Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘development’

10 Useful Skills That Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 31/07/2017

 

Working as a consultant for entrepreneurs is exciting and stressful in the same time. I know, because I’ve done it for years. So I decided to share some of my observations that might come as very useful for entrepreneurs and not only.

Not having these skills will not ruin you, but it would certainly slow you down. This is not an exhaustive list, just a “top of my mind” approach that I think would be very precious especially for those in the beginning of the road that make the leap from freelancing to entrepreneurship.

  1. Creating rules based on your principles. Any company is similar to the entrepreneur which creates it. In the beginning, especially if you don’t have a lot of employees, it will be easy to express how other people should behave, act or think concerning your business in order to respect what you want to create. Principles are like a lighthouse in the dark and in the night. In the beginning, they might be clear and easy. But the best way to share them is to express them as laying foundations for the rules: not too many, not too few, but clear for everybody. Once set, everyone must respect them. You must respect them the best. In the same time, it is important to train this skill, because your principles evolve and so do you.

  2. Express gratitude. Train yourself to use any anniversary, any opportunity in order to thank people which have made a contribution. Thank your clients after buying from you. Thank your collaborators for doing a good work. Thank your employees for reaching the goals. Thank your partners for supporting you. If you believe in God, keep this in mind: do not wish for God to give you how much you can take! You can take and have as much as you want as a burden in this life. Whatever you want, God can give you. But, in order to keep it, you must remember to be satisfied with less and with more, to take any success as a gift from God and not as a merit. The gratitude is a key skill for an entrepreneur.

  3. Recognize the teachable people. There are no real incompetents, only people who don’t manifest or have lost the capacity to learn. Therefore, choose wisely to work with only those people who can be taught. Do not hope that giving chances to seemingly talented people will make them fly and become stars. Most oftenly, the people you like the most are not those which necesarrily perform the best. Welcome the people who you choose to improve their careeer working with you!

  4. Train yourself to make distinctions between options, possibilities, opportunities and probabilities. All might sound similar, but they are very different. Anything is possible until you have to chose options. Those options must be at least probable. Between the options which are probable, you have to prioritize your opportunities and decide wether you want to choose them or create them. But remember, whatever you do, your options must not only be possible, but probable also! Many young professionals start their entrepreneurship career doing business plans like they did during faculty, but fail miserably. Know your territory and act upon that knowledge!

  5. Constantly develop yourself. What happens when the one thing that you are able to do for your clients is the thing that stops you the most from developing yourself? The competition will likely take over in a matter of time. You need to constantly be a source for re-invention. Working for your own development should not be in a competition with working for your customers or with your employees. Time for yourself to develop is also needed in order to enhance your business.

  6. How much do you allow yourself and others to act authentic in a relationship? Find and recognize the other people’s values, beliefs and convictions. Beliefs are convictions we believe to be true. Attitudes are collections of beliefs and values around a certain topic. There isn’t such a things as a “non-value” or “anti-value”, there are only different beliefs, values and attitudes. Erach person is motivated by different scopes and if you learn to discover those asking specific questions (such as some from LAB profile), it is worth to use them and to link them with each of the important actions that need to be taken for your business plans to work. Values lead to motivation. Motivation leads to vision. Vision leads to strategy. Why? Because where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the strategy does not take into consideration the values of the employees, it will be a difficult to implement strategy.

  7. Use the faults of the employees in the favor of the teams. Knowing that a certain person has a low performance in a certain area means that you know not to delegate to that person something (s)he might do which is wrong. Creating teams taking into consideration both their strong points and their weak points is a service that you can do creating the kind of complementarity that the collaborators could and should appreciate.

  8. Constantly shape in your mind the model of the best entrepreneur that you can be. How does that feel? What does this model do? How do you see him or her? Remember, it’s a model, it’s not Superman, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Practice in your mind what you would do in different types of situations: with your employees, with the clients, with the partners. Put yourself in the shoes of people who need to make difficult decisions. What’s worth doing to become such an entrepreneur? What is it important to giv up in order to become this model?

  9. How do you manage to diplomatically tell the truth and be convincing without lying? Practice rethorics and argumentation. What’s worth doing in oder to prove that you are right? Sometimes, it’s not enough top be right. It also depends how you say it. Having different reframing strategies in order to make each person think in his/her way is required, because not everybody will be convinced by the same arguments. In business, it doesn’t matter so much who is right, it matters what makes things profitable. Also, please keep in mynd, what others perceive as a message matters, not what we intend to transmit.

  10. Serve your clients, for their own good, don’t please them. Politicians, coaches and psychologists may oftenly be “punished” for actually serving those who chose them. Pleasing the clients is something which others can do very easily, but it takes some courage to educate your clients to recognize their own deep needs and to be glad they are actually served by what you are offering.

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What is Schema Dynamics Programming

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 06/07/2017

 

The terminology

“Schema” comes from schema therapy and refers to the maladaptive schemas taxonomy developed by Jeffrey Young, Ph.D. and his collaborators since the ’80s. It is the problem-oriented component of the field, using psychometric questionnaires developed and tested by scientists to evaluate which are the schemas and modes which pathologically influence the emotions, the thoughts, the behavior and the language of the people. Schemas are triggered by traumas, most likely from childhood and, through complications, when activated, may generate discomfort, stress, challenge, failure and ultimately, psychiatric illness.

Dynamics” comes from “Spiral Dynamics”, a field founded in the ’70s by Clare Graves, Ph.D., and it refers to the multiple values levels layered in the personality, which may be changing in time. It is the results-driven component of the field, using advanced psychometric testing developed by professional researchers in order to discover which type of potential and perspective is enabled in order to support the transformational development of the individuals and societies.

Programming” comes from “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” (NLP), the field developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Ph.D. starting in the ’70s, centered on using complex practical processes in order to provide with models of excellence. Although sometimes presented as a pseudoscience, some fields of NLP, such as metaprograms and values have been psychometrically tested as scientifically valid models of correctly structuring the language, behavior and personality.

ST (schema therapy) and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) have both common roots in Gestalt therapy.

In some NLP Master Practitioner training, the Spiral Dynamics model is studied.

 

Positioning

What are the characteristics of Schema Dynamics Programming? How is SDP different from:

  • Psychotherapy?

  • NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)?

  • Spiral Dynamics?

  • ST (schema therapy)?

  • Coaching?

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) provides the client with a flexible set of processes for personal transformation. This enables the functions of both psychotherapy and coaching: it works both for the traumas in the past and the goals in the future.

SDP provides a directed structure. The schema dynamic programmer knows how to recognize and measure the results of the changes when dealing with personal issues, professional goals, past, present and future. The structure is directed in the sense that the schema dynamic programmer uses both descriptive complex maps and tools to knows where the client is, knows where (s)he wants to go and, after considering the available options (tools, processes, techniques), chooses one or several procedures to follow and monitor.

To merely give an example, as a difference to coaching, the schema dynamic programmer may offer his/her opinion, contradict the client and give advice if necessary. The schema dynamic programmer is focused on practical exercises and homework which require a solid amount of effort (emotional, and even physical and logistic) from the client. This work is both oriented to the past and the future and it does not accept the personality of the client as a given, but as a starting point in the work done, which is a mere effect of life experiences and environment and may be subject to change.

Using this strategic approach, with the appropriate approach, issues such as introversion, panic attacks, PTSD, psychosomatization, phobias, alixitimy, allergies, emotional stress response, abandonment, mistrust, emotional deprivation, entitlement, abandonment and others (to name just a few) can be completely and ultimately removed and replaced with functional systems within the subconscious and the conscious.

