Category Archives: Behavior

Are You Perceived a Self-Confident Person?

It’s not exactly a secret that people with higher self-confidence tend to better in life.  They’re more likely to stand up for the benefits they deserve, more likely to attract partners who treat them well and more likely to succeed in whatever jobs or activities they take on.

But while most people think of self-esteem as something you’re either born with or not (or, something that’s instilled in you by a lifetime of grade school “Participation Awards”), it’s actually a skill that can be learned – just like any other!

So if you feel as though you’ve missed out on opportunities on the basis of your low self-esteem, consider the following tips on how to project a more confident image in order to draw in the things you deserve.

Tip #1 – Dress well

Now, saying “dress well” doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy designer clothes at top-dollar prices.  Dressing well isn’t about the label on your clothing or the amount of money you’ve paid – it’s about wearing clean clothing that fits you well and is free of rips, tears or other defects.

To determine whether or not your wardrobe needs some updating, think about how you feel when you wear the items found in your closet.  Do you feel confident?  Or do you feel uncomfortable because your clothing is out-of-style or ill-fitting?  If you fall into the latter camp, investing in some new wardrobe staples could provide you with a quick boost of confidence.

Tip #2 – Improve your posture

Once you’ve got a great outfit on, show it off by standing tall.  Perfecting your posture tells people that you’re self-confident and assertive – and much less likely to accept treatment that you don’t deserve.

It can be difficult to straighten out your spine after years spent hunching over on the couch or at a computer desk, but committing a little bit of effort to this pursuit will amaze you in terms of the difference in the way you’re treated.

Tip #3 – Smile more

Much of our low self-esteem comes from worrying that others perceive us incorrectly.  And while it really shouldn’t matter to your overall level of self-confidence what others think of you, there’s one surefire way to change this public perception to a more positive one – smiling.

People simply react better to those who smile more frequently, as smiling is an easy way to convey a pleasant personality.  Don’t go all Joker on the people around you and become an “over the top” smiler, but do make an effort to put a happy expression on your face whenever possible.

Tip #4 – Compliment others

If you’re insecure about how you’re perceived by others, shouldn’t it stand to reason that everyone around you experiences the same weakness at some point in time?  In fact, even the most confident people in the world struggle with low self-esteem sometimes, which makes this tip all the more important.

Instead of getting down on yourself for some perceived inadequacy, focus outward by giving someone in your life a genuine compliment.  Don’t fake it (or you’ll risk coming off as insincere), but do let the people in your life know what they’re doing well.  Not only will this make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside – boosting your self-esteem significantly – you’ll find that you’re treated better by those in your life who feel more valued as a result of your compliments.

Tip #5 – Practice gratitude

Feeling insecure?  Take a few seconds to brainstorm a list of the things in your life you’re grateful for.

Don’t just constrain your list to the physical possessions you’ve managed to acquire.  Taking the time to feel gratitude for your natural, inborn strengths is a great way to boost your overall self-esteem.

Tip #6 – Work out

For me, there’s nothing in the world that makes me feel better about myself than getting a good workout in the gym.  I’m not the world’s best athlete, but there’s something so inherently fulfilling about taking time out of your day to improve yourself that it’s hard not to experience a boost of self-esteem as a result.

Of course, working out doesn’t have to be lifting weights or running – it might be something as simple as a walk through a nearby park or an easy game of Frisbee with friends.  What’s important is that you’re taking the time to invest in yourself and demonstrate conclusively that you’re worthy of self-improvement.  When it comes to self-esteem, it just doesn’t get much better than that!

Tip #7 – Turn off your critical voice

Hopefully, the tips described above will help you to feel more naturally self-confident, although be aware that these activities alone may not be enough to shut off the critical voices inside your head.

We all have these voices – so there’s no shame in hearing an inner monologue that critiques your every mistake and misstep.  However, by learning to tune it out or to replace it with more positive thoughts based on the self-esteem behaviors you consciously adopt, you’ll be better able to position yourself as a self-confident person who is worthy of all the benefits listed above.

