A Sneaky Idea for Your Next Staff Meeting


Because none of us is as dumb as all of us, right?

Could there be a less efficient process?

Have you ever left a regular staff meeting feeling fantastic and energized? Probably not. After all, you just spent forty minutes discussing what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and all the reasons why it won’t work. Now you probably feel like you’re at the bottom of a small mountain with very little motivation to begin climbing.

Fortunately, Ron Friedman, the author of The Best Place to Work, has a better idea. He suggests mixing in a different kind of staff meeting – one focused on accomplishments instead of upcoming projects.

He recommends broadening attendance to have at least a representative from various departments throughout the organization. The more the merrier.

Then open the meeting by simply asking, “Does anyone have any wins to share this week/month?”

I know this doesn’t sound very sneaky on the surface, but just watch as the scene unfolds. You can expect people to begin deflecting attention away from themselves and offering gratitude to others. That’s what you really want.

If you’ve read my book, Magic Words, then you know the power of a simple “Thanks”. People who feel appreciated work harder, longer, and are more innovative. But that’s not even the best part. Those who FEEL and EXPRESS gratitude enjoy a host of benefits, including less stress, better sleep, and longer life spans (an average of seven years longer!)

However, cultivating gratitude can be challenging. If you try to force it, then it feels inauthentic and loses its magic.

Without taking a moment to reflect on accomplishments and express gratitude to each other, you and your co-workers will feel stuck in the rat race. Each project turns into yet another project and there are endless emails to get to. If it’s always go, go, go, then you can expect diminishing returns, burnout, and high turnover.

Here’s what you can do RIGHT NOW:

  1. Take a minute at the end of each work day to jot down what you got done that day. (If you like crossing items off a to-do list, then you’re going to LOVE adding items to a “DONE!” list.) NICE BONUS: This will give you a pile of documented accomplishments for when it comes time for your next performance review or salary negotiation. You’re welcome.
  2. Reach out to those who have helped you along the way and offer a simple “Thanks!” every day. This alone will noticeably improve your relationship with your co-workers and your own job satisfaction.
  3. Forward this article to whoever runs the staff meetings in your organization and suggest that you give it a try.
  4. Share a win and thank someone at the next staff meeting. Just do it. You don’t need permission. Others may even pick up on the practice and the idea can spread rather quickly.

How to Spot a Liar’s Verbal Misdirection

Liar nose

When a magician makes a girl disappear, she’s not really gone. Spoiler alert – she’s usually hiding in some tight, cramped spot out of sight. That’s part of the reason why magicians hire petite assistants. (The other reason is the fact that petite women draw the eyes of the audience. That’s called misdirection.) Sometimes the word “not” pulls a similar disappearing act.

Very often, we take out one of its three letters and attach the other two to whatever word came before it. It hides. “Do not” becomes don’t. “Is not” becomes isn’t. “Have not” becomes haven’t. The “not” is still there, it’s just hidden.

When we’re lying, however, we don’t want the “not” to be hidden. Interestingly, we’re much less likely to contract our “nots” when we’re lying. According to Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, an intentionally deceptive denial will feature extra emphasis placed on the word “not”. It will rarely be hidden within a contraction.

“I am NOT a crook!” and “I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman…” are both well-known examples of deceptive statements in which the speakers, in these cases, past Presidents of the United States, both avoided using contractions. I’m sure you can think of dozens of examples from history or even your own life where this was also the case – especially if you’re a parent.

On some level, liars know the word “not” is prone to vanishing so they shine a spotlight on it to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere in hopes of making their statements seem more truthful. See? Misdirection.

Does this mean that everyone who uses the word “not” is lying? Absolutely not. Deceptive denials will show up out of the blue and without any prompting from you. When your teenage daughter says, “I don’t have anything!” even though you didn’t ask, or when your coworker says, “I’m not racist,” despite the fact that the conversation had nothing to do with race, then – contracted or not – it’s a good sign that there might be some deception going on. When they come out of the blue like that, “nots” should raise a red flag. However, when you ask someone a direct question, whether or not they contract their “nots” hints at the truthfulness of their answer.

For example, you might ask an employee the direct question “Did you claim any non-work expenses on this report?” If they respond with a contracted statement such as, “I didn’t falsify my expense report.” then that’s an indication that the statement is more likely to be true. However, if they come back with, “I did NOT falsify my expense report” then you’re more likely to have a liar on your hands.

Of course, no one thing is 100% accurate when detecting deception. Be sure to keep in mind all factors* in a given situation if you ever attempt to distinguish truth from lies.

* For a crash course in detecting deception taught by Tim David, visit: http://www.udemy.com/detect-deception

Magic Words Named a Top 10 Psychology Book of 2016 by Blinkist! – Help Me Share!

What a nice Christmas surprise!

Especially because the book came out over two years ago. (Shhhh….)

Here’s what I really want for Christmas – a world with more human connection and understanding.

Okay, so you can’t give that to me, but maybe together, we can make a dent.

Share this top 10 list with your friends. ALL of the books on this list will create more human connection and understanding IF people actually read them. So share it everywhere.

You can use the share links to the left.

OR, you can visit: https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/2016s-top-10-psychology-books and use their share links.top10That’s what the share links look like. They are small circles with different logos inside. It takes all of 5 seconds to share and knowledge is the best Christmas gift you can give.

Thank you for being the best readers an author could ask for! And have an amazing holiday season! I’ve got some exciting things planned for you in 2017! Can’t wait.