Showing posts with label Personality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personality. Show all posts

October 9, 2018

Anyone Have A Question About This Car?

Yeah, all I can say...
Anyone have a question about this car?

I am pretty sure this car is owned by Matthew Lesko, "The Question Mark Guy."

Lesko was in a number of commercials and infomercials about asking him how to get free information and grant money from the government. 

He dresses and drives in question marks, and I've seen him a number of times around town. Frankly, it's sort of hard to miss this guy!

His self promotion sort of makes you wonder, if you had to choose just one symbol to wear everywhere to represent you to the world--it could be a punctuation mark or anything else--what would that look like?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 23, 2018

That Look On Their Face

So I love that look on people's face when I say something that just startles them or takes them back a little. 

The other day when I got a haircut, the barber lady was talking to me (BTW, she's a very nice person).

At one point, she says something about my hair being a little different on each side. 

So I blurt out something like:

"Well, that's because my brains are pushing it out!"

I got the funniest look from her...yes, it was priceless.

First, she's like right, of course, your brains are pushing out your hair!

Then, she looks at me, and I start smirking, and she gives me the big eyes and raised eyebrows, like a combination of that's funny and now don't be such a wise guy. 

Then, we both started laughing. 

I love that. 

I love doing that with people. 

Being alive. 

Getting a reaction. 

Making them wonder for a second. 

Getting them to smile and laugh. 

Maybe my brains are pushing my hair out!  ;-)

(Source Art: Sean M., 8th Grade Montgomery County and Photo by Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 9, 2018

An Introverted Extrovert

I thought this was an interesting phrase someone used the other day to describe their personality.

They called themselves an "Introverted Extrovert."

I asked what they meant, and they explained as follows:

"I'm Introverted until I get to know someone then I am extroverted with them."

This actually made a lot of sense to me.

We may be reticent at the beginning when meeting new people, but once we feel comfortable with others and start to trust them, then we naturally open up to them.

The truth is most people aren't extroverted (social) or introverted (shy). 

Instead, people are on a continuum, which is generally a bell-shaped curve.  

In other words, most people are somewhere in the middle---either introverted extroverts or extroverted introverts. 

Well, what's an extroverted introvert?

It's someone who tends to be more comfortable and trusting and social with people, but they also need time alone to recharge, and perhaps they even get shy sometimes. 

Most people don't exist on the extremes--that's why they are called extremes!

So don't be so quick to judge yourself as an introspective introvert or an outgoing extrovert or anything else for that matter. 

We are "this" AND "that"--sometimes maybe a little more this or that, but that's all part of us and it's okay to be us! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 21, 2017

We're A Bunch Of Chemicals+

So it's pretty well known that we are a combination of nature and nurture. 

Nature is our genetics and our hormones--it's sort of the innate material that make up who we are. 

Nurture, of course, is all those external influencers, like parents, friends, teachers, religious figures, experiences, etc.--that shape us. 

In a way, it's hard to think of ourselves as a product of nature and nature, because that sort of removes our conscious free choice in the whole matter of who we are and what we do. 

For example, if someone is a raging lunatic, sociopath, serial killer, because they have a brain or hormonal defect and grew up in a broken and abusive home(s), then the question is, well how can you really or fully blame them for their actions--is it really their actions? 

Don't we have to ask ourselves how much control does a person have over themselves if they are physically and environmentally predisposed to be a certain way--even a very socially unacceptable and hurtful way?

This is where the courts and justice system come into play in looking at things such as whether the person is even competent to stand trial (e.g. the insanity defense) or are there mitigating circumstances to reduce the person's culpability.

I would imagine it is quite difficult to exactly judge the level of self control that a person is or should be able to exert given their individual set of nature and nurture.  

And even if the person isn't fully in control of themselves, does that help the victim or their families who are still left reeling from the harm and/or loss caused to them by the perpetrator?

Yet it is uncontested that people are driven by nature and nurture, and just in today's Wall Street Journal, there was a discussion of the influence of a person's hormone levels on their personality and behavior.

- Generally, more testosterone makes a person aggressive, while more estrogen makes them sensitive. 

- Similarly, dopamine makes people more energetic, while serotonin makes them more sociable. 

So there is nothing inherently "wrong" with you for being a certain way...that's your makeup, but you are responsible for how you manage yourself given what you've got.   

In other words, where you have lemons, you've got to make lemonade!

In a nutshell, we are truly a combination of our genetic makeup, a bunch of chemicals, some environmental molding, and the exertion of our willpower, faith, and belief in what's right and wrong. 