As a set of tools oriented towards professional growth, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) can provide clients with life-changing experiences which enable them to advance in the Spiral Dynamics model within months (in stead of years) and achieve professional and personal benefits such as:

  • job and career change and performance;

  • happy marriages;

  • increased revenues;

  • status change.

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) focuses, as ST (schema therapy) does as well, on both emotional and cognitive-rational aspects of the change, but where ST (schema therapy) insists on working with modes (especially considering the psychiatric interventions), SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) insists on working with metaprograms. Where ST (schema therapy) insists on working with imagery, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) has its own, much more effective and advanced process, designed by its founder. Such processes are similar to several NLP techniques but different from all of them, and it does not necessarily involve trance/hypnosis. NLP is also more focused on fast solving of the surface issues, which may work in alleviating effects but not always causes. For example, a metaprogram change can be successful for a healthy adult, but may be undone if at the root of the metaprogram change there is a maladaptive schema caused by an abusive trauma from the past.

Where ST (schema therapy) insists on analysis, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) insists on homework and delegating as much of the change work to the client, once (s)he earns the skills and learns the processes a model for personal change. While psychotherapy generally insists on the necessity of the process being administered by a state-approved specialist, the SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) processes can be easy, independently learned and applied by each client, provided (s)he has the appropriate personality and skills inclinations. In this sense, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is nearer to coaching. While the client is encouraged to use for the self some of the processes, (s)he is not encouraged to become a schema dynamic programmer with other people without proper supervision.

Spiral Dynamics offers a deep conceptual framework which many of the psychologists and psychiatrists are not aware of and not even most of the coaches. On this foundation, an important SDP premise is that almost any NLP-type process can be run, focusing on developing skills and attitudes, once the maladaptive schemas have started to change in intensity. Thus, Spiral Dynamics offers not only a strategic measuring tool, but also a chart, a map of transformations, a clear direction of development once the client is freed from many of the startling issues and also some tools, for most advanced knowledge.

 

A unified theory of personality psychology

For several decades, clinical psychology and organizational or positive psychology have insisted on different aspects of the human psyche:

  • interpreting the past (retrospection) vs predicting the future (prospection);

  • problems vs. goals;

  • why vs. how;

  • reflective analysis vs. active experience (exercise);

  • addictions vs virtues;

  • learning vs. growing;

  • abstract vs. concrete;

  • personal vs. professional;

  • body vs. mind;

  • solving vs. developing;

  • issues vs. potential;

  • negative vs. positive;

  • mistakes vs. performance;

  • comprehension vs. action;

  • reparation vs. fine-tuning performance;

  • emotions vs. reason;

  • awareness for insight vs. awareness for decision/action;

  • static vs. dynamic; 

  • treating vs training;

  • obstacles vs resources’

  • linear thinking (Aristotelian) vs. systemic thinking (non-Aristotelian);

  • diffusiveness vs. focus;

  • deliberate slowness vs. witty quickness;

  • cautious desurgency vs. exuberant surgency;

  • relationship vs. task;

  • pain vs. excitement;

  • long term vs. medium/short term;

  • acceptance vs. change;

  • diagnosis vs. enhancement;

  • tense strictness vs. moderate willingness;

  • guiding vs. directing;

  • assessment vs. evaluation;

  • teaching vs. knowing;

  • floating vs. flying

and so on.

 

Differentiating for the future

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is not the only mixed approach available. It may even not be the best. But it works, and it will be tested of how well it works in comparison to any of the separate components to which it is compared.

SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is being developed by Ștefan Alexandrescu as a groundbreaking new field with its own applications and is NOT in direct competition with ST (schema therapy), Spiral Dynamics and NLP. It is important that this field would support the development and most especially, the research of these 3 original fields, on which it is grounded. It is not intended as a substitute, but as an alternative, as an enhancer, as a continuation, as it is different from all of the above mentioned.

However, SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) does clearly enter in competition with:

  • regular psychotherapy

  • coaching

Regular psychotherapists and coaches which lack skills and knowledge in all of these three fields are not accredited, nor advised, nor recommended to clients. As SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is a practical field, the researchers are challenged to devise experimental tests and projects to compare the effectiveness of SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) with either regular psychotherapy and coaching. SDP (Schema Dynamics Programming) is simply different and superior, through techniques, skills and results to regular psychotherapy and coaching. This is not a marketing statement, it is simply a reflection of the reality, based on the obtained. And it’s getting better and better, steady and slowly.

People who are interested in learning these skills are advised to contact Ștefan Alexandrescu directly.

The theoretical component of Schema Dynamics Programming also integrates models from transactional analysis, positive psychology, multiple intelligences, motivational psychology and from landmark specialists such as Jeffrey Young, Clare Graves, Abraham Maslow, Robert Dilts, Anthony Robbins, David McClelland, W. Gerrod Parrot, Robert Plutchick, Brian Tracy (correlating research to be determined) and could be correlated in the future with several other theories. You may download here a synthesis pdf.

Copyright © Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2017. None of the contents of this page can be reproduced without the written express consent of Ștefan Alexandrescu. No exceptions allowed.

If you liked this article, please also read this:

Schema Dynamics Programming with Stefan Alexandrescu (25.12.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life. Part I. (31.10.2017)

How to Live a Perfect Life, part II. The First 4 Out of 12 Steps, In the Right Order (13.11.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life, part III. Steps 5-8 Out of 12, In the Right Order (17.11.2016)

How to Live a Perfect Life, Last Part. Steps 9-12 Out of 12, In the Right Order (21.11.2016)

PS: Thanks to Diana Andreea Bădrăgan.

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Some differences between working hard and working SMART

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 27/06/2017

What is the difference between efficiency and effectiveness?

Efficiency is putting the ladder on the wall and climbing it down the other side of the wall as fast as possible. Effectiveness is knowing on which wall to put the ladder.

Some people learn in life, either by experience or modeling, to cherish the hard work. While this is important and certainly correlated with positive outcomes, it’s certainly not the most important.

Some people hear “strategy” and understand “procedure” or “technique”, hear “planning” and hear “lack of liberty” because some of the most relevant representations of these have been expressed in an extreme way.

Some people consider experience as a relevant source of learning. Hard work, trying and failing, persevering on one’s own path is currently mantra for many. Still, it is, for other people the poorest form of learning.

So if running after some unrelenting standards must be a very precious value in order to ensure quality, it seems weird that some of those who promote them (despite the qualities and advantages it defers to consumers of their products and services) are so tired, bored, unnerved and tense. Something doesn’t quite add up.

There is no need for conflict. Things can be done fast and best. You may learn through modeling more effective than through experience – if you have the right models (finding them requires skill). You may plan and enjoy your life. You may strategize and find opportunities that allow you creatively move in freedom. You may work enough and intelligently. Providing best quality can be a rewarding experience during the process. Want to know how to get there? Here it is some advice I find useful.

