Initial impressions – Nail your First Impression within seconds

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Be yourself

Being yourself is the best way to make a great, sustainable first impression within every kind of scenario. You are so good at what you do, others better take you the way you are. Just be yourself. Flash and brash, it’s who you are. Take it or leave it.

Never joined a business dinner before? Be yourself. You don’t have the slightest clue about a weird thing called dresscode? Be yourself and ‘come as you are no matter what’.

As you see, the principles of being yourself work in every kind of situation. Why? It works because you never have to worry about educating or selling yourself again. Any lacks of competence or capability can be easily pushed aside from now on. Obviously, being yourself even works if you suck ass. Rely on being yourself. First impressions are for those who need them.

Further tips for genius initial impressions

Give him that old vice grip handshake, pump it until he winces. Or either give him a handshake weak enough to substantiate your personal weakness. Additionally flash those pearly whites the sorority girls love, and start with your best dirty joke. Etiquette guides or handbooks of manners are meant to be ignored, that’s why savvy scientists spend years on research and development within that field.

Besides all that, it doesn’t matter if you suck at making a good first impression since you usually have enough time to correct yourself when making a solid second impression.

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The Psychology of that first impression

“There is no second chance for the first impression”

It’s been proven that people instantly judge each other within the first few seconds. Based on that impression they form their opinion. The following minutes are spend to confirm the opinion formed before. So once initial impressions are made, they tend to be confirmed. In cognitive psychology this is called confirmation bias. What? The information that is received right after the first impression is evaluated in a way that aligns/confirms the first impression. It’s a biased kind of information to validate the first impression.

As you see, making an outstandingly good impression is an essential skill to master when talking about becoming a badass in human interaction.

No one has to take you the way you are. In fact, if the situation calls for you to make the first impression, you are already at a slight disadvantage. When you interview for a job or meet a potential client, the burden is on you. Understanding and managing the psychology of that first impression levels the playing field.

Research supports three significant findings:

1. Initial impressions happen quickly. Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov claim, “all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions.”

2. Janice Wood of PsychCentral® writes, “first impressions are so powerful that they are more important than fact.”

3. Mark Rowh, writing for the American Psychological Association, says, “how you look and act can matter as much as your ideas.” And, he offers strategies to change your behavior for the better.

Initial impressions happen quickly

What’s new? Attractive people get treated well. Mature looks get more scrutiny than young faces. And, a smile gets you much further than a frown.

But, when you read those faces as attractive, likeable, competent, trustworthy, and aggressive, such quickly formed judgments become important and high impact.

Experiment participants were shown photographs of unfamiliar faces for different periods of time. Respondents consistently formed impressions in 1/10 of a second. Longer exposure to the test photographs reinforced confidence in the judgement.

First impressions override fact

Nicholas Rule, Ph.D., publishing for University of Toronto, found, “the less time we have to make our judgments, the more likely we are to go with our gut, even over fact.” First impressions happen so quickly that what is seen overrules what is known to be true.

For example, he found that people made judgements on sexual orientation contrary to what they knew to be true. Participants were given photographs of men and told the sexual orientation of each. The less time the participants had the pictures, the more likely they were to label the sexuality based on how the men appeared. The more time they had, the more likely they were to remember what they had been told.

Testing repeatedly indicates that people do, indeed, judge a book by its cover – whether or not that judgement has any validity in fact.

Managing your first impression

You want to improve your curb appeal, as it were. No one suggests that you be artificial or shallow. No one suggests you misrepresent yourself. Research seems to indicate that people see through that rather easily, uncomfortably, and permanently.

But, you do live out several scenarios a day. You behave differently with your teacher than you do with your butcher, differently with your waiter than you do with your minister. And, you would not consider this pretense.

A job interview is a behavioral situation. Meeting new clients is a behavioral situation. Each behavioral situation represents a psychological exchange and interplay, and each has its controls.

5 ways to improve your first impression:

1. Be early. Arriving early gives you some control of the logistics.

2. Dress appropriately. You should dress to a target above the minimal acceptable standards of that workplace of the job in that workplace.

3. Be Polite. Old-school manners still impress, and when manners seem natural, they confirm your rightness and readiness.

4. Watch the language. While you have to maintain eye contact, the listener very often focuses on your lips and appreciates the self-confidence revealed in your crisp articulate speaking voice.

5. Listen constructively. It’s not clear why, but silence is a powerful tool. So, you control the situation when you listen more than you talk.

The psychology of first impressions labels first impressions as a behavior that can be learned and changed. Research shows it very long lived after a very short event. It shows that initial impressions trump fact and alter future assessments. The researched psychology of the first impression can direct and improve your behavior.

 

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3 Characteristics of the most powerful people – time, serenity & decisions

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So you want to act like the most powerful people in the world, like a true leader or a top excecutive? It’s easier than you think.

Decision making is not for you

Don’t get involved into challenges that require any kind of decision making. If you mistakenly happen to be in a position of making a decision, then better find another idiot to make the decision for you. True power comes from being able to find a nice way of outsourcing your own bullshit to people who are dumb enough to do this work for you.

And let’s be honest, isn’t it way more convenient to have another asshole to blame things for if anything goes wrong? That’s what all powerful people have in common, they are convenient and don’t care about personal growth or pushing their limits to further levels.

