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Introducing the 3-Week Dream Job Boot Camp

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Today, a story about how a salesman sold me thousands of dollars worth of clothes I wasn’t going to buy.

As you read this, try to spot the differences between an average salesman and this top-performing salesman.

A couple months ago, I got an email from a sales guy at a clothing store I’ve bought from before. (I don’t buy clothes that often, but once in a while I’ll do a year’s worth of shopping, and I must have filled in my email address while checking out.) He said, “Hey Ramit, it’s ____ from ____. We’re having a 40% off sale starting next week, but if you come in this week, I can put aside the clothes so you get first crack.”

Sounds good, I thought. So I scheduled some time and wandered in on a Friday around 2pm. This is my life. Blogging and shopping for clothes on a Friday afternoon. I would be an incredible trophy wife.

I was running early and the guy wasn’t there yet, so I walked around the store and picked up a couple clothes. Nothing was really working out. I was getting ready to leave when the guy walked in. “Hey man,” he said. “What’s up?”

I told him I was just about to leave, so he said, let me show you some of the stuff we have. He then walked around THE SAME STORE I HAD WALKED AROUND, found a bunch of pieces, and showed me how to combine them in a way I would have never thought of.

I ended up buying thousands of dollars of clothes that day.

Now, let’s analyze what happened.

He deeply understood his audience. The customers who shop here are not primarily concerned by price. They’re looking for a high level of service and clothes that are perfect “for them.” Getting a personal email from their guy at the store to invite them into a sale before anyone else? For the target audience, that is the definition of service.

He was extremely good at his job. He saw patterns that I did not. He wasn’t ever pushy. And he offered to help me get the clothes tailored in my timeline (service). Notice that most people think that being good at their job is enough. It is not.

He made me happy to pay. I love hearing from people who think that persuading people always involves deception, like this person who emailed me 2 days ago:

“Ramit, I do not want to read a half hour American-style infomerial before I get to your point. Christ!

Get to the fucking point at the start, dont lead me on a tour through your childhood first.

1. you grab me with the intro so I click on the link

2. there’s an unending page of infomercials (plural)

Please dont waste my time with sales. Hire a copy editor.”

–Elizabeth W.

Look at that last line: “Please don’t waste my time with sales.” Her invisible script is: “Anyone selling something is bad.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. This invisible script assumes that the person being sold to is some naiive person who has no agency. Look, I’m not some doe-eyed 8-year-old. I know how persuasion works in the sales process. You think I’m going to get “cheated” out of my money? In fact, once he showed me value — I got first crack at the merchandise, 40% off, and new clothes that I needed — I was delighted to pay.

When you understand these principles — deeply understand these principles — you can use them to secure your Dream Job…and people will be HAPPY to hire you. They’ll be happy to pay you more. Even if they know the exact techniques you are using, they’ll be powerless to stop you. And there’s no reason they would, anyway, because you are taking a 100% ethical approach — just like my sales guy at the store.

LET ME REPEAT IT AGAIN FOR SCAMMY MORONS THAT SOMETIMES SLIP ONTO THIS SITE TO USE MY STUFF FOR NEFARIOUS PURPOSES. IF YOU USE THIS TO TRY TO SCAM SOMEONE AND I FIND OUT, I WILL CREATE A PAGE CALLED IWILLTEACHYOUTOBERICH.COM/IDIOTS AND I WILL LIST YOUR FULL NAME THERE. Trust me, it will happen.

Now, I know this works because some of my own staff have used random Dream Job techniques “against” me, and they worked. And I created the Dream Job system!

Now, I get to teach the system to you.

Introducing Competence Triggers

In the hundreds of comments about the lies we’ve been told, one of the code words was BETRAYAL. We feel betrayed because we were told if we study hard and get a good job, we’ll be successful.

But let’s deconstruct that. What does get a good job mean? Part of getting a good job is becoming good at what you do. But typically, that’s where the advice stops. Most people genuinely believe that “being good” is enough. But in a world where there are millions of other good people, you can’t just be good — you have to stand out. Think about it: There are thousands and thousands of “good” salespeople in NYC. How come this guy made a fat commission off me? Yes, he’s good at picking out outfits (like 5,000,000 other people in NYC). And yes, he’s a nice guy. But there’s something else.

He made it because he is a master of what I call Competence Triggers — the signals that show you are a top performer. Take a look.

Let me explain carefully so I don’t get morons accusing me of teaching how to trick people.

Competence Triggers are not a trick to hide your deficiencies. Of course you have to be good at your craft. If we took the typical illiterate blog reader and simply decided to copy the guy’s tactics — sending an email, inviting in someone early, etc — it might work for a few minutes. But if he wasn’t good at his job, he would quickly be discovered.

If you try to put lipstick on a pig, you will be discovered. (Interestingly, the more advanced you are, the quicker any deception will be discovered, because you’re competing with increasingly smart people).

But Competence Triggers signal that you are potentially worthy of further investigation. Like my Craigslist Penis Effect, they show that unlike the unwashed masses, you are at least somewhat credible — and when used correctly, highly credible.

If you internalize these Competence Triggers, and the psychology behind them, you can get amazing results like this (check the timestamp on the first one):

Or this one:

Or Mel, from a recent comment:

“I actually used your negotiation tactic to negotiate a 25% raise and more responsibility within the first 90 days of my employment. Being a contractor at this company did not make it an easy task for me to get more money before I had been with them for a year.”
Mel

Nice.

I’ll be teaching you the ins and outs of Competence Triggers, including the exact ones you can use in your Dream Job search. And best of all, my top students have internalized these triggers to be able to use them in social situations and relationships. They are truly one of the most versatile techniques you’ll learn on IWT.

Introducing the 3-Week Dream Job Boot Camp

Last week,  we saw that there’s a game being played around us that we don’t know about.

We’ve seen that there are deep psychological frameworks, mindsets, and techniques you can use to land your Dream Job…to find your passion…and to negotiate an enviable salary.

We’ve also seen that I have no patience for whiners. (You want to complain about the macro economy as a reason for why you don’t have your Dream Job? Leave this site.) I also have no patience for terrible career advice that’s never tested. I’d rather have 5 people who take action than 5,000 whiners — which is how I get success stories like the ones above.

About 18 months ago, I decided I was tired of seeing the same old terrible career advice. I’d already helped a bunch of friends get jobs, but I wanted to systematize what I’d learned so you could use it. So that instead of answering random questions like “What should I say in my cover letter?” and “How do I find out what companies to apply to?” I could turn over a seriously comprehensive system to answer ALL your questions — even the ones you don’t know you should be asking.

I could have made some series of blog posts, or a random $27 ebook. But those are the kinds of things that people read on their lunch break, then say “I L1ke d1s guy,” and then do nothing with.

I wanted to think bigger.

You guys have seen some of the videos I’ve been putting up and probably wondered what’s going on. I took 2 routes.

Starting tomorrow, I’m launching a free Dream Job Boot Camp. This is a 3-week free course via my blog and Dream Job Launch list that will take you behind the scenes of mastering your Dream Job search. I’m going to share scripts, case studies, and teardowns — where I take people, live and on camera — and show them how to take their interviewing skills to the next level. Their negotiation skills. Their storytelling skills.

I will put this free material up against anyone’s paid career advice, and I believe mine will come out on top. But that’s for you to decide, not me.

Let me tell you why I’m doing this. I already told how disgusted I am at the terrible career advice that so-called “career experts” dispense. From the 500+ comments posted last week alone, I can tell this has hit a nerve. But I’m also tired of hearing people in their 20s and 30s complain about the economy and delegate their job search. “I’ll do it later,” we say. Or “I sent in 20 resumes last week,” they say. I just shake my head. There’s a game being played around them that they don’t even realize.

A top performer would never send in 20 resumes. A top performer would have already put the pieces in place so that when he’s looking for a Dream Job, he has a network of people LOOKING FOR HIM. He would know how to distinguish himself, knowing that if he submits his resume through the front door (or, god forbid, a jobs website), he’s already lost the game.

He would know that money is not the only part of a Dream Job, but he would understand how to be compensated for the amount that he truly deserves.

And a top performer would build a simple, testable system to figure out:

  • What is my Dream Job?
  • How does that relate to my passion?
  • Where are the broken “links in my job search chain” and where should I be spending time? Improving my resume? Interviewing skills? Negotiation? What??
  • What are the things I do NOT need to do?

I spent the last 18 months building that system and now I want to share it with you.

Here’s how this is going to work for the next 3 weeks of free material.

Week 1: Decommoditizing Yourself. Too many idiots think that if they sent in 20 resumes this week, they’ve done their job. If you think it’s sufficient to take the same actions as 5 million other people, frankly you don’t deserve a job.

Instead, I’m going to show you how to stand out from other people using the very words in your email, the phrases you say in in-person meetings, and even the psychological techniques you use when scoping out WHO to meet. Most importantly, you’ll learn about the psychological barriers you have that you didn’t even know you had — and how to tackle them.

Week 2: Networking. Another area where people whine using this heart-attack-inducing phrase: “Well, maybe if I went to STANFORD, I could…” or “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know” (most used by 20-something dudes and especially tech-y people).