  1. Ask yourself every day or as often as possible: what little change, added to the baseline of my performance, can make an outstanding difference?
  2. What other perspective can this be seen from?
  3. How are others succeeding and why? What can be replicated?
  4. What is the proper structure for getting the results envisioned?
  5. How will this be mostly done in 5 years?
  6. Who has the proper experience, results and motivation to take in consideration as a model?
  7. How do you see yourself from the outside when having the goal completed? Backtrack from that moment: what will you be doing a week earlier, a month earlier?
  8. How is seeing the bigger picture helping you with deciding differently?
  9. How is this working plan helping you today with the perfect plan you mean to do tomorrow?
  10. How does changing the people you work with/for support you in making a bigger impact with fewer efforts?
  11. What other useful, important things might you be doing with your efforts if you’d have more time?
  12. How could the people you are working with/for make your work/life easier?
  13. What other people could you choose to work with/for and how could you find them?
  14. What other goals might be more worthy of your efforts?
  15. How would changing the challenges you confront support you to develop yourself?
  16. Who wold get an award for doing what you are already doing?
  17. What would make you able to choose better?
  18. In what context is the kind of hard work you do more appreciated or featured?
  19. Who would benefit the most from your efforts?
  20. Who would care more about your deeper intentions?
  21. How could you reinvent your work?

How do you think about your efforts now? Do they seem more intelligent? Now, that you will be able to do smarter work, you may choose if and in which directions you prefer to work hard.

What does SMART mean in goal management?

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time-limited

For example take in consideration such a table that can be used in order to detail and support any goal formulation, to make sure it can be measured in tasks, time and units, therefore making it achievable in a realistic timeframe set.

How could I improve this goal, working smarter and less, using just some of the questions I recommended?

  • I could use an application which would correct my errors as I type (such as https://www.grammarly.com/)
  • I could record my voice reading the content of an article and delegate to someone to transcribe it.
  • I could delegate the translation into English from Romanian of several articles I already wrote
  • I could write useful copy to promote my services as posts which would also make interesting reading
  • I could write useful articles for my clients
  • Make a plan of how many clients do I want to gain using my articles on this blog
  • Use the time saved to serve existing customers and develop strategies to find new ones

 

SMART goal

Motivation

Tasks

Time-limited

What?

Why?

What specifically?

How much? (for each article)

Publish 2 posts/month on Analytic Vision, monthly, covering by 2018 all the subjects in the Excel file (24 posts/year)

 

Contribution

Support

Professionalism

Enjoyment

1. update excel ideas file 1. 5 mins
2. design structure 2. 5 mins
3. create content 3. 20-90 mins
4. check content 4. 10-20 mins
5. publish content 5. 10 mins
6. share content 6. 2 mins

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Schema Dynamics Programming with Stefan Alexandrescu

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 25/12/2016


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Psychologists have worked for more than 100 years in order to find explanations for how the human mind and personality works, to heal the problems hidden deep inside of us. Personal development fields such as neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis have come up with effective and efficient solutions for breakthrough to success. Clinical psychology and development of excellence have been long time separated. Now there is a possibility to unite the best of both world: heal the suffering mind and personality and drive it to success and performance.

Questions for you

  • How would it be for you to find out what holds you back to access your full potential and succeed?

  • How can you confront, heal and solve your traumas?

  • Do you want to find the deep psychological and emotional roots of your problems?

  • Are you ready to confront a profound truth about who you are and and how to get yourself out of your way?

  • Have you implemented powerful changes using fields such as psychotherapy, coaching, personal development consulting but only up to one point?

If your answer to any of these questions is “YES”, then this will interest you.

Please read the following lines, as the world they open up might amazingly transform your life!

A revolutionary approach

My name is Ștefan Alexandrescu and I worked one on one with hundreds of customers since 2004. I have always been interested in finding out why some of the people who came to me for various problems or goals succeeded after just 2-3 sessions and some needed tens of sessions. Now I found out and everything else I knew fitted in like a puzzle.

The key I was missing was offered to my by schema therapy, but I found something even better. Using advanced techniques that I tested and developed in working with clients, I have found out what some might call ”the Holy Grail” of psychology and personal development. I have developed an integrative approach using schema therapy conceptualization and homework, Spiral Dynamics theory, NLP techniques and various correlations with other psychological theories that is unique.

Answers for you

I have so far worked with 6 customers in 2016 and after tens of individual sessions I have come to some amazing results.

  • Do you also want to know and deeply understand how your personality works inside out?

  • Do you also wish to unveil the deepest roots of all your sidetracks that cover your potential?

  • Do you want to set your path straight to a powerful future that will fulfill your goals and talents?

  • Do you also want to embark on a journey confronting all the fears, limiting beliefs, uncovered traumas and inner conflicts in order to break through of them?

  • Do you want to find out what has been keeping you from becoming who you were meant to be?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then please keep reading, because I am going to present you how and what.

The questionnaires

The first thing you need to do is to complete several tests (psychometric questionnaires), totaling a few hundreds of questions. These will require a lot of concentration and a state of introspection. Based on your answers at those questions, you will have to send me the results and I will calculate your scores, make a few correlations and offer you a free evaluation.

When we meet, either face to face or through Skype, the evaluation must be done with the results open (all the Excel and PDF files), so that you have a full understanding of how the model of interpretation works for you.

The tests I will give you will have identified a detailed list of:

  • your strong points, in skills, talents and personality traits

  • your main weak points, that hold you down from reaching higher goals

  • how these are correlated with your experience and manifestations

These tests work within the correlations between various theories from NLP, transactional analysis, Spiral Dynamics, schema therapy and classical psychology.

The tests can be done for free in a variety of forms. The first consulting session of brief, general interpretation of these profiles is provided fully free of charge, with no strings attached. If you decide that you want to start a journey of deep transformation, a program tailored specifically for your needs awaits you. The program is designed to be flexible and very efficient. It will require time, money and effort, but I promise you it will be one of the best investments you have ever done in your life if you choose to go through it.

You have now the chance to be part of the second wave of clients using this integrated approach between personal development for excellence and clinical psychology. This has already provided amazing results for clients in just a matter of months! Please inquire further if you want to know more about the consulting activity of Stefan Alexandrescu in 2016.

This isn’t for you if:

  • you cannot allocate at least 2 hour/week or 1 hour/week for the consulting session and at least 3-4 times more for homework (journals, letters, goal formulations, lists, questionnaires)

  • you think 50 euros/hour for a program that can change your life in a few months is too much

  • you are afraid to confront yourself, discover yourself in depth

  • you don’t care about what happens to you in the future

  • it’s OK to postpone your goals, happiness, fulfillment or healing time and again

  • you don’t have the discipline to invest the efforts into your development

with the likely results that:

  • you will try to fix surface issues (effects) which will appear in your life in various ways, with little chance to approach the deep roots

  • you will try to fix behaviors (effects) in stead of beliefs, emotions and experiences (causes)

  • the problems will cost you more than solving them

  • feel this sounds great, but you don’t have a few hours to complete the questionnaires

This is a difficult and challenging process. Not everyone is up for it. Are you ready? I can promise you this:

  • you will unveil painful memories

  • you will understand the mechanisms of faulty behaviors that endanger your life as you know it

  • you will experience intense negative emotions

  • you will feel disappointed towards people in your life

  • you might try to find excuses to interrupt the process

with the likely effect that in the end:

  • you will have deep insights

  • you will be able to choose in the present what is appropriate for you

  • you will understand and accept yourself and others

  • you will experience the power of forgiveness

  • you will train the skills you need to perform

  • you will become a better parent

  • you will be able to heal deep wounds in the past that restrain you from being yourself.

Start now!

The first steps are to get in touch with me, receive the questionnaires, complete them, let me score them and receive your free evaluation!

Find out more! Get in touch NOW! This is for you!