7 Motivational Tools That Will Keep You on Track

Every now and then, all of us need a little extra push to maintain motivation and keep making progress towards our goals.  No matter how driven you are or how important your goal is to you, there are going to be days that drag and days that feel like you’re never going to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Instead of letting these downtimes get to you, check out any of the following motivational tools to help keep you on track:

Tool #1 – LifeTick

LifeTick is one of the most fully-featured goal tracking programs on the market today.  Upon signing up for the program, you’ll start by identifying your key values and then creating SMART goals that align with your overall priorities.  The paid version of the program (which costs just $20/year, compared to the more limited free version) includes advanced features like status widgets, charts, reports and mobile access – all of which help to keep your primary objectives at the front of your mind.

Tool #2 – Joe’s Goals

Joe’s Goals is a simpler goal tracking alternative, which is based on the “Don’t Break the Chain” behavioral change method.  Essentially, you use the program to monitor daily habits – adding a smiley face to every day you successfully meet your goals.  Over time, you’ll build up a chain of smiley faces, motivating you to continue moving forward with your habit goals in order to avoid breaking the long chain you’ve created.

Though Joe’s Goals doesn’t offer as many features as programs like LifeTick, it’s free to use and provides a simple, easy-to-use alternative to more advanced tools.

Tool #3 – LifeTango

If you know that you want to make improvements to your life, but you aren’t quite sure where to start, LifeTango may be for you.  The program offers an innovative brainstorming area with prompts that encourage you to think of ways that your finances, family life, health, fitness or education could be improved.  You can also peruse goals set by others using the service to gain inspiration for your own personal improvement plan.

Once you’ve decided which specific goals to work on, you can create a free LifeTango account, which will allow you to communicate with others on the site via your personal profile, track your progress towards your goals and even start your own goal-setting blog.

Tool #4 – 43Things

43Things offers similar functionality as LifeTango, but boasts a much larger community of fellow goal-setters.  Sign up is easy, and the program makes viewing the goals set by others a breeze.

Unfortunately, this program doesn’t offer much in the way of goal break-downs or ongoing habit tracking – all “things” tracked by the program are either marked as in-progress or done.  However, where the program shines is the “How I Did It” section, which encourages users who have marked goals as completed to share more about what made their efforts successful.  Reading through this helpful advice can be incredibly motivating and offer unique insight into the way other people have met the goals you’re currently working on.

Tool #5 – StickK

StickK offers a fresh take on goal-setting by allowing users to bet money on whether or not they’ll reach their stated aims.  To use the program, visitors start by stating their goals, as well as how progress towards these eventual aims will be measured.  Once their goals are set, users can choose to add “stakes” to their goals which will charge their credit cards (or worse, send the money to an “anti-charity”) should they fail to meet their goals.

If you’re having trouble sticking to your goals, putting money on the line that will go to a charity that you dislike may significantly increase the odds that you’ll follow through!

Tool #6 – Aspire Goals

If you’re more of a “goal tracking on the go” type of person, the Aspire Goals app may be right for you.  Available for just a few dollars in the Apple app store, Aspire Goals allows you to create mini movies that will motivate you to achieve your stated aims.

To do this, you’ll start by adding your desired goals to the list and then adding motivating statements, “moving towards/away from” images and music to the setup area.  Once you’ve added all of these elements, clicking the “Goal Visualizer” button will allow you to view customized, motivating movies whenever you feel like breaking your commitments to yourself.

Tool #7 – GoalTracker  

Finally, if you’re on the Android network, you’ll want to take a look at the GoalTracker app.  It’s a free program that will allow you to perform many of the same functions as the online LifeTick program described above.

Although the program isn’t as visually intuitive as it could be, you’ll likely still find the advanced brainstorming and tracking features to be worthwhile tools when it comes to setting and meeting your life’s goals.


Turning Your Failures into Learning Opportunities

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here…  I, AJ Kumar – the fearless leader you’ve all come to know and trust – have failed in business.  In fact, I’ve failed so often that I sometimes cringe when I think about some of the opportunities I had and blew (if you want to hear some of the dirty details, check out my recent Mixergy interview).

But as frustrating as those challenges were, I also know that I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am today if I hadn’t failed along the way.  In many ways, the failures I’ve had have been just as important as my successes – even if they were a lot less fun to deal with.

The secret to coping with your failures isn’t to avoid them at all costs (especially since this is pretty much impossible!).  Instead, what you need to do is to learn how to turn these letdowns into lessons.  That way, you haven’t really failed at all – you’ve actually succeeded at learning something new.

