Monthly Archives: January 2015

Three signs you are a show-off

Do you remember Stuart from MAD TV? He was notorious for saying “Look what I can do!” Most of us have been taught

Show Off!

to be polite and not brag about ourselves. It’s a lesson we need to learn if we want to increase our likeability and connection with others. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done sales or marketing (and if you’ve ever been on a date, then you’ve done sales and marketing!) In business we are taught to put our best foot forward. We are encouraged to toot our own horn in order to seal the deal. Let me be clear: this is not the problem. I’m talking about people who cross the line from tooting their own horn to being a show-off.

You’ve heard the saying: “Nobody likes a show-off.” Here are three signs that you’ve crossed the line and unfortunately, you are now a show-off:

1.     Name dropping. I’ve witnessed people drop names of celebrities, influential people, and local heroes. It doesn’t matter who you say you know or why, what matters is that you’ve used the name as a ploy to garner credibility and influence. Unfortunately it’s an obvious tactic which can backfire. I once managed a consultant and coordinated prospect luncheons to facilitate his business. He would seize every opportunity to drop high-profile names into any conversation. If he could fit three or four people into a single sentence, the cockier he became. I eventually pointed this habit out to him, because he was unaware he was doing it. It was actually embarrassing to witness, as he didn’t realize the habit was turning people off. Fortunately, he was a quick study and stopped doing it.

2.     Self-centeredness. Listening to any conversation, whether in a casual get-together, a business meeting, or a presentation by a speaker, it’s easy to determine if the person you are listening to is a show-off. The conversation is completely focused on them. They use “I” continuously and attempt to one-up their audience constantly. Even if you are attempting to coach someone or give advice, the message is received vastly different if you say, for instance, “I have no problems landing the deal. The last time I went to lunch with a prospect, I made sure that I told him why I was the best.” In that last sentence alone, the word “I” is used four times! Notice the difference in this statement: “In the meeting with John last week, we discussed the company benefits. He inquired about our competitive edge and was impressed with the recognition we received.” Not once was “I” used.

3.     Demeanor and posture. We can subtly make ourselves appear larger than life with specific postures and gestures. Like a peacock displaying its feathers to get noticed, humans also puff themselves out to gain attention, especially in meetings or during a presentation. This can include hands on the hips, chin up, and large hand gestures. These are subtle tactics to get noticed, but they may be a bit too much.

My best advice is to connect with people and audiences by being with them. Any attempts to separate yourself as superior or all-knowing will alienate them.

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Think and grow rich – literally!

I recently read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, which was originally published in 1937.  It is fascinating that something written nearly a hundred years ago is still applicablrelScreen Shot 2015-01-12 at 1.47.35 PMe today; it was that far ahead of its time.  The premise of the book is to detail the 13 steps to gaining riches.

This is an incredibly powerful book that looks at how our thoughts generate actions and, ultimately, our desires, a premise that is now widely accepted and well-documented through research.  Hill stated that “Success comes to those who become success conscious,” meaning that what we focus on, we create.  We receive billions of bits of information every minute and it isn’t possible for our minds to absorb all this information into our consciousness.  Instead, we selectively attend to those things that are in alignment with our thoughts and beliefs and disregard the rest.  The effect is that someone who believes all people are greedy will continuously see greedy people, while someone who believes all people are altruistic will continuously see selfless acts.

We prime our minds for what to pay attention to using what is called our “reticular activating system,” which is how we can focus without being overloaded.  It is wired into our brains for survival strategies.  The power of this system is that it allows us to recognize that we have complete control over our thoughts and subsequently what we focus on and subconsciously attend to.

Consider that your wealth – or lack thereof – is a result of your underlying beliefs and thoughts about money.  We all have a money blueprint that includes a set of beliefs about our relationship with money.  For instance, I grew up with my father saying that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” although in my mind, it did.  Whenever I wanted something, it appeared.  I act in accordance with this belief now.  Other people may be conditioned to believe that money is the root of all evil, and this will compete with any new desires they have to become wealthy.  In essence, they would be telling themselves they are evil if they are rich – a great deterrent to subconsciously not achieving riches

Do you want to shift this so that you literally can think and grow rich?  Here are a few steps to follow.  First, become aware of your beliefs and shift your focus to positive thoughts aout money, creating a specific goal for what you want to achieve.  Place all your energy, effort, and focus towards that goal.  What’s most important with this step is a strong belief or faith that you will achieve this: you must absolutely believe it is possible.  Second, experience your success as if it were true; visualize your wealth.  The mixture of emotions brings power to our thoughts, especially on a subconscious level.  Third, take action by listening to your hunches and inspirations (subconscious solutions to your quest). Create an organized plan and work with a mastermind group to seek the advantage of experience, education, ability, and imagination.  Lastly, overcome fear and habitsated to failure, which include procrastination, negativity, indecision, dishonesty, lack of focus, intemperance, and intolerance.  You must first be honest with yourself about the behaviors holding you back and then create a deliberate game plan to overcome them.  Napoleon Hill developed a self-analysis questionnaire to help you zero in on what might be holding you back.  Go to  to download the questionnaire.

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The Easiest Method to Acquire Fortune, Fun and Family in 2015

As a business coach, I am huge advocate of goal setting, obviously! However, I’m not an advocate of setting New Year’s Resolutions. In part because I don’t think people set themselves up for success. Instead, they pick something that they … Continue reading

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There is a fine line between confidence and conceit; body language can highlight the difference

confident body languageThe distinction between confident and conceited is sometimes difficult to articulate.  We seem to know on a gut level when someone is arrogant, often leading to an unpleasant taste in our mouth.  On the other hand, when someone is confident, we are naturally more drawn to them.  This also happens on a gut level.

I would describe confident people as those individuals who feel capable of achieving a certain task.  They believe in themselves and they believe they have the necessary competencies and capabilities within themselves to perform.  However, when someone is conceited, their self-pride becomes grandiose and self-righteous.  The focus is no longer just about the capabilities they possess, but instead the capabilities that they possess that someone else does not.  The line is crossed when they compare themselves to others and state, either overtly or covertly, that they are superior.  What makes this offensive, and rightly so, is that the conceited and arrogant person is demeaning those around him or her.  Ironically, this is caused by insecurity!

Take a look at these photos from People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2013.  Even though we seem to register someone as conceited or confident without truly knowing why, these photos provide some clues on body language and what we perceive.  You will notice that in one picture the thumbs are pointed up.  In another, the thumbs are tucked into the jeans, but the fingers are splayed.  And in the third, the elbows are out.  All of these are indicative of confident poses and the hands demonstrate this in a powerful way.

Whenever you can see ‘thumbs up’ – whether the hands are clasped or the arms are folded – it indicates confidence.  The splayed fingers highlight the genitalia, a strong gesture that indicates confidence and interest.  Lastly, arms or hips taking up more space are indicators of confidence.  People who are more confident generally take up more room.  It’s a sign of stature; hence the reason the boss has the largest office, biggest chair, etc.  Next time you want to be seen as confident, be conscious of the position of your hands and, in particular, your thumbs.

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