Business to Business

Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

by Joseph McGuire on 29th November 2018 Comments Off on Learning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

coffee break

All successful networking is dependent on two key things: reciprocity and curiosity.”
Phyllis Weiss Haserot

Unlike many people I enjoy networking, but it certainly wasn’t always the case. Now I’m happy to go into a room to meet people whether I know them beforehand or not. When I first began networking I found the experience particularly daunting. Generally I coped by helping set up the room, hanging around with someone I knew, standing silently in a group and frequent visits to the bathroom to calm my nerves.

After a while I began to learn the value of listening. Appearing at least to be interested rather than trying to be interesting served me better. I even went as far as compiling a list of stock open-ended questions to use at events so that people would talk to me, avoid dead air and ensure I didn’t look like Billy-No-Mates! Being willing to ask questions also had another benefit. It made me more approachable as people saw that I was willing to engage and listen. It also transpired that I was sometimes asking questions which others wanted to but felt too awkward to ask. It saved them from appearing foolish as they saw it. For me it meant I learnt something new and my often naïve questions often prompted fresh reflection on the part of the speaker.

It began to dawn on me that many others were also uncomfortable in the situation. As I paid more attention to listening and observing it became apparent that quite a few individuals in virtually every gathering were making small talk to fill the silence rather than speaking to connect. Many will also gravitate towards those they already know. If those individuals are speaking to someone new it presents the opportunity of a fresh introduction. Otherwise why not introduce yourself to someone you haven’t met and learn about them? You may be able to help them directly or indirectly which will benefit them and make you look good.

In preparing myself to enter a room I have several key points to remember:

  • It’s often a good idea if you’re new to arrive early and help the organizers setup. It makes you look good and provides you with immediate introductions.
  • If possible get a list of registered attendees beforehand and target specific people to meet. Bear in mind you’re not looking initially to sell anything but to arrange a meeting.
  • Make sure to follow up on all such introductions within 48 hours at most.
  • Bring a buddy if you’re nervous and speak to other attendees about each other. Promoting the interests of someone else may be easier than speaking about oneself.
  • Keep your questions concise but open and demonstrate that you are listening.
  • Stand tall when entering the room, make eye contact and smile – always remember to smile!
  • Know why you’re there, move around, meet the people you want to meet and learn to effectively and politely disengage!

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Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireLearning to Network – from Stress to Pleasure

You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?

by Joseph McGuire on 11th November 2018 Comments Off on You May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?
Listen To The Listening Bronze To Listen Sculpture

Creative Commons Zero CCO

Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn

Listening is a key component of successful and effective communication between any two or more humans. How often do we hear ‘debates’ on radio or TV where there is an almost total absence of listening. So often these exchanges are marked and fuelled by an apparent compulsion by participants to talk, often to the extent of going completely off topic.

I’ll leave it to psychologists to analyse the reasons why this phenomenon is so prevalent. My focus here is on the positive benefits of learning to listen. Doing so enables us to hear not just what is being said but also the tone and intent behind them. We can also learn to listen for what is being omitted, whether intentionally or otherwise.

But behaviour in the human being is sometimes a defence, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.”Abraham Maslow

Albert Mehrabians oft misquoted study refers to the percentages of understanding and congruency in conversations with a strong emotional content. His breakdown of 38%, 55% and 7% relates to tone and syntax, body language, and the words themselves. Too often we focus our attention on the words and allow ourselves to be distracted and even misdirected. It then becomes easy to miss the incongruencies in the mix of body language etc, especially if the speaker is eloquent, or more technologically competent than we are.

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” – Joseph Priestley

It requires confidence, awareness and willingness to listen with care. Whether in interviews, negotiations or sales processes the potential misdirections are plentiful. Extending our listening skills beyond our ears and intellect to ‘whole body listening’ helps greatly. Aligning all our faculties enables us to hear what is said, the intention behind it and what is left unsaid. Having a more complete picture allows us to give a much more informed response.

Start practicing by putting your feet on the ground and rest your hands on your thighs. Pay attention to your breath both in and out, and focus on the rhythm. Briefly scan your body from head to toe for any areas of tension. Gently roll/shake any such areas to begin a relaxation process – it won’t all happen at once but you’re making a start. Repeat daily for even 5 minutes at a time and you’ll see obvious benefits. Cultivating the awareness of your own body and its signals will increase your alertness for incongruencies in those you’re interviewing/negotiating with.