With that in mind, here’s the four-step process I use to turn my failures into learning opportunities:

Step #1 – Give yourself a grieving period

Failing sucks.  It’s miserable to know that your once-brilliant sounding idea isn’t going to turn into the tremendous success you envisioned – especially if you had tons of time or money invested in your plan.

But instead of trying to sweep this disappointment under the rug in order to move forward as quickly as possible, give yourself some time to come to terms with your failure.  Take a few days to eat ice cream by the pint, watch trashy movies, get drunk, cry or do whatever else you need to do to accept that your failure happened.

Just be sure to put a time limit on things.  Wallowing for a small amount of time can be a helpful coping mechanism, but wallowing forever only traps you within the failure.  As soon as you can start thinking about your mistakes without becoming overly emotional, put your sadness aside and move forward with the next steps in the process.

Step #2 – Identify failure points

Now that you’re able to look at your failure in a more rational way, try to identify exactly what went wrong.  For example:

  • Did you miss critical market information that would have indicated your product or service wasn’t a good fit for your target customers?
  • Was your offering priced too high for your market?
  • Were you unable to differentiate yourself effectively from your competitors?

Don’t pussy-foot around the fact that you might have been the problem as well.  If you didn’t have the education or skill set needed to make your idea successful, don’t beat yourself up about it.  Recognize the role that you played in the failure instead of placing blame inappropriately on external factors.

Step #3 – See what’s worth salvaging

After identifying the failure points that led to your idea’s downfall, go back through the process with a fresh set of eyes to see if there’s anything worth salvaging from your mistakes.  You might be surprised at some of the unexpected opportunities that this will turn up.

As an example, if your product wasn’t a good fit for your target market, are there economical ways that you could retool it in order to compensate for its perceived flaws?  Are there any additional features or services you could have added to offer a clearer value proposition to prospective customers?

Or, if it turns out that your own shortcomings led to your business failure, can you remedy these things?  If, for example, you pursued the necessary education or brought on a partner who could compensate for your weaknesses, might you have a more viable business plan?

Unfortunately, some failures won’t have anything that’s worth salvaging.  That’s okay too.  However, you must go through this process in order to eliminate all doubt – otherwise, you’ll always regret what “could have been” if you’d simply persevered with an idea that failed initially.

Step #4 – Let it go and move forward

Once you’ve completed this process, you should have a good idea of why your project failed, what specific factors contributed to its collapse and whether or not it’s worth pursuing future action.  This process gives you a clear jumping off point to either improve your idea or start a new project – so take it!

The people who truly fail are the ones who fail to let go of their failures.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but really, the last thing you want to be is that old guy at the gym who claims he “could have been someone” if he’d just followed through on his vision.  Wrap up failures in a way that works for you, but then take what you’ve learned and move forward.  Eventually, you’ll find success.

Are You a Thought Leader or a Thought Follower?

Being recognized as a thought leader within your industry offers a number of different advantages.  When people look to you for advice and guidance, you’re able to make sales more effortlessly, build a following of devoted customers more easily and pick up on upcoming market trends more quickly.

But how can you tell if you’re securing these powerful advantages through your rightful position as an industry thought leader?  Let’s take a look at some of the following characteristics of a thought leader versus a thought follower, as well as how you can model your own behavior using NLP techniques in a way that increases your standing as a strong leader in your field.

First, let’s look at some of the characteristics of true thought leaders:

  • Thought leaders are often the first to publish information on new, upcoming subjects.  You’ll frequently see their names repeated throughout the news, simply because they’re the ones creating it.
  • Thought leaders share information that’s based on their own experiences and understanding of a subject.  They don’t re-hash advice from others in the industry – instead, they offer their own valuable insight into new and existing subjects.
  • Thought leaders have no difficulty maintaining their online and offline followings.  Because they publish good, authoritative content, followers are drawn to their personal brands naturally and go out of their way to publicize their thought leaders’ work.

Now, contrast this powerful image with the stereotypical “thought follower”:

  • A thought follower is often the last to speak out on new topics.  He gets his news from other sources and then regurgitates it, adding nothing new or valuable to industry discussion on a given topic.
  • A thought follower’s activities rarely include innovation or discovery.  Instead of engaging in the work that will result in new industry insight, they ride the coattails of the industry thought leaders who take on this work.
  • Thought followers often have difficulty building a “following” of their own, whether they’re trying to persuade customers to buy or social media readers to share their content virally.  They may wonder why they aren’t able to gain traction in the way their industry’s thought leaders can, without stopping to think that it might be because they add nothing new to the conversation.

