Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Five Most Common Lies in Business

There are as many lies in business as there are people in business.

Paul LaFontaine left Bertelsmann Music Group in March 1997 to advise other businesspeople about radical honesty. He has lots of work to do. "There are as many lies in business as there are people in business," he says. Here are his nominees for the five most common lies:

Lie: "People are our most important asset."

Truth: "People are our most worrisome and unpredictable asset. Our most important assets are really our financial assets."

B.S. Detector: This may be the leading lie of our times. "When management starts talking about how important people are," LaFontaine says, "you can bet there is going to be an unpopular human resources decision coming soon."

Lie: "This was a rational decision."

Truth: "I wanted to do this."

B.S. Detector: People "want what they want just because they want it," says LaFontaine.

Lie: "We judge people by their performance."

Truth: "I judge your performance based on how much I like you."

B.S. Detector: "Why do most people who keep their jobs keep them?" LaFontaine asks. "Because the people they work for like them. And you get fired when the people you work for don't like you anymore.

Lie: "This is business, it isn't personal."

Truth: "Everything's personal."

B.S. Detector: "As people, we get mad at each other," says LaFontaine. "Attempts to avoid it are cowardly. So get mad. Then get over it and move on." LaFontaine believes that any disagreement can be handled with an honest conversation.

Lie: "The customer comes first."

Truth: "I come first."

B.S. Detector: "More often than not, 'the customer' is an abstraction," LaFontaine warns. "People take care of customers when it benefits them and ignore customers when they can get away with it. Nobody says 'I come first,' which is what's usually going on."

How to Catch a Liar

Are you being lied to? Find out how you can tell.

1. How is the person speaking?
Although a change in voice can be the tip-off to a lie, experts say that to be sure, you should also pay attention to a person's speech rate and breathing pattern -- if either speeds up or slows down, chances are you're not hearing the whole truth.

2. What is the person saying?
Liars tend to avoid exclusionary words like "but," "nor," "except," and "whereas," because they have trouble with complex thought processes. Liars are less likely to use the words "I," "me," and "mine." In their attempts to distance themselves psychologically from their tall tales, liars will tend to communicate using fewer personal pronouns.

3. Is his face giving it away?
You may think disguising your true feelings is easily accomplished with the help of a smile, but the expressions that flash across your face will give away what you're really thinking -- whether you know it or not. Experts advise paying close attention to the micro-expressions that a face can't hide. These clues are often so difficult to detect that even trained experts have trouble discerning them.

4. How is the person smiling?

A smile can sometimes mask a person's true feelings. Pay close attention to how a person smiles as well as other facial movements. You may be able to detect the emotions he or she is trying to hide -- such as fear, anger, and disgust. A true smile will incorporate both a person's lips and eyes.

5. Does the body language follow the story?
It's more important to examine a person's entire demeanor, as there's no one feature that's apt to give away a liar. Honesty is characterized by features that are in sync with one another -- so besides posture, note the fit between face, body, voice, and speech.

6. Is your subject behaving uncharacteristically?

Experts believe changes in a person's baseline -- how she generally conducts herself -- are worthy of your attention. You should weigh rate of speech, tone of voice, posture, and hand gestures against what you know, along with the context of the situation.

7. Is the question simple or embarrassing?

It's normal for someone to look away when asked a difficult question. But when someone avoids your gaze when asked a simple question, you should be suspicious.

Adapted from Quiz: Can You Spot a Liar?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How You View Others Says a Lot About Self

You might want to think twice before you talk about others, because your words could reveal a lot about your own personality traits, even ones that you may not be aware of, or clues to whether you’re kind or mean.

That’s the finding of a new study, which concludes that the way you view others reflects a lot about who you are, including both good and bad characteristics.

“Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality,” says study researcher Dustin Wood, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University. “Seeing others positively reveals your own positive traits.”

On the other hand, your words could reveal negative perceptions of others that are linked to narcissism, antisocial behavior, and even neuroticism, says the research team, which also includes Peter Harms, PhD, of the University of Nebraska, and Simine Vazire, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis.