Some people might say that it’s bad if other people make the decisions for you because you have less influence about the outcome and less power. What a joke. Why should you act result or growth-oriented if you can act “I rather save my own ass, bitch” oriented?

Taking responsibility for yourself isn’t for you and has nothing to do with power. It’s rather for the naive ones who are after sustainable success and authentic power giving them indepenence and strength in every situation and that’s nothing you’re after right?

Move fast, move a lot

Every lack of comepetence can be masked by increasing your body movements. Fast and hectic arm movements express focus and capability. And let’s be honest, these human vibrators are so much fun to be around. They talk and you can’t really decide whether to listen, to stare or to punch them in the face. But being a little provocative is good in business anyway.

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Characteristics of the most powerful people
1. The most powerful people are in charge of time

What is the most valuable resource we all share up to a certain degree? It is time. Why? Time is limited for every single human being, that’s what we all have in common no matter if we’re rich, poor, black,white or purple. A person who is in charge of the most valuable resource is pretty powerful. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The most powerful people are often the most skilled ones when it comes to managing their own, and even other people’s time.

You better educate yourself in the field of time management and learn how to manage your time wisely. Keep in mind: if you’re not able to manage your time, others, who know more about time management than you do, will take care of you. This is a bad position to be in, having other people controlling and managing your most valuable resource. You probably don’t want this to happen to your finances either, so why should you risk anything regarding to your time management. The most powerful people on this planet are way ahead of their competition when it comes to their time management.

  • They get shit done half the time others need for the same tasks.
  • They are the ones who schedule appointments and set up agendas for others
  • They steer how long a conversation lasts and when it ends

Who do you want to be? Do you want to be a pawn in the hands of the powerful? Or do you want to be a powerful person yourself? We assume the latter aspect seems to be more attractive, so start being the one who is in charge of the time, manage it wisely and steer your conversations by controlling the time aspect.

2. True leaders are calm & clear in their communication

If you take a closer look at the body language of the most powerful people, you will notice that their body movements back up their verbal communication. What? Their movements align with the words they say. They wouldn’t move more than necessary, that way, they massively increase relevance of the spoken word and their presence. Besides that, you would also notice that powerful people act quite calm when talking and moving. Why? A certain degree of calmness and serenity expresses confidence and the ability to comfortably fit into any surrounding. It’s a combination of serenity, calmness and still a high degree of certainty.

Your body movements should be efficient, limited to a minimum and perfectly timed. This is the way to reach badass level in natural authority and dominance. In this case, we like to give a little doggy example: If you compare the behaviour of small, tiny dogs to the behaviour of huge dogs, you clearly notice a difference between the two. Small dogs tend to be more active, louder and hectical.

Whereas huge dogs often seem to be quite calm and less active unless they really have to innervate their resources.dogs

Why is that? When it comes to a fight, smaller dogs are probably weaker, having less natural authority to come up with, because they are smaller and lighter. So they have to find another strategy in order to be perceived as a dominant player. As a compensation they increase their activity level, start barking, etc. In the end, they hopefully avoid the actual fight, as you know, barking dogs seldom bite.

So what? The ultimate goal should go in the direction of becoming a huge dog, having natural authority right away. No barking, no bullshit.

There is no need to be the loudest in the room, as long as you are the most relevant one.

3. The most powerful people are great decision makers

First of all, it doesn’t matter whether a decision is good or bad. Why? To be able to evaluate any decision, someone obviously has to make the decision. In best case, it should be you, it is a substantial aspect of being powerful and dominant. Powerful people are willing to take initiative because they know it’s the way to be in charge and control. They will do the things losers won’t do. Therefore, they enjoy a position of power, losers will never have.

The willingness to make a decision is the foundation of making a good, profitable and valuable decision. You probably start out making ‘bad’ decisions first, which is essential to get to a point of making great decisions, that’s just nature of the game. So take the challenge, get off your covenient ass and take initiative.

Seriously, move your ass now.

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So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

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To be a successful entrepreneur, all you have to do is get rid of creativity and flexibility. They just distract you from being a true wannabe business person. 

Micro-management and organization are your keys to success. Manage time, and you can do anything. Who needs focus or financial know-how? Once you open your business doors and hang up your shingle, your drive and personality will win the day.

Success follows invention. Flowcharts and process rule. You don’t need a partner or management team. All you need are customers, and they are waiting for your innovation.

And, customers? They will be there when the time comes. You have gotten this far on insight, vision, and sheer force of personality. Everyone understands what you are trying to do, and they only need to join or lose big time!

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So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

Starting and running a business does not make you an entrepreneur. Dry cleaners, barbers, and car mechanics are rarely entrepreneurs. They may be successful or unsuccessful in their business management, but success does not equal entrepreneurship. So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

The media have spun definition of “entrepreneur” so much; it has little or no meaning. The best Harvard Business School’s Howard Stevenson owns the best definition: Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

There’s nothing new or local in entrepreneurship.

Without minimizing the courage or risk taken by any business owner, entrepreneurship is a more comprehensive concept involving passion, vision, motivation, inputs, outcomes, metrics, and more.

  • Although some economies support more entrepreneurs than others at one time or another, no culture has a monopoly on creativity and innovation.
  • Although some economies can support the education and risk, no culture has a monopoly on drive and desire.
  • Although some economies are positioned to reach and share markets globally, no culture has a monopoly on the desire to profit and to serve its community.