Obviously, these two definitions represent extreme examples.  In fact, it’s much more likely that you’ll fall somewhere between these two opposite ends of the spectrum, demonstrating some characteristics of both thought leaders and thought followers.

However, if you demonstrate any characteristics of being a thought follower, that means there’s room for improvement.  Check out the following process for improving your standing within your industry and increasing the odds that you’ll be respected and followed as an authority figure and thought leader within your niche:

Step #1 – Stay on top of industry news

For many thought leaders, the process of staying up-to-date on developments within their industries isn’t an item on a “to do” list – it’s something that simply occurs because of how engaged they are with their industries.

However, if you feel like you’re always playing “catch up” and missing out on the opportunity to be first in line on a breaking news story, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to schedule time into your day to stay on top of industry news.  To do so, find the most reputable news sources in your industry, block off a chunk of time on your calendar that coincides with the times when these sources are most active and then get in the habit of releasing your thoughts on recent developments right away.

Step #2 – Innovate

Thought leaders contribute substantively to their industries through innovation.  They don’t constantly report on the news of others – instead, they make the news!

Fortunately, innovating and adding something new to your niche isn’t as challenging as it sounds.  How many pieces of “conventional wisdom” can you think of that drive your industry, despite a complete lack of proof?  Creating news within your industry can be as simple as conducting research that challenges the examples of status quo you’ve uncovered and sharing the results with other thought leaders in your field.

Step #3 – Model the behaviors of established thought leaders

Thought leaders have a way of interacting with their followers that reinforces their perceived authority and personal brand within their fields.  They’re authoritative, confident and self-assured – all of which are characteristics you can model within yourself using NLP techniques.

To make yourself come across as more confident, pay special attention to the words you use.  Review your written communications before releasing them in order to remove any “hedging” words that compromise your perceived status as a thought leader.  When interacting with followers in person, be aware that your body language conveys as much about you as your words do – so be sure they’re in line with the image you wish to portray as well.

With time, practice and attention to detail, you too can achieve “thought leader” status through a combination of activities and NLP techniques that will convey your industry authority to a wide range of followers.

Image: LaBetenoir

Dealing with Difficult People Online

If you maintain any type of presence online, you’ve likely encountered at least one difficult person whose behavior you find irritating.  Unfortunately, as much as you might want to lash out and demonstrate just how “wrong” this person is, remember that every little thing you say and do online contributes to your personal brand.

So if you want your personal brand to be perceived as shallow, inflexible and irritating, by all means – go ahead and strike out at the trolls that frustrate you.  However, if you want to be seen as the better person (which is typically much more valuable from a personal branding standpoint), consider the following NLP process for dealing with difficult people online.

Step #1 – Think about how you’ve dealt with this person or a similar situation in the past.

Before reacting immediately to a frustrating situation, pause and reflect on how you’ve handled this type of thing in the past.  The very worst thing you can do is to rush ahead – guns blazing – and say something in the heat of the moment that you’ll later come to regret.

Instead, take a moment to identify your thoughts and feelings about the situation.  What specifically do you find so irritating?  Is it the language that the person used?  The affront to your authority?  Or could it be that, subconsciously, you aren’t 100% confident in your position and that the “difficult” person is only pointing out the weaknesses you’ve been trying to cover up?

Taking the time to identify your own thoughts and feelings in an impartial manner will go a long way towards preventing you from responding to difficult people inappropriately.

Step #2 – Imagine the situation from the difficult person’s point of view.

Certainly there are situations online where people abuse the anonymity provided by the internet to spew the hateful, baseless rhetoric they’d never share in the real world.  In this case, the best approach is simply to block all interactions with the person in order to avoid saying something you shouldn’t.

However, if the difficulty stems from conflicting viewpoints, these situations give you a chance to demonstrate your authority on a subject – but only if you’re able to defend your position on its merits alone.  Lashing out on a personal level will be perceived as shallow and immature, so it’s important to focus your rebuttal on the relative strength of your argument versus your opponents’ statements.