Total nonsense. You have a network, even if you don’t realize it. I’ll show you how to find it, and I’ll show you that people actually WANT TO HELP YOU — if you approach them in the right way. (Hint: Don’t ask someone to be your mentor. That is a classic low Competence Trigger.) You’ll learn both the theory and the exact scripts you can use to build an incredible network. I’ve done this with best-selling authors, journalists, and CEOs — and not only does my technique work, but I’m so comfortable with the approach that I’m simply going to give it to you, openly. THAT is the test of how ethical your approach is. Would you be comfortable having it seen by 300,000+ people? Judge for yourself.

Week 3: Interviewing and Negotiation. Just wait for this. Watch me take real people on video and take them from being 7s to 9.5s in a matter of minutes. Watch me sit down with interview masters and learn how they would approach every situation at the highest levels (e.g., Tier 1 management consultants). And learn how you can create a “mental toolbox” to store these techniques when you walk into an interview or negotiation. God I’m getting so excited right now.

All of that is my gift to you for reading my material and FOLLOWING THE ACTION STEPS.

Btw, you know the difference between people who read my stuff as intellectual entertainment…and people who take action?

Whiners who read but do nothing:

“Obviously, you are…a huckster who preys on the younger and more gullible college set along with those who feel left out of a closed economic system. You think you are filling a gap. Now, you are hawking a book. What is new here? Absolutely nothing! Your tripe bores me — go get a real job.”

As you can see, my inbox is filled with unicorns and love. Now look at people who actually take action:

“I’ve increased my salary from $67K to $80K/yr in less than one year using your negotiation techniques and getting into my boss’ head.”
–Chad

“Today, with your help/encouragement to figure out how to stand-out and be exceptional at my job and articles on negotiation, I just scored myself a $10,000 raise on an offer that was already a few grand over my current contractor position!!!! The best thing is that all I have to do is show up to the same job tomorrow and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
–Marshall

“By doing some prep and using your advice (including watching your videos), I was able to increase my salary by almost $5,000/year and receive paid-time-off for a 2-week vacation all within in a 10 minute conversation. Thanks Ramit!!”
–Clay

Who would you rather be?

And by the way, of those successful students, do you think they’ll stick with me for the next 10-20 years? Of course — they’re students for life. That’s what I want for you.

The Dream Job course. So we’ve covered the free material coming your way starting tomorrow.

What I didn’t tell you was that I really wanted to think big for this Dream Job material. Not some random series of blog posts alone. Not some $27 ebook. To step it up, I invested over $250,000 into this material, countless staff members, over 20 cross-country flights, and years of testing and research. My goal is for my free material to beat any other paid material out there. I have the means to invest in you first, and I know that when I do — and you find success — you’ll be a student for life.

Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to invest $250K of my own money, then just give it away free. So I figured, why not do both?

The 3-week Dream Job Boot Camp is completely free. Use the stuff to get results like tens of thousands of others have.  All I ask is that you take action and not passively consume it. This is not some psychological buffet.

And after the Boot Camp, I’ll be releasing the full Dream Job course. This will be a premium course and it won’t be cheap. But if you’ve come to know the quality of my material, you know that it will be the single-most comprehensive course on finding your Dream Job ever created, covering everything from “What IS my Dream Job?” down to “Give me a video of how I respond to THIS interview question…and show me the right body language to use.” 100+ hours of video, dozens of tested scripts, and other stuff I’ll share later.

So you can decide. Try the free stuff. See how valuable it is. For a small percentage of you, you’ll want the advanced stuff and I’ll be happy to offer the next level of material through the Dream Job premium course. I thought this was a pretty good compromise.

I hope you guys like this approach, because I didn’t want to just offer you a 10-part series of blog posts. Anyone can do that. But it’s difficult to share the level of insight and depth that I want to share with you if you’re limited to a few posts. So I’m going to offer you material you’ve never seen before — and I believe that if you’re serious about finding a Dream Job, you’ll know that it’s worth investing more than 5-10 hours. This is the rest of our lives we’re talking about.

So here’s what to do.

1. Leave a comment with the following:
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific.
– What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? (Example: Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews.)
– BONUS question: In the student examples above, why do some people whine while others take action?

2. Sign up for the Dream Job Boot Camp list below. You’ll also get access to a private Dream Job blog where I’ll be releasing private scripts, videos, etc.

Are you ready?

Sign up for the Dream Job Boot Camp list













100% privacy. No games, no B.S., no spam.

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439 Comments on "Introducing the 3-Week Dream Job Boot Camp"

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Lisa
Lisa
4 years 6 months ago

Simple – the classic example of when you’re in a relationship, guys/girls *always* approach you. It’s because you’re (likely) confident and not giving off a desperate vibe to meet someone.

M
M
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger = having a job when your looking for one. More proof that dating and getting a job are the same. Also, being willing to walk away from an offer because you don’t have to take the first thing that comes along.

Ashley H
Ashley H
4 years 6 months ago

In my field, professionals tend to dress way down (think Chacos and cargo pants), but for me I find that dressing more professionally makes me feel more confident and thus I put myself forward more in meetings, etc. I would like to be better at negotiation – I’ve never been good about that.

MP
MP
4 years 6 months ago

I’ll have to agree with Ashley H. The days of big reporting days, I go all out to make sure I dress professionally so I feel professional enough to withstand any questions/comments thrown my way. Helps to alleviate some of the butterflies.

John W
John W
4 years 6 months ago

I do Home Automation, and when I’m excited/passionate about something customers get into and sales are easier. I’ve had more than one CEO smiling like a little kid at their home theater.

I need to find balance between the going super nerdy with specifics versus conveying to potential customer I’m going to give them what they want/solve the problems and it will all be done with the press of a button.

Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson
4 years 6 months ago
Hi John, this may be off topic, but your field has fascinated me for a few years (since I had kids and spend way more time at home while the kids are sleeping). I’ve set up a few HTPC systems using open source software. Do you have any tips to get started in a career in Home Automation? There doesn’t seem to be much info out there until you get into the high end stuff. I’m not certain if Ramit encourages this sort of request over his comments section, but you don’t run into Home Automation experts everyday.
James Lett
James Lett
4 years 6 months ago

Have you considered a sort of tier pricing with layman’s terms (One-click Movie Playing!) and a description underneath for those who are into the technical specifics? I’m envisioning it similar to a restaurant menu, done by category of automation. Mind you I’ve not seen the actually documents you show customers. Organizing it in a such way might allow those who don’t care about details but want X result to find what they want faster, and allowing those who are really interested in the tech. to see everything.

Thomas H
Thomas H
4 years 6 months ago
1) If I stand/sit with good posture (straight back, shoulders back) and raise my voice I get better results than when I slouch and talk softly, which unfortunately is more natural and comfortable for me. 2) Interviews. I do ok on email and phone interviews, but when I actually go in to interview in person I get nervous and perform at a lower level than I know I can. I’d like to know how to calm myself down. BONUS: The whiners feel like they are entitled to everything for free. They either: 1) Want your course, but are upset that… Read more »
Matthew
Matthew
4 years 6 months ago
1) During interviews for graduate school, one of the programs used group interviews. Nearly every other person in the room said something along the lines of “I desperately want to attend this school because it is one of the best in the country.” My answer was “I’m looking for the school that is the best fit for me over the next 12 months, somewhere that will challenge me to grow as a person and as a leader.” I was one of 5 people from my group interview to get secondary interviews, and one of 2 to get in. 2) I… Read more »
Alf
4 years 6 months ago
Using sly tactics to get private backstage access to a sold-out sxsw party and mingle with celebrity types (I once got into Perez Hilton’s party by sneaking past the security guard non-chalantly, then, using red lipstick on my wrist went backstage and talked with Alphabeat); you feel like you can accomplish everything in life when you wake up the next morning. I’ve never done that shit before (I’m asian), but with a large crowd, free drinks and cold night no one really noticed. MAN THAT WAS EXHILARATING. The situation that comes to mind…talking to famous/accomplished people to get your foot… Read more »
Elizabeth Gage
Elizabeth Gage
4 years 6 months ago

I work at home, usually in jeans & t-shirt, but I dress up ( in samples of the clothes I sell) for home parties. But the most crucial item is a pair of cute little heels. I feek much more “in charge” in heels, so I’m livelier and my ladies respond.

I would like to improve my ability to answer objections from potential hostesses when I call to book shows.

I think the people who take action have discovered that you can pretty much do anything you want, but you do have to do it. The whiners are waiting for permission.

Mike
Mike
4 years 6 months ago

Where’s the balance? How do you determine when you’re being matter of fact and honest versus being a highly arrogant prick? I tend to come across arrogantly because I know what im talking about – sometimes coupled with a realization that you don’t.

This typically doesn’t end well for me!

K00kyKelly
4 years 6 months ago

Less contempt, more listening.

Ellen
Ellen
4 years 6 months ago

Confidence=knowing what you are talking about
Arrogance=believing that you are smarter than everyone you are talking to, Humility/lack of arrogance=remembering that the person you are talking to knows SOMETHING that you dont’ (probably something important, like how to build a company and hire smart people to work for you)

Jesse
Jesse
4 years 6 months ago

My last few interviews, I have reversed the applicant role where the other company was contacting me for an interview. This allowed me to be much more confident and at ease during the interview.