Where business owners manage, entrepreneurs lead a process.

Entrepreneurs succeed as long as they proceed. Self-satisfaction and task-completion are their enemies. They launch, lead, and lift – often by sheer force of will power.

They teach entrepreneurship, but students do not always learn. You can study it and research models, but you won’t find evidence of entrepreneurial DNA.

In his Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter F. Drucker identified three elements necessary to the building of new organizations.

  • having a clear market focus
  • depth in financial foresight and best financial practices
  • ability to assemble and develop a top management team

But, Peter’s typical direct clarity may dilute the concept. After all, entrepreneurship has not been patented and bottled for sale. Tens of thousands graduate every year from thousands of schools with majors in entrepreneurship, but few really get it.

Time governs managers, but entrepreneurs design and frame their time. They understand that time is a limited and pricey resource. They have a different sense of time. It’s not something you consume; rather, it offers space during which they can create value.

Meetings and lunch do not create value. Standard operating procedures, correspondence, and data reports do not create value. Phone calls, video conferences, and legal conferences do not create value.

    • Entrepreneurs delegate or pocket these functions in controlled segments in favor of opening time for high value activities like listening, reading, and developing. They value meaningful time over productive time.
    • Entrepreneurs know that time is opportunity, and it needs to be spent well. In addition to this meaningful time, they allocate time with room for others: customers, employees, and investors. This social time, aligned with meaningful time, uses feedback to create community and market.
    • Entrepreneurs build futures with time well spent. Their passion works long hours, but if they schedule only two hours in an eight-hour day on meaningful and social time, they give 35% of their work to transformational time.

Managers monitor processes – entrepreneurs focus on outcomes. Entrepreneurs have a vision that defies words. The vision has the dimensions of a hologram they can see and almost grasp. But, the vision itself creates a disconnect with others for whom the vision is less vibrant and “real.”

This is where need enters. The disconnect is where the entrepreneur discovers dependence on others: the engineers, researchers, craftspeople, and others who deliver the product or service. They realize the entrepreneur’s vision, transformed into customer satisfaction. Unless their talent is managed and performance rewarded, both suffer. If the need for others is not felt, the vision moves farther away.

Managers organize, but entrepreneurs capitalize. Managers apply learned and past principles to expedite work processes. Entrepreneurs coerce the future, directing people to take a quantum leap into a future that is defining itself. Where managers build, entrepreneurs destroy anything in their way. They are disruptive and transformational, trans-disciplinary talents who lead from the front.

Managers are tasked with producing quality work on time. Entrepreneurs find themselves pushing for products that managers cannot produce at the moment and, then, giving them time and opportunity to do so.

According to a definition from BusinessDictionary.com, an entrepreneur is “Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.

An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture”.

You can conclude, that even a successful business owner is not an entrepreneur in this sense. So, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must assume this exceptional transformational drive and achievement. For example, Mark Fields leads Ford Motors, but Elon Musk of Tesla Motors is the entrepreneur. John Donahoe runs eBay, but Jeff Bezos has done wonders at Amazon. Mark Zuckerberg has done a lot with Facebook, but look to at Sergey Bryn and Larry Page of Google to see the future.

Models are important to understanding entrepreneurship, and the United States holds no monopoly on entrepreneurial opportunity or success. It’s those models we want to explore in a series of biographies of lives lived in admirable and coveted ways.

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Clinton vs. Trump – Hillary Clinton presidential campaign (4)

Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, or will Hillary have the last word?

The Democratic Party will nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Senator and Secretary of State, as its candidate for President of the United States. That’s not a surprise, but no one expected it to take this long. Ms. Clinton has struggled to claim her position for many reasons. Differences in the political rhetoric of her campaign and that of the competition reflect much of her trouble.

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign – Clinton: the weighty baggage

Sen. Bernie Sanders will concede and request a unanimous acclamation by the Convention. Following a similar schedule, the convention will approve the nominee for Vice President. The choreographed event will end with persuasive speeches by the nominees.
This year things will be

Philadelphia: There is a potential for violence in the streets surrounding the Democratic Party’s convention. For one thing, there is a problem hosting the convention at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center because it is some distance from the hotel clusters at the airport and in center city. Attendees will have to travel the streets and that increases their vulnerability.
Democratic National Conventions draw every social and political fringe group. But, this year the they are likely to be hostile and vocal. For example, if Black Lives Matter supporters take to the streets, they will confront a police force pre-disposed to protect its own. Philadelphia managed the visit of Pope Francis with care and sensitivity, but there was no anger on the street to worry them. If she has not taken ownership of social “revolutionaries,” they may take over the streets as they did as the 1967 convention.

Senator Bernie Sanders: Ms. Clinton has not muted Sanders or his rabid followers. She seems to assume they will come around, but she has not addressed their expectations. She creates doubt by refusing to answer his charges, and she fails to acknowledge the real difference in their platforms and agendas. Her public assumption that Sanders represents a minor difference in the Democratic Party mission begs a lot of questions.
She has failed, at the time of this writing, to persuade Sanders to release his delegates to vote for her. She has failed to accept his platform input or leverage her power into promising cabinet appointments or a share of the spoils. Their continuing conflict consumes time and energy better spent on her fight with Trump.

