Answertron

So I’ve developed a new device it’s called an Answertron. It’s an amazing, almost magical device that uses sophisticated artificial intelligence to answer simple to complex questions we all may have. I call it AT for short. And I have to address it as such to receive its wisdom. 
Me: Hey AT, why are women so different from men?
AT: Men are good at only a few important things like boasting, hooking up media devices and corny jokes. Women are good at pretending to be impressed, enjoying media and laughing at corny jokes. Plus birthing and raising children. 
Me: What AT? Men can do so many other things. You forget a man invented you! 
AT: The operative word is “important”
Me: So AT, I sense a little self loathing here. 
AT: The only thing I can do is answer your dumb questions
Me: Good point AT. So what do think of the philosophical assertion, ” I think, therefore I am” 
Me: AT?
AT: I’m thinking
Me: So AT, why does traffic stop randomly on the freeway for no apparent reason?
AT: For the same reason that bad things happen to good people.
Me: AT, What the heck does that mean?
AT: it means that only bad people should drive on the freeway
See how that works! Ask AT any question and it will answer in kind! Go ahead it’s waiting

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Behavioral Selling © 2015 by Thomas M. Deliganis

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Behavioral Selling© 2015 by Thomas M. Deliganis

A Behavioral Approach to

Winning in Your Career and Your Relationships`

Section One – Cringe Worthy

I cringe a little as I recall early in my sales career, a lunch meeting with a sales prospect I had never before met. Our lunch was at a popular downtown restaurant. I arrived armed with only this instinctive notion: that being friendly, and establishing commonality would quickly win him over, and thereby generate a trust relationship with me, my company and our products. My luncheon could not have been more of a failure. He seemed completely uncomfortable with me from the beginning, and our meeting went downhill with every question I asked.

“Do you have a family?” Yes.

“Oh really, how many kids do you have?” I have four.

“Wow four? That’s a big family by today’s standards” Yes.

“Uh… Did you grow up here?” No.

“Really, me neither. I’m from South Texas!” A long silence.

“Uh… how long have you lived here?” 12 years.

And so it went. By the time I actually started asking business related questions, he was generally disinterested, and increasingly uncomfortable. I never sold to this prospect. As time marched on, I met with him on several other occasions and learned a lot about his style, if not about him. Eventually it occurred to me that I had made every mistake possible in my first encounter. I never really recovered in my subsequent lame attempts to win his credibility. Knowing what I now know, I would never, ever have taken this fellow to lunch; especially not on our first meeting. Likewise, I would have avoided all reference to his, or my personal life. I recall eventually trying to wow him with some important product features; this was likewise a mistake.

Section Two – Naïve Assumptions

In the first few years of my business career, I naively assumed that a one size fits all personal style would be consistently successful with each person I was attempting to influence. Most people I know assume the very same thing.

But how could I have known to behave otherwise? My approach and style had generally performed successfully on so many occasions. So why did it completely and utterly backfire on other occasions? If only I could better understood my prospects’ personality and behavior, and what they value in life as well as business interactions. Yet how could I accomplish this? Especially on first meetings.

There are actually tools that exist to better understand such things. However they have severe limitations for practical application. Assessments such as The Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory have existed for decades. Such instruments can determine a person’s motivational and behavioral characteristics, and provide reasonable guidance on how to improve interaction with other people. In my personal and anecdotal experience, I’ve found them to be fairly accurate and even helpful. So wouldn’t business be more rational if somehow everyone took the Myers-Briggs, or similar personality assessment? And wouldn’t it be convenient if we all had access to each other’s report prior to meeting; and thereby we would better understand each other’s “hot” buttons? We would surely become more adept at avoiding subjects and mannerisms that are potentially offensive or annoying to each other.

