This article #3 of CleverJourneys ongoing series exploring American history from a perspective that burrows deep into criminal profiles, the penal system, victim’s stories, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and our justice system.
My father, Walter Dennis, was a police officer and homicide detective for the San Antonio Police Department from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s. Later, he was a U.S. Marshal and worked on the assassination of federal Judge John Woods.
Dad would often take me to the locations of some of his cases. He’d explain what happened, pointing me to the clues, structures and surroundings of the crime scenes. He taught me the science and art of profiling.
It’s no wonder I later became the youngest licensed private investigator in Texas in 1976, and worked on many crime cases.
Some of the more notorious sites I’ve checked out include assassination locations such as Dealey Plaza, Ford Theater, and Ambassador Hotel (JFK, Lincoln and RFK).
Horror houses I’ve visited include Amityville, Sharon Tate (Manson murders), Nicole Brown Simpson (Bundy Drive), Erik and Lyle Melendez (parents murders), Phil Spector (murder of Lana Clarkson), Bugsy Siegel, Phil Hartman, and Dorothy Stratten.
Death locations include Vitello’s Italian Restaurant (Bonnie Lee Bakley, Robert Blake), Sam Cooke, Selena, Marvin Gaye, Sal Mineo, Rebecca Schaeffer, and William Frawley.
Historical locations like the OK Corral in Tombstone, Colorado’s Woodland Park RV Park (arrest site of “Texas 7” escapees), Killeen Luby’s (massacre site on October 16, 1991, by George Hennard) and ‘The Butcher of Elmendorf’ Joe Ball site (killed women, fed bodies to his alligators) are just some of a long list I’ve checked off.
More recently, Dodie and I visited the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas and the ambush site of Bonnie and Clyde in Louisiana.
There are 16 Personalities based on the idea proposed and developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs around 1960.
They developed this 16 personality type indicator on the theory introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung.
This test was originally published in 1962, and since then being used to identify the career preferences.
We provide a link to discover your personality. First check these out and guess which personality is yours.
16 personalities letters mean the dominant domain in the personality of the person, e.g. E for Extrovert, I for Introvert, N for Intuitive, S for Sensing, F for feeling, T for thinking, J for judging, and P for perceiving.
The rarest personality type of MBTI is INFJ.
Here are the 16 Types of Personality.
The Inspector ISTJ Personality
From the outset, ISTJs are scaring. They seem genuine, formal, and appropriate. They additionally love conventions and outdated qualities that maintain persistence, challenging work, respect, and social and social obligation. They are saved, quiet, calm, and upstanding. These qualities result from the blend of I, S, T, and J, a personality type that is frequently misjudged.
The Counselor INFJ Personality
INFJs are visionaries and dreamers who overflow innovative, creative minds and splendid thoughts. They have an alternate, and usually increasingly significant, perspective on the world. They have a substance and profundity in the manner they think, never taking anything at surface level or tolerating things how they are. Others may some of the time see them as bizarre or exciting because of their distinctive point of view.
INTJs, as contemplative people, hush up, saved, and happy with being distant from everyone else. They are generally independent and would prefer to work alone than in a gathering. Mingling channels a contemplative person’s vitality, making them have to energize. INTJs are keen on thoughts and hypotheses. While watching the world, they are continually addressing why things happen how they do. They exceed expectations at creating plans and systems and don’t care for vulnerability.
The Giver ENFJ Personality
ENFJs are individuals centered, people. They are outgoing, optimistic, appealing, straightforward, profoundly principled and moral, and for the most part, realize how to interface with others regardless of their experience or personality. Mostly depending on instinct and emotions, they will, in general, live in their creative mind as opposed to in reality. Rather than concentrating on living in the ‘now’ and what is right now occurring, ENFJs will, in general, focus on the conceptual and what might happen later on.
The Craftsman ISTP Personality
ISTPs are baffling individuals who are typically extraordinarily informed and intelligent, yet besides very unconstrained and excited. Their personality attributes are less effectively conspicuous than those of different sorts, and even individuals who realize them well can’t generally foresee their responses. Where it counts, ISTPs are unconstrained, erratic people; however, they conceal those personality state statistics from the outside world, regularly effectively.