Relaxed alertness without straining facilitates a deeper level of understanding and is a means to differentiating between clear and hopeful decisions, leading to better deals!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the recently published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group training and presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireYou May Be Listening But Are You Hearing?

So You’re the Interviewer – Are You Really Paying Attention?

by Joseph McGuire on 1st October 2018 Comments Off on So You’re the Interviewer – Are You Really Paying Attention?

tim-gouw-79563-unsplash

(Photo credit Tim Gouw – unsplash)

As a presenter at the recent Networking Summit in Dublin I had the opportunity to engage with attendees from many different business backgrounds. One question I was asked frequently was whether I help interviewees prepare by profiling their known or likely interviewers beforehand. Whilst I do it on occasion I’m more likely to be found sitting with the interviewer(s).

Conducting an interview well requires a vital skillset which many interviewers lack. Indeed many interviewers appear to fall into the role without any training. Being head of a department is in itself by no means adequate. Frequently the area in which the successful applicant will work is not represented in the interview process. It is also unfortunately a common phenomenon for interviewers to fall victim to confirmation bias, either choosing or rejecting a candidate based on qualities they associate with people they either like or dislike.

All of that notwithstanding my role is to assess the candidates in terms of their personality, behaviour style, communication patterns – both how they communicate and how they receive and process – stress triggers and responses and their adaptability. As a rule the interviewer(s) will ask most of the questions, but I may well interject with one or more of my own if I see an issue which requires me to draw the attention of the interviewer.

Using my training in the Chinese art of Mien Shiang (Face Reading) I’m picking up a great deal of information about the aforementioned aspects of the interviewee. I’m also observing body language and micro expressions. When taken as a whole this offers a great deal of insight into the person behind the CV, their ability to articulate and the elegance and style of their attire.

Small details such as being overly demonstrative with their non-dominant hand, or sudden movements of their feet are often ‘red flags’ alerting me to incongruencies in their presentation. It is clearly understood by my clients that I do not advise on hiring/promoting or not. That must be their decision. What I provide is clear and accurate information as to the how the candidates are likely to interact and behave in the real workplace.

Aside from – and more important than – the hands and feet I recommend paying particular attention to the eyes. Making eye contact is normal in most western cultures and we form first impressions in a matter of seconds. Whether we pay conscious attention to those first impressions is another matter, especially in our modern world of continuous stimulatory bombardment! The eyes convey such a wealth of information about the individual that it is remiss in any business context not to pay attention.

In particular I recommend asking oneself the following questions:

  • Are the eyes warm or cold i.e. friendly or hostile?
  • Are they bright or dull i.e. energetic or tired?
  • Open and engaged or hiding?

Asking yourself these 3 questions and being alert for the answers will help eliminate making very expensive mistakes. Employing/promoting the wrong person at senior level may involve direct financial costs of 2.5 times their annual salary, disruption to employee morale resulting in decreased productivity and increased absenteeism, customer dissatisfaction and other negative ripple effects.

So I return to my original question to the interviewer. Are you paying attention? The truth is out there!

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the soon to be published book  Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’. Now available to pre-order:

https://clearsightcommunications.com/face-facts-book

Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. Contact: joseph@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireSo You’re the Interviewer – Are You Really Paying Attention?

Looking Beyond the Suits and Smiles

by Joseph McGuire on 13th August 2018 Comments Off on Looking Beyond the Suits and Smiles

‘All that glisters is not gold’ – quote from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Business smiles

Even with the growing popularity of workplace changes such as Casual Friday there is still an overwhelming tendency for business professionals at all levels to wear suits and more formal clothing. For some it is due to tradition, and for others it is an indication of status. Many are impressed and even intimidated by the outer appearance and fail to look beyond the surface.

In reality clothing and jewellery can serve as distractions, while labels and logos are often decoys – serving the phenomenon known as ‘peacocking’. Regardless of the context, when we meet another human being it is vital we learn to look ‘behind the veil’. In many cases, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz we may find the real figure is anything but impressive or substantial. To negotiate, recruit or build successful long term business relationships we need to take a calm clear look at the person, not their outer appearance.

In particular I strongly recommend you pay close attention to the eyes. Making eye contact and reading the eyes provides us with key information about each individual we meet. Confidence, happiness, deception, evasion,sadness, depression, vitality, and low energy are all visible if we allow ourselves to see. We should especially be alert to spot warmth, coldness or even an absence of emotion. The latter two qualities give immediate cause for concern in any putative business relationship!