Their study is published in the July issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The Study

The study participants, who were college students, were asked to rate positive and negative characteristics of other students with whom they were acquainted.

The researchers discovered that a person’s tendency to describe other people in positive terms is an important indicator of the positivity of the person’s own personality traits.

Strong associations were found between positively judging others and how enthusiastic, happy, kind-hearted, courteous, emotionally stable, and capable the person describes his or her self and is described by others.

The study also found that how positively people see others shows how satisfied they are with their own lives and how much they are liked by others.

The researchers say that negative perceptions of other people are linked to higher levels of narcissism and antisocial behavior.

“A huge suite of negative personality traits is associated with viewing others negatively,” Wood says in a news release. “The simple tendency to see people negatively indicates a greater likelihood of depression and various personality disorders.”

Because negative perceptions about others may underlie a number of personality disorders, the researchers say that finding ways to get people to see others in a more positive light might promote the cessation of behavior patterns associated with personality disorders.

Thus, Wood says, the study suggests that when you ask a person to rate the personality of a co-worker, for example, you may learn as much about the person whose opinion you’re seeking as the one they are describing.

Being overly negative may be a tip-off that the person describing someone else is disagreeable, unhappy, neurotic, or has other negative personality traits, the researchers say.

Wood says that by evaluating the raters and what they said a year later, the researchers found strong evidence “that how positively we tend to perceive others in our social environment is a highly stable trait that does not change substantially over time.”

They add, “many behavioral patterns that are commonly studied by psychologists are thought to be caused in part by how individuals perceive others in their environments, which in turn shapes the behavioral options that individuals see as desirable, adaptive, or appropriate.”

The authors say their findings show that what a person sees in another is more than “simply the projection of an individual’s self-image onto other people.”

Telltale signs that she likes you

Let’s be honest: Sometimes it’s tough to tell if your date’s just being nice or if she’s really into you. So if you need help sussing out your lady love’s true feelings, check out these pointers from Greg Hartley, former Army Special Forces interrogator and author of I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People Are Really Sending With Their Body Language. Who knew your date’s smile, complexion and even where she places her handbag can reveal whether she considers you friend or boyfriend material? Read on!

Five signs your date is into you…

1. She tilts her head

“When a woman sees and feels especially comfortable with a man, she will tilt her head,” Hartley says. A tilt in any direction — right, left or down — are all signs that she’s interested in getting to know you better — say, over another date.

2. She takes a sip when you take a sip

When a woman is drawn to a guy, she’ll instinctively mirror his actions, Hartley says. While men do this, too, women are more likely than men to first begin the copying. What should you look for? “You might notice she will shift her body in the same direction as yours or take your lead for behavioral changes like, picking up a glass to drink or blinking her eyes repeatedly if you’re doing so,” he suggests. If you want to test her, lean forward and see if she comes closer, too.

3. She twirls her hair

Since the beginning of time, a woman’s hair has been celebrated as a symbol of her beauty and power. And it’s true today, says Hartley: If your date begins twirling or playing with her hair while talking to you, it is a good sign she’s into you and subconsciously trying to attract you.

4. She gets a glow

While blushing often means embarrassment, don’t assume that her rosy cheeks are an indication of discomfort. When a woman is attracted to someone, blood flows to her face, causing her cheeks to get redder, Hartley explains. And if your date is smitten, he adds, her lips and even eyelids will get fuller, too.

5. Her pupils dilate

While your gaze is fixed on her, pay particular attention to her pupils, advises Hartley. “When a woman is attracted to a man, her pupils will dilate,” he notes. “Essentially, the body does this in order to allow itself to take in more of a good thing.”

…and five signs your date is not into you

1. She crosses her arms
Did she assume the angry librarian stance? “When a woman on a date places her hands in front of her body — especially if they are crossed — she is closing herself off from the man,” Hartley notes. If you get this red flag, you don’t stand a chance… and she wants you to know it. “Men are not nearly as perceptive as women, so even if she’s not consciously aware of it, a woman knows her body language needs to be very loud,” Hartley explains. “In this instance, that body language reads loud and clear.”