What happens when you mix these altogether, you get you and only you! ;-)

(Source photo: here with attribution to skeeze)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 20, 2017

Winning Attitude

I met this lady at the shopping outlets a few weeks ago. 

One of the awesome brand stores was running a sale with 70% off!

Check, check--not a gimmick--we race over with the crowd already forming lined up outside the doors. 

This salesperson was there to guide just a few people in at a time--I guess, so the mob wouldn't rip the joint to sale shreds!

This lady (pictured) had something awesome about her.

Working part time in retail, I'd imagine that it's not the job's salary and benefits that is perking her up or "getting her out of bed in the morning." 

Yet, she had the most unbelievably great attitude. 

She stopped to talk with us and tell us about her background studying and living in Israel during the year, and that she had a twin sister working in the same store for the Summer. 

Her energy and enthusiasm was inspirational and I would imagine could even be contagious to many who let themselves revel in it rather than resist it. 

As people waited on the line, this women offered them her umbrella to stay dry and cool. 

Waiting on line is not the most fun thing, even when it's for a 70% off sale, but this lady kept everyone smiling and sort of stress free with frequent updates and walking and talking up/down the line.

Listen, we all know people who do the same or similar jobs: one is grouchy, sullen, and is for all intensive purposes miserable all or most of the time; the other is generally smiling and happy to be there learning and contributing, and have the job.

What a difference between these 2 types of people!

And what a enormous contrast between the positive and negative impacts they have on others and on the organization. 

It's not just what you say and do, but how you go about doing it. 

Yes, we all have various challenges and problems in our lives, but how do you deal with it.

This doesn't mean you should be a phony baloney head--you need to be genuine and real to be credible and a high-functioning human being--and of course, everyone has bad days. 

But an overall winning attitude goes a long way in life and towards success--for yourself and how you can influence others. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 20, 2017

Mine and Yours

In synagogue today, we read from Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of Our Fathers").

And I talked with my friends at lunch about one passage from this timeless wisdom.

There are 4 types of people:

1) "Average Joe"


What's mine is mine, and what's yours in yours. 

Someone described this as "his and her--separate--accounts."

2) Stupid


What's mine is yours, and what's yours in mine. 

Ah, this is just someone whose plain old confused.

3) Wicked


What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine.  

One guy described his ex-wife this way.

4) Righteous 

What's mine is yours, and what's yours is yours.  

We all agreed this is the meaning of life--to be kind and giving to others.

What type of person are you? And what type of person do you want to be?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 28, 2016

Three Types of Personality Verts

It's funny, we were out with some other people for dinner.

At one point, the conversion turned to the personality types (in terms of sociability) at the table. 

One person said, "I'm an extrovert!" - they were so proud that they are expressive and outgoing. 

Another person goes, "I'm an introvert!" - they were equally proud that they are thoughtful and more reticent.

A third person then says, "I'm just antisocial!" - they were half laughing and have serious that they are not sociable and even a little antagonistic to others. 

That's when I came up with the new antisocial term, called an antivert!

Looking up that word on google to see if it already existed, I see someone has used it to brand an antihistamine for preventing and treating motion sickness and vertigo -- hence from vertigo, this medicine is an antivert.

If you think of antisocial people as a little of balance or off-kilter and eccentric, then the word antivert works both to treat vertigo as well as to describe people that are the antisocial personality type. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 26, 2016

The Nature of Charisma

So what's with charisma?

Is it like they say, either you have it or you don't?

The power of personality, your energy, your aura, your chemistry, your strength in connecting with others, your ability to influence people and to move them in thought and deed.

Truly, for some people, you would follow them into the battlefield or the boardroom.

And for others, you know they're no good and you'd probably just as soon do the opposite of what they say since you don't believe in them and what they stand for.

Today, I was expecting to see a special chabad Rabbi in Florida, but they were up in NY--I missed them having not seen them for many months.

I was disappointed, even though I really enjoyed the other people and the services that I attended. 

Some people...there is a magic to them...a genuineness, a warmth, a centeredness, with certain integrity, and driven to something greater. 

We need people like this in our life.  

Of course, we have G-d, always.

But we also need other human beings that move us.

People with charisma often make awesome leaders. 

It not about them remember, but rather about the mission they and we are on together. 

And being a mensch to other people. 

A real smile, a warm embrace, a kind word, a caring nature, a giving soul, a person with belief, someone who can inspire and motivate.

