Tag Archives: asking smart questions

“The secrets of the ‘high-potential’ personality”: From BBC.COM

The article asks, “Are there six traits that could really mark out your potential to achieve?”  I won’t detail them here; best to read the full article, which I found well-worth the time.

Key take-away: For a good many years the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been more or less the norm.  Now there’s a new contender, the High Potential Trait Inventory (HPTI), based around six key traits.

Here’s the article: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180508-the-secrets-of-the-high-potential-personality

Here’s the link to the BBC story: Secrets of the high-potential personality 


This checklist is from  my book, How to Ask the SMART QUESTIONS for Winning the Games of Career and Life

Checklist: Spotting the important judges

  • Who are the important judges of how well I’m doing my job? Why are they the key judges, and not others?
  • What criteria are they using to judge me and my contribution?
  • Are these the most appropriate measures? If not, what should be the criteria be, and how can I “educate” them to recognize and judge by the criteria that are truly important?
  • Are the apparent judges the truly important judges? For instance, is my outside client a more important judge than my supervisor? If not, what should I do about it?
  • If I am locked in with inappropriate judges, is there a way to bypass them and get the attention of ones who are more appropriate—or more open to me?
  • Overall, what are the practical implications for me?

SMART QUESTIONS –People Skills for Winning the Games of Career Success and Life

Ever feel that you’re being moved as a pawn in the games others are playing around you? Ever get the sense that you’re not winning — maybe not even aware of  — the subtle games of business and life?

As one federal executive put it, “You’ve got to be aware of the games that are being played. You don’t have to play the games yourself, but you do need to recognize when they are being played against you.”

SMART QUESTIONS FOR WINNING THE  GAMES OF CAREER SUCCESS (& OFFICE POLITICS!) provides a unique take on career development skills for success. The book  is structured around common-sense but often-overlooked questions questions like these:

  • For me, in this situation, What is “winning”? What is it for the others, including hidden players operating through stand-ins?
  • What’s really going on here? Is this a real issue, or a subtle test?
  • What are the “real rules” that operate here, beneath the coded language and disinformation? What real rules govern communications here?
  • Do I really need to be involved in this? Or am I being drawn into someone else’s problem?
  • What’s my best move at this point? Is a confrontation necessary? If so, is now the best time?
  • What should I consider before taking action? Am I thinking enough steps ahead?
  • Are there broader opportunities hidden within this situation?
  • What can I learn from this situation? How should I handle a similar case when it comes around again?
  • Am I being given the recognition and compensation that I (honestly) deserve? If not, why not, and what can I do about it?

SMART QUESTIONS is Book 1 in the Career Savvy People Skills Series.

Book 2 in the series is How to Use MENTAL PICKPOCKETING  to Get to the Truth Without Seeming to Ask

These smart questions —- part people skills, part communication skills, part career savvy -— drew from my work  a lawyer (NY,VA,DC), and as a consultant to organizations that included the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, Xerox companies in the United States and abroad, U.S. Navy, Kodak, HUD, USDA, Citicorp, and others.

You can find SMART QUESTIONS at Amazon and other retailers.

Here’s the Amazon link:


5 SMART steps in responding to tough questions and objections

51sp1GCwdZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_If you’re making a presentation, or even just sitting in a one-on-one meeting, and someone throws out a question, or even an objection, it seems only natural to respond directly to it.

But that’s not always the best approach, for a variety of reasons. First, you may not really understand the point they are raising (for that matter, the other person may not themselves really understand the issue they are raising). If you respond, more or less blindly, then you may fail to address the issue; worse, you may open up other issues.