The Provider ESFJ Personality
ESFJs are the cliché social butterflies. They are extroverts, and their need to interface with others and satisfy individuals, for the most part, winds up, making them well known. The ESFJ typically will, in general, be the team promoter or sports saint in secondary school and school. Later on throughout everyday life, they keep on delighting in the spotlight and are fundamentally centered around arranging get-togethers for their families, companions, and networks. ESFJ is a typical personality type and one that is loved by numerous individuals.
The Idealist INFP Personality
INFPs, as most self observers, are peaceful and held. They favour not to discuss themselves, particularly in the first experience with another individual. They like investing energy alone in calm spots where they can comprehend what’s going on around them. They love dissecting signs and images and believe them to be illustrations that have further implications identified with life. They are lost in their creative mind and fantasies, consistently suffocated in the profundity of their considerations, dreams, and thoughts.
The Performer ESFP Personality
ESFPs have an Extraverted, Observant, Feeling, and Perceiving personality, and are generally observed as Entertainers. Destined to be before others and to catch the stage, ESFPs love the spotlight. ESFPs are attentive travelers who enjoy learning and sharing what they realize with others. ESFPs are ‘individuals’ with solid relational abilities. They are enthusiastic and fun and appreciate being the focal point of consideration. They are warm, liberal, and amicable, thoughtful, and worried about others’ prosperity.
The Champion ENFP Personality
ENFPs have an Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving personality. This personality type is a profoundly individual statistic, and Champions endeavor toward making their techniques, looks, activities, propensities, and thoughts they don’t care for cutout individuals and loathe when they are compelled to live inside a crate. They like to be around others and have a stable instinctive nature concerning themselves as well as other people. They work from their sentiments more often than not, and they are exceptionally discerning and mindful.
The Doer ESTP Personality
ESTPs have an Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceptive personality. ESTPs are represented by the requirement for social cooperation, sentiments and feelings, sensible procedures, and thinking, alongside a need for opportunity. Hypothesis and digests don’t keep ESTP’s intrigued for long. ESTPs jump before they look, fixing their errors as they go, as opposed to sitting inert or getting ready emergency courses of action.
The Supervisor ESTJ Personality
ESTJs are sorted out, legitimate, committed, honorable, customary, and are extraordinary devotees of doing what they accept as correct and socially adequate. Although the ways towards ‘great’ and ‘right’ are troublesome, they are happy to have their spot as the pioneers of the pack. They are the embodiment of a good populace. Individuals look to ESTJs for direction and advice, and ESTJs are always upbeat that they are drawn closer for help.
The Commander ENTJ Personality
An ENTJ’s essential method of living spotlights on outer perspectives, and everything is managed sanely and consistently. Their free way of activity is inward, where instinct and thinking produce results. ENTJs are personality statistic conceived pioneers among the 16 personality types and like being in control. They live in a universe of conceivable outcomes, and they regularly consider difficulties to be obstructions as incredible chances to propel themselves. They appear to have a personality statistic present for the initiative, deciding, and finding alternatives and thoughts rapidly yet cautiously. They are ‘assume responsibility’ individuals who don’t prefer to sit still.
INTPs are outstanding for their splendid hypotheses and unwavering rationale, which bodes well since they are ostensibly the most intelligent disapproved of all the personality types. They love designs, have a sharp eye for getting on errors, and a decent capacity to understand individuals, making it an impractical notion to mislead an INTP. Individuals of this personality type aren’t keen on commonsense, everyday exercises, and upkeep, however, when they discover a domain where their innovative virtuoso and potential can be communicated, there is no restriction to the time, and vitality INTPs will consume in building up a perceptive and fair-minded arrangement.
The Nurturer ISFJ Personality
ISFJs are humanitarians, and they are always prepared to give back and return liberality with considerably higher generosity. The individuals and things they put stock in will be maintained and upheld with energy and unselfishness. ISFJs are warm and kind-hearted. They esteem agreement and collaboration and are probably going to be extremely delicate to others’ emotions. Individuals appreciate the ISFJ for their thought and mindfulness, and their capacity to draw out the best in others.
The Visionary ENTP Personality
Those with the ENTP personality are the absolute rarest on the planet, which is totally reasonable. Although they are outgoing individuals, they hate casual chitchat. They may not flourish in numerous social circumstances, particularly those that include individuals who are excessively not the same as the ENTP. ENTPs are keen and proficient should be continually intellectually animated. They can talk about speculations and realities in full detail. They are intelligent, reasonable, and objective in their way of dealing with data and contentions.
