How To Read People

It is not only FBI profilers that read people – you have to read people in order to figure out how to get from thePicture1m what you want and the better you are at it, the more likely will you be able to achieve your business goals. As a businessperson you have to read, customers, employees, potential employees, vendors, lenders, investors, etc. in order for you to figure out how to get them to choose behaviors consistent with achieving your business goals. So what is the secret to reading people?

We form an opinion about people we meet in the first 3 or 4 seconds of interaction with them, much, if not all, of this initial reading of a person is based on their physical presentation and body language, the rest on the first words out of their mouths.  In this time period we are assessing the person in terms of 1) threat level, 2) power hierarchy, 3) compatibility factor, and 4) malleability factor.  After we have the first impression we then, albeit mostly unconsciously, decide on how we will go about getting this person to choose behaviors that are consistent with our achieving our desires.

But do not forget and you should always be aware of is the fact that the person you are reading is also reading you and for the same reason, to figure out how they can get you to choose behaviors consistent with achieving their desires.

The other thing to remember is that we humans are complex critters; we do not just have one story, in fact we are like a section in the library with multiple books (stories) to be read.  The section of library is determined by our core identity which provides a template for every role we use in our lives.  The specific book you will be reading is determined by the role the person you are reading is enacting at that time. A role, in this context, is like a set of policies and procedures that a person has developed to guide their behavioral and attitudes choices in a specific area of their life. When you read a person you will need to do so based on the role they are using for a particular situation. Think about all of the roles you have, which may include being a spouse, a parent, a friend, a businessperson, manager, a customer and so on, for each of these you will have a set of policies and procedures unique to you, but to some degree shared by society in general.  And, for each role your story to be read has a different genre. Therefore to be accurate in your reading of person, means knowing the section of library and which book from that person’s library section (role) you are reading.

There are four ways to enhance our ability to read people:

  1. Have a real theory of human behavior,
  2. Improve your listening and observation skills,
  3. Use empathic thinking, and
  4. Use inductive reasoning.

PDR Mobile…It Keep You Pushin’

Growing Your PDR Business is a Choice Part II

In Part 1 of Growing Your PDR Business I used the metaphor of growing plants and what happens if you do not nourish them.  To continue with that metaphor; let’s say you plant one kernel of seed corn, you feed and water that one stalk of corn, what do you get?  Well, there is a good chance you will get a return on your investment from 1 kernel of corn that yields 972 kernels.

Out of those 972 kernels, you have to sell 955 kernels to pay for your costs of doing business (break-even), leaving you with 17 kernels of corn.  As your business goal is to create long-term wealth, you understand that the costs of doing business are going to go up each year and that your machinery will have to be upgraded. As a wise businessperson you create a retained earnings account to be used only for reinvestment back into the business.  As a corn grower who wants to grow the business you may put 15 kernels into your retained earnings account, 9 to be used to plant and grow 9 additional stalks next season and 6 to cover the increased expenses of adding those 9 stalks and to make a down-payment on a purchase of a more effective and efficient corn planter. The final 2 kernels go to your dividends account.

To state the obvious, the key is to increase revenues while maintaining the most appropriate level of efficiency and I would be surprised if any of you has not worried about how to increase revenues.  From a businessperson’s perspective there are only 2 ways to increase revenues; 1) increase market share and/or 2) diversification. Both take significant resources and serious planning to accomplish.

There are three major issues that a businessperson must grapple with in order to effect the growth of his/her business; sacrifice, risk, and planning.  None of which most of us are very good at.  Sacrifice means not giving in to those short-term satisfiers, such as the new Corvette, the 5000sq.ft. house in the burbs, or the 63” flat screen TV.  Those funds need to go into your retained earnings account in order to grow the business to achieve your long-term wealth creation goals.  To grow your business you have to take risks and by design most humans are risk averse, especially in the area of taking financial risk. But sacrifice and willingness to take risks in and of themselves will not generate business growth, you have to have planning, note I did not say you had to have “a plan”, but you had better have charted a course based on the best evidence, the best thinking, and business intuition that you can muster (in my next blog I will discuss the concept of planning).

In “Growing Your PDR Business Is a Choice Part I” I said you have three choices, if you forgo the first two and choose to grow the business, you need to ask yourself: 1) How much am I willing to give up the short-term return for the long-term? 2) How much risk am I willing to take? and 3) Am I willing to take the time and put in the effort required to adequately plan for the growth of my business in order to achieve my long-term wealth creation goals?

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Growing Your PDR Business is a Choice Part 1

As we all understand, if you do not water and/or feed your garden plants they do not grow and flourish, by flourish I mean that they will not produce the vegetable or flowers that you seek. If I plant a tomato seed and then just give it enough care to keep it alive, my expectation that I will soon be eating a juicy home grown tomato will in all likelihood fail to materialize….ah,ah this has never happened to me. The same is true for a business, if it is not nourished it will not flourish, which means that your business will probably not produce those long-term wealth creation goals you seek.

It is no secret that many businesses, including the PDR industry, look like the picture to the left, does ywilting-leavesours? Of course the overall economy and those insurance companies are playing a role in that, but as much fun as it is to whine about them, they are not within your control. What you do have control of is how you grow your business. Developing a plan of action to nourish the business for long-term growth is within your control frame and if you want your business to grow, you better get to it.

You essentially have three choices. Choice one is to not nourish the business and leave it to fate, typically leading to its eventual dyeing on the vine. Choice two is to provide just enough nourishment that it continues to live, but does not flourish, known as hanging on day to day.  The third choice is to set out to grow the business to achieve those long-term wealth goals.  Any three of these are viable choices relative to your business goals. But to be in control of your and your business’ fate you need to make to make a conscious choice, not leave it up to the forces in the universe.

My focus in this blog and the next is Choice Three, which means making a commitment to growing your business to achieve your long-term wealth goals.  If you have not adopted long-term wealth goals, then your first step is to do some deep thinking about your long-term wealth creation goals and truly make them your guiding principle in all of your business decision making. Having adopted your long-term wealth goal or goals, now you have to give serious and informed thought to developing a plan of how your business can grow. Here is where business visioning, business model design and organization system creation come into play. You can take control of your business destiny; as I used to tell the students in my strategic planning class, you cannot predict the future, but you sure can give it a shot at creating your future.

In “Growing Your PDR Business Is a Choice Part II” I will discuss what is involved in making the choice to grow your business so that your long-term wealth creation goals can be realized.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’