildly dissimilar. Knox made a similar comparison to different artists painting the same bowl of fruit.

Most of us make the mistake of believing the people we know see the world as we do. Interestingly, the closer and more intimate we are with people the more we can mistakingly believe in shared sets of values. In reality, the life inside each one of us is vivid in so many colors and ridiculously complex. If we knew the true inner workings of our friends and relatives, we would stop being judgmental forever.

Add hard-core personality differences to the mix and voila(!) it’s a miracle we manage to get along at all. A logistical Gold child sees an adventuresome Orange parent as dangerous and frightening. The harmony-seeking Blue child assumes the fetal position during a parental argument, even if multiple arguments prove they were only loud but never threatening. A normally rational Green child never understands punishments when she normally feels some disobedience was carefully reasoned instead of lippy. In the face of overly responsible Gold parents, a risk-taking Orange child breaks things just because he sees the parents as prison wardens.  So imagine, therefore, the joy of seeing, understanding, and really knowing how most people of the different personality types actually think!

My own parents were invariably Gold, unapologetically rule-oriented. They have passed to the next world and I cannot tell you how much I want just one more coversation with them about how we see one other and, especially, how we can better demonstrate that we understand and respect one another…forever and ever.

Do you want to know where your personality falls in the Four Windows Color System? Here’s a link to the free survey: http://www.JackDermody.com/free-survey