Ștefan Alexandrescu

0040 729 034 883

stefan [dot] alexandrescu [at] yahoo ]dot] com

Copyright © Ștefan Alexandrescu, 2016

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13 Hints – How to Separate Value from Mind Bugging In Webinars

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 26/11/2016

In the past years, putting together the increase of internet bandwidth supporting high definition instant live video streaming, the increasing capacities of server streaming for thousands of people, together with the price falling for hardware technology, internet access (even on mobile devices) and data centers services, more and more learning companies develop business models centered on webinars in multiple formats which promise to deliver some free information to the watchers/listeners and some sort of attractive special offer.

In my experience, such webinars can be somewhere between money-making & life changing to an utter waste of time listening to some charlatan’s bogus.

There are certain programs which facilitate access to various learning workshops providing practical blueprints with videos, audios, workbooks, transcripts, forms, procedures, tables and so on.

webinar

Of course, many people might be convinced to spend some time with these stuff, but I’m going to give you some suggestions about how to not lose too much time with this stuff while also getting most out of such opportunities. What you might not know about most of these:

  1. Most webinars are promised to last a certain amount of time. They usually last double, but if you stay till the end, you may find the real offer with special discount.
  2. Very many of the programs offered for hundreds of dollars can be found on the same website with a special significant discount, such just a few tens of dollars or even just 1 $. Of course, if you don’t know how to look for it or don’t at least try to close the page and see if you are tempted in that moment with a lower offer, you get taxed more. For example, I participated in a webinar where they were selling a course for 279$ and I found it at 1 $ while browsing on the web for it during the webinar. Another program was being offered at 999 $ and was later offered for 50 $ after a month for those who didn’t buy it initially.
  3. Some of what you learn can really make you a lot of money and change your life, IF you apply those things. But, basically, when you subscribe to a webinar you find out that there’s about 80% promotion and 20 % content because a webinar is essentially a 2-3 hour-commercial
  4. If you subscribed for the webinar and bothered appearing just for 5 minutes, most trainers will send you the replay to watch/listen whenever you want to, like for example on your dumbphone. This is a very good and practical idea especially if you are not convinced you want to buy whatever that person is selling you. In the same time, it must be said that by doing so, you are guaranteed to miss the time-limited offer at the end of the webinar.
  5. Theoretically, you have the opportunity to ask some questions during the live webinar, but there are chances that from thousands of people attending and hundreds asking questions, yours wouldn’t be answered unless they are very good and posted multiple times or by different people.
  6. Many of them have nothing to do with the advertised subject, they are just a bunch of shitty hocus-pocus new age mindbabble since the time of “The Secret”. I though people grew up and overcame that fashion, but apparently there are still thousands of suckers hoarding in thinking that through visualization they are going to mind-bend the universe.
  7. The most practical things I found are the entrepreneurship, marketing and social media oriented contents which practically show you how to organize business around consulting and training. I suggest you take some of those things, apply them and share them with your customers.
  8. When the topic is not oriented on something concrete about business or sales, there are some things to be taken from the amount of psychobabble, but it must be clearly discerned and that takes very much time. So be prepared to take some notes and not get bored with the rest of the content which might be confusing or useless. Watching/listening to a webinar DOES require some present and active knowledge about the topic, otherwise you might just believe everything the presenter is telling, which in most cases can be very dangerous.
  9. All the payments must also be done through PayPal or ClickBank. If the page you are directed to only obligates you to buy with your card, something might be wrong. Before deciding to buy, check the name of the program being advertised together with “scam”, “fraud” or “hoax” together. See what you find. Some of these stuff are just pyramidal schemes, working on the principle: step 1. give something small and valuable step 2. make people think there is more 3. repeat steps 1 &2 indefinitely until the buyers run out of money.
  10. If you are smart and know a little bit more about the subject, you can implement some valuable ideas without buying the whole program. Or you could use the presentation as a model and learn from the selling skills of the presenter and use them in your own experience.
  11. Whatever the topic of interest is, you may find free recorded and valuable webinars on video.google.com . Also, look for similar topics in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). You might get a similar or better content for free. Find some MOOCs appropriate for you searching on customized keywords here: https://www.mooc-list.com/
  12. The most serious and well-planned online trainings do offer the access to a closed community, usually on Facebook, where you can interact with other participants and with trainers, ask questions and create business opportunities. I think this is one of the most important features, if you have time to access it.
  13. Find out if there is a return policy. Usually, there is something like if you don’t like what you find, you get a full or a partial refund in 7 or 10 days, so hurry up and check if you like what you found. If not, get your money back! Usually, the process takes a few days, so don’t last until the last days, because even if you send the request within time, if it’s not process you might lose the money you want to get back. Some companies retain something like 10-15 % for comission processing or stuff like that, some reimburse you the full payment. Also, don’t use this loophole to abuse the system! If the content is truly helpful, respect the work and pay the money.

Stefan Alexandrescu

consultant in personal and professional development

0040 729 034 883

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The Fight with My Dark Side, part II

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 18/05/2013

This article is a direct follow up to this one and to this one. Please read them in order to follow the logical connections. Also, at the end of this article, you have a list of recommended articles in direct connection to the present subject . 

6. Less Losing in details / Hyper-analysis

Losing myself in details with a too inefficient, stuffy style of splitting the hairs in an overlong in-depth analysis surely negatively impacted my concision. This has become an issue for me first in 2009 – which is also the year I have started the blog “Analytic Vision”. Of course, my analytic capacity is a good quality, but anything used in excess – just as it is my case with persuasion & judgement, damages my reputation. So, starting 2009, I have been constantly striving – and succeeding to decrease my over-analysis. In 2009, this perceived weakness was on the 5th position (11 points). Now, it’s on the 12th position (5,5 points). Twice as better. In the same time, my analytic capacity, as a strength, has almost the same number of points (11.5, compared to 11) as in 2009, and twice as much as in 2008. So this is a clear proof I have improved a defect, while keeping the quality of the strength.

I have succeeded this on writing shorter, more conclusion-focused articles and doing a lot of synthesis.

7. More Discounting of others

Unfortunately, on this aspect, things are not better. In stead, they are worse and have been getting worse since 2009. That is, I started by lack of adaptation to the group and bringing negative energy to the fact I am mismatching others, with lack of diplomacy, cynicism, incisiveness, radicalism, sharpness, disrespect and even disdain. Sometimes I’m rushing into others’ reality, I’m talking too loud or too fast or simply too aggressive for them, or using brutal frankness. All of these makes my integration difficult especially in Romania. I mismatch others’ expectations of what I’m supposed to do, I often have unpredictable behaviour, I say unexpected things and make surprises to other people. This is often considered as a weakness, as a thing which people simply hate about me. This was, in 2012, the 3rd negative aspect in the top, with 20 points (5 times more than in 2006).

I especially have lack of tolerance and acceptance with people who waste my time with non-sense, aberrations, stupidities, small talk and minor, passing, irrelevant details. In some of these cases, I use irony, which may be considered as malice. Of course, it is my right to select the people I’m spending my time with, but there’s no need from my part to be malicious with them. This is an aspect in my communication which deserves being corrected.

I have prejudices and I make assumptions as everyone does. Sometimes, I may not be so clear to explain how I have reached those assumptions/prejudices, but in case anyone wishes to investigate, I can argue it. Therefore, I know a lot of stuff about people, and I write and I talk about it with certitude. Some people might not like it, for different reasons.