President Barack Obama: Clinton’s relationship with Barack Obama has always appeared strained. He has shown no real passion in his public dealings with her or in his lukewarm endorsement. She cannot claim connection with any of Obama’s major achievements, but she cannot break her connection with Obama in the eyes of those who despise him.
Barack Obama has disappointed a large number of Americans and party loyalists. They forget or ignore his successful policy moves to solve the financial crisis that welcomed his inauguration, the oil shortage that choked American consumers, the targeted elimination of top terrorist leaders, the restoration of relations with Cuba, and the passage of the broadest attempt at universal healthcare. But, she has closer ties to major failures in foreign relations like the collapse of the Egyptian Spring, Benghazi, Syria, and Russian relations.
Her past: The Clinton name burdens Hillary. She and former President William Clinton have failed to smother rumors of corruption and infidelities dating well before his first election. They have been accused of real estate shenanigans in Whitewater, the murders of Chief of Staff Vince Foster and Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, and Bill’s serial sex escapades.

Bill Clinton, strangely enough, still enjoys the adulation of Democrats despite his sexual harassment of Monica Lewinsky, lies to the American people, and perjury under oath before Congress. That popularity is not covering for her alleged email conspiracy and Goldman Sachs dealings. The public as a whole may be dynasty fatigued.

The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign & her rhetorical strategy:

While Trump promises solutions so huge that no one can test them, Hillary Clinton responds in a more tempered rhetorical style, and it is costing her. She believes her style sets her above the fray, but this may leave her outside the game. While Trump works on his brand, she pursues down home relationships, a style that better suits folksy Bill. As such, it fails to distinguish her from Bill and his brand.
Hillary centers speeches on small town stories, anecdotes that place her among the common folk and model a progressive theme. Focused on consolidating an existing electorate, she touches base with all the classic progressive issues and vocabulary. But, where Bill was winsome, she seems condescending and old-school. She debates with force and intelligence, but Trump has changed the playing field.
Relying on the emotional vocabulary of Roosevelt-era liberalism, Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric wears a dated pantsuit. Political correctness traps her into circumlocutions and avoidance. Preaching to the choir does little to expand her base. And, it will not stop a Trump who has no interest in subtlety or turn of phrase.

Conclusion: Hillary is in a bind. In 2012, she lost to the soaring rhetoric of Barack Obama’s Black Baptist call-and-respond rhythms. And, Donald Trump leads with a style she cannot match without sounding shrill and petty, a sexist bind, but real nonetheless. She leaves him so much more room to bluster and fluster if as a woman she is forced into an androgynous mode. Given the choice between her ideas and his anti-elitist, anti-institutional posture, Trump’s followers seem to prefer the simple. So regarding to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign,

will Hillary have the last word?

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Clinton vs. Trump: Donald trump presidential run 2016 – The media beast (3)

Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, or does Donald’s style trump content?

If effectiveness is the real measure of modern times, Donald Trump is a great rhetorician. His speaking style has proven effective by most counts. Whether he knows what he is doing, he is aware of his effectiveness. In this extraordinary presidential election, you have to ask if Donald’s style trumps content. Let’s have a closer look at the donald trump presidential run 2016 in terms of rhetorics, media effectiveness & things you can learn to use for your own journey.

Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the political creature

Donald Trump is not the presumptive Republican candidate through the support of the majority of Americans. While he had competition from the other Republican candidates, he garnered 35% of the primary votes – at best. And, since he has been running alone, he has earned as much as 45% of the primary votes.

But, you must remember what a state primary measures. States run their own primaries, and the political parties decide on procedure. So, the winning percent is not a function of the whole population or even the voting population. It is a percentage of voting party members. So, his popularity with the entire electorate remains to be seen.

Moreover, the competition has been slim. Donald Trump has had no credible competitor. Senator Mario Rubio did show something close to the Kennedy sex-appeal, but he lacked the necessary strength of character. Carly Fiorina spoke straight and clear under the Trump bluster. Governor Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson lacked the spirit and agenda necessary. Governors Jeb Bush and Chris Christie misjudged their appeal. And, Tea Party bully Sen. Ted Cruz outgunned Senators Rand Paul and Rick Santorum. Never have so many fought for the votes of so few.

So, Donald Trump finds himself in the lead heading for the national convention. He does so with fewer and fewer friends in the Republican Party leadership. There is no evidence he can capture and hold the independent-minded, and Tea Party conservatives have yet to commit.

Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the media beast

Donald Trump is a man of the times and culture he has shaped:

  • Rumor, rush-to-judgement, and media celebrity rule.
  • His Kardashian world pays big money for just showing up.
  • His world equates looking good with quality.

Born to new wealth, he has exploited his father’s numbers into untaxed and unreported fortunes. One joke goes, “Trump has married two east European immigrants; this just goes to prove immigrants will take the jobs most Americans wouldn’t touch.”

His image reflects from the gold-leafed features of his palatial Trump Tower penthouse. The reflection is so meaningful that he confers with it first thing each morning. According to William Cohan in The Atlantic, this image is the “arc of uninterrupted, overwhelming, seemingly effortless success. [This] iconic self-made man may stand center stage in the culture, but not far to the side is his fun-house-mirror image, no less American and only a little less beloved: the sly huckster, the razzle-dazzler.”

Trump has so bought into and exploited the belief in his Midas touch that it has become his most attractive feature to the have-nots.

Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the rhetorician

Trump’s political message goes like this: if you are unhappy and unfulfilled by the political status quo and establishment politics, Donald Trump is the schemer that makes the most sense. This is true even if “the Art of the Scheme is that he’ll get rich by promising to make you rich.”

With values stripped away, Donald Trump has proven a very effective candidate. BuzzFeedNews quotes Trump on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, “if I attack it [the opposition] on a purely intellectual basis, nobody would listen and the response would not have been nearly as effective.”

  • He favors single syllable words, focuses on his personal pronoun as if it were the pontifical “we,” and avoids politically correct phrases in favor of pejorative slurs.
  • His choppy, rambling, and extemporaneous speeches approximate conversation which, according to Georgetown University linguist Jennifer Sclafani, helps construct “an identity for him as authentic, relatable and trustworthy, which are qualities that voters look for in a presidential candidate.
  • Trump resorts to enthymeme, making an argument without stating the point. That is, he loves innuendo because he remains arm’s-length from the actual charge.
  • He pursues a natural cadence of repetition that makes him vulnerable to comedians and valued by uncritical audiences.
  • And, by referring to everything in huge terms, he can make promises beyond measuring.

So looking at the Donald Trump presidential run 2016, Donald’s rhetorical style clearly trumps content. He is proving very effective, and that makes for modern truth.

(This series continues with an analysis of Hilary’s Clinton this political season.)

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Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election (2)

Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, or is it simple truth or simply stupid?

The American sensibility defies understanding. If you want to understand the nature and impact of the political rhetoric of the Clinton vs. Trump presidential election debate, you have to work through certain assumptions.

  • The population of the United States descended from immigrants. Even the First Nations’ indigenous people crossed the Bering Straits from Russia.
  • The polyglot citizens spread across North America where deserts, mountains, swamps, and rivers shaped their settlement, tastes, and interests over the centuries.
  • Its culture is always in transition. Once distinct regional characteristics have eroded. Population clusters, and sweeping economic changes redefine its class system.
  • Its people do not vote. Only 60-70% of those eligible register to vote, and according to Pew Research, those who do vote represent only 35% of the population.
  • Divisions according to race, religion, and sexual orientation make a lot of news, but these characteristics offer no solid correlation with voting habits. Each population pocket has layered and fluid socio-economic preferences.
  • Its government is not a democracy. It is a republic that requires its voters to select electors who then elect the president. Moreover, its constitution respects a delicate and confusing balance between federal and states’ rights.

This might explain American humorist George Carlin’s advice on the American electorate: “never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

Cynicism aside

The American populace believes its republic is a Holy Experiment. It’s a singular attempt in human history to follow Christ’s invocation in Matthew (5: 14): “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Believing that God is not finished with them yet, Americans assume that all will be well. Their heritage, marked by the continuing peaceful transfer of leadership, will continue.

Complicated as their character is, Americans are at core a simple people. They never endured a lengthy experience with the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Gothic, or the Romantic. They like their language clear and useful. They trust and tend to take people at their word.

The taste for simple things

Americans do not like highfalutin prose. Working class, farm, and merchant origins shaped United States English. It grew past the music of Melville and shadows of Hawthorne towards the dry and wry lingo of Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie. In its rush to ditch everything European, the culture opted for the quick hip dialogue of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Even the brilliance of Ezra Pound and T.E. Eliot reflect its Anglo-Saxon footings.

Congregational preachers shaped its political prose. And, modern English has been governed more by the utilitarian styles of Theodore Dreiser and Raymond Carver than by the soaring stylings of William F. Buckley, Jr. or Rep. Barbara Jordan.

The words of most political figures belong to their speech writers and strategists. Still, you only have their words to go by: the simple elegance of Franklin Roosevelt, the mid-western directness of Harry Truman, and the poetic patterns of John F. Kennedy. Americans have always chosen the “aw shucks” straightforward voices of Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush over the intellectual approaches of Adlai Stevenson, Al Gore, and John Kerry.

Americans like their politics served simple. And, at the fringe of this taste lie those many drawn to the rhetoric of the likes of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.

The talk radio world

Talk radio, mastered by reactionary right-wing pundits, has done much too define the common ground. If political rhetoric needs a reasonable debate on a level playing field, talk radio has violated that ground. They demonize everyone and everything left of their position with:

  • fast-paced banter filled with pejorative claims
  • appeals to spite, emotion, and fear
  • ad hominem and ad populum attacks, and
  • self-righteous appeal to the stone, argument of repetition, and begging the question.

The laws of physics start at a point of reference in time and place from which you can observe universal things. Its definition of “relativity” begins at a point from which observation makes sense. Science finds no laws unless there is a logical process that reason rules.

But, the U.S. 2016 presidential election campaign is playing out in a world corrupted by deconstructionism where values are subjective by nature and before an electorate not always willing or able to differentiate between the simple truth and the simply stupid.

(The next segment of this analysis will examine the specific techniques and patterns of the political rhetoric of Clinton vs. Trump.)

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Brexit – hard facts, impacts & mass hysteria

Brexit – what’s it mean to you?

The history of the world has returned to Europe. The voting population of the United Kingdom has decided that the UK should leave the EU. The impact is psychological and practical. But, what does Britexit mean to you?

