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Self Development

[Quiz] How Good Are You At Reading Others In Business?

Gilan Gork – The South African Mentalist – asks you to complete this quiz to see how good you are at reading other people’s body language.




1Competent or Conniving?

You’re in the middle of a negotiation and someone in the other party displays this still gesture as he’s talking. You feel that he is:


  • Competent
  • Conniving

2In which picture do you think the person has just told a lie?

You have three separate conversations with team members 1, 2 and 3. In each conversation you casually enquire about their individual progress in a particular project. Below are the gestures each person displayed when they answered you.

q2-lying-opt1 q2-lying-opt2 q2-lying-opt3

Which would be true:

  • You’re certain that all three of them are being open and honest
  • ‘1’ is being honest, but ‘2’ and ‘3’ are probably lying to you
  • ‘2’ is displaying signs of lying, and you feel neutral about the others
  • ‘3’ is probably lying, ‘1’ is nervous, and ‘2’ seemed contemplative but neutral.
  • All three of them are lying scum of the earth.

Related: Master the Non-Verbal Language of Business

3Where would you sit?

You walk into the boardroom to deliver a presentation to a person who is already seating at ‘A’. You need to decide whether to sit at any of the seats from 1 – 6. Which seat do you choose to have the best chance of influencing the other person?


  • Seat 1
  • Seat 2
  • Seat 3
  • Seat 4
  • Seat 5
  • Seat 6
  • All the empty seats overwhelm me and I leave the room.

4Which pose would you use to connect quickly with the other person?

You’re meeting a potential client (person ‘A’ in the image) for a casual coffee meeting at a restaurant. You really want to create a good rapport and a quick connection with this person. Which pose would you use, between the three options below?

q4-mirr-a q4-mirr-opt1 q4-mirr-opt2 q4-mirr-opt3

  • Pose 1
  • Pose 2
  • Pose 3

5What is she thinking?

You’re at a shopping strip, walking back to your car. You happen to notice one of your top clients walking towards her car too. You’re considering going over to say hello, but you’re unsure what her body language is suggesting. As you’re reading the situation, what do you think she’s thinking?


  • She’s probably angry at something
  • She’s not open to conversation right now
  • She’s trying to keep herself comfortable
  • None of the above


You’re having a serious discussion with someone about something they had committed to do, but let you down. You let them know how you feel, and they display this gesture…


Are they:

  • Full of contempt
  • Surprised at the conversation
  • Amused at your complaining
  • Embarrassed that they let you down
  • Sad that they have failed.

Related: [PODCAST] Gilan Gork, The Mentalist – How To Get What You Want In Business Using Influence

7Which hand gesture should you use?

There’s some office politics going on and you witness two colleagues having a discussion. Your one colleague, Peter, is trying to convince the other, Paul, that he honestly meant well and that he’s sorry. If Peter is being genuine, which hand gesture would he be using the most?

q7-palms-up q7-palms-para q7-palms-down

  • Gesture 1: Palms up
  • Gesture 2: Palms parallel
  • Gesture 3: Palms down
  • If he uses any of these three gestures he’s being insincere and conniving.

8Are you engaged?

You’re at a social gathering full of influential people in your industry. You notice two of them having a conversation, and you wonder if it’s a good time to join in. Based on their poses:


  • They both seem actively engaged in their conversation
  • Neither of the guys seem engaged in their current conversation
  • Only one guy is engaged and the other is likely not.

9Are they just being polite?

You’re in the middle of a meeting, and the business associate from whom you’re trying to get buy-in smiles at you and says “That’s really impressive…” You want to know if she’s just being polite or if you need to change gears to genuinely engage her. She’s smiling, but is she just being polite?


  • No – We’re connecting well, and she’s engaged.
  • Yes – She’s just being polite, and not as engaged as I’d like her to be.

10Are they going to buy-in or sell-out?