The Composer ISFP Personality
ISFPs are thoughtful people that don’t appear loners. It is because regardless of whether they experience issues associating with others from the start, they become warm, agreeable, and amicable inevitably. They are amusing to be with and exceptionally unconstrained, which makes them the ideal companion to follow along in whatever movement, notwithstanding, whenever arranged or spontaneous. ISFPs need to carry on with their life without limit and grasp the present, so they ensure they are always out to investigate new things and find new encounters. It is in an experience that they discover astuteness, so they do see more an incentive in meeting unique individuals than different self observers.
Perhaps the most challenging part of anyone’s job is dealing with angry people.
A 26+ year career in upper management for a world-class retail corporation based in Texas and Mexico offered many experiences to sharpen my expertise with such difficult situations. My performance reviews were rated high and commonly mentioned an ability to “extract the venom” from hostile and tough individuals.
Here are some tips I’ve used over the years to calm others down and get a strategic advantage in confrontations.
1. Try not to reveal that you are emotionally bothered if someone curses and becomes belligerent. Showing that you’re upset makes you appear weak. When discussing points you gain more credit by staying factual and focusing on their statements.
2. It is far better to stand next to someone confronting you instead of in front of them. The appearance of being a threat diminishes and helps them calm down.
3. If you can anticipate they will be argumentative, use the old trick from Benjamin Franklin. Approach them with a friendly and concerning “I need your help.” It’s a natural feeling in humans to want to help others.
No one likes the guilt of rejecting someone who needs aid. Simply ask the favor with a genuine smile and ask with their name first “John, I need your help.” It seriously increases the odds of calming them down and getting a favor accomplished.
4. Mirror them. This is a powerful Neurolinguistic Programing (NLP) technique that works very well. Rephrase what the other person says and repeat it back to them. This not only helps you understand them better, it shows them you’re listening. Just do it enough to validate them and show you are actually interested.
5. Nod your head up and down in agreement while you talk. They will begin to nod too and will start agreeing with you subconsciously.
6. If they are really angry, loud and talking fast, listen so they can vent but respond back in a more relaxed, quiet and calm tone.
Breathe slower and set the pace for a more tame conversation. Sometimes it’s important to move to a less intimidating location or take a walk together.
7. If you know someone doesn’t like you, ask to borrow a pencil or something similar. Another Ben Franklin trick, this technique relies on it being a small enough favor that they won’t say no, and it gets them to like you more.
8. Repeat their name often during the conversation. It’s a friendly gesture and helps you remember their name. People will like you more because they like hearing their name.
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like the wise old bird?”
My maternal great-grandmother, Chickasaw-Choctaw Margaret Delitha Morgan taught me this wise owl quote in the early 1960s.
I had no clue what an “oak” was and it’s the one word in the saying that I didn’t grasp right away. Over 35 years later, I took a week long course (and follow up classes) to become certified in Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP)…a wise old owl perhaps.
The summary below is from my notes in one of the classes. It’s been updated to provide up-to-date information.
Learning to develop and trust our intuitive intelligence is more important now than ever.
According to a recent UCLA study, we are exposed to a tsunami of information that amounts to over 174 newspapers full of data per day. That is more than 5 times the amount of information we were exposed to just 20 years ago. Included in this deluge of data are countless opinions, endless streams of expert advice and a myriad of gurus and guides telling us what we should be doing in order to live our best lives.
Besides the Word of God, the reality is that the only guidance system we need to assist us in living our best life is the wisdom held within our natural intuitive intelligence. When properly developed, it can and will lead us to the choices, ideas and innovations that will guide us towards what is truly in our best interest and help us create the highest good in our lives.
Intuition is a subtle language, so understanding the various ways it communicates makes having a deep and meaningful relationship with it rewarding, reliable and much more fun.
Intuition operates in our body and nervous system on levels that range from basic, binary, survival-based communications to complete conversations that are elegant, sophisticated, and evolved.
Level 1: Gut Instinct
Attributes: safety, security, and survival.
We have all heard of this level of intuition, and most of us can recall a time when we have recognized it or felt its presence in our lives. Gut instinct may be the best known and most mainstream interpretation of intuition, but it is only a small part of the entire intelligence system.