This is an important issue for me, because one of my declarative values is respect. In 2012, after finishing the 360 degrees analysis for the 2011 evaluation of feed-backs, I have officially declared war on this weakness on my blog. I have done nothing to work on this. Therefore, the results show me this has grown in the impression of others.

8. More  formalism.

I have especially published an article on this here.

9. More Disorder

I have promised in the article from March that I’d return upon this subject.

The attribute organisation as a strength has kept its place (9th position) and its points. Disorder has gone, as a negative attribute, from the 7th position (9 points) to worse: the 5th position (11 points).

I have a messy room and a chaotic agenda. My schedule was less planned in 2012 compared to 2011. I wanted to study GTD (getting things done), but I haven’t. I wanted to buy a tablet, but I haven’t. I wanted to learn how to use software for organizing my activities, but I haven’t. It all remained at a low level, so much that people actually perceived a worsening about me.

10. Useless theories & impractical dreams

I have come to a new definition of idealism: idealism is the creativity other people see when you don’t have money to put your ideas into practice.

People have generally considered me 50% more idealist (seeing things which aren’t there) in 2012 than in 2011. That is, from the 9 th place with 6,5 points, it has been raised to the 8th position, with 8 points. Still, it is better than in 2006 and 2010. In comparison to 2011, I had bigger plans for 2012, which didn’t come true. They didn’t come true because I decided to put more energy into writing, editing, publishing – articles and books, from which I haven’t gained enough money. For example, not even now, half a year after I published “Căile persuasiunii în negociere/The Persuasion’s Ways to Negotiation”, a book I have long talked about (for example, on this Romanian blog) , I still haven’t recovered the money invested in this project (approx. 700 euros).

My perseverance in writing, even if losing money, is inexplicable financially or practically, otherwise than a long-term investment, for which I expect to see some real results only in 2013 – that means that the results will be noticed only in the 2014 evaluation.

As a general conclusion to the series of articles from this spring about my personal brand evaluation for 2012 (feed-backs collected in October-December 2012 and analysed in March-May 2013), I had 50 % rate of success in the set goals for improving weaknesses and 70% rate of success in improving strengths, which gives me a 60 % success rate, in connection to what I set as a goal. The real success rate is 68 % though, because I have also accomplished other things which weren’t my goals. I am satisfied. This is the way personal development is done step by step, year by year.

It is a process of strategic gathering feed-back, recording it, understanding it, labeling it and transform it from qualitative information to quantitative information, than analysing it, drawing conclusions and setting new goals.

If you liked this article, please also read:

4 +, 4 – (14.01.2012)

Personal Development Goals in 2012 (08.03.2012)

Cine eşti tu şi cum te vezi în oglindă (15.05.2011)

My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012 (30/03/2013)

About My Excessive Formalism & the So-Called “Lack of Empathy” (12/05/2013)

The Fight with My Dark Side (15.05.2013)

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The Fight with My Dark Side

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 15/05/2013

Each person has a certain dark side. Each of us has weaknesses, which are labeled as such by others. Looking in the mirror others provide for us is always a difficult exercise. Fighting the image of the mirror is always an illusion. Any change must come from the inside. This is the rock of personal development: working on your weaknesses and improving them. Generally, it is easier to emphasize the positive attributes and to get them noticed. It is easier and better to turn on light than to fight with the dark. But there is virtue also in confronting oneself.  This article is about how I practically used my methodology for 360 degrees evaluation for self growth, a year ago.

About a year ago, I have stated here[en, blog] that I will change/improve some things with me, overall, based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I have done the 360 degrees evaluation for 2012, so I now have a pretty good overall picture on what I have accomplished in the 8 months which have passed from March 2012 till November 2012. Although I did my homework and I completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share with you the results in such an organized fashion as I had done it for the 2011 evaluation here [en, pdf].

I have written this article due to the transparency that I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of the year 2012, in rapport to what I’ve assumed as a target in front of everyone. I have marked in red the failures and with green the successes. This is NOT the top of my strengths and weaknesses. This article follows the results of my goals in the order declared last year. This is part two – how I’ve overcome some of my weaknesses.For reasons of length, this article is separated in two parts.

I want to point out that each year, I ask other people to give me their feed-back about me. Each year, I completely change the set of people I’m asking, with some few minor exceptions. But the overall view on my main strengths and weaknesses remain the same. So my research is consistent.

I have marked with red the targets which I haven’t succeeded to attain and with green the targets I attained.

1. Less Hurry Up

It’s no mystery that I have the Hurry-Up driver [blog, ro]. More precisely, people say about me:

  • too much distress, tension, aggitation, anxiety, unrestness, irascibility;
  • hastiness, precipitation, imperiosity, impatience, impulsiveness;
  • rush, on the run, eyes on the watch, expeditive style, hurry (in walking, eating, talking, answering; learning, writing, promoting & presenting myself);
  • exaltation, excess of zeal, lack of measure, histrionism;
  • listening style: interrupting people, interviening over them, not letting others speak, completing other people’s sentences;
  • innefective time management: delaying in the last moment, being late, eating too little, sleep self-depravation.

But the good news is that in 2012, the centralized results for this weakness show a significant improvement in the number of points, although not in the position. Although this remains in top 5 negative attributes, it is better than ever in the past 5 years, as number of points. 

Maybe I have learned to take breaks, who knows?

2. Less Annoying persistence

The annoying persistence is the expression I use to describe what many people have reproached me for years: not knowing when to stop when trying to convince someone of something, not knowing the limit when trying to sell an idea, a product, a service.

Fortunately, in 2012, I have attained a significantly better result as a score and as a position for this negative attribute in order to congratulate myself. Still, this is not merely a result of my self-control, but also (partially) a result of the fact that generally, I have really been less perseverent. Dropping the perseverance also meant dropping the annoying persistence.

I do have to say that writing a book about a subject also makes you more profficient in that certain subject. While writing my first book about persuasion, I have become a more efficient communicator. In 2011 and 2010, the annoying persistence was my 2nd weakness, with 20, respectively 17 points. In 2012, it was my 10th weakness, with only 6 points. It is also better than ever. Mission achieved. In 2012, I knew when to stop better than before. At least, this is what results from my little research on what people who know me have said.

3. Less Pride

The so-called complex of superiority, pride is still a main problem for me, but it has dropped as importance in 2012 compared to 2011. Still, in 2012, it had more points than in 2008. .

As a difference compared to other previous years, people haven’t said about me:

  • arrogance;

  • advanced/technical language/not on everybody’s understanding/hard to get to;

  • superiority complex/superior attitude/infatuation/looking down on people/talking down to people;

  • too good self-image;

  • big ego;

  • imposing over other people;

  • constant need for affirmation;

  • desire to impress;

  • applying etiquettes;

  • selfishness;

  • pride.

In stead, in 2012, they have said about me:

  • egocentrism & self-centeredness;

  • lack of tolerance/acceptance to others’ imperfections;

  • prejudices/assumptions;

  • disturbing presence by showing intelligence/showing off as smart/didactic attitude/telling others what to do;

  • Not taking care of parents.

So it seems that I wasn’t perceived as badly in 2012 as during some of the previous years. But let’s also take some of this kind of feed-back, to clear up some issues.

I am a freelancer, working by myself. I am doing the promotion, the sale, the execution, the delivering, the cashing and the administration of every product or service that I create and offer. I live by myself. I don’t have any girlfriend, wife or kids. And I have been raised as a sole child. Of course I’m self-centered! Who else could I be centered around?!?