Start with the facts

Throughout June 23, 2016 citizens of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland held elections. 51.89% voted to leave the EU. While Scotland and Northern Ireland voted solidly to remain in the European Union, all of England, except areas surrounding London, voted to exit.

On June 24th, the U.S. NYSE fell 511.57 points. London’s FTSE 250 lost 7.3% of its value and talked merger with the Deutsche Boerse. And, the British pound dropped to the lowest level against the USD in 31 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, but London has a process for resignation and replacement that will take months into the fall. The process means to stabilize any volatility and to enable a reasoned selection of his replacement.

The psychological impact

Brexit is a momentous event. It will dominate geo-political headlines for some time. Pundits will have a field day. The EU cannot survive without its presence, and some countries will follow them out the door. Any continuity depends on the leadership of Berlin and Brussels. What they can salvage out of territory vacated by Sweden, Denmark, and others remains to be seen.

The European Union was a noble experiment to resolve centuries old border disputes, help trade and travel, and recognize the globalization of European interests. With the introduction of the Euro, borders disappeared and relations strengthened.

Those language and cultural differences have never fully surrendered. And, xenophobia becomes a logical response as high-volume immigration extinguishes those voices. Ironically, the tsunami of Muslim immigration has succeeded too well in reclaiming the Ottoman Bridge back to central Europe. Even withdrawal from the EU does not alter the fact that the character of all Europe has changed.

So, if English voters believe they have restored the Scepter Isle to its vainglorious days, they remain dreadfully and irresponsibly naive.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before going crazy about the latest happenings: 
How much can we say about future impacts of events like Brexit based on what we think we know? How much mass and media hysteria is involved?

In the end, there is only one thing that is 100% sure: it’s the given fact that not one single person or institution knows how Brexit and comparably big events affect the future in terms of economy etc. All we can do is make assumptions based on the current circumstances or the past, but how representative are these assumptions regarding to the future? No one knows, so be aware of the fact that we do not have all capacity to make a valid prediction. Because if we had all capacity to make valid future predictions, we would live in a world full of peace, flowers and unicorns everywhere, but we don’t.

So how do we find out about the real future impact? Simple, wait ’till future arrives and you will see. Meanwhile, all you can do is dealing with presence, changing and steering your own thoughts and trying not to get infected by mass hysteria like 95% of all the other apes on this planet. That’s the way to constantly be a little ahead for yourself.

The practical impact

Brexit

The Britexit fallout offers a welcome distraction from the media obsession with Clinton vs. Trump. Britain has its own Trump in London’s former mayor Boris Johnson who will replace David Cameron only if the Tory Party completely loses its mind, sense of decorum, and obligation to its nation.

U.S. popular economist Ben Stein urges American investors to stay the course because “Brexit doesn’t have much to do with U.S.” His point is that trade between England and the U.S. accounts for less than 10% of the U.S. GDP. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, import/export trade amounts to about $18 million, an amount not likely to cripple the U.S. economy.

U.S. investment traders make money on both the buy and sell of stocks. Market volatility is very much in their interest which does not extend to geo-political concerns. So, the U.S. markets will ride out any volatility. Traders and investors have the weekend to think it over, and even the significant NYSE losses on June 24th only finished an otherwise successful week in the same market.

U.S. and U.K. foreign and trade relationships will continue. Still, the shape and position of NATO should undergo review that is well overdue in light of Putin’s aggression. The jingoism that brutalizes immigrants and feeds the ignorant of many a nation has an energy that needs management and redirection towards constructive nation building in a new demographic world.

England believes its own story. It remains a legend in its own mythology. Its true history belies its vaunted nobility. Chaucer, Shakespeare, and others have regularly undercut the legends of once and future kings. It has been ruled by murderous, incestuous, and self-serving royals and has spent half of its history in warfare and imperialism. Outside the banking and insurance centers in London and the rarefied world of Oxford/Cambridge, England is a working class population. Once underserved by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, it will suffer again.

What’s it mean to you?

Brexit means little to the average American, now or in the future. Impact on the average continental European will vary and last long. Impact on the average Briton will hurt and last. A nation cannot enter and exit the EU without significant damage to the whole. That would be an assumption that’s interesting to follow up. It’s up to nations with a common interest, evolving towards an unclear end, to define a new Europe.

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Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election (1)

Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, or my “I” is bigger than yours.

(This is the first in a series that explores the conditions that enable the climate in which Clinton vs. Trump dominate the news and so many lives. With so much depending on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the only real discussion of the political rhetoric involved is left to the same broadcast pundits who contribute to the problem.

This introduction to the history hopes to define “rhetoric” in a meaningful and useful way. Only this history will present a context from which to assess the mechanics and effects of the debate.)

Logic preceded Plato. Logic was considered an intellectual construct that reflected the correlation of forms and forces in the universe. Long before Plato and far from Greece, logic was building wheels, irrigating fields, and studying the stars. It used the forces of nature, integrated shapes and forms, and leveraged weapons to expand political power. Logic built arcs, studied acoustics, and sought to prove the nature of gods. But, the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election that pits Hilary Clinton against Donald Trump defies that history.

From the ancients

To define “rhetoric,” you look at the practice of Plato who used logic to inform and persuade his students. His models governed all Western thought as long as that world was structured in the supposition that there was order to life and order to be sought throughout life.