2. She places her bag between you two

“When I ask male friends how a blind date went, step-by-step, and they say‘she put her bag on the table,’ I always know that’s a bad sign,” Hartley says. If your date places her purse — a real and physical barrier — between the two of you, she’s showing she wants to create distance, he says. Not a good sign.

3. She speaks faster than an auctioneer
So she seems to love talking to you? Before you start celebrating, note the speed of her small talk. “Romantic conversation does not occur at the same speed as business conversation,” Hartley says. “Conversation between two people who are attracted typically slows to about three-quarter speed and softens in tone. In fact, most emotional conversation — with the exception of when it is very hostile — is at a slowed cadence.” That said, she may be nervous early in your first date, and her nerves can cause her to spit her sentences out in rapid-fire succession. But if by the end of the evening she’s still going at a rapid rate, consider it a clue that she just wants to be friends at best.

4. She offers you a chin-up smile

Though it’s tempting to interpret any old smile as a sign of interest, all smiles are not created equal. Smiles can say a lot: “I’m polite,” “I’m crazy about you,” and, believe it or not, “I can’t stand you.” The secret to decoding what her smile really means? It’s all in the chin placement. A woman who gives you a relaxed, chin-down “soft smile” is smitten and wants you to dig her back, Hartley explains. A full-on toothpaste grin or stiff and polite smile — both of which generally involve the chin raised up — mean either, “I like you as a friend” or “I wanna get out of here!”

5. She strokes her neck
If your date’s telling you she agrees that you should get together again, that’s a good sign, right? Maybe, says Hartley. “Her body language may be the key to the real truth,” he says. “If a woman is gently stroking her neck when telling you this, it may be a sign that she’s interested, but it is also known to be a sign of lying.” To figure out which message she’s sending, consider the aforementioned “she’s not into you” signals. If she’s also giving you the raised-chin smile and speaking to you over a giant purse, you may want to move on to your next prospect.

Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor of www.thefamilygroove.com and regularly appears as a guest on XM Radio’s “Broad Minded.” Her blog, “I’m Somebody’s Mother?” can be found at www.chelseakaplan.com. For the other side of this story, read 5 signs he’s into you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Secret Signals Men Give When They Lie

Next time you question your guy’s honesty, watch for these little clues to find out whether or not he’s telling the whole truth. Plus, watch this video to find out why guys cheat.

1) He looks up and to the left

The next time you ask him a sticky question or he wants to explain himself to you, note which way he looks. If his eyes move up to the right, he’s recalling information from his memory. If he looks up and to the left, there’s a good chance that he’s inventing the answer. Take this quiz to see how well you can decode guy-speak.

2) He toys with his ears or his nose.

If your guy starts toying with his ear or nose (and he doesn’t have allergies), be suspicious. When a guy is being deceptive, it’s common for blood to rush to his face. His nose and ears will get warm and begin to itch, causing him to unconsciously rub or scratch them. Read these signs to tell if he’s cheating.

3) He shifts in his chair or taps his fingers

These tics may make it seem like he’s just plain nervous, but if they’re done while he’s explaining himself to you, they actually indicate that he could be fibbing. Want more? Read the body language of liars and you'll be able to catch him in the act.

4) He covers his mouth with his hand.

This guy is probably lying. When he unconsciously obstructs your view of his lips, it’s a sign that he’s trying to block the truth from slipping out. In addition, he might lick his lips and look away from you— directing his eyes down and to the right. These little moves reveal what's bugging him. Plus, read 10 most common fibs guys tell and find out what’s on his mind when he’s totally speechless.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moulding young achievers

One problem many parents might face with children is their lack of urge to study or start on their homework. The advent of technological gadgets such as computers is not doing anything to help the situation.

To overcome the problem, first find out or observe what is discouraging your child’s progress.

According to research on mindsets carried out by Prof Carol Dweck from Stanford University, some of the factors stopping children’s drive for success include a wrong learning mindset and negativity. The lack of motivation could also be due to bad past experiences or impatience for results.