It is true, I don’t take care of my parents, that is I don’t make enough money to send them some. They still help me now. But let’s get real: how many 27 years old Romanian men financially accomplish to financially take care of their parents?

This is not to say I’m not proud. Au contraire. But it has improved between 2010-2012. And I strive for it to improve for 2013 too. Not majorly, but slightly.

4. More Scattered attention

This downside has become worse, in comparison to 2011. In 2011, it was on the 10th position with 6 points, as a weakness. In 2012, it was on the 9th position, with 6.5 points as a weakness. The results from the passed year are better than in 2006, 2009 and 2011, but worse than in 2008 and 2011.

People have still noticed about me in 2012 that I have lack of priority in my multitasking and that I sometimes become an airhead lost in diversity, who scatters his attention in too many (parallel) fields / areas / tasks / directions. And in 2012, even more than in 2011.

For 2013, my goal is to push it, if possible, on place 11, and make sure that I am considered more focused. How? Of course, by concentrating more on the same thing and less on running after all sorts of other things in the same time. I want to hear, in exchange,

people telling me how much they appreciate my variate knowledge and experience and the interdisciplinary approach I provide in my trainings and writings. It seems that there is still a long way till then.

I have succeeded to be more disorganized, more unfocused by starting more projects than in 2011 and finishing less.

5. Less Inflexibility

I have to trumpet this a a great success. 7 years ago, when I first started to make this 360 degrees evaluation, my inflexibility/stubbornness/rigidity (in attitude and beliefs) was considered my top nr. 1. weakness (with 20 points). Now, it’s on the 11th place, and it has been on a constant improving lane since 2010. It has never reached the 11th position.

I have succeeded to treat my inflexibility as a weakness by using this process of 360 degrees evaluation and taking into consideration all the feed-back I received, especially that for which I asked.

If you liked this article, please also read:

4 +, 4 – (14.01.2012)

Personal Development Goals in 2012 (08.03.2012)

Cine eşti tu şi cum te vezi în oglindă (15.05.2011)

My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012 (30/03/2013)

About My Excessive Formalism & the So-Called “Lack of Empathy” (12/05/2013)

 

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About My Excessive Formalism & the So-Called “Lack of Empathy”

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 13/05/2013

I am processing the results from half a year ago’s 2012 360 degrees evaluation for personal branding & development. I have decided to approach the issue of the most visible and criticized weakness that I have: the formalism I use to screen people. First of all, I want to mention an important aspect. My mother gave me an Austrian education, which came from her grandfather, a man who lived and worked in USA and Austria for a long time of his life and got a lot of the Western spirit into his character. So there is an educational aspect to this history which cannot be un-done. I don not see in this such a big problem as most Romanians do, because this is part of who I am. I don’t have a latin character, but more of a German one – even if I don’t know German, I don’t have any German relatives or friends and I have never been to Austria.

I also have to declare empathy as one of my biggest successes and in the same time as one of my biggest failures for the past year. Why? Well, because, in 2012, empathy as a strength came on the 4th place in top positive aspects (from the 8th place, mind you!) and lack of empathy as a weakness has reached a new absolute record: the 1st place with the highest score for a weakness, in all the 7 years I have been doing this evaluation for (with almost twice the points from 2011).

As this article deals with the weakness and the previous one dealt with strengths, I will concentrate more on this aspect. So, people had quite a lot to say about me, as this seems to most people the most relevant weakness (and, not only by account of the Romanians, but also by the account of several Nordic people).

All of these impressions center around the way to relate with others. Over the past 7 years while I have been doing this 360 degrees evaluation, more than 100 different people noticed this among their top 4 observations about me. Their formulations ranged among these (I have marked what they said in 2012, too):

  1. insufficient empathy; no emotion recognition; lack of attention to other’s (non-)verbalreactions; not taking the pulse of the rapport; lack of presence; lack of attention to people and things around; artificial listening.

  2. insufficient sociability/interactivity/relating/interpersonal communication; communication problems with people; social distance; coldness; not building/sustaining a social environmentthrough relationships;

  3. (excessive) Impersonal formalism in clothing/appearance/talking/writing; lack of authenticity; falsity in networking; plastic smile; superficiality; lack of straight answers;

  4. not expressing/displaying/caring about thoughts/opinions/emotions/feelings; autism; poker face;

  5. lack of balance (or unappropriated mix) between personal and professional life/too preoccupied/focused with professional life & books/no time for self/no respect for my own time for self; not caring/thinking enough about self/soul; keeping relationships professional; too much professional (theory) in personal life;

  6. too much (scientific) calculation; “Scientific businessman”; equation vision over the world and people;

  7. too busy; too much (strict) schedule/planning; too stressed by the “to do list”; not allowing new experiences, not living the moment & having fun;

  8. lack of spontaneity/enthusiasm/humor/passion/energy/activity; too much/ excessive seriousness;

  9. excessive intelligence/reason/cerebrality;

  10. superficiality;

  11. excessive task orientation (even in networking); low team-spirit;

Let’s take them one by one.

1. insufficientempathy; no emotion recognition; lack of attention to other’s (non-)verbalreactions; not taking the pulse of the rapport; lack of presence; lack of attention to people and things around; artificial listening.

In NLP terms, I have a “New York style of pacing & leading”: lead, lead, lead, pace. In fact, I can be very attentive at other people’s reactions, but I don’t show it or I don’t care. Some people feel unheard. This is OK for me. Sometimes, I hear them, but I just don’t let them know.

2. insufficient sociability/interactivity/relating/interpersonal communication; communication problems with people; social distance; coldness; not building/sustaining a social environmentthrough relationships;

This is simply not true. I have lots of friends. Actually, each year I have more and more friends. But I can’t be friends with everybody. I don’t have time to maintain relationships with hundreds of people – and, believe me, I meet A LOT of people every month.

3. (excessive) Impersonal formalism in clothing/appearance/talking/writing; lack of authenticity; falsity in networking; plastic smile; superficiality; lack of straight answers;

That’s just great, it means I would be a very good politician/spokesman.

4. not expressing/displaying/caring about thoughts/opinions/emotions/feelings; autism; poker face;

Very true – I find it very useful in negotiation. When do I negotiate? Uhm… let’s see… almost all the time. Case closed.

5. lack of balance (or unappropriated mix) between personal and professional life/too preoccupied/focused with professional life & books/no time for self/no respect for my own time for self; not caring/thinking enough about self/soul; keeping relationships professional; too much professional (theory) in personal life; excessive task orientation (even in networking); low team-spirit;

This comes with being a freelancer working on my own 24/7 and not an employee working in a team from 9 till 5.

  1. too much (scientific) calculation; “Scientific businessman”; equation vision over the world and people;

It goes with the fact that I seriously studied psychometrics.

7. too busy; too much (strict) schedule/planning; too stressed by the “to do list”; not allowing new experiences, not living the moment & having fun;

This is true, it is because of my insufficient organisation, that I waste so much time that I end up being stressed by the “to do list”. This perception is not the result of doing too MUCH planning, but the result of doing inefficient planning – which, unfortunately, is my case.

8. lack of spontaneity/enthusiasm/humor/passion/energy/activity;

This is also not true. Since 2009, enthusiasm and proactivity has constantly been in my top 5 first positive attributes. As for spontaneity, I can be quite impredictable and create surprises, but that doesn’t necessarely mean people will like me for it. The people like the surprises they appreciate. The surprises they don’t appreciate are called “probems”. I take my passion and I use it in significant issues I need to solve with seriousness.

