Tag Archive | "Personality"

8 Small Things People Use to Judge Your Personality


The human brain is hardwired to judge. This survival mechanism makes it very hard to meet someone without evaluating and interpreting their behavior, reports Entrepreneur.

While we tend to think that our judgments are based on the content of conversations and other obvious behaviors, the research says otherwise. In fact, the majority of our judgments are focused on smaller, subtler things, such as handshakes and body language. We often form complete opinions about people based solely on these behaviors.

We are so good at judging other people’s personalities based on small things that, in a University of Kansas study, subjects accurately predicted people’s personality traits, such as extroversion/introversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness, simply by looking at pictures of the shoes they wore.

Our unconscious behaviors have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. These behaviors have likely become an integral part of who you are, and if you don’t spend much time thinking about them, now is a good time to start, because they could be sabotaging your career.

1. How you treat waiters and receptionists. 

How you treat support staff is so indicative of your makeup that it has become a common interview tactic. By gauging how you interact with support staff on your way in and out of the building, interviewers get a sense for how you treat people in general. Most people act the part when they’re speaking to the hiring manager or other “important” people, but some will pull a Jekyll and Hyde act the moment they walk out the door, treating others with disdain or indifference. Business lunches are another place this comes to light. No matter how nice you are to the people you have lunch with, it’s all for naught if those people witness you behaving badly toward others.

2. How often you check your phone. 

There’s nothing more frustrating than someone pulling out their phone mid-conversation. Doing so conveys a lack of respect, attention, listening skills, and willpower. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s wise to keep your phone holstered. A study from Elon University confirms that pulling out your phone during a conversation lowers both the quality and quantity of face-to-face interactions.

3. Repetitive, nervous habits. 

Touching your nails or face or picking at your skin typically indicates that you’re nervous, overwhelmed, and not in control. Research from the University of Michigan suggests that these nervous habits are indicative of a perfectionistic personality, and that perfectionists are more likely to engage in these habits when they’re frustrated or bored.

4. How long you take to ask questions. 

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they talked about themselves the entire time? The amount of time someone allows to pass before they take an interest in you is a strong personality indicator. People who only talk about themselves tend to be loud, self-absorbed “takers.” People who only ask questions and share little about themselves are usually quiet, humble “givers.” Those who strike a nice balance of give-and-take are reciprocators and good conversationalists.

5. Your handshake. 

It’s common for people to associate a weak handshake with a lack of confidence and an overall lackadaisical attitude. A study at the University of Alabama showed that, although it isn’t safe to draw assumptions about someone’s competence based on their handshake, you can accurately identify personality traits. Specifically, the study found that a firm handshake equates with being less shy, less neurotic, and more extroverted.

6. Tardiness. 

Showing up late leads people to think that you lack respect and tend to procrastinate, as well as being lazy or disinterested. Contrary to these perceptions, a San Diego State University study by Jeff Conte revealed that tardiness is typically seen in people who multitask, or are high in relaxed, Type B personality traits. Conte’s study found that Type B individuals are often late because they experience time more slowly than the rest of us. Bottom line here is not to read too much into people showing up late. It’s better to ask what’s behind it than to make assumptions.

7. Handwriting. 

There are all manner of false stereotypes attempting to relate your handwriting to your personality. For example, people believe that how hard you press down on the paper relates to how uptight you are, the slant of your writing indicates introversion or extroversion, and the neatness/sloppiness of your writing reveals organizational tendencies. The research is inconclusive at best when it comes to handwriting and personality. If you have an important letter to write, I’d suggest sticking to the keyboard to keep things neutral.

8. Eye contact. 

The key to eye contact is balance. While it’s important to maintain eye contact, doing so 100 percent of the time is perceived as aggressive and creepy. At the same time, if you only maintain eye contact for a small portion of the conversation, you’ll come across as disinterested, shy, or embarrassed. Studies show that maintaining eye contact for roughly 60 percent of a conversation strikes the right balance and makes you come across as interested, friendly, and trustworthy.

Bringing It All Together

Sometimes the little things in life make a big difference. It’s good to be ready for them, so that you can make a strong impression.

