Medium 9781523095919

Why People Don’t Believe You…

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For some, projecting confidence and credibility is second nature. For others, it seems like a foreign language they'll never learn – until now. Rob Jolles delivers down-to-earth solutions for anyone looking to enhance the most basic need of all; to be believed. He leverages his over 30 years of experience to equip readers with empowering and practical tools for achieving business and social success.

Jolles argues that credibility is as much about attitude as it is about aptitude. So-called “soft skills” like pitch, pace, and tone of voice, are actually some of the most crucial factors in determining how people perceive us. As he puts it, “it's not the words, it's the tune” that really makes us memorable and credible.

This book is about finding the necessary magic to help others believe you. It requires an unshakable belief in yourself, so Jolles starts there. With that as a solid foundation, you can move on to the specific tactics and practices that will make you credible and convincing. But these can be tough to practice in the face of the inevitable setbacks we all face, so he also offers advice on maintaining courage and confidence when doubt naturally creeps in. And he concludes with a discussion of sustaining your newfound credibility for the long haul.

There isn't a soul on earth who hasn't questioned themselves at some point. And most of us are just one or two brutal rejections away from questioning all that we are. Why People Don't Believe You helps readers cultivate a robust mental framework and a set of what Jolles calls “performance skills” to tackle these doubts. You are good enough –and after reading this stirring book, you'll be ready to make the world believe that as well.

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Chapter 1: Believing in Yourself

ePub

Three vital words: believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in you, it’s nearly impossible for others to do so. How many times have you heard phrases like If you want it badly enough, you can do it! If only it were that easy. As a matter of fact, magically getting something because you want it so badly not only is a cliché but it clearly holds you back.

You hear it in sports all the time, particularly after a team has won a big game: “We just wanted it more than they did!” The thought of wanting something more than others seems to answer many questions, but to me it seems trite and misleading. If only succeeding in life were as easy as just wanting things more than those around you do.

Don’t get me wrong: wanting something badly is not a completely useless attitude; it’s just overrated. I have coached soccer and basketball teams for more than 25 years, and I could never attribute a team victory to just wanting it more. As a matter of fact, I am quite sure that if I ever wandered into the losing team’s locker room, I would not hear that they just didn’t want to win as badly as we did. When we were well prepared, practiced hard, and had an intelligent game plan, we were usually successful—but we did not pin our aspirations on just wanting it more. That would have provided a false sense of hope and been a waste of energy.

 

Chapter 2: Fear and Response

ePub

Taking action to improve self-esteem can stir up fears in anyone. Those fears can dramatically increase when pressure is involved. I can assure you that you are not alone and that there is a constructive response to every fear.

Eleanor Roosevelt was known for her very gracious and sincere public image, and she was tremendously sensitive to the underprivileged. She described herself growing up as awkward and uncomfortable around others. Abraham Lincoln was admired as a man who could charm anyone he crossed paths with, and yet it is well known that he was an introvert who struggled with everyday conversations.

What did these two great leaders have in common? Both understood the value of reaching out to others, both were fantastic at it, and neither possessed a natural skill to accomplish that feat—but they believed in themselves, and they overcame their fears. It’s just a matter of identifying your fears and applying a response to them. So, let’s strip away some fears and expose them for what they really are: myths, misunderstandings, and communication inhibitors.

 

Chapter 3: Getting Others to Believe You

ePub

Equipped with belief in ourselves, we are ready to take that fight outside and convince others to believe us. On the surface it seems so easy to get others to believe us, and for some lucky individuals it is—for a time. But rest assured, there isn’t a soul on this earth who hasn’t questioned their ability to be believed. As a matter of fact, many of us are just one brutal rejection away from questioning all that we are.

That last statement wasn’t made to depress you; it was made to encourage you. No one is impervious to doubt, and that’s why building a measurable process to use when seeking the belief of others is so important. It validates what we do on our good days and problem-solves what we do on our not-so-good days.

It Is Not What You Know
That Makes People Believe You

How is it that so many of us are misled into thinking that the more we know, the more credibility we have and the more we will be believed? It can be humbling to stand in front of an individual or a group and realize that they may ask questions that you can’t answer. I’ve pulled out many a yellow pad and proclaimed, “I don’t know everything, but I do know where to find the answers to everything!” No one expects you to be a fact machine; they know you are human—just like them.