9. excessive intelligence/reason/cerebrality;

This is because my intellectual intelligence is higher than my emotional intelligence and it has always been one of my strongest points.

10. Superficiality.

Some people consider as a weak point of mine superficiality. That may be because I don’t like to insist on some details, but I concentrate more on other details. Generally, I have a good attention on details, but not on all details. In any communication, I must know what my target is. Sometimes, I don’t want to get in very deep in a certain subject, or I merely scratch the surface, but that is just because that is the level of depth I want to reach with that subject. I go in more depth with other subjects.

In conclusion, I accept this as a part of myself. I cannot make it disappear, I don’t want to make it disappear, I don’t want to change it, I don’t want to hide it. I want people around me to understand it. This is the reason why this is a very important article for me. I know that I’m not appropriate or easily adaptable in the Romanian society. I don’t plan on staying the rest of my life in Romania. My place is not here, it is somewhere in the Western Europe.

I hope this article explains a lot of things about me and answers some of the questions many people have (had) about me.

If you liked this article, please also read:

4 +, 4 – (14.01.2012)

Personal Development Goals in 2012 (08.03.2012)

Cine eşti tu şi cum te vezi în oglindă (15.05.2011)

My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012 (30/03/2013)


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My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/03/2013

About a year ago, I have stated here[en, blog] that I will change/improve some things with me, overall, based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I have done the 360 degrees evaluation for 2012, so I now have a pretty good overall picture on what I have accomplished in the 8 months which have passed from March 2012 till November 2012. Although I did my homework and I completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share with you the results in such an organized fashion as I had done it for the 2011 evaluation here [en, pdf].

I have written this article due to the transparency that I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of the year 2012, in rapport to what I’ve assumed as a target in front of everyone. I have marked in red the failures and with green the successes. This is NOT the top of my strengths and weaknesses. This article follows the results of my goals in the order declared last year. This is part one – how I’ve developed my strengths.

The 10 abilities (strong points) planned to enforce were:

1. Seriousness & reliability

People said about me in 2012: Professionalism, Seriousness, Maturity, Reliability , Corectness, Emotional self-control, Never complaining, Decisiveness, Independence in taking decisions, openness, honesty, niche, lots of info, Good specialist, preoccupied with things not on first hand, built façade, Word-keeper, Able to help, Healthy habits (Church, self-incentive, hard working, supporting a cause).

The problem is that this this considered quality is not the 3rd in the people’s eyes, but the 6th thing they think about, when they think about me. This is totally opposite to what I intended to obtain. This was one of the most important things for me for 2012 and I haven’t accomplished it.

Personal self-critic. I have abandoned some of my professional goals in 2012. How have I let down people in general in 2012?

I concentrated so much on writing for Discerne, my Romanian blog, and for Filme-carti.ro, that I completely abandoned my English blogs: Analytic Vision and Debug Your Mind. From this focus, in the same time resulted my winning two awards with Discerne. But, to my shame, I have not notified my readers that I’m going to take a long break.

I have announced that I was going to publish two books on negotiation and I have published just one. Basically, in 2012 I have published the revised edition of the e-book “Guide for the efficient learning” [ro, blog] and my first professional printed book on business, “Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. So that’s 2 out of 3 editorial projects finished. In 2013, I plan to have published 3 publishing projects. March has ended and I haven’t finished any of them yet. We’ll see how I handle.

I took a (too) long professional break in consulting & training, first until April 2012 and from August to October 2012, while I’ve been working on the book.

I also talked to some people about my plans of continuing my post-graduate studies in EU, but I have decided to postpone that opportunity for the moment. Still, last year I took from the faculties the original documents for the masters I graduated in 2011: the diploma, the supplement, the analytic programme, the authenticity attestation. In 2013, I have translated all of them and apostillated with the Hague apostille. 2012 was the first year for a long period when I haven’t been a student anywhere anymore.

2. Detachment

My enthusiasm has dropped 1 place in the top of strong points, according to the average opinion of 26 people I have asked in 2012 to tell me 4+, 4- [en, blog]. I am generally overenthusiastic and I get involved in too many things and finish just some of them. Detachment is a quality which allows you to lean back and react in balanced fashion, considering the bigger picture. I have succeeded that by taking time to work with me, to change some of the issues I was having. Detachment from my own emotions, from others’ opinions. For example, now I am in a period when I get myself involved in a lot of things and I strive for a little period of break-time, to take things into perspective. I learned to take breaks a little bit easier, which is useful, especially since I don’t want to fall into burnout or depression.

3. Faith

This strong point became more visible during 2012, probably also because of the fact that I’ve been writing pro-orthodoxy articles [ro, blog]. Actually, my best and oldest friend recommended me that I should write a book on this topic, because he thinks I write good about it. The fact is, this strong point went up from the 15th position (2011) in the top to the 9th (2012).

I think people consider this a quality even if they don’t share the same beliefs. Someone practicing a Christian confession is believed to have morality, therefore (s)he is more trustworthy. I do consider myself that some of my principles and rigorousness comes from following and practising orthodoxy.

4. Creativity

2011

2012

11th place in strengths

11th place in strengths

3.5 points

4 points

2 dissertation papers

2 books published

200+ articles published

125 + articles published

So, as you can observe in the table, although I have been more prolific in 2012, my peers actually considered me almost as much creative than in 2011. This is a blow for me, because creativity is my life, it’s one thing which should define my activity as a marketer. More is not better, and this actually seems to be the case. Especially since 4 points is even lower than what I got for creativity in 2010, when it was on the 13th place as strength. I have to admit that I haven’t come with ground-breaking ideas or discoveries in 2011 or 2012.

In the same time, I think people associate generally creativity with innovation, and this is not necessarily the case. I have a more pronounced correlative intelligence, rather than an innovative one. Considering I have made it a goal in 2012 to be more creative and I failed to do that, in the feed-back of 32+ people, it’s certainly something to think about.

5. Organisation

I haven’t accomplished this goal – I will write about it more in the article about the weaknesses.

6. Expressiveness

The number of points received by this strength has more than doubled spectacularly, making expressiveness one of my top 3 strengths. People said about me in 2012: Assertiveness, negotiation, Efficient communication, excellent verbal expression, Diplomacy, Understanding, Offering good feed-back, Relaxed presenting style, Good education, common sense, respect, Good man, Manners, good will, Nice guy, Write a lot, Easy to talk to, Nice looking, Sympathetic, Ability to have a dialogue.

So, even if I’m considered less creative in 2012 compared to 2011, I’m considered almost twice as expressive, which shows that I have seriously improved my communication abilities. I have also enriched and diversified my styles of writing. This is one of the goals I really nailed in 2012. Nobody can tell me you can’t succeed in planning with precision to affect other people’s opinion.

7. Optimism

More people from those who gave me complete, relevant feed-back, viewed me as optimist in 2012, compared to 2011. Probably since I became more expressive, people could perceive me more coherently and one of my strengths is my optimism, even if its corresponding weakness is idealism, which is much more visible.

8. Concision

The attribute analysis, as a strength, fell from the 5th to the 7th position in 2012. The attribute overanalysishas also dropped its position (from 11 to 12) and points (from 6 to 5,5) in the top of weaknesses. I’ve been complimented for the results of my work with Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. I published the book in December 2012, so after completing the 360º evaluation. I’ve been commended for the fact it is a very concentrated book which synthesizes excellently thousands of pages of speciality books.