You’re discussing the way forward for a project and selling your team what you require of them to make it all work out. You turn to one member of your team and tell him the type of involvement you have in mind for him. He displays this gesture:


He is displaying:

  • Thoughtfulness about your idea and plans
  • Shamefulness, possibly because he doesn’t feel he’s able to fulfil this important role
  • Sadness, possibly because he wanted a different role
  • Contempt towards you and your plans.

AnswersFind the answers here.

Known as the Master of Influence, Gilan Gork is a corporate speaker and entertainer hired by companies globally for his professional shows and expert keynote talks. Although he demonstrates an uncanny ability to read people's thoughts, he has never claimed to possess any psychic or supernatural powers. Rather, he has the ability to use skills of influence, persuasion and reading people. Many of these skills can be learnt to increase your effectiveness and achieve your goals faster.


Self Development

20 Quotes On Coping With Change From Successful Entrepreneurs And Leaders

Change is up to you.




Change is a hard concept to grasp – and can be even harder to cope with it. Whether you’re switching careers, leaving a company or ending a relationship, change comes in all sizes – big and small. And while some change can be exciting, other times it can be difficult.

Having your own approach to change, whether it’s in how you view it or how you handle it, is important in moving forward and being successful.

To learn how others do it, here are 20 quotes about change from today’s most successful leaders and entrepreneurs.

1. Elon Musk

“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” – Elon Musk 

2. Oprah Winfrey

“You don’t have to hold yourself hostage to who you used to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

Related: 5 Mindset Changes You Must Make When Going From Employee To Entrepreneur

3. Barack Obama


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Barack Obama

4. Larry Page

“If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.” – Larry Page

5. Steve Jobs

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs 

6. Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

7. Steve Case

“Revolutions happen in evolutionary ways.” – Steve Case

Related: Osteostrong: An Exploding Global Movement Of Positive Change

8. Coco Chanel

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” – Coco Chanel

9. Warren Buffett

“The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.” – Warren Buffett

10. Steven Spielberg


“All of us, every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.” – Steven Spielberg

11. Mark Zuckerberg

“Entrepreneurship is about creating change, not just companies.” – Mark Zuckerberg

12. Richard Branson

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” – Richard Branson

13. Joan Rivers

“Life is very tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough.” – Joan Rivers

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change

14. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

“In order to build strength, you have to usually come from a lot of weakness.” – Lady Gaga

15. Thomas Jefferson

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson

16. Thomas Edison

“Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” – Thomas Edison

17. Sheryl Sandberg

“I learned that, in the face of a void or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning.” – Sheryl Sandberg

18. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins

Related: Managing Resistance To Change: An Essential Management And Leadership Skill

19. Martha Stewart

“The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.” – Martha Stewart

20. Albert Einstein

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

You’re Probably Biased At Work. Here’s How To Stop It

New research looked at hard data to find solutions.

Nina Zipkin




Everyone suffers from bias, despite their best intentions. And that bias can manifest itself in ways we don’t always intend – including how opportunities are and aren’t doled out in the workplace.

Recently, a trio of researchers used sensors to see if they could distinguish any differences in day-to-day behavior between male and female employees. Their goal was to eliminate the type of bias that can occur in self-reported polls about behaviour.

To study this, the researchers looked at a company where women made up just under 40 percent of entry-level employees and 20 percent of employees at the second-highest level of seniority. For four months, 500 male and female employees at this company wore badges with sensors in them that recorded their movement, speech patterns and proximity to one another.

Related: 12 Reasons Entrepreneurs With Type-A Personalities Are Unstoppable

The researchers then monitored who the subjects communicated with and who led conversations. Though the data was anonymous, the research team collected information about a given person’s gender, role and how long they had worked for the company.

Although they approached the investigation with the hypotheses that perhaps the female employees had less access to mentors or did not advocate for themselves with management as much as their male counterparts, the researchers found that this was not the case.

“We found almost no perceptible differences in the behavior of men and women. Women had the same number of contacts as men, they spent as much time with senior leadership and they allocated their time similarly to men in the same role,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their findings in Harvard Business Review.