So, motivate your child by developing the right mentality in them and turn their passion into action.

» Eliminate negativity

Some children feel unmotivated because they feel incompetent. Sometimes, this could be due to parents’ negative comments like "You’re stupid" or "Why aren’t you as good as the rest?"

These remarks make children lose their motivation to study because they will feel they are naturally stupid, incapable and there’s nothing that they can do about it.

So, highlight your child’s positive traits instead and help them use these traits as motivating factors to drive their desire to do better in studies.

» Enforcing discipline

It is important to instil in your child the habit of doing homework and studying so that it becomes a routine that comes naturally and not as something that is very difficult to do. For example, make 8pm the study time every night.

Set realistic and reasonable rules like if they don’t finish their work or study, they won’t get their TV time. Then they’ll have a motivation to start their homework and do their revision.

» Compliment effort

Appreciate your child’s effort. When children feel that their hard work is valued, they are likely to keep trying and keep working.

Brilliant children might stop putting in an effort if they are praised merely for being intelligent.

They may either feel over-confident with their natural ‘talent’ or they want to stay on the top and not make mistakes, so they don’t want to move forward. It stunts their motivation.

According to Dweck, the key to overcome this is to praise children’s effort and not their intelligence. Intelligence can be developed through effort, but without effort, intelligence can only bring you that far.

» Failures as lessons

Help your child see failures as learning opportunities. When your child did badly in his test, motivate by telling him that the mistakes in the test are lessons that will help him improve.

From these mistakes, he will learn the correct answers to the questions so that he won’t repeat the same mistakes next time.

Every mistake serves a purpose; help your children see the positive in every mistake so that they will continue to stay motivated even when they fall.

Motivation and drive can be developed in a child if you nurture the right mindset – that success comes with hard work, patience and very often, failure is the key to success.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good & Easy Flirting Tips

Flirting is the art of playfully drawing the attention of a desirable man or woman and holding it. Doing it probably already comes naturally to you. Doing it well takes practice. Mastering it can mean a date for next Saturday night. Next time you go out, practice these 10 simple flirting tips to catch the eye of that cute guy or girl and keep it.


The key to good flirting is confidence. Before you go out, put on your favorite dress or jeans, a hot top and/or your favorite scent. Make yourself feel sexy. If you feel sexy, other people are more likely to think you are, too.


Posture goes hand-in-hand with confidence. A woman who stands up straight gives a much more likable first impression than a woman who slouches. Males who hunch look like underachievers to women, ruining any good flirting technique.


You've got the confidence and posture, but you still need to project an air of upkeep. Make sure your hair is clean and shiny and that you smell clean. Bad breath, body odor and greasy hair can distract anyone from a good flirting technique.


When flirting, touch the other person lightly. A feathery touch is slightly sensual and makes the other person feel like you are comfortable around her.


Just like a feathery touch, brushing back a strand of hair from his forehead or a piece of lint from a shirt collar is putting yourself in his comfort zone. This is an intimate moment that can be a turn-on.

Eye Contact

Eye contact can be a great way to flirt with or without words. Catch the person's eye and hold it with your own. Grin just a little and don't blink. Let the moment smolder.


If you're a woman, you may want work your hair as you flirt. Twirl your hair around your finger, run your fingers through it or smooth it with your hand. It will get the guy thinking about touching your hair.


Pay genuine attention to what the other person says and respond to it. Intelligence is sexy. Feigning interest is not.


While flirting, mirror your companion's body language. This will make them feel at ease. Try to do it without being obvious, though. Move your hand to your chin a few moments after he does, for example, or take a drink of your beverage a couple of seconds after she does.


The most important part of flirting successfully is having fun. Try to always have fun with it and don't take it too seriously.

Alina Bradford has been a writer for 11 years. She has written for dozens of online and traditional health and parenting publications, such as Pregnancy.org, Mama Health and Tots to Teens. She is also a gamer that has written dozens of gaming articles and several gaming guides. As an artist for more than 20 years, her work has been used in magazines and websites around the glob