To do this effectively, take some time to fully imagine where your opponent is coming from.  What thoughts, feelings and emotions is he experiencing that could have led to his position?  What circumstances may have led to his particular viewpoint or comments?  Ideally, this exercise should help you to uncover the specific elements on which you disagree, allowing you to begin forming an appropriate response.

Step #3 – View the situation from an outsider’s perspective.

Before making any final decisions on how to move forward to resolve your difficult situations, take a second to imagine what an outsider would think of your position and your opponent’s opinions.  If you encountered this specific situation on another website, what would you say to the two parties involved?  Would your outsider status give you an special insight into how the situation can be resolved effectively?

It can be difficult to think this far outside of your own thoughts and experiences, but being able to assess a situation from an outsider’s point of view is a valuable NLP technique to learn.

Step #4 – Use the NLP agreement frame to move forward.

Hopefully, by this point, you should have a good idea of how to move forward in a way that respects both your position and your opponent’s opinions.  Truthfully, just taking the time to reflect on both parties’ positions before acting is often enough to prevent you from behaving in manner you’ll regret later.

In order to move forward in a way that respects both parties, it’s crucial that you demonstrate you understand where your opponent is coming from – even though you happen to disagree.  One way to do this is with the NLP agreement frame, which is a powerful way to facilitate agreement by eliminating negative words that threaten to derail your point.

For example, when forming your response to your opponent, know that the words, “But” and “I understand” provoke a defensive mindset that prevents resolution from occurring.  Instead, consider using the phrases, “I appreciate,” “I respect” or “I agree.”  Doing so will allow you to assert your key points and opinions in a respectful manner and leave the door open to further discussion that allows both you and your opponent to walk away satisfied.

Have you ever had to deal with difficult people as a result of your online presence?  If so, how well do you feel you handled the situation?  Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below.

Image: Sybren A Stuvel

What Makes a Strong Leader?

Whether you occupy a leadership role within your professional life or would simply like to be more authoritative in your dealings with other people, understanding what makes a strong leader can go a long way towards improving your own skills in this arena.  Here’s what you need to know to increase your own leadership potential:

Element #1 – Understanding your followers’ motivations

The first key element to becoming a strong leader is understanding more about the people you’d like to lead.  If you’re a manager, this obviously requires gaining a better understanding of your subordinates.  On the other hand, if you’re trying to create a leadership position for yourself, you may need to think a little harder about who specifically falls into the group of your intended “followers”.

Once you have this group in mind, try to understand more about their motivations.  Do your followers tend to be more aspirational or risk averse?  Do they make decisions based on what will benefit them most or what will prevent harm from occurring?

Of course, within a group of followers, you’ll likely have people at both ends of these spectrums.  In this case, try to get a feel for the balance of your group.  Are they equally distributed between aspirational personalities and risk-averse followers?  Or do they tend to fall into one category, with a few outliers going in the opposite direction?

If you’re struggling to determine which camp your followers should be placed into, try listening to the words they use.  If you hear a follower using the words, “achieve,” “goal” or “earn,” you’re likely dealing with an aspirational personality.  At the same time, if you hear someone using the phrases, “avoid,” “reject” or “risk,” he’s likely more motivated by the desire to avoid harm.

You can also ask your followers directly what motivates them, although this generally works better in established relationships (for example, as a boss addressing an employee) than in situations where you’re trying to position yourself as a leader.  Asking an employee open-ended questions – for example, “What about your job is most important to you?” – should provide you with enough evidence to determine how each follower prefers to be motivated.

Step #2 – Using authoritative body language

If you’ve studied NLP for any length of time, you know how important body language is.  As your outward actions typically reflect your internal thoughts, it’s vital that you control your body language in order to demonstrate your role as a leader.

A few of the specific behaviors you’ll want to keep your eye on include your posture, vocal inflections and self-conscious touches.  A leader should demonstrate proper posture and use a firm, yet commanding tone of voice.  This isn’t the time to be timid, so role your shoulders back and practice speaking in a confident and authoritative manner.

At the same time, force yourself to be aware of any subconscious behaviors that project self-consciousness to your followers.  People who are self-conscious tend to touch their hair, faces and clothing frequently, which conveys a sense of doubt and insecurity to others.  In order to be taken seriously as a strong leader, focus on getting those fidgety fingers under control!