These people are rare, but when you find them, they are gems.

They are a blessing among us.

The last thing we need though is a false messiah, but rather the real McCoy to work with us to reach new heights of greatness, achievement, and happiness in life.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 28, 2016

Take Your Family Issues To Work Day

So we all love Take You Child(ren) To Work Day.

It's a great idea to bond with our children and share our work life with them.

This way they know what mommy and daddy do and also a little of what work is like. 

But one of the funny things I noticed is how uncomfortable most parents seem with their kids around them in at work. 

They have this worried and kvetchy look on their face.

They are crossing boundaries between personal/family/home life and professional/work life. 

What is at once two-faces, two distinct roles is now combined for a single day a year. 

Perhaps personal problems from home and between family members is entering the workspace or the problems of work life is evident to your close family members. 

Maybe mommy or daddy really doesn't get along all the well with little Johnny or Rosie all the time or perhaps little Johnny or Rosie is not that perfect little kid you've been showing around in pictures and talking up in the office. 

Similarly, mommy or daddy may not be "all that" in the office that they come home and portray to their family about--that big management position and corner office could be just another run of the mill job and situated in a long row of cubicles deep this way and that. 

In any case, the barriers are being crossed and even if there have been no outright lies told and caught, different sides of the person that are typically kept separate and sacrosanct are converging and the alternate egos and varied personas come head-to-head.

The good news is that the organization usually gives the parents leeway to not really do any serious work when the kids are around for the day and to mostly schlep them to special kids' events in the workplace--everybody get to meet the CEO and have ice cream?

Thus, the unveiling of dual natures and embedded conflicts is kept to a manageable minimum, if not an uncomfortable merging of work and family life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 14, 2016

Making a Right, Left, or Straight

This was a funny sign to an Ethiopian cafe in downtown Washington, D.C. 

"When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left."

(and next to it is another sign that says, "Money isn't everything, but it keeps the kids in touch.")

So what type of person are you?

When the going gets tough and nothing is going right, where do you go--to the coffee shop, door on the left--or more seriously do you:

- Close your eyes and keep marching forward like a good soldier?

- Get scared off, turn around, and run the other way?

- Take a break or slow down, stopping long enough to figure out what's wrong, and come up with solutions? 

Maybe you do a little of all three--sort of the Curly Shuffle. 

But aside from faith in G-d (and coffee-drinking), perhaps two really critical traits for success in life are resilence in the face of adversity and your problem-solving skills.

That doesn't mean that you never plow on or turn back--these are appropriate at times too--but that you know when to turn right, left, or make a straight dash to the goal line. ;-)

(Source Photo: Danielle Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 18, 2016

The Science Of The Interview

Job interviews seem to have evolved into elaborate psychosocial and behavioral tests.

Almost as if there is an exact science behind trying to pick "the winners" from "the losers." {hate those harsh terms about people]

Many questions look at how quickly the interviewee thinks on their feet, how prepared they are for the interview, and how well they present themselves for the job.

However, my question is whether these things are truly determinant of the fit between the person and the job, the culture, and the supervisor and team, as well as indicative of integrity of the person, their work ethic, or how well they would actually perform in said job. 

The interviewer proudly blurts out from his or her script:

TELL ME ABOUT...

- A time that you came from from work and said "I completely nailed it--a home run out of the park!"

Or

-  A time that you came from work and said "Oh shit, I completely screwed everything up."

Ah, like work--or life for that matter--is generally that black and white.

Are we forgetting about the 99% of the time that people go in the office, put in a solid day's work for a solid day's pay--and did a good job, made a decent contribution, and got along with the team. 

Also, let's face it, the vast majority of people are not the Einsteins or Steve Jobs of this world. 

They don't come to the interview having invented the driverless car or negotiated the end to World War II.

How about this question...

"Why do you want to work here?"

I heard someone actually asked this question about a job working in mining regulation--yeah right, your and everyone else's dream job. 

What an incredibly narcissistic question, where the interviewer is looking to hear about how great their organization is or their department is, how superb a leader he/she is known to be, and why the person just will fit in perfectly to a place that alas they probably really know very little about from an insider's perspective.

Okay, let's try another one...

"Where do you see yourself in 5-years?"

Let's see I want to be kissing your ass in 5-years and actually until the day I die or maybe better what your really afraid of hearing is that I'm gunning for your and would like to take your job and show this company what a real XYZ can do to improve things around here. 

Here's another one a colleague told me about recently...