We should not depend on it alone to guide us to our highest potential or outcome. Gut instinct is simple, basic, and binary, which means it communicates through the feeling of opposites and uses impressions such as yes or no, stop or go, safe or unsafe, to convey its message.
When your gut instinct is operating, it will answer such questions as: “Is this choice/person/relationship in my best interest? Can I thrive in this environment? Will this situation meet my deepest needs?”
Level 2: Heart-Based Intelligence
Attributes: courage, compassion, and communication.
The intelligence in the heart encourages us to adopt the practice of courage, compassion, and care and use them to communicate and connect with all other life forms in our environment.
It guides us to what is appropriate to say or do in moments of need and allows us to connect and communicate in often unspoken ways and to bond with people, animals, and places in ways that cannot be described by words or rational thought.
This center of wisdom prompts us to ask the questions, such as: “Is my life filled with beauty? Do I love what I do? How can I discover my joy? What would I do if I were not afraid? Am I bringing the best of myself to my life and the world?”
Level 3: Visionary Power
Attributes: imagination, visionary certainty, and creative possibility.
The third level of intuitive intelligence is found in the mystical and often misunderstood power of extrasensory perception (ESP), expanded spiritual vision, lucid dreaming and other elevated psychic events. This is the level of intuition where extraordinary solutions, alternate ways of doing things, and groundbreaking new ideas are commonplace.
When this center of wisdom is active it guides us to ask questions such as: “What do I see as a solution or possibility? Is there something I am overlooking? What dreams do I have for my future that I haven’t given myself permission to make into reality?”
Level 4: The Connection to Universal Wisdom
Attributes: Universal awareness and unity consciousness
The fourth level of intuitive intelligence is the most nonphysical of the group. This intelligence is often activated during deep meditation or advanced awareness practices, and it is sometimes reported after near-death experiences or times of great stress or trauma.
The highest level of intuition that humans can reach while in physical form is the one that allows us to access the realm of all things and to become consciously aware of our connection to and ability to create with the intelligence that is the source of our reality.
When we are aligned with this level of intelligence, we recognize that all things in life are valuable and appropriate and that we have the power within us to change and heal our lives if we so choose.
Here there are no questions. There is only consciousness.
As you become familiar with these levels of communication, your rapport with this natural form of intelligence will grow, evolve and expand and it will not matter what the rest of the world is telling you to do. With the direct guidance of your own wisdom you will be able to navigate any situation with a sense of joy, ease and great satisfaction.
Quick Notes from Superhuman by Tynan: Positivity Habits
Positivity Towards Yourself
Every time you have any negative thoughts, simply think of one positive aspect of the situation. For example: if your car gets towed, you can think about how now you’ll get credit card miles when you pay for the tow.
After a period of 2-4 weeks, the habit will become almost automatic. Remain vigilant and make sure that you’re still doing it.
After 3 months, you will have trained your brain to automatically come up with the positives.
Positivity Towards Others
Whenever you find yourself thinking poorly of someone or in some sort of conflict with someone, force yourself to say to yourself, “Remember that this person is just doing their best and trying to be happy, just like me.”
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong’
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
Begin in a friendly way
Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately
Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
Appeal to the nobler motives
Dramatize your ideas
Throw down a challenge
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment
Begin with praise and honest appreciation
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Let the other person save face
Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest
Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Most people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.
Criticism is futile and dangerous. It puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. And it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
People learn faster and retain knowledge more effectively when rewarded for good behavior than punished for bad behavior. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.
Anyone can criticize, condemn and complain. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
The only way to get a person to do anything is by giving them what they want.What do most people want?
Health, food, sleep, money, sex. Almost all these wants are usually gratified – all except one: the desire to be important.
How do you make people feel important? By appreciation and encouragement.
This desire is what makes you want to wear the latest styles, drive the latest cars, and talk about your brilliant children. If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. That determines your character.
Know the difference between appreciation and flattery. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.
Flattery is selfish and insincere. It’s cheap praise. You tell the other person precisely what he thinks about himself. In the long run, flattery will do you more harm than good.
Appreciation is unselfish and sincere. It happens when we stop thinking about ourselves and begin to think of the other person’s good points.
Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,’ and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.
Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Of course, you are interested in what you want. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.
The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
This does not mean manipulating someone so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. Each party should gain from the negotiation.
Part 2: How To Win Friends and Influence People–Click here!
Part 3: How To Win Friends and Influence People–Click here!
