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Category: Work and Work Relationships

Yes, I’m still alive.

Yes, I’m still alive.

More than words can say

Thanks for asking. I am indeed alive and celebrating a milestone birthday. This blog too lives again.

Let’s be friends again. Here’s a suggestion. How about visiting the https://www.jackdermody.com/free-survey? Yup, it’s free.

Ask a loved one to take it. Enjoy a chat about your core values. Such a healthy conversation. https://www.jackdermody.com/free-survey.

Got questions afterwards? I’m at dermody@cox.net.

Stay tuned. I’m also about to launch a national tour.

Cheers,

Jack

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.

 

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

 

 

 

So you want your committee to succeed?

So you want your committee to succeed?

Rule #1 for committee formation: Invite people whose values and strengths differ from yours.

If you don’t have Greens (rationals), you might lack lovers of research and long-term strategic thinking. For example, if you were on the committee to protect kids from violence in your local grade school, Greens would look for best practices locally, nationally, and internationally – with gusto and thoroughness.

If you don’t have Golds (guardians), consider disbanding the committee. Those guys stay on top of logistics, rules, policies, and especially follow-through. For the grade school anti-violence committee, Golds will probably link the committee’s work to respected organizations and leaders in the larger community, will guard against sloppiness and inconsistencies, and will hold everyone else’s feet to the fire of quality and high responsibility.

The Blue people (idealists) facilitate, mediate, teach, mentor and often become the greatest cheerleaders for the committee’s mission and implementation. Without Blues, don’t be surprised if the people you need to persuade tell you that your committee wreaks of sharp-edged, bureaucratic turn-offs. Besides, For the school anti-violence committee, the Blues will not let you forget the people issues, human feelings, and ways to appeal to peoples’ emotions, ideals, and dreams.

Oranges (artisans) are the least likely to be invited to join a committee. Oranges themselves shy away from sit-down events for fear of slow activity. Non-Oranges are wary of fast Orange decision making. Orange strengths, however, include inborn high practicality, natural awareness of common-sense priorities, and especially abilities to carry out and enforce safety measures. For protecting school children, Oranges are the natural first-responders and uniquely capable to lead and think on their feet when it matters.

Each temperament style has values and strengths that differ from the others. At least three styles see life significantly differently from each one of us. They complete us. They are rich resources. Together we build collective wisdom, even genius. So how wouldn’t a genius committee succeed?

 

How important is blogging?

How important is blogging?

I have seen precious little evidence that blogging matters. Millions of people are blogging, but who is paying attention? I am guessing that a handful of bloggers have such unique material and compelling issues that they of course rise to the top. The rest of us must be flailing in the wind, blogging to ourselves and a few friends, hoping against hope that what we think and say even matters. Is it possible that Facebook is more effective than most blogs?

Yes, I see some people and organizations stand out like Fast Company, the social media version of it. I’ve recently discovered Gretchen Rubin who is BRILLIANT. How does one complete for attention with those heavies in the marketplace?

Well the answer, I guess, is to do stuff that seems to matter — and, eventually, a few people might care about it as much as you do…and then they’ll spread the word.

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

Choose Valentine Gifts by “Color”

If you want an idea or two for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, here you go.

We know to give presents that our loved ones actually want, and not what we want, right? It’s probably hardest to buy stuff for people so different from us because we ourselves do not place the same value on the gift. For example, my very Orange adult granddaughter wants a new tattoo for the holiday. To begin with, I don’t understand tattoos at all and certainly would never spend any money on one for myself. But that’s the point of a gift, isn’t it? It’s a gift — something truly valuable to the recipient.

If you do not remember what the Colors mean, here’s the link: http://www.jackdermody.com/4w.html

Gold Gifts. Who is the traditional, responsible Gold person in your life? They like what’s “right.” Here’s a partial list: tasteful jewelry and clothing, practical furnishings and utensils for the home, the next piece of a cherished collection, gift cards for the right store, or an intimate item that further bonds your relationship.

Green Gifts. Your rational, deep-thinking Green friends and family members like stuff for their minds: cutting-edge software, books, intriguing games, coveted resources, tickets to events around their favorite subjects and hobbies, and useful material things that keep life utilitarian and efficient.

Blue Gifts.Those idealistic, harmony-seeking Blue folks in your life may be the least expensive to shop for just because they can value “the thought” more highly the actual gift. Are you good at making things that you can custom-tailor for your loved one? Can you write something special? How about tickets to music, theater, and concerts? Flowers and arty things? Or a warm piece of clothing they’ll always remember you by?

Orange Gifts. Truth be known, nearly everybody wants to get what Oranges want and usually get. Oranges just want to have fun. They want to enjoy personal freedom. So they get surprises, trips, the latest clothes, cool tools, exciting games, toys, musical instruments, vacation tickets — well, you get the idea.

Here’s my own take on gifting. The best gifts are given with no strings, no investment in the outcome — except in the hope the gift will bring genuine joy — however temporary — to the recipient. Say what you will about the materialism of the day, underneath the colorful ribbons and enormous credit card debt is a desire to enrich the lives of others.