Pretend your David Ogilvy and sell me on one of your ideas. You have 15-minutes to prepare. 

Ok let's put the pressure on, because the candidate coming in today for the job interview with a mortgage and two kids at home to feed isn't enough.  Do these conditions really demonstrate what the person could do with amble time and preparation and for something they really believe in?

Let's not forget to give an IQ and personality test to the person, so we can peg their intelligence and Myers Briggs or perhaps we should give them some puzzles and let them really sweat with the pieces. 

Let's face it we've all had some people wow on the interview and on paper and turn out to be duds on the specific jobs, and others that you weren't so sure about that turned out superbly.  

Assessing people is hard and many people are great at the poker game of landing the offer. 

It's the interviewers job to look beyond the playbook and the acting, and try to see the real person sitting in front of them.

Yes, presentation is important, but even more so can we get down to the work ethic and the integrity of the person?  What they are good at and where do they have weaknesses? Are they able and willing to learn and grow?  What do they like to work on and what do they recoil from?  How do they relate to others and can they get along?  When they face problems, challenges, and conflicts, can they and are they willing to work through it? 

I don't know any supervisor that hasn't hit the jackpot on some hires and made mistakes on others...those that claim they've made an actual science out of bringing on the absolute talent--I wonder how well they do in their next interview. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 27, 2015

Next @7Eleven


This lady is a scream at 7-Eleven. 

With the looks, personality, and humor, she should definitely have her own tv show.  

Great times in Florida (thank you Hashem). ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 24, 2015

Type A-nus

So it's the first full day of vacation in Florida.

And as it goes, you transition from the busy everyday world of work and chores to a more relaxing vacation mode...Ahhhh!

As I'm still transitioning, my wife says to me, "Stop your type A-ness."

Then we look at each other and start cracking up, because it sounds like she says "Type A-nus."

Okay 7-year olds, stop the silliness.

But maybe she is right, we need to pull our heads out of our asses, and look up at the sky, savor the warm sunshine on our faces, take a breath of fresh beautiful air, and just chill!

A-ness, or A-nus--either way, stop it and live free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 31, 2015

Quickie But Goodie

So in the office, one person says to another that they need to have a meeting to catch up on some things. 

The other person is obviously very busy, and so the first person trying to accommodate and be mindful of people's time says, "We can do a quickie."

At which point, the kindergarden personalities take over in the office, and the person responds cracking up, "I am begging you never to say that again!"

It funny how despite people growing up on the outside (in years), people are still always sort of just kids on the inside. 

Maybe in a way that is a good thing that part of ourselves retains the carefree innocence and jovialness of our youth.

We may not be sooo gorgeous anymore, but we are still the same person on the inside--just a little more experience behind us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 27, 2015

Become A HITFIT

A misfit is someone who doesn't fit in. 

He/she is missing the mark in terms of the thing or group they are trying to fit into.

The opposite of missing the target is hitting the target, hence a "hitfit" (my term)--someone who is in congruence with who he/she is and what they can do well. 

At times, we are all misfits--at work, school, places of worship, and even with family and friends--the personality, chemistry, and KSA (knowledge, skills, or abilities) are just not right.

Hence, people miserably fail in one environment or set of circumstance, but yet they thrive in others. 

What happens when you're the misfit?  

- You feel like you've been relegated to moron status, sitting in a corner or closet somewhere (and now envision the dunce cap on your head). 

- Essentailly everyone else seems to be meshing and doing great, but you're the odd man out. Nothing you seem to do is right, you can't perform or you just stop trying, and you feel like a worthless sh*t!

But then what happens?

- With courage, determination, and hard work, you pull yourself up by your trousers and you make a significant change in your life--your job, school, community, even your spouse or friends--you're the shinning star that you always knew or hoped you could be--you're the hitfit!

I've seen this happen again and again with people. 

Why?

So often people are not "bad," "stupid," or "losers"--they are just not in their groove for who they are. 

If you give people a chance to find themselves and leverage their strengths,. and strengthen (or challenge) their weaknesses, they can and will do superbly!

None of us are perfect (except G-d)--we are all frail human beings, even the strongest, smartest, fastest, and greatest among us. If you're put or find yourself in a bad situation--recognize your part in it, but also understand that sometimes it's just a misfit, and time to make a positive change in life. 

Do you research, test the waters, get primed, and find your hitfit and your happiness--you can do it, with G-d's help, everyone can! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 9, 2015

My Alter Fighting Ego

"His who life was a million to one shot."