For me, to develop the ability to synthesize, next to my great analytic talent is very important. People expect me at my age to make some conclusions and not to keep analysing alternatives.

9. Balance, calm

Although some people appreciated at me in 2010-2011 the balance, the calm, the objectivity, I confess of seeming to lose all of it in 2012. Actually, I was perceived as more in a rush than in 2011. My patience with me and with others seems to have ran out in 2012. Unfortunately, people see me rather as agitated than peaceful.

10. Data & rights security

This is actually not so related to my personal branding or my personal development, but it is a declared interest. I have been continuing my activity in password-protecting all the documents I sent. I have kept on removing from all unwanted places my writings (e.g. materials written by me and published by others on Scribd without permission – including a draft of book), I have registered my copyrights for all of the articles published in 2012. I have shared my work with less people.

I have participated to one security workshop.

I have kept on changing passwords to all my accounts and none of them got hijacked. I have been using virtual keybord when accesing sensitive accounts from wireless connections. I have installed a protection software for wireless connection, I have disabled google tracking in Chrome. I have been using an encrypted partition for my work.

I haven’t had a file data loss since 2011. My maintenance of computers, both the central unit and the laptop, both software and hardware, have spared me of any problems. I had my laptop cleaned from dust and I replaced its charger and battery.

I have been raising attention to the internet-rights as human rights [en, php] related issues by publishing posts on this topic and sharing initiatives such as accessnow.org .

Other positive things I have accomplished in the area of my strengths, based solely on the 360º evaluation:

I was considered in 2012 50% more intelligent and 2 times more emotionally intelligent  than in 2011, which is a radical and consistent improvement in my image.

People said about me in 2012:

  • Intelligence, Evolution, Competitiveness with self (perfectionism), Reasoning capacity, Self-taught, reading a lot, (thirst for) knowledge, Smartness, good memory, passion for study,

  • EQ (empathy + showing emotions), attention to others’ needs, good listener & confident, knowledge of people & questions, good advice, helpful, innocence, constructivism, will to do good, caring, thesaurus of wisdom, offering, generosity, remembering the names of people, nice guy. Practically, this attribute has gone from the 8th position straight to the 4thposition in 2012.

I will continue with an article where I will share with you what I have accomplished in working with my weaknesses.So far, 70% success from what I proposed as a goal from 2012 for 2012.

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To Manipulate Or Not to Manipulate, That Is the Question

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 06/04/2012

I’m telling you this with hope in my heart and trust that by offering patience to the initiative I’m going to tell you about will create an important and a long-waited change. Before telling you what I’m going to tell you about, thank you for listening me, as I am sure you will consider my message important. As you think of it, with each word, my message becomes clearer to you and you can easily understand what I am saying. Let us find new ways of expressing ourselves… For, example, I…

 

Overcoming public speaking fright

It is said that the second greatest possible fright, except for the one of dying, is the fright of public speaking. Fortunately for me, I have not met many people which were afraid to speak in public. Maybe during grade school. Public speaking is familiar environment for me.

The best exercise I recommend, out of my own experience, is getting in front of all while saying to yourself: “In 30 seconds, my mouth will start speaking. It would better say something useful.”. So I did. So will you. Another exercise: if someone would have a gun to your head and would tell you: “speak well in public now or I kill you”, how do you think you’d perform? You’d certainly do a better job if you knew your life depends on the quality of your delivery. For some, that IS the case. May they be presenters, trainers, lobbyists, attorneys, diplomats, press releasers, politicians, the quality of their public speaking will determine how much money they will make. But this is not a study of what best public speakers do.

My intention is to familiarize you with the truth that everybody speaks in public. Better, worse. But if you think at it, all of us had to make a public presentation, or to address a public in a one-to-many communication instance. But what are the things to consider before doing public speaking in the HR world in an ethical fashion?

Public speaking is definitely a part of HR persons. Conferences. Board meetings. Employee meetings. Focus-groups. Evaluations. Fairs. Exhibitions. Workshops. Trainings. All these cannot be avoided.

 

How much of well planning makes for an ethical delivery?

First thing to consider is: “be themselves”. If you address a public, you must know that public. Who’s in it, what degree of information do they have on the topic you’re speaking, what is their interest in the topic, what kind of questions they will put, etc. It’s a sign of respect towards your message, to each of the participants in the public and to the organizers. And also consider these days anyone can video / audio record you with a simple phone or mp 3 player, not to mention the photos. Then, they can be placed on the internet, tagged with your name and accessed by anyone, for the rest of eternity. If you don’t have respect for all of these, you will be remembered. It’s not only the skills that you put to practice, but also your values.

Of course the better job you do on planning your speech, of taking care of the surroundings (light, height, noise, distance, temperature, technology settings, etc.), the better you will show respect for your public. These might seem as the organizers’ responsibility. But if you really care about your personal brand, your message and the public, make it your responsibility to triple-check.

Let’s assume you address a public well educated, well informed and interested in the subject matter you present. The audience has been pre-selected and you’ve put certain questions at the beginning to make sure you’re on the same page. Now you’ve got their attention. You have the formal authority in the room. From this moment, if you skillfully use your persuasiveness, you can imprint any ideas into their minds. You may masterfully conceive your speech so that they would understand and maybe agree to it, at least until a certain point. You may even manipulate them.

Beyond that, it lies the question: what is the line between influencing, persuasion and manipulation? When does it serve well and when does it not?

First of all, none of these have negative meaning by themselves. A mother may manipulate her children by saying: “Do you prefer to drink the [bad tasting] medicine from the white cup or from the blue cup?”, using a double bind to determinate an action. Some would not consider this as manipulation, because, some say, manipulation is always negative. In stead of ranting on the concepts: responsibility; accountability; life lessons; we’ll do some practice.

mouth-2194241_1920

Let’s come back to the fine distinction between influencing, persuading and manipulating someone. Although there are uncountable ways of doing any of these, let’s just say we want to send the message that using seat belts during driving for all the passengers saves lives. Noble idea, don’t you think? We’ll see.

 

Influence

When you’ll start to think about this, you will naturally find what I’m saying to you as more and more interesting. “Looking at the accidents statistics in USA, in 2004, more persons which did not use a seat belt died in accidents than those who who were wearing / although, according to the federal statistics, more than 80% of the drivers use belts. […] Apparently not wearing the seat belt during driving the car is about the same thing as having a dagger installed on the driving wheel.”. Before thinking further on the way this affects our lives, let us consider all the small differences seeming minor details like putting the seat belt on before driving to actually truly understand the real effect of those seemingly minor details. The difference between using and not using your seat belt might be the difference between life and death.

Persuasion

Close your eyes. [the light gets dimmer] Imagine yourself riding in a top notch car on a freeway. [appropriate music] You feel the wind and all the things around you. You get to an intersection. You slow down, but not in due time and a truck gets into your face from nowhere. You have no time to react. [the lights close] It all went dark. [silence for a few moments]. You just died because you didn’t wear a seat belt [lights open up brightly] Welcome back!

Manipulation.

The light gets dimmer. You present a video of a guy named David, with his wife, Molly and their son, Tommy. The are joyful, playing in the garden. Then you show some pictures with them getting in the family car. Then you put on the morgue pictures of David, Molly and Tommy. They didn’t use the seat belt. You rapidly shoot some statistics to the people, in big colorful graphic display. In the end, you take a moment in silence, honoring David, Molly, Tommy and the other thousands of people who lost their lives during X period in the Y zone and say a prayer. 

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