There is an old saying that ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’. Without being too metaphysical we can gain greatly by simply opening our eyes to see what is revealed in clear sight, thus strengthening our position in all interactions.

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the soon to be published book ‘Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’.Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences.

For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireLooking Beyond the Suits and Smiles

5 Key non-Verbal tips for Negotiations

by Joseph McGuire on 18th May 2018 Comments Off on 5 Key non-Verbal tips for Negotiations

Throughout_the_Negotiations (Medium)

People may hear your words but they feel your body language”- John C Maxwell

You’ve done your due diligence on the business and prepared your position but you still have to meet and deal with the people. As we know these situations can be tense, and emotions have a way of creeping into our decision making. The ideal outcome is win-win but the reality is often different. So what can you do to influence positive progress? Here are 5 practical tips to help you tune in to and connect with your counterpart:

1) Walk calmly and slowly with an upright bearing into the room. This conveys a message of confidence and ease on your part, and the slower movement is non-threatening. It’s also a very good idea to observe how your counterpart moves and note if they move slowly, fast or with any degree of jerkiness. The latter will denote agitation or anxiety – unless of course there is a physical condition causing it – and may require an extra effort on your part to calm the atmosphere.

2) Shake hands. Research from Harvard Business School and the Booth School of Business (University of Chicago) shows that parties who shake hands at the outset experienced greater openness around issues of contention, leading to more satisfactory outcomes for both sides. (Note: the handshake should be neither the ‘Wet Fish’ nor the ‘Bonecrusher” – see my previous article on handshakes: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/introductions-your-handshake-speaks-volumes-joseph-mcguire/)

3) Make eye contact. It’s striking how often people focus on reading from prepared statements or turn their eyes away. It is equally advisable not to stare in an attempt to psyche out your counterpart a la boxers at a weigh-in. Calm relaxed and regular eye contact, ideally for a maximum of 30 seconds at a time conveys that you are present and engaged with the process.

4) Your smile should be the full Duchenne smile where your eyes crinkle, rather than just your mouth being involved. A full smile also conveys relaxed confidence and openness to engaging. It will also help ensure you remain relaxed as it transmits through your own physiology.

5) This may not always be possible depending on the setting, but if possible I’d recommend keeping your counterparts feet in view. Any sudden change of position, especially if the feet turn towards each other reveals the point being discussed is a ‘hot button’ for them. I’d advise noting it, letting it pass, and allowing the conversation move on to more neutral territory. When they have returned to their baseline state i.e. normal body language/posture raise the topic again. If their feet make the same or similar movement stick with the topic until you’re satisfied with the answer.

In the real world you may not always achieve the result you desire. You may have to settle for your BATNA – best alternative to a negotiated agreement – but at least if you’ve adopted the above tips you’ll be in a much more relaxed state regardless of the outcome.

If you like this article feel free to share it.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences.

For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuire5 Key non-Verbal tips for Negotiations

How Is Your Sales Team Performing?

by Joseph McGuire on 4th May 2018 Comments Off on How Is Your Sales Team Performing?

Sales handshake

Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti

You have targets and quotas. You have current and potential customers, but sales figures are not meeting your expectations. Some of your team are doing superbly but others are under-performing. You like them as people and you know they have potential – and in today’s climate you can’t easily fire them!

The training they’ve had has brought limited results. One probable issue is that they’re using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and treating each customer the same way. When we see things through the customer’s eyes we increase our chances of success. It’s not simply a question of price or want but rather of understanding their perspective and outlook. Give them the information they way they need to receive it and you open the door to success. You also sow the seeds for a successful long-term business relationship.

It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” –Mark Hunter

Learning to recognize small but significant differences in each person and respond accordingly brings a change in results. With new skills your salesperson achieves more and exudes greater confidence. You’re happier as profits rise and your customers get better service.

Key visual cues provide insights into the personality and behaviour style of each customer. These cues reveal how best to communicate with your customer – and potential customer – as an individual. Learning those details and how to use them well makes a big difference to your bottom line.

“Joseph’s unique skill clearly has an extensive range of applications for any person or business, a very powerful tool with immediate commercial benefits” – Stuart Sheehy (Financial Controller and Chartered Accountant)

When you’re ready to upskill your team in a way that makes a lasting difference call Clearsight Communications. We offer a range of training options to meet your needs and boost your sales.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

Or call: + 353-(0)87-246 1853

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Joseph McGuireHow Is Your Sales Team Performing?