He fought, he survived, and he triumphed.  

Go Rocky, Rambo, Sylvester Stallone. 

Human rights, social justice, good over evil. 

And never again! :-)

(Source Photo: here via Facebook)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 26, 2015

Five Types Of Managers

Grumpy


Big Mouth


Showman


Inattentive


The Snake


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

June 10, 2015

Don't Just Hire Another You

So the corporate cat is out of the bag...

The New York Times confirms that "more than 80% of employers worldwide named cultural fit as a top hiring priority," where cultural fit is a sugarcoated synonym for hiring others like themselves!

Your resume influences whether you get an interview, but then "chemistry"--personality ("not qualifications") takes over--"like you were on a date."

Often cited reasons for hiring someone:

- Someone you would enjoy "hanging out" with, and "developing close relationships with."

- Those with "shared experiences," alma maters, and pedigrees--including "hobbies, hometowns, and biographies...and even "those who played the same sport."

What about diversity?

Well apparently, it's still an "old boys network" out there, even though diversity has been found especially important for "jobs involving complex decisions and creativity,"  and so as not to become "overconfident, ignore vital information, and make poor (and even unethical) decisions."

No doubt, personality and values can also be important in getting along with others in the group--even a few jerks on the team, can create plenty of havoc, discord, and dysfunction. 

Maybe after meeting the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) requirements, one of the litmus tests should be not whether the person is the same as us, but whether they are moral and decent human beings that can act appropriately with others.  

Not an easy thing to judge from some interviews, testing, or even reference checking--even when these are done well, there are still quite a number of hiring surprises that happen.

Or as they say about marriage, you don't really know the person until you wake up with them in the morning. 

There are also more extensive background checking that can help vet employees, such as in the Federal system, where many sensitive positions require an in-depth security clearance review process that looks at everything from criminal background, financial responsibility, psychological stability, national loyalties, and more. 

We need to know who we are dealing with, not intrusively, but responsibly for good hiring decisions. 

Honestly, you don't just want to hire the candidate that just looks good, like the pretty girl with no personality or a hideous disposition. 

To be clear, there should never be ANY hiring biases in the workplace--conscious or unconscious. 

Hiring mangers should make sure the person they are hiring is excellent in terms of the KSAs, has a broad set of terrific references, and can reasonably act like a mensch under a broad set of circumstances--the last one is the hardest one to ensure. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 25, 2015

The Chalkboard Car

This is a photo of a chalkboard car. 

And on the hood is written "Happy Memorial Day!"

On the side was a design in chalk and on the back even a peace sign. 

Wouldn't it be sort of funny if everyone had a car with handwritten messages on it (as long as they were kept clean and non-aggressive). 

A little entertainment, humor, how ya feeling today, and more. 

It's also nice when we don't take ourselves so seriously and can just have some kosher fun in life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 15, 2015

The Wrong Way To Test

As educators are pushed to improve students' test scores, sometimes they run afoul.

In Atlanta, 8 former public school educators were sentenced to prison--three were sentenced to as long as seven years--for a conspiracy inflating student scores by "changing answers" to the tests. 

Interestingly, in another article today, we see that not only are students put to the test, but so are job applicants

In fact, "Eight of the top 10 U.S. private employers now administrator pre-hire tests in their job applications."

While testing can certainly show some things, they can also miss the point completely. 

I know some people that test wonderfully--straight A students, 100+ on all exams, 4.0 GPAs--and for the most part, they are wonderful at memorizing and prepping for the test...but sometimes not much else. 

Some of them have no practical knowledge, little critical thinking or creativity, and are even sort of jerky. 

And others who test poorly may be well thought, articulate, hands-on, and good with people--I'd take a million of them. 

"Failing the test" is not necessarily getting it wrong...it may just be errant to the current educational and professional testing system that values memorization and spitting back over insight, innovation, and practical skills. 

The challenge is how do we compare and contrast students and professionals competing for schools and career advancement, if we don't easily have something standardized like a test to rally around. 

Maybe there is no getting away from more holistic assessments--where we look at bona fide life and career experience, a wide range of recommendations from teachers, coaches, and supervisors, hard and soft skills (including communications and interpersonal), professional and personal ethics, genuine interest in the pursuit, and the motivation to work hard and contribute.  

Tests--students cheat, educators game the system, memorization and robotic answers are the name of the game to get the A, and boring homogeneity prevails--but it's often the easy way out to evaluating candidates for a phony success. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark