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Volume 8  Number 12   |  December 2018

Maria and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season’s Best, and Happy New Year!

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The 360° Person

I find that it’s insufficient to be merely an expert in any given category. We have to be “entire” people. What are my indications, you ask?

• Doctor or veterinarian with no bedside manners and abrupt answers.

• The attorney who is archly conservative no matter what the client’s preferences are.

• The MBA who can only speak in numbers.

• The tech person who disdains those who can’t photoshop.

• The gifted athlete who is forced to leave the game prematurely and is lost.

• Anyone who loses the title on their business card and concurrently loses his or her personality.

We all should be able to talk to almost anyone about almost anything. (I’d exempt the late Stephen Hawking, but you get my drift.)

An object of interest

We need to be people of interest, because this quality draws people to us, keeps us connected to people, and engenders comfort and trust. We all should be able to talk reasonably (not expertly) on topics in the arts, entertainment, sports, business, politics, literature, and so on. You don’t have to have seen a Broadway show to know what it’s about and to have read the reviews. You don’t have to be a football fan to know who Tom Brady is.

Ours is a relationship business. Our mindset shouldn’t be on “sales” but rather on the relationship. My partner in my first book, with whom I had worked for years in a consulting firm, exasperatedly told me once, “You can’t sell anything! You can only sell yourself!”

“You’re right,” I confirmed, “ain’t that great?!”

Some considerations

Read more than just the business section of the newspapers. Subscribe to some arts and entertainment magazines (such as The New Yorker). Listen to more than just your favorite genre of music on occasion. Take an arts appreciation course online. Read some biographies and history books.

I’m far more inclined to trust people with whom I can have wide-ranging conversations and not just narrow discussion to evaluate some offering. The best realtors, insurance agents, and car salespeople can engage with prospects beyond the immediate house, finances, and transportation.

And when you’re an object of interest, people tend to ask you, “What exactly is it that you do?”

© Alan Weiss 2018


I’m inviting you to join me monthly in 2019 for Alan’s Riff, a semi-improvisational hour with me during which I’ll discuss combinations of the following:

• Current political and social trends and events

• The economy and financial options

• Business trends, interpretation, and predictions

• The current headlines

• The arts and entertainment

• Ideas and provocations that challenge you intellectually

I’ll take any questions in advance and also during the calls via computer. Every call will be 60-90 minutes and recorded for your ongoing use.

My intent here is to enable you to:

• Become a well-rounded, informed, object of interest

• Understand how to view and dissect issues

• Develop as an engaging conversationalist

• Ask questions that you can’t ask elsewhere

• Improve your sense of self by being better “educated”

• Take better advantage of opportunities around you

• Improve your critical thinking skills

• Stand out in a crowd

Fee: $1,200

Sign up here.




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