When I first began giving speeches as a young executive in the corporate retail world at H-E-B Food-Drugs in Texas, I experienced various severity levels of anxiety.
My key life experiences at that point had been journalism, private investigation and construction.
In high school and college I performed as an Elvis Presley impersonator at high school auditoriums, gymnasiums, local night clubs and dance halls. But giving speeches as a young adult was rare and limited to small groups of no more than 20 or so people.
The desire to be a good public speaker was there, but the anxiety was overwhelming. I went to a life coach and learned something called “NLP.” Over the years I became a certified NLP practitioner and actually taught it for awhile.
NeuroLinguistic Programming, or NLP, is a powerful tool that can be used in many ways to improve our lives.
NLP gave me tools needed to be a good presenter. At H-E-B my training classes for leadership, facilities management and store managers consistently scored the highest ratings from attendees.
As a founder and first elected president of the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (now CONNEX), I gave scores of speeches across the country.
My largest audiences were over 10,000 for the National Retail Federation at the Javits Center in New York, and 8,000+ at the McCormick Center in Chicago.
Through the powerful tools of NLP and practice, I became a popular speaker at various conventions in places like Orlando, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle and Nashville.
The point is, NLP gave me a toolbox of ammunition to fight fear and gain confidence. It transformed my life in various ways.
NLP can be applied to many situations in our every day lives and has proven techniques for diagnosing and intervening in certain situations.
(I’ll be writing more about these techniques occasionally. If you’re interested just look for and click the “NLP” tag. Be sure to follow Clever Journeys below.)
The first NLP technique I learned is called “Anchoring.” An anchor is a unique stimulus that involves multiple senses to stimulate and stir our brain to remember and recall a particular resource.
It’s a way to get in touch with a specific feeling, recall and recreate it in the body at will. For me, I’d simply rub my fingers together or touch my ring and recall the excitement and enthusiasm I received from audiences performing as Elvis. It became my warm-up before each speech and I couldn’t wait to present before each group.
The simple little change that I felt and experienced after I put anchoring in my tool box was just a small building block to the foundation that I needed to become someone strong and self empowered, capable of leading others and creating futures others thought impossible.
It was healing.
The NLP Anchoring process can be broken down into four steps.
To provide reference, let’s use confidence as the desired feeling. We can all use a little more confidence. As you read through each of the steps, take time to reflect and respond.
1.Recall a time in your life when you felt confident.
Let your mind run a movie of that memory. What did you see? See it now. Feel what you felt at that time.
If there were sounds, hear those sounds, tune into what you were saying to yourself and how you felt about that. Make the memory vivid and as real as you possibly can. Use your imagination.
Now kick it up a notch to expand all the senses. Make the colors brighter, the images larger and the sounds more clear and vibrant.
I’d psych myself up by playing Elvis music in my mind. In the Green Room of the Javits Center I listened to “Also Sprach Zarathustra” from 2001-A Space Odyssey on earphones while I waited to be called to speak.
Joe Torre, the legendary New York Yankees baseball coach, who would be on stage after me, asked what I was listening to. I unplugged the earjack from the recorder so he could hear. He laughed. I told him why I did it. He deemed it “The Elvis Factor.”
“Go get ’em Elvis,” Torre grinned as he slapped me on the back to send me to the stage with a thumbs up. I was psyched!
After my speech, he stood up and greeted me back in the Green Room with an enthusiastic handshake.
“Now how am I going to follow that?” he laughed. Somehow he did and he was awesome. The good part was bringing home a signed Joe Torre baseball to son Jack later that week.
Remember that in Anchoring, whatever you can do to make the image unique and more powerful is most effective for best results.
2.Choose a place on your body where you will touch yourself or use an object to remind you of that feeling of the time when you felt confident (I tap my fingers together or rub my ring with fingers from the opposite hand.)
You can also visualize a symbol or an expression that represents the meaning of what you want to anchor. I visualize and make an “OK” or “Thumbs Up” sign with my hand to myself. Some people put a fist up high and say, “Yes!” or “Go!”
Now combine that touch with the actual memory. Right before the point in the movie when the feeling is the most intense, you fire off the anchor by using the unique touch or any other method of anchoring that you have chosen.
3.Repeat the process.
Again, think of the time when you felt confident and fire off the anchor by touching the object, visualizing the image, hearing the sounds, feeling the sensations in your body or creating that unique touch.