Step #3 – Engaging your followers’ attention

As a leader, you have two choices when it comes to communication styles – talking at your followers or engaging their attention to promote positive behaviors.

Guess which one’s more effective?

Chances are you’ve encountered a leader who uses the “talking at” approach.  Maybe it was a teacher in high school who insisted you do what you were told, or a boss who followed the “what I say goes” style of leadership.  How well did you respond to that?  Unless you’re the most submissive person on the planet, this style of leadership likely inspired resentment and resistance – not loyalty – with you.

Instead, strong leaders lead by engaging their followers.  Typically, this is done by asking questions that encourage your followers to take ownership of their actions.  As an example, instead of telling a lackluster sales employee that he needs to step up his game, asking, “What can you do to improve this situation?” prompts him to take ownership of his own performance.

Of course, to be recognized as the leader in this situation, you’ll need to pick up key elements from your employee’s response that can then be used to encourage positive behavior.  With practice, you’ll find that it’s easy to use your followers’ responses to uncover their hidden motivations and interests, allowing you to turn these elements around and manage your followers more effectively.

Developing your leadership skills takes time, but by practicing these techniques – including understanding your followers’ motivations, demonstrating authoritative body language and engaging, rather than talking down to – you’ll soon receive the recognition you deserve as being a strong leader.

Image: jp_ns

The Analytical Personality Type

Analytical Personality Type

Knowing what kind of personality type someone is can be a major advantage in building rapport, closing a deal, or networking. The hardest part isn’t learning about how to tell who is what, but rather how to use subconscious versatility at any given time.

What I mean by this is being able to interact with people, instantly figuring out which personality type they are, then automatically adjusting who you are to communicate with them.

Can you imagine how many new powerful connections you can make? The more people who feel comfortable around you, the more chances you have in-exponentially increasing your business.

How Analyticals  People Work

People who have the Analytical personality type usually appear to be very intelligent, nerdy, or systematical. I’m not saying that all analytical are smart or technologically advanced, although many of them are, but that most pay close attention to the smallest details.

You’ll also find that many Analyticals wear glasses because their eyes are vigorously reading and analyzing data faster than most resulting in their eyes wearing out quicker.  

Analyticals are people who, like Drivers, have little to no emotion, yet unlike Drivers or Expressives, make decisions slowly and with much second thought.

  • Sees overt emotion as a weakness and something to distrust.
  • Needs facts, numbers, and details. Will seek out more information.
  • Usually known for being a perfectionist, hates to make errors. Doesn’t forgive mistakes easily in themselves or others. Seen as intolerant.
  • Great problem solving skills. Wants to be admired for their problem solving abilities.
  • Likes organization and structure. Will sometimes hold to ‘rules’ even when results suffer.
  • Soft voice, reserved. Not directly confrontational. Lets the data speak for itself. Expects others to agree based on facts and logical arguments.
  • Gets frustrated when people don’t see ‘the right answer’ as clearly as they do.
  • Usually doesn’t get bored – internal life (thinking about ‘stuff’) keeps them occupied when outside stimulus is low.

Analyticals are usually pretty easy to spot because of their neatness, structure, and sensitivity of minute detail. Dealing with an Analytical sounds quite simple, but actually requires you to provide an extensive amount of data, graphs, references, and anything else with numbers, facts, and figures.

Other Personality Types

The Amiable Personality Type

Amiable Personality

Have you ever had a friend in your life who was very caring and supportive? They were always there for you and did everything to make sure you were happy. There is a good chance your friend has an Amiable personality type.

Amiable’s are very reliable and trustworthy. These people are very loyal employees and amazing people to have on your team. Amiable are usually not in very high-level executive positions, but there are obviously exceptions here and there.

Being an Amiable doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader, most of them just don’t have the characteristics of one. Amiables also tend to be very high in emotion and make decisions slowly.

  • Team player, looks for an ‘everybody wins’ result.
  • Warm and friendly, but sometimes cloying.
  • Doesn’t hide from feelings, expressing and listening. Caring, nurturing come easily.
  • Soft spoken, goes along to ‘get along’. Uncomfortable when they don’t know how the group feels about something. Doesn’t like independent activities and decision-making.
  • Rarely sticks up for their position in the face of strong opposition. Prefers compromise.