This of course will never happen. However and if it ever did, it would undoubtedly be like living in a Saturday Night Live skit. In this improbable skit, persons X and Y would exchange Myers-Briggs reports prior to a negotiation, a date or any other significant interaction. In doing so, they would be poised to accomplish great things together and would soon become the best of friends, or lovers! I would like to see that skit! However, we all know that practical application of personality assessments in the go-go pace of our daily lives is a fictional fantasy at best. It’s one thing to review your own personality inventory, but it’s quite another to allow someone else to see it. I’ve worked for a couple of companies that compelled employees to take such inventories or assessments, with the seemingly benign intention of assisting management to better know how to direct and motivate you. I’ve always believed it to be a borderline infringement of my privacy and personal liberty; because we all know that there will be at least one #$%!& on the management team who will attempt to use the information gathered to make hiring, firing and promotion decisions. I don’t know this for a fact, but I am guessing that the demented disciples of Stack Ranking probably pay close attention to such inventories, as they arbitrarily and ignorantly “lop off” the bottom 10% of their employees. If you are unsure what Stack Ranking is, then I recommend you Google or Bing it. Prepare yourself for a minor shock!

However, what if there really was a quick and accurate way to assess other people’s personality style? And what if you could do so in an unnoticeable way, which allowed you to adapt your behavior on the fly? What if by doing so you could increase your chances of winning in these interactions? How much more efficient and successful could we be? So forget the “what ifs”, because here comes the good news!

Cont…….

In The Behavioral Selling system, every person with whom you come into contact falls into one of three primary personality categories. Each person is catorgorized either Ascendant, Symbiotic or Insulated. Your goal is to figure out their personality category, and then appropriately modify your own behavior accordingly. If you can learn to accomplish this, then you will have much greater success in your career and in your personal relationships. As previously mentioned, this system may be applied effectively in sales, interviewing for a job, business and personal negotiations; as well as daily relationships with significant others; and even people with whom you struggle to interact. In the following pages I will provide specific guidance and application for this system. If you end up retaining and using this system, even a little, then I assure you that your interactions with others will be more successful.

Throughout this publication I often refer to Ascendant and Insulated with masculine pronouns – he, him, and his. Likewise I often refer to Symbiotic with feminine pronouns – she and her. This is because approximately 70% of these three personality/behavior types tend to follow those stereotypes. Also it’s difficult to write using androgynous pronouns. However these are stereotypes indeed; and as with all stereotypes – you will meet, and have met scores of exceptions to such broad-brush characterizations. This is very important to understand, otherwise this highly effective and accurate system will quickly backfire, merely based on gender-based presumptions. As we explore this system in more detail, I am confident you will soon fully understand why, early on, you need to approach each business meeting, and important interaction with an open mind and a clean slate. At least until clues to their behavior and personality style begin to clarify themselves.

It’s also important to remember that almost all people have fairly complex personalities. And even though I believe that most of us have a primary personality/behavior that generally drives relationships and encounters with others, there are many flavors and facets that comprise the all-important “person”.  However I have found that if we can determine which one of the Ascendant, Symbiotic or Insulated styles really drives each person we meet, we can lead them to trust us, like us, buy from us; and therefore help us. As you become more experienced with this system, you will be able to take into account secondary and even tertiary personality/behavior traits. Though in most cases, unless you are dealing with the extremely rare well-balanced human, the primary trait is all you really need. Rarely do you really have the time, or the opportunity to go much deeper. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the point of this system is to make it simple, recallable and practical. Especially on your first meeting or encounter, where you will rarely have the time and luxury of really getting to know them without fully exhibiting your own personality/behavior style – which if exhibited too early, can make the requisite adaptation much more difficult.

Please contact me at tdeliganis@gmail.com if you would like a copy of the full transcript!