6 Visual Communication Tips – Watch the Eyebrows

by Joseph McGuire on 18th April 2018 Comments Off on 6 Visual Communication Tips – Watch the Eyebrows

Eyebrows

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw

To offer an exceptional product or service is one thing, to communicate effectively about it is another. Just as a tailor takes careful measurements before making a suit so should we take into account the personality and behaviour style of our potential (and current) clients. No matter what our product or service offers we can be sure we’re competing with someone or something else. There will be several considerations for the client and understanding not just their priorities but their perspective will help give us an edge.

Recent research at the University of York into the role of eyebrows in human development indicates their primary role has been in communication. We use various movements of the eyebrows to express feelings and responses such as surprise, openness to engaging, sympathy and a great deal more. It isn’t only those movements which transmit signals as static eyebrows also provide a great deal of information. In particular they tell about how we receive and process information, how we engage with others and our approach to work. Here are 6 examples to be aware of when you want to ensure you get your message across to best effect:

The Unibrow

Ronnie O'Sullivan eyebrows 1

The Unibrow indicates a very busy mind. Those possessed of one are likely to be emotionally cautious and slow to trust. When dealing with them be patient and consistent, and be prepared for lots of questions. Be sure to follow through on all agreements as they will remember any instance where they have been let down, and they tend to be slow to forgive. They may also have very definite opinions so be prepared to have a number of meetings before you see any signs of progress.

Overhanging Eyebrows

MittRomney eyebrows

Eyebrows sitting close to the eyes are a sign of a mind which reacts quickly, even impatiently. They’re often likely to interrupt before you’ve finished speaking, and are not always diplomatic! Be prepared for questions which may not relate directly to your offering, and to direct the conversation back to its central theme – you may need to do this frequently. Above all be clear and speak fast as slow rambling speech will cause them to lose interest swiftly. Note that if the eyebrows move downwards towards the eyes while you are speaking the other party has stopped listening and is preoccupied with what they want to say. Be alert for this signal!

Inverted V

Larry_Ellison_eyebrows picture

The inverted or upside down V, or the eyebrow angled downwards towards the inner corner of the eye is a sign of an autocratic nature. These people expect to be in charge, and expect their instructions to be carried out as directed. Patience is not their strong point. When dealing with them be sure you are thoroughly prepared. Even when you are they may well point out flaws in your proposition, and do so in a very direct manner. Either way you may expect a quick decision as they have no time for prevarication. Be sure to do a thorough background check on how others have dealt successfully with them in the past.

Straight Eyebrows

Bill Gates eyebrows 1

When the main body of the eyebrow is quite straight we can tell that this individual has an analytical mind. When speaking to them all information should be presented in a logical and structured fashion. Details are important to them and they have little interest in ‘touchy feely’ unless they can see practical application. The thicker the eyebrow the more information they will comfortably absorb at one time.

Upright Hairs

BradPitt eyebrows crop

A cluster of upright hairs at the beginning of the eyebrows tells us this is someone who will quickly spot the potential problems in a new proposition or project, and is likely to point them out. They can be invaluable to have around if you want an honest verdict before taking your product or service to market. Your ego may not like it but their input is invariably practical.

Curved Eyebrows

Julia_Louis-Dreyfus_eyebrows VF_2012_Shankbone_3

Curved eyebrows reflect a more person oriented outlook. This is a time for demonstrating so called ‘soft skills’ such as empathy. Showing that you are genuinely interested in them and their viewpoint will at least open the door to a meaningful discussion. Take time, avoid being pushy and allow trust to build.

I’m frequently asked about women tweaking or treating their eyebrows and how that impacts on what I see. Any cosmetic alteration is seen as an external manifestation of a desire for internal change. We can often see where the changes have been made as well as the results. Even simply seeing the results reveals the aspirations, and the eyes themselves tell whether those aspirations have been met.

Studies have shown that those repeatedly using Botox are not only less expressive in their features but also tend to be less willing to engage on a deeper level. Food for thought!