It’s quite simple to talk with people who are Amiable because they aim to please. They have a tendency to make sure that everyone likes them. When dealing with an Amiable, be sure to be very sincere, ask about their family, friends, and themselves. If you trying to close some kind of deal with them, tell them of how whatever your selling (including yourself) will impact the people around them after they buy (they care about others).

Other Personality Types

The Pain and Pleasure Principle

Every single human being is motivated 1 of 2 ways: move away from pain or go towards pleasure. For a very simplistic example, in most religions, there is the Heaven and Hell concept

People who are motivated by pleasure:

A person lives their life to go to Heaven. This means that the thought of going to Heaven (pleasure) motivates them to be a good person.

People who are motivated by pain:

A person lives their life to stay away from Hell. This means that the thought of going to Hell (pain) motivates them to be a good person.

Since many (not all)  religions use it asa type of leverage, this principle has been a deciding factor amongst people for a very long time. This is also why goals are a great thing to have, but don’t work for many people (away from pain people).

To find out if you or your the person you’re talking to is away from pain or towards pleasure, ask the following questions:

What do you want? (it doesn’t have to be materialistic)
What’s important to you about doing/having?
And what will that do?

People who are away from pain will answer with the following:

  • financially free
  • it will make life easier
  • make you stress free
  • prevent
  • avoid
  • remove

People who are toward pleasure will answer with the following:

  • feel good
  • make you happy
  • accomplish
  • attain
  • include
  • achieve

How to use it to be a persuasive communicator:

Self-motivation is a very powerful tool that unfortunately most people don’t have. Most people rely on external factors which won’t necessarily always be there.

People that are toward pleasure should always create goals and then find friend, family, co-workers etc. to hold them accountable to them. Doing so will allow them to keep them focus and help them be reminded and re-reminded of what they want to achieve.

Try this: Create a vision board. Cut out some pictures of the things you want and put them on piece of paper you can hang on a wall. It’s very simple and yes it works.

People who are away from pain must simply think about what they don’t want. For example, if you are thinking of not going into work today:

If I don’t go to work, I might get fired. If I get fired, I’ll have no money. If I have no money, then I can’t pay my mortgage. If I can’t pay my mortgage, I’ll have to live on the streets. I should probably just go to work.

Other ways this concept can work in your advantage

The concept obviously remains the same as if you were to do this to yourself. Scenarios of using the pain and pleasure principle on others would be:

  • Employees -reward employees for working hard or warn them about what happens if you don’t
  • Sales – have prospects buy your product/service for what it can do or have them buy to avoid what happens if they don’t
  • Kids – Tell your kids to clean up their room and do their homework so you can take them to get ice cream or if they don’t, you’ll take away their TV.

Surely you’re starting to realize the vast amount of leverage you’ll acquire by using the pain and pleasure principle.

It’s very simple to apply as long as you pay close attention to which direction the person you’re communicating with is going. Practice by writing down the words I listed above and listen for them when you talk with someone.

The Fear of Rejection Explained

In theory, communication is simple. You send a message and the recipient receives it and acts accordingly to the content of the message in practice, communication is a far cry from its theory. Each and every day you can’t help witnessing people who are either unable to express themselves in a clear way or deliberately avoid doing so, out of whatever reason. Communication, by its very meaning, has always had to do with passing a message to another entity but obscure communication takes the essence out of it: The information shared. Instead of making oneself understood amongst others, misunderstandings inevitably are aroused the root of most conflicts.

There is one major reason that dominates all others why people opt to deliberately blur information clarity:


Probably the most common type of fear associated with unclear communication is the fear of rejection. The probability that your counterpart will disagree with or get hurt by the information you are about to transmit is often enough sufficient to drive people to withhold information.

The percentage of information transmitted is directly related to the level of self-acceptance and self-love. The more the person is in touch with itself, the less the damage an undesired answer can deal. A person with a high level of self-worth is hard to hurt  in any case, this person will have realized that any level of interpersonal incongruence has no impact on his or her worth and the level of validity of his or her perspective. A person with little self-worth that is out of touch with itself however is easy to hurt. Even small levels of incongruence in interpersonal communication will directly translate to a diminished experience of self-worth and a devastated validity of the person’s perspective.

Translated to real life experiences, the brink of a conflict sparked by incongruence in communication will be experienced much different. There are four major characteristics, when it comes to dealing with incongruence.