Aristotle defined “rhetoric” using similar methods. In his Rhetoric, Aristotle defined “rhetoric” as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” It is the comprehensive study of the effective use of language and writing. Importantly, effective is the only metric to success here. There is no reference to speaking morally, truthfully, or ethically.

In time, Cicero would label the rhetorician as “a person that can adapt to any rhetorical setting,” but, in time, Quintilian would assert that it is the result in persuasion is not enough, for rhetoric is the art of “good men speaking well.” Censors, like Cato, served as referees during debate to keep speakers on track and whistle “foul” in the face of logic fallacies, all under the assumption that there was a right and wrong way to be effective in persuasion.

Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Erasmus, and Thomas More, among other dominant voices would continue this logic and so structure Western thought. Comparable minds less burdened with linguistics would pioneer the natural and hard sciences, for the same logic informs the scientific method.

To the deconstructionists

Without giving him too much credit, Jacques Derrida did too much to eviscerate the structured zeitgeist that had governed humankind throughout known history. Belaboring the obvious subjectivity of vocabulary, he removed any point of reference. Misreading advances in physics, he deified relativity and made all “truths” unfounded, unwarranted, and unachievable.

Political candidate and voters born into and of the Western world in the last three generations know no option. If they stand for something, it means little. Consequently, anything said or position taken lacks accountability, justification, or consequence. A forceful ego takes trumps any facts, figures, and issues because it all comes down to the size of the personality; the risk is that all will come down to “my ‘I’ is bigger than yours.”

And so, the world is left bare to the outrageous political rhetoric of Clinton vs. Trump in the U.S. presidential election. With no truth of substance worth analysis, no common ground of agreed principles, and no confidence in things solid or verifiable, the conflict approaches the absurd which, in itself, is ironic and ultimately comical if this did not involve the governance of the most significant political experiment in history.

 

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How to write a business email like a CEO

*Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead
Extensive story telling

You want to write an outstanding e-mail? Then you better make sure to add every single piece of information you know. Keep in mind that a higher quantity usually comes along with a higher quality.
How do you know if your e-mail is really long enough? Well that’s simple. If you proofread your email and you gotta yawn more than 3-5 times, then it’s long enough and ready to be sent out. That way, you give other people the chance of being well prepared for a good sleep, simply by reading your ridiculously long piece of crap, sorry, piece of art! (In the end the e-mail might be a load of crap, but at least it’s an outstanding load of crap like mentioned above).

People taking time to read your emails

Taking a closer look inside some of the most successful fortune 500 companies will quickly make you notice that the people working there don’t have better things to do than checking the long-ass e-mails you send them. This is why these companies are so successful, because their employees know about the insignificance of priorities. There is plenty of time to read some nice emails throughout the day. In between there is time to have some coffee or chats with other colleagues who also don’t give a damn about a prioritizing their day of work. These are reasons why your e-mails don’t have to be of high relevance as long as they’re long enough. Especially top level people are willing to spend their time on reading and answering e-mails. That’s why they are top level right?

*Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done

How to write a business email?

Some questions to start off

Can you write your e-mails in a way a CEO would write them? How?

Why should you even want your e-mails to be perceived as “Ceo-style” mails? Where’s the upside to it?

The key thing to reach badass level in e-mail writing is to understand certain patterns executives, CEO’s or other top level people use when writing their e-mails. So what are these patterns?

The following lines will cover your questions on how to write a business email. Let’s dive in..

Be smart and sharp- Moron or badass?

If you’re in the position of answering make sure to read through your e-mails carefully. Most people try to get all their mental bullshit into each of their e-mails. On top of that, people are way too submissive when answering their e-mails. Instead it’d easily be enough to provide a proper answer or feedback to the mail you received. The following example shows different strategies of scheduling an appointment with “person X”. Let’s assume you had a call with person X (a recruiter for instance) and you want to schedule an appointment for a personal interview by e-mail. On the phone the recruiter tells you he/she will come back to you by e-mail for scheduling an interview. Couple of days later you find this in your inbox:

Person X (Recruiter)
‘Hello Mr.Moron, we can arrange an interview at our head office. Let me know when you’re available.

So what do you answer? Here are 2 versions, one crappy one and a really good one.

You (moron or badass)

The moron’s answer: That sounds great, thank you for that. Yes, I come to your office, when would it be best for you? Let me know a time and I’ll come.

The awesome answer: Thank you. Next week on monday afternoon or either wednesday afternoon works best for me.

Reading the person X’s e-mail tells you everything you need to know to give a short and proper answer. “Let me know when you’re available.” That doesn’t freakin’ mean you’re supposed to ask them for a time like a subservient bozo. All they want you to do is to tell them when you’re coming to their office.

Most people think they have to ask for permission and value other people’s time way more than their own. That’s why the majority of people ask the recruiter or whomever for availability, instead of suggesting a time themselves. Stop being submissive and know your value! It’s better for your career, it’s effective and it’s time saving for others as well. Yes, that shit works. That’s the great thing about e-mails, it’s fairly easy to establish yourself as a highly relevant and important person who gets noticed, like a top executive.