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuire6 Visual Communication Tips – Watch the Eyebrows

Introductions: Your Handshake Speaks Volumes

by Joseph McGuire on 15th October 2017 Comments Off on Introductions: Your Handshake Speaks Volumes

hands-1445472_960_720 (Mobile)

I have always been an honest trader. I come from a school of traders where there was honour in the deal. No contracts, just a handshake and that’s it, done. That’s the way I prefer to do business but it’s not always possible these days, sadly.” – Lord Alan Sugar

On meeting one of the first things we normally do is shake hands. Whether or not we are conscious of it how we do so offers a distinct first impression of our personality. In essence there are 4 types of handshake with a few sub-variations. Whatever your handshake it should only last as long as it takes to greet each other. Do remember also to always make eye contact when shaking hands. Failure to do so may be taken as a sign that you are being evasive!

The Bonecrusher – I know of at least one case where this actually happened and a petite and very polite woman suffered broken fingers. This handshake is invariably given by those who see themselves as dominant males. It shows little awareness or appreciation of the wellbeing or needs of others. Those who shake hands like this expect attention and even acquiescence. They also tend to prioritise doing business over small talk, and making decisions quickly.

In some cases – notably among political leaders – they will use the double handed grip to demonstrate that they are in charge! They may also favour the palm downwards variation which again is intended to reflect dominance. Both are widely regarded as unfriendly gestures.

Reagan-Gorbachev_shaking_hands_1988-12-07 (Mobile)

The Pumper – They’ll greet you enthusiastically and shake your hand quite vigorously. Even if meeting for the first time they’re pleased to see you and want to get to know you. You may get business done, but for them it will be part of the process rather than necessarily the core purpose for meeting. Building relationships and making introductions is central to their raison d’être. On meeting them for a second time they may well attempt to hug you in their enthusiasm.

The Long Grip – The grip is firm but they don’t let go as if for fear of upsetting you. They tend to be less confident socially and place great emphasis on taking care of others. Being pressurised to make decisions quickly makes them distinctly uncomfortable as they much prefer to mull things over at length. They also tend to build relationships slowly and place great value on loyalty.

The Wet Fish – There is a general perception that a weak handshake reflects a weak personality, and I would caution against making that assumption. Medical professionals will be well aware of arthritis sufferers for whom shaking hands is very painful, and whose grip is weak as a consequence. Outside of medical conditions the Wet Fish handshake tends to indicate a personality more attuned to projects and details rather than people. They’re not necessarily unfriendly. Rather it’s a case of let’s deal with the information first and make sure everything is in order. Please note that these people do not hug!

The cultural anthropologist Edward T. Hall coined the term proxemics, which refers to the physical spaces between people with which different cultures tend to be comfortable. Those with the Wet Fish handshake become particularly uncomfortable when their space is encroached upon. Standing too close when you have just met them may give them cause to dislike you and hinder any potential business deal.

Government Press Office (Israel) (Mobile)

As in the above example those who shake hands at a distance are clearly indicating their discomfort at being in the presence of particular individuals. This particular photo refers to a very specific and tense political situation, but such handshakes are not unknown in business. In such cases it will take a monumental effort to establish any degree of trust, and negotiations are likely to be long drawn out and quite fraught.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

 

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Joseph McGuireIntroductions: Your Handshake Speaks Volumes

To Spot Bullies and Fraudsters – Watch the Eyes

by Joseph McGuire on 2nd September 2017 Comments Off on To Spot Bullies and Fraudsters – Watch the Eyes

                    ‘The people who have power over me, I give it to them’-Chinese proverb

In recent years across the globe we have instance after instance of business leaders and politicians falling from grace due to unethical behaviour. Bullying and fraud frequently go hand in hand. The causes of both behaviours are many and varied, and it is not my intention to investigate them here. My concern here is solely with spotting the signs and ensuring we do not expose ourselves to the pain and trauma of either.

Bullies and fraudsters invariably present a confident and often overpowering image. When we meet anyone like that who presents a proposition which claims to bring us great advantage or gain I strongly advise taking a deep breath and a step back to review.  Some key questions are:

  • Has this person clearly demonstrated their trustworthiness and credibility?
  • Who do I know and trust who can verify this?
  • Do I feel intimidated or pressurised?
  • Have I been fooled before?
  • Can I afford to lose my investment?

Remaining calm and relaxed is vital to ensuring we are not seduced by false prophets. We should also polish up our observational skills. Bullies and fraudsters are especially observant. Their eyes are alert for clues as to who will be a likely victim. Being calm and alert will allow you to spot them coming, and a key clue is in the eyes. In particular what we consistently see with fraudsters and bullies is a distinct coldness. Below is a series of eyes belonging to infamous characters from business and 1 from the world of sport. They share varying degrees of coldness, and one has an added dimension of anger. How many can you identify?