 

Chapter 4: stepping Up Your Game

ePub

The principles behind becoming believable to others are straightforward, yet so many struggle with them. That’s because there is so much more involved than just learning a process. Getting people to believe you requires work. It requires patience, it requires determination, and it requires that you step up your game. The words make up a process, but “this” makes it so much more. What exactly is “this,” you might ask? It’s a great question!

“This” Makes All the Difference

Some time ago I was reminiscing about one of my favorite television commercials; it’s a FedEx ad referred to as “The Stolen Idea” that can be viewed on YouTube. It takes place in a conference room, with a team of executives looking for ideas to cut costs. One guy floats what seems like a good idea. After a pause and no reaction from the group, the boss presents the same exact idea. When the group celebrates the boss’s idea, the frustrated guy who came up with it says: “You just said the same thing I said—only you did this,” and he gestures with his hands.

 

Chapter 5: Putting a Lion in Your Heart

ePub

Confidence goes a long way toward becoming more believable, and that confidence is accomplished in stages.
It’s like assembling a puzzle one piece at a time. One puzzle piece comes from learning to believe in ourselves. Another piece comes from learning how to get others to believe us—and not just learning the words but also the tune and the power of “this.” Part of that message can be muted if we don’t address the stress that affects these puzzle pieces. There are a lot of uncertainties waiting around the bend, so let’s examine the courage it takes to embrace change and pursue the unknown.

The act of believing requires
an inherent leap of faith.

The Fog of Fear

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a film buff. At six years old, I would walk with my brother Richard to the Silver Movie Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, and thus began my love of movies. I shared that love with my kids—one of our favorite outings was a trip to the theater. I’m open to almost any kind of movie, and its message is what makes me a fan of a particular film. I believe most writers and directors are trying to tell us something, and one of the best examples of a movie with a powerful message is Defending Your Life (1991), starring Albert Brooks, who also wrote and directed it. It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I embrace it because it delivers a simple and poignant message about how we can look at our time on this earth. This message also shines a spotlight on why we must not fear the unknowns behind the risks we take but rather celebrate them.

 

Chapter 6: Positivity!

ePub

Let’s turn our attention from how to get others to believe us to how to sustain that believability. I don’t think it will surprise anyone to hear that carrying yourself in a positive way and displaying the traits of a positive person help—but there’s one small problem: for some people thinking positively comes naturally; for others, well, let’s just say they struggle with it.

What do you think: is positive thinking an innate behavior or can you be taught to think positively? It’s an interesting question. The sticking point is not that some people are simply more positive than others; it goes deeper than that. So many people seem convinced that they would be more positive if there were something to be more positive about: “You either are or you aren’t, and there isn’t that much you can do about it!” I disagree. I believe that there is a basic formula to positivity and that it can in fact be taught.

I know many people struggle with positivity, but imagine if it were possible to learn a handful of basic guiding principles to living more positive lives. I believe that anyone can be happier and more optimistic, but they have to want it—no excuses, no reasons why it won’t work; honestly want it!

 

Chapter 7: The Politics of success

ePub

The topic of office politics seems to live in dark corners that most acknowledge but few want to talk about. We know it exists; we just choose not to discuss it in schools and even at home with our children. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, and the repercussions of not being politically astute can derail anyone’s career, personal journey, and self-esteem. Why can’t we just write down the political pitfalls in the workplace, write solutions to address them, and have employees study the manual? Doesn’t that beat the alternative?

The fact is, many good-natured people assume that they can manage their way through the political minefield. This is a real-world issue, and many well-meaning people struggle to cope with the reality of politics when working with others. Achieving believability is a tremendous accomplishment—but sustaining it as we maneuver through the quagmire of personal politics can be a real challenge.

Lest you think that negotiating people politics has been easy for me, in the interest of full disclosure it has certainly not. There is a phrase that I once used in every political conversation I found myself in, typically when someone was trying to help me. I would repeat it over and over. It took me 10 years to stop saying it, but I can remember it clearly: “Someday they’re going to put on my tombstone, This guy never gave in to office politics and always stayed true to his beliefs.

 

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