4.Test it out.
Fire off the anchor. Expect to be instantly transported to a time in your memory when you felt confident. If not, repeat the process until you get the desired feeling on demand. Soon it will come naturally.
Remember to have fun!
NLP is a great process and it works surprisingly well – magically transforming negative situations (or collapsing negative anchors) and installing new empowering ones.
Today is a good time to say a little prayer and then get started using some of those awesome memories to be the best person you can be.
During a job performance review in the 1990s, my boss, H-E-B Vice President Ralph Mehringer said something that I remember to this day.
“You have the unique ability to take the venom out of angry people,” he noted. “You quickly de-fang them.”
I liked that.
Ralph is a keen observer and calls it as he sees it. His words were motivating, so of course, it reinforced my learning and practicing.
I became interested in studying Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP for short. Eventually I became a certified NLP Practitioner.
It helped immensely in leadership and dealing with others through powerful techniques such as “anchoring,” reading body language and facial expressions, “reframing thoughts” and building rapport.
As the years progressed, “de-fanging” became natural and automatic like.
Here are some tips I learned along the way and continue to use today:
1. When someone is angry and confrontational, stand next to them, rather than in front of them. You want to appear not to be much of a threat, after all you’re physically on their side, and they eventually calm down.
2. Slow the pace of speech. They are likely to be yelling or talking rapidly. It’s critical not to engage in a like manner. When it’s your turn to reply, do so in a deliberate, kind, quiet and slower tone.
3. Open with “I need your help.” Most people don’t like the guilt of not helping someone out. When asking for a favor from someone, begin with “I need your help.” It GREATLY increases the chances of getting the favor done. But best of all, it can be used as an opening line to someone very irritated about something. Usually I act innocently not knowing they’re upset. It’s a good precursor to leading them out of their anger towards a better outlook.
4. Rephrase what the other person says and repeat it back to them. In that slower, quieter voice, this helps you understand their concern. This makes them feel you care and are listening to them. It shows your genuine interest in them. It validates them and helps you. Note: Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to appear condescending.
5. If you want someone to agree with you, nod while you talk. I learned this as a door-to-door insurance salesman in the early 1980s and discovered it works well with group presentations too. When you notice them beginning to change their attitude, or better yet nod back, you’re on the right track. They are beginning to subconsciously agree with you.
6. If someone doesn’t like you, ask to borrow a pencil or pen. This is called the Benjamin Franklin Effect. It’s just a small favor that actually helps nudge them to like you. Not as effective, but still good, is to subtly touch someone’s upper arm when you ask for a favor.
7. Mimic them without them realizing it. It’s called mirroring and takes some practice. It has to be subtle and with finesse. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it try folding your arms in a non-threatening way. It helps to determine their interest. If someone is observing you, they will likely mimic you.
8. Repeat a person’s name many times in the conversation. Don’t overdo it, but it helps you remember their name, and makes them like you more.
9. If the person is a child, bring bubbles. Hint: this can work for adults too. Bubbles are magical mood changers.
BONUS: What if the person is just a narcissist?
Understand that narcissists are psychological warriors. They demand superiority over you. It gives them power to belittle and make you feel inferior.
They win if you lash back or try to explain yourself. Don’t let them win.
If you stay and explain yourselve (by arguing back or even by trying to talk calmly) you are showing them that they have power over you.
Walking away is a powerful strength.
I know for many, the idea of walking away after someone has hurt us seems like we are running away or letting them walk all over us.
But the truth of the matter is that when we walk away from a narcissist we are the stronger and better person.
Show them that you will NOT allow them to sully your character.
Show them that you will NOT be talked to like that.
And prove to them that you will NOT tolerate their childishness.
In walking away — and by not saying anything to a narcissist when they go on their childish verbal war — you remain 100% who you are. That’s totally true to yourself. You win.
You take yourselves out of that battle to which they are trying to wage against you…and you lose absolutely NOTHING.
They love drama…don’t be a character, or spectator, of their drama.
“Finding her body was easy. The buzzards signaled the way. Finding the killer was the hard part.”
So said my dad at the kitchen table at our home on Ansley Boulevard in south San Antonio.
Having a homicide detective for a father made for conversations I was aware my classmates didn’t experience.
Normal talk at dinner time in the Dennis family often centered on Dad’s latest crime cases. He’d skirt around the particulars while we ate, but later he’d give me more detail. Usually there were intriguing nuggets of wisdom peppered in.
Detective investigation was a fantastic topic for a curious 10-year-old kid. In retrospect, I realize Dad allowed me to follow along in such a way that I could begin to solve a crime or unravel a mystery.
Going into teenage years, it became obvious he would purposefully include clues and red herrings for my mind to tackle.
He paid attention, even if people didn’t think he was. I noticed around some individuals, he’d actually play dumb–even ignorant, when I knew he was keenly aware and knowledgeable.
His sense of observation and ability to get information from others was amazing. Brilliant.
“Remember that body language is always truthful and what people say isn’t necessarily true,” he coached. “They are especially easy to read when they’re hungry or thirsty–especially for coffee.”
He drilled me to rely on all the senses to observe my surroundings. It evolved and as I grew closer to adulthood, he would step up the challenges and test me.
One Saturday, in the summer, we stopped off to eat lunch at Bud Jones Meal-a-Minute Restaurant, a Southside institution on Commercial Avenue and S.W. Military Drive.
“When we go in there, we’re going to sit down with some men I’ve known for a long time,” he said as he turned off the ignition. “When we’re done, I want you to tell me about them based on what you observed.”
What an unexpected challenge, but I was ready. “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” was playing on Bud’s jukebox. I heard two ladies talking about “Marcus Welby, M.D” as we approached a man waiting at a table for four. Dad sat across from him and I went to the chair between them on the man’s right.
About the time we shook hands and my father introduced me, the second man joined us.
It was just as much fun observing them, taking mental notes, as it was enjoying the All You Can Eat Fish plate in front of me.
“Tell me about the first man,” Dad asked as we drove off. “What did you notice?”
“He’s outside a lot and works or lives south of here, maybe in Pleasanton or somewhere around there. He probably smokes and drinks a lot too.”
Dad was listening carefully, and as he backed his pickup out of the parking space, he glanced straight at me for more than a second.
“When he shook your hand he seemed nervous, but he slipped something to you in the handshake. Then he was like instantly relieved.”
“He, maybe is like, either accident prone, very careful or used to spilling things.”
“Ha. How did you get that idea?” Dad laughed.
“Every time he took a sip of coffee, he didn’t just drink it like you two did,” I continued. “He leaned over to the cup and held it with both hands. He didn’t bring the cup to his lips with one hand. His lips went to the cup.”
“He works in Jourdanton, tending cows, goats and chickens,” Dad responded. “That’s close to Pleasanton. How did you know that? We didn’t even talk about that. That’s pretty good.”
“His fingers and boots,” I proudly answered, somewhat relieved I was getting the hang of this. “Hands are tough and calloused. When Grandpa Dennis took me to Dilley to get watermelons (I had a produce stand) one morning, we came back through Pleasanton so he could show me their hanging tree where he saw a man hang from there once.”
“He showed it to you?”
“Yes, he said people came from all around to see it,” I answered. “I think he was a cattle rustler or stole some cows or horses He even showed me where he was standing when he saw it. Anyway, there’s red dirt–almost like sand in Pleasanton–on his boots and the knees of his khaki pants. He also doesn’t have a ring on his finger but no tan where it used to be. His teeth are yellow like some smokers I’ve seen. His lips are chapped. “
My father was pleased and emphasized how good my clue gathering was. It turned out my Dad had loaned him some money. The man was a friend from their school days at Harlandale High. He recently went through a divorce and had a Driving While Intoxicated arrest. Dad had loaned him some money to bail him out. That’s what he passed to my father’s hand.
I surmised the other man may have been in the milItary or was a veteran because of his crew cut, polished shoes and regimented demeanor.
“When he walked up to the table, he stood like he was in attention with his hands behind his back,” was one of the things I recall telling Dad. “It was like when you put your hand forward to shake, it was his ‘at ease.'”
“You’ve been paying attention,” Dad acknowledged. “What else?
“They knew each other but hadn’t seen each other in a long time. (The second man) looked stern at first but when he told (the first man) to order what he wanted because he was paying, the intial tension at the table went away. But I’m not sure what that was all about. Maybe I was just noticing too much and making a bigger deal out of it than it was.”
“No Son, you’re right,” he explained. “It was a big deal. Doing something good can make you feel better about something bad that’s happened. Or it can make you feel less guilty about doing something bad later.”
As a 14-year old, I needed elaboration. Whew, did I get it!
Man #1 was divorced because his wife left him. He never really knew why.
Man #2 was the reason.
After the divorce, the ex-wife left Man #2 for another man (let’s call him Man #3). #2 was both angry and hurt, but most of all felt great guilt for what he did to Man #1.
I never knew if #1 found out about #2, but I do know this:
1. A few weeks later I was a laborer replacing roofs on houses working with #1 and #2. We all worked hard together from dawn to dusk, except for lunch and naps under nearby shade trees.
2. The ex-wife/ex-girlfriend and Man #3 were later arrested and charged with writing hot checks and other thefts. #3 was on probation and was sent back to the penitentiary. The rumor was she moved to Alabama where she belonged.
3. The hard work, valuable lessons and acknowledgement received from my Dad were rewarding.
4. In a homicide investigation, the spouse is always the first suspect. And buzzards signal the way.
This is an excerpt from my next book in progress, tentatively entitled Whataburger With Ralph. See Lesson 1 here.
I’m grateful for over 30 years (on and off) of employment with H-E-B Food/Drugs for many reasons. Besides working with awesome Partners (employees throughout Texas and Mexico), I’m especially thankful for the learning and training opportunities that proved so beneficial in life.
Learning and teaching Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma was especially rewarding.
Even today, years after my early retirement, I use these powerful techniques at home, in the RV and with projects.
Eventually earning Six Sigma Black Belt accreditation, I gave presentations across the country at various professional conferences.
At H-E-B, all of my Facilities Management regional offices (for retail stores, gas stations, manufacturing, real estate properties and warehouses) and their field Partners were trained. Some became belt holders of various degrees.
The results in productivity and value were amazing, saving millions of dollars over the years. Efficiency was the name of the game, by destroying waste along the way.
As an introduction to many classes and seminars, I’d present the substantial visual lesson from Stephen Covey’s First Things First “rock parable.”
With a large jar on a table, surrounded by various sizes of rocks, gravel and sand, I’d begin.
“Your life and work has big rocks and little rocks. The size represents the importance and, essentially, what should be prioritized. They all have to fit into your jar.”
I’d pour the little rocks in first and could easily get them all in the jar.
Next, I tried the big rocks, they wouldn’t fit.
Scratching my head, I’d suddenly come up with another idea. This time I put the big rocks in first. Guess what happened?
The little rocks naturally fell into the remaining space allotted. I’d follow up with small bits of gravel and sand, representing inconsequential things people worry about, dwell on or spend far too much time on.
The moral of the story: Always take care of the most important stuff first. Always the big rocks! You can fit nearly everything else (that might be valuable and needed) later.
There are many ways to make sure your big rocks stay front and center.
One popular method is the Eisenhower Box or Matrix. I believe in it so much, that my children, now adults, use it naturally in their own homes and careers.
To use it, mark a piece of paper into four equal boxes or quadrants. Write or separate what needs to be done into one of the four boxes. Quadrant 1 will be top left, Quadrant 2: top right. 3: bottom left.
Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important
Quadrant 3: Urgent, but not important
Quadrant 2: Important, but not urgent
Quadrant 1: Urgent and important
It becomes clear “urgent and important” items are your immediate priority.
We get into the most trouble when we confuse “urgent, but not important” with “urgent and important.”
Live as much of your life as possible in Quadrant 2 activities: Studying, planning, vacationing, reading, exercising, taking your vitamins and medications properly, nutrition, mitigating, improving, resting, learning, organizing and getting rid of waste, etc.
The most successful and happiest people realize that things are always urgent, but if they only focus on the urgent (or what some may consider urgent but in reality, it’s not), the important will never get accomplished.
A common mistake people make in their planning, work and projects, is spending an inordinate amount of time on little rocks.
Imagine how much better your life, travels, and experiences could be if you weren’t so enamored with the bits of gravel. At a certain point–sooner than later–spending your time more on the little rocks, gravel and sand will give you significantly diminished returns.
That inordinate amount of time can have devastating effects on your “big rocks.” Sometimes it’s better to attend to your true priorities, arrive safely on time or accomplish an important goal, than having a perfect little rock.
In future posts, I’ll present valuable Quadrant 2 type examples and information you can use at home, in your RV, workshop, or office to improve your life.
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