ABernardMadoff eyes

B Jeffrey_Skilling_eyes

CJordan-Belfort.eyes

DKen_Lay.eyes

ELance Armstrong eyes

The answers in order are: A) Bernie Madoff, B) Jeffrey Skilling, C) Ken Lay, D) Jordan Belfort, and  E) Lance Armstrong

It requires confidence to look someone clearly in the eyes and remain focused. Fraudsters in particular like to create doubt and confusion. It is always better to cultivate calmness, stay grounded and keep our intuition on alert – and practice, practice, practice your observational skills!

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuireTo Spot Bullies and Fraudsters – Watch the Eyes

5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving

by Joseph McGuire on 23rd August 2017 Comments Off on 5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving

Frustrated_man_at_a_desk.jpg Author LaurMG

How attentive are you to the everyday world around you? Every day there are visual and other clues as to how those in the workplace around us are feeling, and by extension performing. Employee retention is an increasingly hot topic. Many companies concerned about the issue seem to be very slow in either recognizing the signs of employee dissatisfaction or dealing with the underlying issues.

Overbearing, unappreciative or incompetent bosses are just three potential factors and I’ll address these in other articles. For now I’ll focus on 5 visual clues that indicate your best people are not happy and may be considering leaving. The potential costs of not spotting the clues and engaging with the employee are considerable. You are faced with not just the disruption to current projects, but also re-hiring and training costs, potential impact on morale and performance of other staff, and impact on customer relationships. Altogether an unappealing prospect!

We all suffer at times from ‘inattentional blindness’ where we are simply not alert to what is clearly visible in our immediate environment. Here are 5 common visual clues that people around you are not happy:

Dark circles under the eyes. This indicates physical, mental and emotional fatigue. The darker the circles the more chronic the issue. They appear over a period of time and show an individual who is in effect running to keep up. Even if they are not immediately thinking of leaving their motivation and enthusiasm levels are likely to have dropped significantly. As their boss it is advisable to monitor their needs – not just their performance – and demonstrate consistent support and appreciation. If you want to keep them this really is not negotiable.

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Increased vertical furrows between the eyebrows. Again developing over a period of time these reflect a higher level of internal pressure and self-criticism. As these lines also relate to hypoglycaemia we might expect to see patterns of irritability, and either indecision or impulsive decision making.

tony-blair forehead

 

Tension in the jaw. This is visible at the sides of the face – physical therapists often refer to TMJ (Temporo Mandibular Joint) syndrome- as if the muscles are being sucked taut. They may mention grinding their teeth at night. Either way we can take it that they are holding in a good deal of anger which may be released in one big explosion. Even if nothing in the work environment is a causative factor this condition will impact on both individual work performance and relationships with colleagues. An attentive and skilled HR professional can be priceless in this situation.

malcolmx_angry large crop

Slumped or lethargic posture in someone who is normally outgoing and energetic. This is indicative of a general loss of energy, interest and enthusiasm – possibly even depression. Alert and pro-active managers will take such individuals aside and calmly and gently probe for clues, making sure to demonstrate – and not just talk about- their support. Being seen and heard, especially if the support is consistent will make a real difference.

black_and_white_depressed_depression_dress_girl_sitting_tiles_waiting-951471.jpg!d

The eyes are ultimately the biggest clue. The visual here is of a U.S. marine with what has become known as the ‘thousand yard stare’. Obviously this is not specific to a typical workplace environment, but variations on such a look are very common in individuals who have become disinterested or demotivated. Other than in intimate situations we tend not to spend much time looking closely into the eyes of another being. A skilled Face Reader will notice quickly whether or not ‘the lights are on’. Eyes which are normally bright but which have lost their sparkle reveal an individual who is struggling. Once again the cause may or may not be work related but their condition will impact on their work.

Thousand Yard Stare WW2_Marine_after_Eniwetok_assault

If only one of these visual clues is present it should not be taken as a sign that the individual intends to leave. If you see a cluster you need to pay attention. Either way the individual will benefit from a consistent demonstration of support and appreciation. As their energy levels, motivation and enthusiasm are raised your business will see the benefits in key areas such as performance, teamwork, customer engagement, and reduced absenteeism. All of that has the potential to reduce your costs and increase your profits.

Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales and HR. Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences. For further information email: info@clearsightcommunications.com

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Joseph McGuire5 Visual Clues Your Best People are Thinking about Leaving