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5 Superpowers of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurs are superheroes. They strive to solve the world’s problems, inspire social change and improve quality of life, reports Entrepreneur. They perform heroic feats with scarce time, limited resources and against all odds. Yet, most entrepreneurs toil away in obscurity and often shy away from media. Young people grow up idolizing the figureheads of mainstream media, which today is limited to musicians, athletes and movie stars. I want my children to know there is another class of superheroes in our midst, entrepreneurs. So, I dedicated my two years as a Kauffman Fellow to identifying the patterns of these amazing role models.

I have been a venture capital investor since 2007 and I have worked with incredible entrepreneurs and investors almost every day since. Over the past two years, I have interviewed CEOs and investors of the most successful startups to determine the character traits most highly correlated with entrepreneurial success. At some point it hit me — these entrepreneurs are truly heroic archetypes, and that the results of my research should be expressed in the form of a graphic novel. So today, I am unveiling the entrepreneurial superpowers that matter most along with the announcement of my graphic novel, Silicon Heroes, which launches today on Indiegogo. My goal for Silicon Heroes is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs with the characteristics and skills that power startup success. All profits from the Indiegogo campaign will be donated to Girls Who Code and Code.org.

1. Passion

Startups are emotional roller coasters that test the mental fortitude of founders. Every day brings new and unexpected challenges — and entrepreneurs can hide under a rock or they can rise to meet them. Successful entrepreneurs have a fire inside of them that motivates them to push farther and faster than normal. Passion is not just love for your product, team or market. It is the intensity, work ethic and determination that enables sustained effort over a long period of time. Lastly, passion is infectious. Passion can be the glue that brings a group of strangers together and galvanizes them to success on their startup journey.

2. Charisma

Great entrepreneurs are always recruiting. They are recruiting talented people to their team, recruiting investors to fund their dream and recruiting customers to their product vision. Charisma comes in many forms but ultimately, it is the ability of an entrepreneur to motivate people to align with his vision of the future. At the earliest stages of a company, this involves recruiting founders, finding seed capital and signing up the initial beta customers. At later stages, this can mean leading acquisitions, securing partnerships or evangelizing the vision at a conference.

3. Speed

Speed is one of the only advantages a startup has over a large incumbent. The lean startup framework centers around the mantra of “build, measure, learn” — build a prototype quickly, measure how users engage, learn from the experiment and then iterate quickly. Cycle time is a critical component for how fast a startup can move through these steps.  As a result, the best entrepreneurs set up their company’s organizational structure and decision-making processes to maximize speed. Another critical aspect of speed is coordination — once a decision is made, an entrepreneur needs to make sure everyone is on board and rowing in the same direction.

4. Focus

Startups are constrained by resources and time. The best entrepreneurs manage these two limited resources through intense prioritization. Founders need to focus the majority of their energy on the most impactful levers that can drive their business forward at any given time. There are simply too many non-essential activities that will take time but not ultimately make a difference. Focus is required to constrain resources into the highest priorities and execute.

5. Flight

Entrepreneurs are constantly encountering new challenges. The best founders exhibit a type of mental agility that allows them to fly through constant adversity with ease. These founders actively seek out advice from mentors, help from their networks and new ideas from books. These founders have an insatiable appetite for learning and are never defensive when given outside counsel. Furthermore, these successful entrepreneurs are able to synthesize new information quickly and creatively apply it to their business. This mental agility is particularly critical for first-time entrepreneurs, as they are constantly on the verge of ineptitude as their businesses scale quickly. Entrepreneurs who have achieved this level of intellectual agility reach new heights by standing on the shoulders of their network until they can fly.

Strengthen these superpowers to achieve your aspirations.

Successful entrepreneurs will possess some or all of these superpowers. These elements of character should excite future entrepreneurs, because all of these traits and skills can be learned, fostered and developed. The key is the self-awareness to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and invest in developing the superpowers you need to achieve your aspirations. Anyone has the potential to be a successful entrepreneur with the right role models and help along the way.

Are you the next superhero?

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