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Secrets of Success

Rules to Live By

I have an unusual job.
I keep secrets.
People confide in me and share hidden parts of their lives.
They may be presidents of companies or clerical workers but they all have one thing in common- they each have issues they find to be confusing and need someone with whom they can sort things out.
My job is to help them develop strategies to cope with and ultimately overcome the problems they are facing.

I try to make my suggestions easy to remember so people are more likely to employ them.
I like to focus on three rules I have learned to live by:

Rule #1
Beware of People Who Answer Questions Nobody Asked.

This is normally done to reassure us by attempting to put our minds at ease about topics we never brought up. Some examples are “I’m not worried…, It’s not just about me…, To be perfectly honest…, It’s not about the money… .”
You’ll notice that often times the conversation is about something that’s “not.”
These and other statements of unsolicited reassurance are red flags and indications that you need to pay careful attention to the person’s behavior rather than what they are saying. When you interact with them, pretend you are watching a silent movie. Turn down the sound and simply watch how they act. That will give you a pretty good idea of their real agenda.

Rule #2
People with Nothing to Hide Hide Nothing.

Most people like to hide information by lying by omission. It allows them to blame the other party. “If you had asked, I would have told you but you didn’t ask.” It’s as if it’s your fault for not asking a question you didn’t know to ask. Examples of this include, “We didn’t land the contract, but you didn’t bring it up in the meeting so I thought you already knew.” Or “I’m not going to be able to finish the project on time but I never promised I would.” The problem with this behavior is that you have to monitor the person so closely it can become a full-time job and you may decide it’s just too much work to continue to associate with them.

Rule #3
Nobody Hides Good News for Long.

You’re waiting for a decision. It’s a long time coming. In spite of repeated attempts to get information, you continue to be stone walled. I was working with a client who was buying another company. He was doing his financial due diligence but was constantly being put off with one excuse after another as to why the financial information was not forthcoming. To no one’s surprise, the more information he received the worse the financial situation was. The signs that someone is avoiding us are usually evident. The problem is that we often refuse to heed the warning. If someone is continually hesitating about providing information, it’s almost always because the information is not going to be good.

Someone once said to me, “I’ll never understand human beings. I haven’t seen enough samples.” I haven’t seen enough samples either but I do know people are not that different. A day seldom goes by where I do not see the behaviors outlined in the three rules. Learn the rules. They might make understanding the motives of others a lot easier.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488