The Aware

A person that is very much in touch with itself will most probably reply: Okay. We’re out of congruence in this point. I have reasons to believe that my perspective holds true as much as you will have. Could you therefore help me understand why your perspective is correct? The dominating mind-set here is acceptance of the own perspective and understanding for the other’s perspective awareness that all perspectives are equivalent. This mind-set is growth-oriented and enables the person to experience new insights. The possibility that he or she might be wrong is none of a threat cooperation and learning better is the goal of communication.

The Egomaniac

A person, whose ego is really blown-up, will most probably reply: I don’t see why your point makes any sense. My perspective has to be closer to truth than yours, because so and so. Forcing the opponent into congruence is the dominating mind-set for the ego-driven person. In reality, this person also experiences fear  fear of not being right. In order to avoid being wrong, the person is very keen on its own perspective and would never allow the opponent’s perspective to hold true (which would mean defeat). This way, the person keeps itself from learning about new insights and while he or she may be able to convince his or her opponent by force, the discussion is ended with a mind-set of conflict and concurrence instead of a mind-set of cooperation. Ego-driven people often become hugely successful in life, from a perspective of monetary or other mundane riches, but often lack true friends and a loving relationship and hence are far from being happy or satisfied with what they have achieved.

The Preacher

A person with a lack of self-worth but a pile of knowledge will most probably reply: But see, my perspective has a point because so and so. Please understand.” The underlying phrase this person communicates is to beg for acceptance and praise. While generally open for other perspectives, this person experiences just too much fear to be able to give in – in the belief that they would lose themselves by doing so. Occasionally, such a person can be confused for an arrogant one because of the persistence of their arguments, even if proved wrong. The opponent to this person is like a life-threatening danger. This type of person is normally very well-educated and intelligent but has a hard time being respected and finding real friends. The pseudo-arrogant outside blocks the revelation of a lovable inside.

The Follower

A person with a lack of self-worth and mediocre knowledge will most probably reply: I see that I am wrong here. Sorry for being wrong. Thanks for clarification. He or she will never defend his or her perspective and willingly give in to whatever criticism comes along. Due to the lack of self-worth, this person will have no faith in the correctness of its own opinion the circumstance that others always know better is the dominating mind-set. Even if right, these people will have no faith in what they do or believe unless they are encouraged by others thereby making them dependent on their consent. This person is the archetype of the follower a person without own opinion that accepts whatever opinion the currently chosen leader has. For this kind of person it is normal to regularly change the leader in search for protection from the former leader as these individuals are easily abused when straying from their former leader’s opinion.

It only is the Aware that has the ability to communicate information just as it is: Acceptance of the own perspective and openness for the other persons. All the others have problems either to accept the other’s opinion, the own opinion or both and therefore are driven to conflict-laden communication and therefore problematic relationships.

Many people share the problems of the Egomaniac, the Preacher and the Follower in an age that is infested with so much information that conflict is almost pre-programmed, regardless of what we do or say. The probability that our own behavior is against someone else’s norm is steadily approaching one with a rising number of people around so conflict is practically inevitable it is a key ability to be able to deal with the fear of clear communication.

In order to become a human being that is able to safely navigate through these rough times, it is important to achieve a level of self-worth and self-acceptance that enables you to accept your opinion, even when faced with harsh opposition. Interestingly, your opposition can easily transform to an alliance from the moment you at least try to understand their perspective. Furthermore, people usually start to accept your perspective from the moment you wholeheartedly mean it people pick up on the slightest trace of self-doubt, so make sure that there is no more of it.

For all those who haven’t yet achieved this goal, the way towards it is the key. There are numerous ways to increase your level of self-acceptance. One of the easiest options to implement in daily life is choosing situations where you show self-acceptance in spite of the fact that they require a little bit more than you normally have. Thereby, you move out of your comfort zone into the so-called “learning zone“, where you experience discomfort without panicking. This way, you can gradually grow to become more self-confident situations that you have once mastered will be easy to handle in future.

A lot of small steps form a long way. If you are persistent, you will achieve what you want. If you are already there: Congratulations. You are amongst the souls that this planet is in high need of Be yourself and trust yourself.

About the Author: Simon Voggeneder studies the fields of mental power, healthy nutrition and natural training. Read his blog and improve your life now: Learn about training, nutrition, media, spirituality and self growth.