“We found that men and women had indistinguishable work patterns in the amount of time they spent online, in concentrated work, and in face-to-face conversation. And in performance evaluations men and women received statistically identical scores. This held true for women at each level of seniority. Yet women weren’t advancing and men were.”

They concluded that differences in men and women’s behaviour aren’t what leads to gender inequality in the workplace – entrenched bias is the culprit.

So what can you do in your own company to make sure that bias doesn’t impact your hiring and promoting decisions? The researchers recommend instituting training programmes to reduce bias among management and people in the position to bring on new team members. You also might want to consider making a policy that, for all new open jobs, you interview and recruit people from a variety of backgrounds.

Related: Blend These 7 Personality Types When Building Your Executive Team

Also, look at the responsibilities your employees have outside the office. Think about ways to make it easier for both women and men to have flexible schedules, especially given that women often have social pressures to take on more family and household obligations.

Finally, determine where the pipeline to managerial and executive positions begins to trend more towards men. Collect data on exactly when these shifts happen in order to identify their specific causes (e.g. higher-ranking positions and their responsibilities require more late nights), then come up with pointed solutions (e.g. flexible morning schedules to accommodate childcare).

From there, measure the effectiveness any solution you implement. (“Since we implemented this policy, have those who have taken advantage of it advanced?”) This way, mitigating inequality is a science, not a guessing game.

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

Better Thinking For A Better World

How to think more critically and strategically in a world filled with complexity and rapid change.

Erik Kruger




We take the act of thinking for granted. It is often seen as a skill one is born with and not one that should be cultivated over time.

As the world becomes more complex and more busy, strategic and critical thinking becomes more valuable. Strategic thinking points to the ability to decide how and when to deploy resources to achieve a certain end state.

Below are four areas of focus that will improve your strategic thinking:

1. Making Time For Reflection

Life is busy. Juggling work, friends and family, and the recurring notifications from your phone has become quite a feat. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to create space for reflection.

Related: One-Year Milestone: Smart Thinking That Will Ensure Your Start-Up Makes It Past The First Year

Time spent in solitude allows you to reflect and connect the dots. It temporarily takes you out of a world in which you must be reactive to survive and keep up.

My suggestion is to create a SOS (space of solitude) for at least 30 minutes every day. In this time, reflect on what has been working and what has not been working. Meditate on your goals for the future and plan for the actions that will help you get there.

2. Asking Better Questions

Many of us fall into the trap of sequential problem solving. This happens when leaders or organisations simply move from one challenge to the next and the only question they ask is “how do we overcome this challenge?”.

What about the questions like “how did we arrive here?” or “what assumptions are we making here?” or “what does better look like?”

I am not trying to give you a template of questions to ask. Merely prodding you to go beyond challenging the problem but to also challenge the thinking about the problem.

As we deepen our questions, we elevate our thinking.

Do not simply ask more questions. Ask better questions.

3. Seek More Input

Teams are great and often underutilized. How can you use your team’s knowledge, experience, and opinions in a more constructive way?

Well, how about allowing them sufficient time for reflection in solitude but also as a group. How about prompting them to look for the patterns in their environment? How about, as a leader, asking them questions that allow them to really stretch their cognitive abilities?

Even better, empower them to ask those questions themselves.

Related: Disruptive Thinking: A Winning Edge

4. Thinking rules

We often make the same mistakes over and over. Not because we have not learned the lesson but because the context changes. Or excitement gets the better of us.

During your reflection time (hopefully you have noticed the importance of this by now) you can reflect on your past decisions and figure out how you could have made better decision.

Once you have done this start jotting down a few personal rules that will help guide your decision making in the future. A personal guideline I established was that I will wait 24 hours before making any big purchase. Gadgets and golf gear often get the best of me. But simple rules like these help to guide my decision making and prevents me from making mistakes irrespective of context or emotional state.

What is next?

Starting today schedule a daily SOS. Yes, schedule it. Do not leave it to chance.

Think of it as training for your brain. A space where you get to think. Free of distraction and noise. You will be amazed at the clarity that comes from these sessions and how your productivity and effectiveness soars.

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