Keep it short

Here is another key aspect on how to write a business email. A business e-mail is to clarify and arranging next steps quick and efficient. A business e-mail is not about starting endless conversations that don’t go anywhere except for “insignificant city”. There you probably end up with a nice view on “downtown time waste”.
Keep in mind that people don’t have much time to spend on reading e-mails like a harry potter book. They want to get their stuff done so help them with that! How? By shortening your e-mails to a minimum level, you dramatically increase the chances of having them read, even by top level people. An e-mail has to be fast to read, well structured and compact.

Pure relevance is what you need

Top level people never add any content that isn’t necessary. Their emails are always perceived as highly relevant by the way they are written. Every word is essential to get the point. No redundance, no filler words.

If you want your emails to meet the same standards, keep in mind, that every single word in each of your e-mails has to be specifically selected by applying the filter of relevance. After you’re done with the mail, make sure to proofread and get rid of every word that isn’t necessarily required for a purposeful answer.

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Salary negotiation tips – Become a badass negotiator

*Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead  *Irony ahead 

Aim for the minimum – It’s much appreciated

Getting in the situation of negotiating your salary is the best chance to demonstrate your ability of fitting into the race to the bottom. It means to ensure to be the cheapest employee who is available. No need for any salary negotiation tips if you just aim for the minimum.

Think about the employer’s perspective: The employer is not interested in finding a proper long-term solution to invest in, he is more interested in buying cheap crap to take care of. Another upside of being an employee of low value is the fact that your potential employer has every option to spend his time on you and being able to mold you on top of that. Own will is not required  to survive in the corporate world.

The great thing about that? You don’t even have to do anything! There no need neither to work on yourself, nor to deliver outstanding performances. Why? Because your market value is so low, people are not supposed to have any expectations on you. That will be much appreciated by your employer’s since they are free to mold you the way they want. They will love spending their time on telling you what to do and what to think. That’s why they pay you anyway. They pay for having the chance of teaching and nurturing you, not for having a capable employee who constantly adds value to their company. What a joke!

So you better keep the above mentioned concepts in mind when it comes to your next salary negotiation. The takeaway? Always aim for the lowest price possible for you. The chances of getting hired are higher as well if you make sure to sell yourself either below your value, or, being a person of little market value right away.

Another employer’s perspective that proofs the power of being an employee of little or no market value is the following: why should an employer aim for the best if he can have the rest!

*Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  *Irony done  

 

Negotiate salary from strength – Salary negotiation tips

 

What kind of money are you looking for? Looking for a job, promotion, transfer, or  just don’t feel you are paid what you are worth? It’s in your best interest to be a badass negotiator and negotiate salary from a position of strength with salary negotiation tips.

What management knows:

A Director of Human Resources acquaintance tells a story about an employee who demanded an appointment to talk about money. When he arrived, he turned a chair around, straddled the seat like a desperado, and folded his arms atop the backrest.

That body language warned the Director to diffuse the situation, listen hard, and schedule a civil conversation later. The Director needed to do some fact finding, and she needed the complainant to cool off. The point is that no amount of macho posturing takes away from the fact that management controls the situation.

What to expect:

The decision maker has a duty to manage the labor burden and sincerely wrestles with enforcing the budget correctly and equitably. So, the manager is not inclined to leave you an opening to negotiate the deal. Typically, s/he will present the compensation package as a done deal, as in “This is the way we do business here.”

Managers, even recruiters and screeners, will try to discern your salary expectation early. They will often ask what you are looking for well before the job demands have been laid on the table. There are reasons:

  • Equity issues. You might have a dollar figure in mind, but the employer has to respect the compensation structure and the dollars being paid other employees in the same position.
  • Futures issues. Any well-budgeted employer needs to anticipate and predict future payrolls as part of their overall financial structure, product pricing, and payroll related concerns like taxes and benefits.
  • Market issues. A heads-up employer responsibly monitors the labor market and integrates the supply and demand of the available labor pool. Your personal expectation may be way off the mark.

It may seem like employers limit you to a slight increase over your last job. However, most employers have salary figures in mind independent of your history. After all, adjusting offers to each applicant’s salary history would destroy any compensation plan.

Some employers will promise to offset a modest salary with extensive benefits or future adjustments. While benefits can be really significant because they are not taxable as income, future adjustments are not sure unless written into a formal contract, not something offered at most junior or mid-level salaried positions.

Be all the Badass Negotiator you can be with these salary negotiation tips: (It’s all about what you’re worth)

  1. Prepare: You have to research what is being paid for the position described, its low, mid, and high points, and any regional influence. Forbes.com recommends studying the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Salary.com, Salaryexpert.com, and the job source boards. Once you are confident you have a number with a reasonable range that suits you, you should make that expectation clear early in the process.
  2. Build: The employer needs you as much as you need them, and you are there at their invitation. So, persuade from a position of strength:
    • What is the cash value of the benefits package?
    • When can you expect performance assessments?
    • What is the company’s plan for this position at the end of the year?
    • What is the company’s policy on sign-on bonuses?
    • What does the company offer in terms of equity and options?
  3. Plan B: Entrepeneur.com suggests having a strategic fallback option lets you approach the challenge with confidence. By keeping it a business transaction and avoiding the personal, by addressing the “you” and subordinating the “I,” you can manage the interview without a script. Knowing exactly what you will do and when you will lets you argue from the controlling position.

Following salary negotiation tips like these will create a sense of kind of cool under pressure that will leave them saying, “What a Badass!”

By Mike Carroll
HR – Management Specialist

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