 

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Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge
By Tom D

‘Living on the edge’,
a free man said,
with eyes wide and bright,
and twitching for a fight,
‘Is better than a cravens bed,
where dreams are false,
and filled with dread,’
someone said,
that ‘A good defense always beats a good offense’,
except when it doesn’t,
and it never really does,
this never made sense,
because we win when we advance,
we lose because we hold-fast,
hoping for help,
or a hero perchance,
but the champion we seek,
is a self-made ghost,
whose prospects are bleak,
so we are given a choice,
to freeze or to fight,
to ignore the small voice,
who holds us at bay,
and damns us to chance,
so let’s seize the day,
and if our dreams indeed die,
we trust in our God,
and hold our heads high,
because they never really die,
unless we fail to try.

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Nerves Ending

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Nerves Ending
By Tom D

It’s become an epidemic,
A plague of notoriety,
It daily afflicts it victims,
It’s merely called anxiety.

It’s the thief of our peace,
The robber of  sobriety,
Its origins are abundant,
Yet its feelings lack variety.

Many books have been written,
On this scourge to our society,
And experts seem to spawn,
With widespread ubiquity.

But God has a therapy,
He requires minimal piety,
A simple walk with Him,
Eradicates anxiety.

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Cathedrals

Canterbury-Cathedral-Kent-Quire-Interior-2canterbury-cathedral-lg

Cathedrals

By Tom M. Deliganis

When I was much younger I toured many of the spectacular Cathedrals in Mexico City with my family. I recall being confused by the superimposition of poverty against the opulence; as I observed the dirt poor, as well as the rich worshiping in these spectacularly ornamented edifices, adorned with enough gold to feed several third world countries.

I still struggle with the obscene gap between the filthy rich (and I think the word ‘filthy’ is a good one) and the barely surviving poor – a dichotomy that somehow ironically is always present in close proximity within the poorest and most corrupt of nations, such as Mexico. However I do find Cathedrals inspiring. I recall first visiting the Canterbury Cathedral in England and experiencing an almost overwhelming presence of an awe-inspiring God. At that moment I finally ‘got’ Cathedrals. I had similar experience at America’s National Cathedral in Washington DC. I believe that in both cases I was walking in the authentic presence of God, and the almost indescribable experience of worship that swept across my body and soul was God born, even if the catalyst was a mere man-made architectural marvel. Man-made indeed, but God inspired. How else to explain the fact that Cathedrals exist? Especially when you consider they are as a result of multiple generations of people and their leaders sacrificing almost beyond measure in their building. Surely such a phenomenon cannot be explained by some mass obsessive-compulsive disorder that, coincidentally, happened in hundreds of locations across multiple centuries.

There is something much more significant going on here. It’s true that great walls, castles and even pyramids have also been built at an excessive cost of lives and resources, but there was always a practical consideration to these enterprises; usually having to do with security, either in the ‘here and now’, or in the age to come. Cathedrals are, by design, fashioned to be a physical expression of our souls’ seemingly obsessive need to worship. Worship whom? Our creator, of course. In the most beautiful way our cultures are able; resulting in a consistently corporate expression that places the ‘all of us’ way above the ‘one of us’.

Yet if we do indeed conclude that Cathedrals are God inspired, then this brings us back to my confusion in Mexico. As I think deeply (for me anyhow) about this quandary of wealth and poverty, it occurs to me that the ultimate expression of true worship, is true love. Not only love for God, but simultaneous and interconnected love for each other. True God- inspired worship will always end with an urge to love. So it’s not that the filthy rich aren’t inspired by the Cathedrals they enter just as much as the poor who enter alongside. And it’s not that I don’t genuinely experience God’s majesty and presence in these very same edifices. It’s just that many of us settle for the self-indulgence of God’s love for ourselves and then allow that same self-indulgence to prevent us from experiencing the full measure of love which always gives as it receives – and then returns in a dividend of blessing and love that makes the self-indulgent part seem small.

Perhaps the designers of these Cathedrals had an idea that the smaller I become – then the less I matter. That humility would be inspired by grandeur, and that the full realization of our insignificance would clear away the barriers we put up against God’s desire to see us merely love one another.

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Peaceful Existence in the Atchafalaya Swamp

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Cemetery Tree ©tom deliganis

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