I would like more Competence Triggers for the negotiation side.

I have given job finding tips to other people, but they rarely put them into action. I realize this while telling them what to do that they won’t actually do them. They don’t lack the ability; they lack the desire and burn to get things done.

Robbie
Robbie
4 years 6 months ago
I was able to secure a ten thousand dollar raise last year by clearly conveying to my boss that the market rate for my skills was higher than I was currently being paid. Didn’t get mad, didn’t try to argue my way to more money, just an open and frank conversation. I have my eye on a promotion in my current position, which I’ve already made clear to my boss that I want. I could really do with some advice on how best to convince him that I should get it it, as well as the appropriate salary bump. I… Read more »
David B
4 years 6 months ago

For a recent meet up with my first client, I dressed my ass off, got a suite leather case for my iPad and already had a fully functioning example of what his website would look like. He was floored.

Adria Richards
4 years 6 months ago
One competence I use successfully over and over again is asking the right questions that get at the true concerns of the prospect. I take notes, mentally or on paper and then refer back to them in the conversation to convey that I am not only paying attention but to convey I understand the problem at hand. I then share a solution or two around the idea and usually get a head nod or affirmation from the prospect which tells me I’m on the right track. One situation I’d like to better understand is how to read in between the… Read more »
Ryan B
Ryan B
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: My female friend wanted to change the day of our rock climbing session from Tuesday to Thursday. I jokingly gave her a hard time about cancelling on me all the time (this was only the 2nd time) when she decided to up the ante and declared ‘Sorry, but I can only do it on Thursday – take it or leave it, honey’. This was all in a playful tone, but I could tell she was pushing back because we were amongst some (very alpha male) guys at the time – and suddenly I could feel their attention on… Read more »
Claus
Claus
4 years 6 months ago
I Think the way you handled the situation with your friend was epic (fast thinking!)! One of my Competence Triggers is that I love giving presentations (I feel very confident and like engaging the people I give my presentation to) – and practice, practice, practice until I know my presentation inside out. It especially gave jackpot at my current job, while being in my former job (same employer, different country) where I, as a part of my job, filled in for a morning market briefing (financial sector). Although it was very early in the morning I practised the deliverance and… Read more »
Amy D
Amy D
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger – knowing enough about public speaking to impress my boss during an improvised presentation. She’s asked me to apply for higher position.
A situation I’d like to be better at – sales meetings and negotiations. I’m okay in front of a group, but have no confidence in smaller settings.

And whining? It justifies keeping everything the way it is.

Rasha
Rasha
4 years 6 months ago

1. it would probably be acting more confident during interviews.

Paris H.
Paris H.
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully: At my most recent job, I redesigned their knowledge-base system with examples and explained in a 4 page written document how it benefited the company, the employees, the clientele, and the knowledge-base tech team. This was all done on my own time and sent directly to the heads of the entire division from my personal email. They ended up commenting to me in passing 5 (!) weeks later (I talk to these people every day, M-F) about the information I sent and adding me to their team. Its funny that one… Read more »
Rasha
Rasha
4 years 6 months ago
1. My competence trigger would probably be acting more confident which I usually achieve by preparing and researching everything thoroughly. I feel like the more background I know about the situation the more confident I can act. 2. I would really like to able to improve my persuasive skills when it comes to written applications, my cover letter and resume. 3. People whine because its way easier than taking actions. Plus they can always say if they had done it they would have been great. I think most people don’t try because there scared of failing. I think they don’t… Read more »
Online
Online
4 years 6 months ago
1. When people ask me how I learned to speak Spanish, I explain (and its the truth) “Una maestra me enseno que todos los guapos del mundo hablan espanol.” It is shows ability to speak the language and appreciate the culture! 2. I’d like to better understand and explain my skillset. I am pretty good at a lot of things, can think of other people who are better than me at most things, so I can’t seem to get in the right head space. BONUS: Whiners are ready to blame everybody else because (for whatever reason) they are not ready… Read more »
Joy
Joy
4 years 6 months ago
I recommend learning to breathe properly – it took me almost a year working with a personal trainer/massage therapist but it was well worth it. Turns out there’s quite an art to breathing. It’s unbelievable the difference this makes in almost every situation – I stand taller, have better posture and am calmer, more relaxed and can project my voice properly. I not only look more confident, I *am* more confident because I know that if I start to feel out of my depth, all I need to do is take a deep breath and I’ll be OK. One situation… Read more »
Francois Bulens
Francois Bulens
4 years 6 months ago

One competence trigger:
Come with something (a plan or an agenda) prepared everytime you go into a meeting even if you are not supposed to run it, there is always a time you can say ‘I see from what I’ve prepared that I had one item that could be of interest to you.’

Somewhat related to the briefcase technique actually

What situation do I lack competence triggers ?
I’m pretty bad at negotiations and interviews.

Bonus: Action is like blood, once you’ve tasted it takes a really hard hit to stop. It just is damn difficult to get people to GET FRIKKING STARTED.

Karen Woodin-Rodriguez
Karen Woodin-Rodriguez
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. When I walk into an interview, I make sure to smile confidently and start with small talk about the weather/the interviewer’s day/an experience getting to the interview, and I find that it sets a more personable/relaxed tone to the conversation. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? Negotiation and informational interviews. For the latter, I am not sure which… Read more »
Nelly
Nelly
4 years 6 months ago

I love the second part here Karen. I suffer from the same things. I never know what to ask. I admit I’ve always been one to answer all their questions and only ask about benefits, etc.

Paul
Paul
4 years 6 months ago

When you stand up while making a sales call, you project much more confidence then when sitting down

Stephan
Stephan
4 years 6 months ago
I think one competence trigger to use during negotiation to purchase items is to show good subject matter so that the sales person realises that you won’t be easily fooled. For example, it’s a common trick for TV sales people to try and flog HDMI cables to unsuspecting customers at a significant markup saying stuff like “oh you really need to get the best quality one to take advantage of having such a good TV, like the all gold cable from Monster for $50” when you can buy HDMI cables for a few dollars. If you demonstrate that you have… Read more »
Moshe
Moshe
4 years 6 months ago
1. My first day in court as a sworn in lawyer I was the only public defender in the room (two others were outside with clients) and the judge needed a public defender. I approached the bench, dealt with the assistant state’s attorney and the judge’s request, dealt with the defendant in question and returned to report to the judge. During the return conversation, my supervising attorneys saw me at the bench talking to the judge regarding a defendant and they had no idea why. During the office party they told the story to the whole office, “He was up… Read more »
Eric C.
4 years 6 months ago
1) I’m starting up a freelance marketing writing business. When calling potential clients, many would say they don’t need any freelancers–they have too small a budget, they’re too small an outfit, someone in house handles it, etc. At first, I would just say “OK,” and ask if I could send them my contact info for their file in case their needs changes. Once I started explaining the benefits of hiring someone like me–especially for smaller companies–I saw more progress. It not only let me stand out from the crowd of cold-callers, but also changed their own ideas of what their… Read more »
Anne
Anne
4 years 6 months ago

When interviewing for a job I didn’t need and after learning more about it, didn’t want, I noticed the interviewer becoming more enthousiastic about me as I was becoming less interested. He offered me more money, more perks, shares of profit, etc. I hadn’t even said I didn’t want the job, he picked up on it from my answers I suppose. My other interviews have been for jobs I really wanted and while I have gotten the job several times, I’ve never experienced this reaction again.
So, I’d like to learn more about negotiation.

Cole
Cole
4 years 6 months ago
Competence triggers: When dealing with a boss/supervisor that hands you a task, realize they are asking you to do a task but understanding the underlying reasons/motivations for doing the task. When opportunities come up to do a (probably simple) task that is aligned with those same motivations and when your boss comes and asks you do to it it’s already done on your desk, your boss thinks, “Wow, they totally get what it is knock this job out of the park.” Easy stuff to go from average to top performer. Whiners: Probably the reason for the whiners is that people… Read more »
Cole
Cole
4 years 6 months ago

I would love to learn more about competence triggers in informational interviews and tapping your network. I always feel like I am a beggar when contacting these people, even though I know I shouldn’t and I know they are happy to see me succeed.

Scott
Scott
4 years 6 months ago

Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully-When I was in insurance and clients would ask me my opinion about something, occasionally I would just turn right back around and ask them their opinion. Many times they’ll answer their own question. They’re just looking for confirmation for what they already know.
I could use a little help with negotiations. I could be a bit more tactful.

Stefan
Stefan
4 years 6 months ago
Thanks for the sales insights, that is exactly the topic I am interested in. I’ll think of a way to incorporate those principles in my dental supplies sales (big discounts are out of the question). The “don’t use this for scams” part reminded me of the karate class – a wanna be cool guy from my school (middle school) who also came to karate started bulling kid around school to impress girls. After some time the instructor found out, and at one training session pulled him in front for a “demonstration” and actually broke his arm, he wore a cast… Read more »
Peter
4 years 6 months ago
1) A competence trigger I use when I am in charge of a group is that I take all of the weak words like “I think” out of my sentences. For example I was a leader on a trip with 25 high school kids from North Carolina taking them around Brooklyn, NY. I had been to NY before, but never to Brooklyn so everywhere we went was new to me. As you can imagine sitting on the street corner for too long trying to decide where to go or what to do next can lead to lots of problems (think… Read more »
Jess
Jess
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve said, “I’d like to do X instead of continuing to do what we’ve been doing already” – and then given examples of why the new way was better (no dirty dishes on the counter, for example). I need some help with the self-confidence to do the things you think are possible. Pretty basic, but I’m a pretty uncertain person and I’d like that to change. Why do some people whine? I think it has to do with locus of control – some people realize that they are the reason they are succeeding (or not), and some people feel that… Read more »
Graeme Thomson
Graeme Thomson
4 years 6 months ago
1) Smiling – It sounds simple but it works. Going into a situation where you feel uncomfortable (interview, meetings with new clients, etc) and smiling give the appearance that you’re confident and happy to be there. 2) I working in a technical field. As I’m relatively young i find it hard to get old engineers to buy into my idea. What competence traits can i used to show them that my technical judgement can be trusted? Bonus) Simply put, the reason people whine is because they are upset. In their mind (and this is based on their past experiences) ,… Read more »
Alex M
Alex M
4 years 6 months ago
1) When I travel, I always wear jeans and either a dress shirt or a t-shirt. The difference in people who happily engage you in interesting conversation when you simply don a collared shirt is surprising. 2) Explaining what I do to someone who asks. I think it was you Ramit who talked about “home office” vs “work at home”. I’m in a similar situation, but haven’t quite found a way to explain my job that doesn’t sound like a jobless person bullshitting. B) It is very difficult to admit/realize your entire worldview is broken. I had trouble admitting “yeah,… Read more »
Elaine
Elaine
4 years 6 months ago

Silly but true. I am now in the habit of wearing my “work shirts” (collared shirts and conservative blouses) with jeans in my free time. Not only is it practical/frugal for a flexible wardrobe, but I don’t feel self-conscious when talking to someone older and better dressed than me, though I would if I was dressed-down.

Also, if I wear a t-shirt, I get carded. Even at the movies. I’m 24. Come on.

David
4 years 6 months ago
1) Competence Trigger: Sometimes just showing up a little bit earlier than everyone else or dressing up better can be an image booster, also sending an email each day or so about current project status, it doesnt really matter if your boss ignores it because of lask of time, he just knows you are there. 2) I work in a field where being very cool and centered in any kind of situation is a MUST, But I dont know how to convey that message even when I tried to do it. BONUS) The problem with whiners come here looking for… Read more »
MER
MER
4 years 6 months ago
– I used to work in retail sales and when I was in a good mood, I ALWAYS sold more since my interactions were much more positive for the client. I treated men like my little Ken dolls and they walked away very happy with the clothing they bought. (Ramit: You aren’t alone, most men hate shopping and will only go in once or twice a year.You’d also be surprised at how unbelievably easy it is to sell something to men if the fabric is soft and not scratchy. ) – Interviews. I look the part, but never truly feel… Read more »
Jennifer S
Jennifer S
4 years 6 months ago
Competence: Before making a presentation, anticipate what the attendees will ask of you and be prepared for it so you aren’t caught off guard. Because I’m so young, it is important for others not to doubt me and think I’m just a kid. (I’m 23) Bonus: Why do some people whine? 1. It is easier than actually doing anything about the situation, and it garners sympathy. 2. They were told all throughout their schooling (K-12 and undergrad), that all they needed to do was have a good GPA and graduate from college with a “useful” degree and they’d walk right… Read more »
Jim Harbour
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger I’ve used successfully is when I walk into any room, I walk tall, proudly, and with confidence. Regardless of where I am, even the grocery store or Wal-Mart, walking with confidence gets you noticed, And, in a positive way.

My Improvement Goal: Negotiation and closing the sale

BONUS-
Whiners = BEing. That’s WHO they became, and they are a commodity.

Dreamers = Be, Do, Have. That’s WHO, HOW, & WHAT they became, and they are Niche-ly (cool!, a new word) and sometimes give things away for free.

K00kyKelly
4 years 6 months ago

My favorite competence trigger is to tell a techie or industry joke. It instantly signals “she’s one of us”. Ever heard the one about the blue smoke?

Matthew Dobson
Matthew Dobson
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: My first job out of college was at a (really) big tech company. Out of all the “new college grads” i started with, I was the only one that negotiated a higher salary than was offered to me, and I was the only one that negotiated a later start date (I took the summer off and travelled around Europe for 6 weeks :D). I think both of these established high competence, though on paper I doubt I appeared any more competent than my fellow new hires. Optimization: I’d like to work on your interview techniques. That is, thinking… Read more »
Jonathan Vaudreuil
4 years 6 months ago
– It was said above – I’m a huge fan of using clothing as a competence trigger. My entire wardrobe is designed around feeling confident in any situation. We’re such visual creatures, so I know that it’s not just affecting me psychologically, it’s affecting the people around me as well. – I’d love to develop a competence trigger for delivering tough news to my employees. I’m uncomfortable a lot when doing this. – People whine when they view the system as unfair and want to bring the system to their level – those who don’t whine are willing to figure… Read more »
Kathleen
Kathleen
4 years 6 months ago

1. As a salesperson, was given excellent advice (which I followed) to put my presentation in a leather-bound binder — a lot nicer impression than a file folder from Office Max or a bunch of papers stapled together.
2. Would love to figure out how to better convey what I have to offer an employer/why I’m worth an interview in the application process.
Bonus: Whiners just don’t want to put the work in — much easier to blame “them” than take action.

h
h
4 years 6 months ago

1. Telling a girl you’d like to see her again soon instead of saying “I miss you.”
2. Negotiating a raise for a job you already have.
3. The whiners would rather feel like they’re doing everything they can without actually doing it. Challenging them on this is actually challenging their belief system.

SA
SA
4 years 6 months ago
My competence trigger is offering to help in situations where I believe the challenge is just a little more than I can handle. When you help, it means someone is teaching you how to complete the task before you. Then next time, you are the leader. A few years ago, I was shooting some of my favorite bands in concert, just for fun. I met another music fan who was also a photographer, but he worked for a sports channel. I made myself tell him that if he even needed an assistant, I was willing to come along and work… Read more »
Vikas
Vikas
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger :

Value added Services to all my clients. Be flexible in providing value add per the situation and not rattling off on scripted way. Every clients needs a personalized approach.

BONUS : Competence triggers don’t apply when the other person is switched off i.e. during interviews they are checking email on iphone or laptops.

WHINERS : People who believe that they have accomplished lot and can stand down other people. Instead, they feel scared of you and try to pull you down with very narrow minded mindset.

IH
IH
4 years 6 months ago
1. In meetings with supervisors, I used to assume that they knew more than I did in the day to day goings on in our department, but when it became apparent that they did not, I went into meetings feeling more confident in my own knowledge. Now, they look to me to bring them information and offer solutions. One area in which I need more confidence triggers is interviews. I think I *start* out with the kind of answers in your video, but let myself get intimidated and start giving bald, straightforward answers. Bonus: It’s difficult and frightening to have… Read more »
Ashley
Ashley
4 years 6 months ago

My honesty and openness has gotten me on great terms with my managers and teammates in my new job (6 months) so far. Now I really need to learn how to negotiate (for a pay and responsibility raise) and display confidence.

Tricia
4 years 6 months ago
1. I find that I do much better on the phone in the mornings, because I’m fresh, but I do much better in person in the afternoons, when I’ve had time to let off some energy. Phone calls and emails in the morning; in-person interviews in the afternoon. It works for me! I need more confidence about my weaker skills that need a mentor, training, etc. I don’t like to look at my weaknesses! I get all nervous and begin to stutter or freak out when someone asks me about a skill that I have less experience in. I much… Read more »
Alex Berman
Alex Berman
4 years 6 months ago
Q) When talking about a random fact I read online, people believe me more when I act as if it’s true and that I’ve changed something because of it. When I use the word “like” or act iffy, the person I’m talking to believes me less. R) I would love to optimize sending emails to people in my network so that they respond. I’ve read a bunch of “do something for them” tips for networking, but I don’t understand how to figure out what I can give them. S) For the bonus question, the negative readers responses might come from… Read more »
DJ
DJ
4 years 6 months ago
I just auditioned to be a Spin instructor at a studio that is much like Soul Cycle. I had been in the mentorship training program and saw other people’s 3 song routine. I didn’t throw a bunch of fancy moves in there but I did use the following Competence triggers: 1. I didn’t speak in a high register. 2. I made eye contact with the 12 people who were in the audition. 3. I didn’t use fillers (ums, uhs). 4. Every move that I did, I committed to it -full out. I made each change in resistance a firm invitation… Read more »
Kate
Kate
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: I’d say dressing for an interview very carefully. If I feel that I look professional and competent, it spills over into my demeanor. Additionally, making sure to use strong wording such as I will, not I feel, not using “um” or stalling tactics, and making sure I felt I had prepared answers to most standard questions (why do you want to work here, etc?). I could really use lessons on how to negotiate, I feel very nervous when the prospect comes up. Bonus: They whine because like half of the culture, they’ve been taught that if they can’t… Read more »
Chad
Chad
4 years 6 months ago
I recently spent over a year in a disaster zone acting as a liaison between connections in the host country and new groups and organizations coming in for the first time to help. I had little disaster experience prior to this but my ability to adapt to the situation and competence in general had me running the show in 6 months. As far as competence triggers are concerned, my organization was consistently mentioned as the ‘go-to’ group if you wanted to get anything done. This was mainly due to our ability to communicate our competence on the ground. Disaster zones… Read more »
Pax
Pax
4 years 6 months ago

The saying goes ‘fake it ’til you make it’, but I think it’s more like ‘believe it until everyone else does, too.’ If you know that you can do something and project that, the rest of the world will quickly snap in line as well.

Negotiation. I have a gap in my logic. I know I’m valuable and yet I still have a hard time asking for the right compensation without feeling sheepish, or the other extreme, cocky.

Steph S.
Steph S.
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: When applying for freelance jobs online to attract new clients, I don’t decrease my value by applying for the low-paying, $2/page jobs, even if I’m getting a bit desperate for work. Instead, I still target only the higher-paying positions and tailor my introductory email; even if it’s a field I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll do some quick research for trigger words in that industry and explain how I’d conduct additional research to flesh out the piece the client wants (thereby admitting my lack of knowledge but highlighting my advanced research skills). I find I’m much more effective than the… Read more »
Kyle
4 years 6 months ago
– Its amazing how many competence triggers are based on body language. Every single thing a pickup artist does is a competency trigger. A competency trigger I used on my realtor this weekend was to discuss additional pay when she would help me negotiate a lower price. This competency trigger effectively parlayed her concerns over protecting her value with a holdover period into a relationship that she trusts. – I’ll be interested to see how I can use this information to increase my salary at my current job, as well as for future interviews. – It’s easier to whine. It’s… Read more »
Emily
Emily
4 years 6 months ago

I pick someone out that I have can have a short conversation with to gain confidence, then it’s easier to mingle and talk to multiple people. I try to enter the room with a giant smile even if I’m really nervous.

I’d like to be more confident with my boss puts me on the spot, able to show him value and negotiate a raise.

Adam
Adam
4 years 6 months ago
-Thanks to what I learned in Earn1k, I craft my cold emails in a way that makes clear I’m not hitting them up for a job, just information. That alone has gotten the response rate way up. I also make clear right away my bona fides (one sentence summary including brand names with link to demo reel) and that I know at least something about who they are. All in six or seven sentences. Metamessage: “I won’t waste your time, but I think we have value to offer each other.” Another competence trigger is that I don’t complain about my… Read more »
Melissa P
4 years 6 months ago
One competency trigger: I wear clothes that are chic, flattering and not immodest. I’m not a college student and I’m not husband-hunting–I’m here to do my job well and make money at it. So, no flip-flops, no cargo shorts, no mini-skirts, no plunging cleavage. How it (among other triggers) has been successful for me: within first year as a consultant I doubled my hourly rate. A year after coming on as a consultant I negotiated a full-time job offer. Two years later I’ve positioned myself as critical to more than one department. I’m happy with my job–really love it. And… Read more »
Ellen
Ellen
4 years 6 months ago
When interviewing for my current job, I had been out of the workforce for over 4 years (so, it was a $40,000 raise). Competence trigger; I asked about the area of practice I would be working in, and was able to articulate my history with that type of law and why I preferred a position in this particular area. #2 – would like to optimize informational interviews to explore new fields BONUS: I think people whine and feel “betrayed” because of selective listening. Somewhere along the line, folks liked hearing how they will be financially secure if they 1) follow… Read more »
John G.
John G.
4 years 6 months ago
1) I seem to do really well on technical interviews, I can usually explain complex programming concepts and do all the standard interview programming exercises. There’s a handful of programming exercises out there that most interviewers use, and it’s always amazing how many “programmers” either don’t know them right off the bat or can’t even stumble their way through them. 2) I still can’t figure out what to do about the salary question. My last job was through a recruiter an he insisted on having it so he could find jobs that matched my expectations. Then when I tried to… Read more »
Dee
Dee
4 years 6 months ago
1. I know in my bones that a company that hires me is lucky to have me. Not all companies need someone like me, and the point of the interview is to find that out. Hiring managers get that I am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me, and like everyone they want to be chosen. 2. I am an extreme introvert. I’m reasonably good at networking, but it’s exhausting and I hate it. I’d like more information on where to concentrate my limited willingness to deal with people for the best return on investment. 3. Your material… Read more »
Arti K
Arti K
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger – This one has been working quite successfully for me in my freelance business, and I didn’t even realize that is what it was till I read your post today. Earlier, I used to write pitch letters to potential clients as if I was begging for their project, “.. I know I will be great at your project. I could even throw this in..” etc. Starting this year, I dumped all the begging, cajoling, convincing from my pitch letters, and acted like they needed advice from me on how to do this project. I typically start my letter… Read more »
Arti K
Arti K
4 years 6 months ago

Ha! Yes, that’s true. And even though these types populate Reddit, we read them. 🙂

Steve
Steve
4 years 6 months ago
My top competence trigger is my ability to connect with people and demonstrate an earnest desire to help them be successful. People respond very favorably to this and will overlook many little shortcomings because they appreciate your positive intent. A competence trigger I need help with is being able to more overtly demonstrate my skills and abilities to those at an executive level in my organization. I don’t “speak the language” and it makes it difficult for me to know what to do, when to do it, how much, etc. Bonus: Whiners… I think some people complain because they’re pessimistic… Read more »
cameron
cameron
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger:
I tend to shoot from the hip, while not being prepared enough, which often leaves me feeling less than confident. Having everything prepared as much as possible makes me feel like I know what I’m doing, and leads to better results in job interviews.

AD
AD
4 years 6 months ago
1) Being more upfront/confident about what you want, even if what you want isn’t popular. Example: my online dating profile used to be rather generic, but after some testing and including points that I feel vulnerable about (interested in exploring bdsm, etc), I actually get more bites (no pun intended) from people who seem more reasonable and thoughtful in their responses. 2) Transitioning to a new sector. Example: I analyze data for nonprofits – I’d like to switch to private sector for the cash. 3) Whining or blaming others is a means to not have to confront your own fears.
Robert
Robert
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: Making and sustaining direct eye contact, combined with smiling. Sustained eye contact indicates strength and confidence, while a smile takes any potential “edge” off that people might otherwise input from eye contact which they perceive to be aggressive. Body language is constantly being monitored even when others are not conscious of it. Optimize: Projecting that same command/authority through writing (ex: cover letters / correspondence) without coming off on the wrong side of arrogant. BONUS: Its mind-set. People with external locus of control are looking for others to assign fault to for their lack of success, while at the… Read more »
Chuck H
Chuck H
4 years 6 months ago

Working in the entertainment industry, theres lots of technical jargon used, however; what things are called depends on if it it a rock show, a corperate presentation, or theater. Calling something by the wrong name will have everyone thinking you know nothing about whats going on.

My main issue is as the interview goes on I get more nerveous, even if everything is going fine and I give a quick answer that makes me seem like an amature.

Andy Ryan
4 years 6 months ago
One of the best Competence Trigger that I’ve used is what I’ve heard called Peacocking. This is actually how I picked up my now wife at a bar. The idea of Peacocking is to dress to stand out from the crowd. The night I met my wife I was wearing a white shirt with bright day glow colors on it. This was in November when most people are wearing darker colors out. My mother asked my why I was wearing such a “gay” shirt that night. It was essentially a shirt with a bright neon rainbow. I wore it on… Read more »
An
An
4 years 6 months ago
– In interviewing for the job I just left, I was able to show enthusiasm for previous projects, identify the person at the table who represented HR and not the position (web application development) I was interviewing for, and use examples in my answers which were clear and understandable for her. – I’d like to know more confidence triggers to showcase my nontraditional background (Linguistics, not Computer Science, major – learned all my skills in a job and not from texts) as a strength an not a weakness (I may not know the technical terms for a lot of things or… Read more »
Brent
Brent
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger Example: I have used the “working with a difficult person” question in interviews to highlight my ability to take a leadership role and delegate responsibility.

Would Like to Optimize: Salary negotiation, for sure. I always stumble when the conversation moves to money. I think I have an aversion to seeming greedy, but I know it’s just me shooting myself in the foot.

BONUS: Because the internet is filled with trolls. Also, people want a quick fix, and to blame everyone else for their shitty situation.

Ryan
Ryan
4 years 6 months ago

You can see it in the people you talk with, at any event, that they respond much better if you are confident. They want to talk to you, give you more; where if you show little to no confidence, people can not wait to get away.

I would like to be more confident in situations where people ask me sudden questions that I do not have time to think in depth about.

Keith
Keith
4 years 6 months ago
My Confidence Trigger: Promote my competency as style-driven rather than specific skill-driven. Projecting competence seems largely a matter of presenting yourself as someone that others can admire. Admiration requires that others see your value without feeling threatened by you. My competence trigger (although I have never called it that before this post) is to talk about my “style” more than I talk about specific skills. Why? Style is higher level than skills. If I say I am good at skill “X”, and even show them examples, I am still asking for their approval that I meet their standards. But if… Read more »
Terri
Terri
4 years 6 months ago
One competence trigger that I’ve used successfully in client meetings is to ask at the outset what they are looking to accomplish in the meeting. It projects the client-focused ability to be knowledgeable, flexible, and big-picture…instead of immediately diving into the presentation materials that I prepared. If the client is doing most of the talking, it will be a successful meeting! It also keeps me from going down the wrong track – portfolio and performance review when they really want to talk about private school for their kids, etc. I’d like to learn how to optimize competence triggers to meet… Read more »
Gabe
Gabe
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger – anticipating my boss’s needs and having the work the fulfill that need completed in exemplary fashion in advance of him/her asking for it. I’d like to optimize my ability to negotiate and impress in informational interviews BONUS – to me whining comes down to the fact that we have a victim complex in this country. People rarely take ownership of their mistakes and problems. As an plaintiff’s attorney, it’s my job to find people who have legitimate gripes and damages, but I can tell you that I see people every day who’s claims are beyond absurd. I… Read more »
Vicki
Vicki
4 years 6 months ago
1. I try not to nod my head too much. A lot of women get the reputation of being “bobble head” by nodding and agreeing in a conversation too much. I try to be aware of how much nodding I’m doing, and try to contribute more comments and ask more questions that drill down on the topic of conversation, not just nod and say “uh huh” constantly. 2. – I completely suck at interviewing AND negotiation! BONUS: Maybe some people whine because they have in fact tried some of these methods – or similar ones – before without getting the… Read more »
Elusia
Elusia
4 years 6 months ago

When I tell people my prices, I don’t let my intonation rise at the end, as if I were asking permission. Instead, I simply state what my rates are and wait for the other person to respond. Probably there are even more effective ways of dealing with the issue of rates, but it’s been a lot more effective than apologizing for what I charge.

Shanna
4 years 6 months ago
I have a ridiculous baby face (I generally look about 14) but I’ve figured out that given a discrepency between how you look and how people feel in your presence, people will go with their gut and ignore their eyes. However, I can help them ignore their eyes. I’ve learned to dress in a very classic style, typically pencil skirt and blouse, heels not too high, scarf or brooch or classy necklace. The outfit, hairstyle and makeup all conspire to whisper confident, classy 30-something woman who takes care of herself. I still only look 21 on a good day, but… Read more »
David
David
4 years 6 months ago
I find that one of my biggest competency triggers that I use is suggesting options/solutions instead of just agreeing or disagreeing. If I don’t think something is right, I’ll point out what’s wrong and offer how it could be done differently. If I want to work on a new project at my job, I’ll propose the new project and outline how I would recommend it gets done. Note that I don’t always need to be the “do-er” but the fact that I recommend who does it means my boss doesn’t need to think or do more work. Moreover, this shows… Read more »
Jeremy Riesenfeld
Jeremy Riesenfeld
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger Example: I have used the give me an example of challenge that you were able to overcome in the workplace. I used this to show my ability to problem solve and think creatively about the solution.

Would like to optimize: Follow Up after interview how can you make your self stand out in a email or how can you make yourself stand out before and interview

Bonus: Some people are not willing to put in the hard work to really make a change

Patty
Patty
4 years 6 months ago
1) I actually have my dream job and am interested in your course to stay “tuned up.” My trigger was the interview I had for this job. It seemed that every job I had up until this point helped me develope skills that were needed in this job. Although I didn’t have the sense that I was a shoo-in for the job, I did know that I had had the best interview in my life – and that felt great. 2) People whine when their expectations are not met (i.e., I just graduated from college with a degree in art… Read more »
Keith
Keith
4 years 6 months ago

Continued…

The situation I would like to optimize is talking about my weaknesses and past failures. There are different ways to go with this and would like to know the best approach to avoid missteps.

Bonus: Whining occurs when people wrongly think they should feel “comfortable” as a measure of competency. When things challenge that comfort, the whiners will find ways to absolve themselves of guilt rather than admit they lack competency. If they would learn to embrace that feeling of stepping outside their comfort zone, of risking failure, they would BE more competent.

Diann
Diann
4 years 6 months ago

I have noticed that in teaching and performing as I have learned to proceed with more confidence, I have the results of more actual competence. The confidence and competence seem to feed each other. I would like to optimize my use of Competence Triggers in one to one communications such as interviews and negotiations, and also in scheduling engagements.

Karen
Karen
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger:

During interview refer to research that you’ve gleaned from their website, doing informational interviews, etc. and as the interviewer to explain in more detail their strategy on a particular service or product.

Situation:
How to express you are the right “fit” for the job.

People whine because they have psychological barriers preventing them from moving to the next level in their job search.

Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson
4 years 6 months ago
1) I try to be honest and friendly even during difficult conversations. “Hi, I know we met before, but I can’t recall you name. It’s nice to see you again. I’m Derek.” or “I know we promised to deliver functionality, but due to unforeseen circumstances, that won’t be completely possible. However, options and could meet your requirements.” 2) I could really use some help with negotiations when trying to go from good to great. When I have a job I like with fair pay, I find it hard to attempt to ask for more. I usually have to wait for… Read more »
Raina
Raina
4 years 6 months ago
A few years back, a friend was lamenting to me about her lack of success in attracting the right kind of man to date – educated, successful, well-rounded alpha male. She was educated and successful and was having trouble connecting to the kind of man she really wanted. She was a little too laid back in her care and grooming, although she was/is a very beautiful woman. A tube of lip gloss and one soft sweater later, she had been asked out by the kind of man she wanted to attract while waiting for a flight at the Phoenix Airport.… Read more »
Mark
Mark
4 years 6 months ago

Confidence trigger–I reflected the question of my expected salary back at the interviewer, and when he told me a number $10k higher than what I would’ve said, boy was I glad!
I’d like to have more information on competence triggers for informational interviewing.
Bonus–People whine because they’re trying to blame the reason for inaction on someone/something else rather than admit they just don’t have the fortitude to do what they say they want to do. (We’ve all been guilty of this so I’m also admitting my own faults, not just pointing the finger elsewhere.)

JD
4 years 6 months ago
1.Your comment about negotiations not having to be adversarial is right on. Getting in the right frame of mind ( the “win/win” scenario well thought out before the meeting) keeps my confidence level high. When I know when and where I will walk away, I find I never have to pack my briefcase up in a hurry to do that walk. 2.However, as I am freelance, really believing that I should walk away from a bad deal is that nagging voice lingering in the back of my mind……I do have young’uns to feed! 3. Whiners sit it out so that… Read more »
Brian K
Brian K
4 years 6 months ago
-A successful competence trigger I have used is taking the classic what is your biggest weakness question and using it to explore how the weakness is really a strength that needs to be developed further. -I would like to have a better gauge on direction of my career. I often feel that despite a career track record to the contrary, I am not qualified enough to do jobs that really interest me rather than jobs that simply pay the bills but provide no real intrigue and “Get up in the morning” type responsibility. My fear of making a mistake takes… Read more »
Andrew
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger – As a creative professional, I’ve gotten good at identifying what the client is looking for, even if they can’t quite articulate it, and finding solutions to their unique problem, even when it does not immediately benefit me. Specific example:A large client of mine called me with a job that they needed done but were unsure of how to do it. After defining the scope of the project, I saw that the way they were going about it was both inefficient and needlessly expensive. Although it would have been lucrative for me, I directed them to a simple,… Read more »
KC
KC
4 years 6 months ago
1) When I’m at social events and I feel confident, I’m friendlier, more charismatic, and definitely more interesting. Conversations flow easier and I know I’ve left a good impression on the range of people that I’ve met. I can feel myself charming the people who I meet. 2) I’d like to improve competence triggers at networking, particularly at events (conferences, dinners, mingling before panel). I rarely feel confident in these environments because I feel like I never know what to say to leave a positive impression. I don’t know how I’m being sized up by the other person and it… Read more »
Melanie
Melanie
4 years 6 months ago
Last week I parked illegally (too close to the intersection) just for a few minutes for a quick in and out of a shop. When I came out a cop informed spoke to me disrespectfully and sarcastically. “Is this your car? I was just about to give you a ticket. Any reason why you parked there?” I told him that I parked there out of convenience, but that I knew I shouldn’t have and that I wouldn’t do it again. I then said, “I would prefer that you use a more professional and respectful tone.” He got a little defensive,… Read more »
Christine Gerber Rutt
4 years 6 months ago

Not rubbing my thumb nails, which is my inclination when I’m nervous. Looking people in the eye but not staring them down.

I’d be interested in using the information from the course when I’m asking for a grant for a project or a sponsor for a project.

I think some people (obviously not all!) whine because they are stuck and don’t know what step to take next.

Craig
Craig
4 years 6 months ago
1. Be engaged. In any business situation, if you ask questions and offer opinions you will stand out as someone who wants to be there and has something to offer. 1a. If you end up pointing out how something is wrong, always present a solution. Often times you end up with the responsibility to implement it. That is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. 2. I’ve always felt uncomfortable negotiating. Partly because I feel like I don’t have any leverage. Bonus: They are simply choosing to experience the situation differently. It doesn’t pay to spend time figuring out why. Create… Read more »
Donna
Donna
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: After being told that there was no room on a seminar I really wanted to attend, I dressed as if I was meant to be there, confidently walked tall and gave my name to the organizers and was given a place even though the seminar was still fully booked. It was a free event so no one got ripped off. It has taken me years to learn not to take no for an answer. Optimize: I’d like to optimize making calls to the decision makers without sounding like a sleazy salesperson. Bonus: Whining doesn’t involve leaving your comfort… Read more »
Christine Gerber Rutt
4 years 6 months ago

No, let me add to my last sentence. I whine because when I know the next step to take but am afraid of taking it because of lack of knowledge or experience. A helping hand usually gets me over the hurdle. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Ilan
Ilan
4 years 6 months ago
1. When asked in a meeting “What’s your rate for video production?” I used the briefcase technique: First telling them “I’m glad you asked and we’ll get to that, but first I’d like to show you this proposal I put together for this project…” 2. I’d like to optimize that very moment above: so I guess it’s a job pitch. I learned from that moment that one key mistake is that I agreed to meet with them BEFORE I fully understood their needs/hopes/dreams/fears. So I would say that INTERVIEWING/project negotiation are key. 3. Bonus questions: Some people whine because they… Read more »
Amit
Amit
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger: When asked something about myself; I bring in the key high points of the career that would be relevant to the hiring organization.

For e.g. – How have my failures led to 2x or 3x growth my portfolio in subsequent years.

Mia
Mia
4 years 6 months ago
I just wanted to share my experience although its only a small achievement. At 21 years of age, a college junior, I finally got my first job (just a meager minimum wage job). Not only that, I start off with a higher wage than the coworkers who have been there since the store opened. All my teenage years, I was scared to get a job due to my shyness, social anxiety and bad experience with my peers that really struck me down. So I would spend my time volunteering so I will have more experience and feel more comfortable.I would… Read more »
Rachel
Rachel
4 years 6 months ago

– What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? (Example: Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews.)

I would like to work on not feeling like a burden to my boss. I often feel like I’m interrupting or taking up their time by trying to engage more and ask for more tasks.

Admittedly, my self confidence is lacking.

Leah
Leah
4 years 6 months ago

1. Good posture, looking someone in the eye, showing enthusiasm without histrionics–these things are competence triggers I’ve used in the past.
2. I’d love to know how to do better in an interview.
3. I think people often whine if they feel insecure or powerless to change their situation. I’d hate on whiners more, but I think I’ve been one in the past, from time-to-time–which is why I’m here now!

Sam
Sam
4 years 6 months ago

When I walk around work I always am the first to say hello and introduce myself. Some people will never introduce themselves and it’s awkward when your in a meeting with one of those people

Megan
Megan
4 years 6 months ago

1. Instead of accepting an initial salary offer in an interview, I told them I would think about it and let them know later in the week. I then negotiated and was able to earn more than initially offered.

2. I would like to optimize my negotiation skills for future interviews and be more confident in the process.

3. Some people whine because they’re too lazy to do what actually needs to be done. Really, if they’re whining, they must not even believe in themselves so they probably don’t expect anyone else to be able to help them either.

Ryan G.
Ryan G.
4 years 6 months ago
1. One competence trigger that I’ve used successfully is mirroring. During interviews – and past sales jobs – I have found great success in noticing the posture of the men and women I’m talking to. Do they cross their arms? Lean back casually? Is one arm forward and one arm back? If so, I do the thing that they are doing, because this shows them that I’m into their deal. Something else I’ve also been doing is listening to what people say and repeating it back to them using my words specifically. Not only does it show them that I’m… Read more »
Thea
Thea
4 years 6 months ago
One competence trigger I recently used was backing up my request for a raise with solid facts/research and delivering it with confidence. I have two part-time jobs, one of which pays significantly more than the other. Last month I had a conversation with my boss at the lower-paid job about increasing my hours and told her “I would love to work here 30 hours a week, but I am currently earning more than two times as much per hour at my other job, so it just doesn’t make sense for me to cut down my hours there unless we can… Read more »
David E.
David E.
4 years 6 months ago
1) One competence trigger that I’ve noticed is not immediately answering all questions, but actually taking time to think, instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. This also helps prevent rambling, which is usually far from flattering. I’ve noticed that if I wait and think about a question, and then respond calmly and in a straightforward manner, my answers are clearer, it makes me seem more intelligent, and the interviewer responds better to my answers. 2) I would like to improve my informational interviewing/networking skills. I’ve done plenty of informational interviews within my old job with… Read more »
C Rhee
4 years 6 months ago

1. Competence Trigger I’ve used — listening to and probing for what a client wants instead of leaping or talking over them to solve their problems.

2. Competence Trigger I’d like to gain — Identifying and getting past people’s known and unknown barriers to be more persuasive (especially, when it’s for their own good).

BONUS. It’s easier to have someone’s success be “impossible” or based on “luck” than own up to the fact that you may have been the biggest thing in your way this entire time.

Lily
4 years 6 months ago

Ramit, the emails you get can be so insulting. As a business owner even I’ve applied your research and tactics to improve our marketing results, nothing to do with job searches/dream job. You provide insightful tools anyone can use if applied correctly.

Glad you have such a thick skin in this environment. 😉

PPP
PPP
4 years 6 months ago

– When I “care less” i.e. not putting excessive pressure on myself or getting bogged down by expectations, I am a lot more confident.
– I’d like to feel more comfortable with the informational interview process. Starting with figuring out what I want to do and targeting the right people.
– BONUS: Whiners are complacent. They are unaware or unable to see that manageable paths exist upon which to act. Or, in some cases, it is options paralysis.

Jessica H.
Jessica H.
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: recommending awesome people that solve other parts of the client’s problem. For example, this morning I met with a potential client. I recommended three other experts they should be talking to, and made sure they knew I was thinking about building them a team for them. It shows confidence because I know that even if they meet other awesome people, they’ll still want to hire me. It also shows that I’m someone who has put in the time and effort to build a valuable network of experts in complementary fields. Issue: I could use help with negotiation, and… Read more »
Mia
Mia
4 years 6 months ago

#1 – Offering brief, succinct answers.

#2 – How to enjoy “chatty” small talk.

BONUS – Because they don’t realize resistance is easily defeated by results.

Alexandra
Alexandra
4 years 6 months ago

If you are interviewing for a technical position, practice how to explain a very complicated concept in a very clear and easy understand fashion. Not only does it show-off your technical skills, but it demonstrates you are a good communicator.

Stephen F
Stephen F
4 years 6 months ago
I’m a student who often takes classes outside my major. These classes are often full before I have access to register for them. Two weeks before the term begins, I email the professor: “Hello, my name is Stephen. Your class on [ ] interests me because [ ], and I’m committed to participating in it. I’ll see you in [classroom] at [start time] on the first day of class, and we’ll see how it goes.” I show up early, sit in the front row, and take notes (at least for the first week). I show the professors that I’m not… Read more »
Jeanette
4 years 6 months ago
I always use a little bit of humour at my own expense to let my client know I have the same body bumps and issues and set them at ease. “When you’ve got knees like mine, you want to be sure you’re wearing the right length of skirt!” (giggle) They now identify with me in some way, they see I am just like them and want to know what I do to look so great. Then I show them my knees (yes I have tree trunks for knees). I show them my knees in the wrong length of skirt (Oi… Read more »
Laura Olds
Laura Olds
4 years 6 months ago
I don’t love public speaking, but I know it’s easier when I act confident and am prepared. I find that people respond more often when I’m direct and confident requesting help in an area of church ministry than when I mumble and am nervous. And if I show my students that I value my own time and skills in a dance class (and they should, too), they pay more attention than if I’m unsure of myself. I’ve invested time and money into making myself a better dancer and I know I’m better than they are. Negotiation/Interview -I did poorly in… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 years 6 months ago
1- Knowledge & practice: I know I can pretty much speak my way into or out of any situation – there are only a few times (the most demanding eg. top tier job interview or difficult meeting with mgmt) when this and some minor research would not work. When I work my ass off with research and practice though, the returns are exponential. I walk in and I feel like I own the place – others in the room sense it immediately I think and respond positively. 2- Definitely would love to learn how to get more out of informational… Read more »
CK
CK
4 years 6 months ago
1: Instead of just saying, “oh we haven’t met up (or met up with so-and-so, if the other party in the conversation isn’t the subject) for quite a while. We *ought* to meet up!” I pulled the strings to say, “hey we haven’t met up for a long time. Wanna go out for dinner on Saturday?” If it involves a group (which is much harder to pull off), I ask each person individually “hey are you free to meet up with X, Y, and Z on Saturday?” and then work on the actual date and time from there. If the… Read more »
Matthew
Matthew
4 years 6 months ago

I am a competent, capable person. This comes from my commitment to growing and learning. A lot of your writing, Ramit, parallels the work of Dweck. Her book:

http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/0345472322/

Zyon
Zyon
4 years 6 months ago
1. I’ve noticed my friends were sharing and trading stories and it was so cool the way they were telling bar stories of how they were trying to stop a fight and got punched in the face. I wanted to share a couple of stories like that myself but I didn’t have any so I made one up on the spot. Well everyone wasn’t interested in what I had to say, I think they could tell my lack of competence in the story and sure enough I just shriveled back up to listen and wait so I could chime in… Read more »
Cam
Cam
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: During interviews I shift the conversation into a dialogue about the problems implied in the in the job ad. I do this in order to demonstrate my knowledge of the company and, more importantly, to demonstrate the ways in which my professional experience can help to ameliorate those challenges. Also, depending on the body language of the people, well if they do not look too excited to see me when I walk into the interview, when I walk into an interview I make it a point to introduce myself to everyone rather than wait for someone else to… Read more »
Janet
4 years 6 months ago
COMPETENCE TRIGGERS: My expertise is in health and physical performance. People attribute more credibility to what I say when I use the correct biological terms (eg. “Occasional high carbohydrate meals prevent down-regulation of thyroid function.”) instead of layman’s words (eg. “A weekly cheat meal helps to keep your metabolism up.”). It also helps not to appear upset if a person asks “stupid” questions about something that seems “obvious” to me. NEEDS HELP: How do you answer the question “What do you do?” when A) unemployed, or B) freelancing on various unrelated projects without seeming like a directionless/lazy/stupid person? BONUS: Some… Read more »
Allison
4 years 6 months ago

I find that once I’m in the door, I do well because I love people. But this works for anyone: I give anyone in the office I see a large smile and I always try to give a firm handshake. I try to convey that I am a warm, approachable person, and people always sense that, and after all people typically like to work with team members they like.

I would like to know how to become better at salary negotiation. I’m somewhat disorganized by nature, so researching salaries and asking for more is somewhat intimidating for me.

Eugene
Eugene
4 years 6 months ago
—– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully —– When there’s a problem with our software, people at work take different approaches: Low competence trigger: “There’s a problem with ___. I don’t know how long it will take to fix. I’ll let you know in a bit after I do some research.” Normal competence trigger: “There’s a problem with ___. I did some research on it, and it will probably take the rest of the afternoon to complete. I can report my findings tomorrow, and will ask for help if I need it.” High competence trigger: “There was a… Read more »
Lisa Hugh
Lisa Hugh
4 years 6 months ago
When I wear clothes that meet my style requirements “Quality, Comfort, Sexy, Classy” I feel more comfortable and confident and can focus on personal interactions because I’m less distracted by clothes that don’t fit well or are uncomfortable, or that don’t help me feel my best. – I want to optimize my ability to engage in “small talk” and guide the conversation to something more meaningful. I am somewhat shy and bored by the weather and am not good at stearing the conversation to more interesting or meaningful topics. In the student examples above, some people whine because they have… Read more »
SYlvaine
SYlvaine
4 years 6 months ago

I am good at what I do, my weakness is in networking. yes, I am improving and getting better and it feels like an uphill battle tome at times.
The whiners: May not know that they are whiners. So used to their own bad attitude. Misery always looks for company, so if their friends are like that also, it all normal behavior in their mind. Too sad, too bad.

Ian
Ian
4 years 6 months ago
1) When a potential customer tells me that they are going to think about my offer or get back after such-and-such event, I always ask if they would like to leave their contact info so I can contact them personally in the event of a promotion, or I ask when is this time-consuming event going to conclude? I don’t ask if its OK to contact again, I just do it when the timing is right according to what they said. More than likely, they’ll say soon after “please call me at that time.” they appreciate that I did what said… Read more »
Jon
Jon
4 years 6 months ago
1. In informational interviews, not appearing like I am trying to GAIN something from them, my confidence, and even good posture have made a huge difference in how willing experts or contacts of any kind are willing to help out in some way. 2. I’d like to optimize actual job interviews. I’ve read about the briefcase technique, among other things to make you stand out, though I’m having trouble coming up with the RIGHT stories to share and how to expertly move into those stories in an appropriate way without seeming like I’m dodging the question Bonus: They whine because… Read more »
Christine
Christine
4 years 6 months ago
Confidence Trigger: When I’m nervous, I’m eager to show off everything I know, to ‘prove’ that I’m smart and up to the task. When I force myself to listen all the way through the questions, and then think for a minute (even if possible answers have been percolating since the beginning of the question) my response seems more measured and less desperate. In getting my last job, which was with someone I’d worked with before, I actually said “Well, I’m not sure we work really well together, and I don’t want to stress every day about whether you value my… Read more »
Rick
Rick
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger: When someone asks me questions about computers (networking, hardware, applications) theology or philosophy, I can give a very informed answer. I am an old guy, so the most surprising part is my computer competence.

I need help with the negotiating piece. Even though I am certified (MSCE), I do not earn what I should. I have not been able to negotiate a raise for years. This needs change, and now is the time to begin.

Kevin Halliburton
Kevin Halliburton
4 years 6 months ago
I remind myself before every interview that I’m not asking potential clients or employers to invest anything in me, I’m simply trying to work with them to figure out how they can best leverage my skill set to help them solve their specific limitations and access more profit. Once we figure out how I fit (if I even do) it’s just a matter of trying to project what that profit will be and how much of it I will get to keep. It builds my confidence to think of each interview as me selling some of my talents, which are… Read more »
Sonja
Sonja
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully Have clear and concise answers on interview questions that answer the question behind the question. It shows I’ve done my homework and are competent. Not only does it show well to the person doing the interview, it gives me a confidence boost for the rest of the interview. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? Day to day work. Talking to the customer, making them confident I’m the right person for the job. I know I’m doing a good job,… Read more »
Asav
Asav
4 years 6 months ago
Once I’ve gotten in the door of an interview, I’ve made a good impressions by making eye contact, doing the firm handshake, being my gracious self and keeping the “I’m excited to be here” energy going throughout the discussions. Another thing I’ve found is that the best interviews, whether you’re the interviewer or interviewee, feel more like conversations than a one-sided deluge of questions, so I’ve both listened attentively to my interviewer’s comments and responded to them confidently. My weak areas come in after that. I would like to learn better ways to develop a strong connection with a person… Read more »
Dunte H
4 years 6 months ago
ONE: When I directly mention my relevant skills while talking to an employer/interviewer/other professional, they start talking more about new opportunities than when I just “hoped” they “knew” what I “could do for them.” TWO: I’m trying to master crafting my right-now skills into value (information, resources, action, etc.) I can add to potential mentors/employers/friends when I don’t know much about them. Basically, getting essential information and acting on it to contribute to their situation. BONUS: Whiners are afraid to admit they’re not doing anything. Fear makes them anxious and anxiety makes them angry. Anger makes them frustrated, then they… Read more »
Samuel Eatmon
Samuel Eatmon
4 years 6 months ago
1. I find myself having more confidence and using Competency Triggers when I’m acting from a place of natural strength (teaching, writing) and talent. I think this is true of anyone. 2. I would like to learn to use Competency Triggers because I want to gain opportunities to use my strengths and to become excellent at them. I don’t do this at my current job or at any job I’ve had. 3. People “whine” out of ignorance. They haven’t learned (or haven’t taken the time to learn) how to voice their opinions and restrain their emotion at the same time.… Read more »
Orlando Urena
4 years 6 months ago
Known fact: Artist are disorganized. They have to many ideas and don’t take action in making them happen. Why? Because they fear failure. Artist deny failure, instead of accepting it. Accepting failure has helped me feel better, in addition to taking on bigger ideas. I am organized and make ideas happen. This is shown in my work and work flow. I will like to optimize communicating my ideas. Also optimize my negotiating. I find myself tripping over sometimes because I feel weak in these areas. Bonus: Whining is an alternative way for crying out loud. Whiner’s don’t have control of… Read more »
Aubrey
Aubrey
4 years 6 months ago
– I was at a bar on New Year’s Eve with friends to ring in the New Year, and just having a good time rather than worrying about something, constantly checking my phone, or whatnot. And it was only at that time I noticed a guy come over to give a note with info on it. So – it’s all about confidence… which leads to my next point. – Backing the confidence up in high pressure situations. I often lose my tongue at interviews, or just sudden situations where I suddenly need to talk well about myself and what I… Read more »
Liz
Liz
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully Helping people discover the real problem and create solutions which work without causing the person to feel incompetent. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? Definitely negotiation. To be specific, feeling confident and allowing myself to see it as two-way communication instead of being afraid that the offer would turn into complete rejection if I asked for more. – BONUS question: In the student examples above, why do some people whine while others take action? I think in some cases… Read more »
Omar
Omar
4 years 6 months ago
More opportunities have been opened up for me as a result of being socially active by giving value and importance to other people and incorporating them into my wider sphere of influence. I would like to optimize my situation in informational interviews and during regular interviewing. I am moving (tomorrow) to Calgary to pursue a career in Oil and Gas (I have worked in an asset management company earlier). Any help and advice would be most appreciated! Some people whine because its easy to whine and not do anything. The quality of your advice has really improved the way I… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger used successfully: Research and preparation. Whenever I take the time to learn as much as I can about the subject I’m writing about or presenting on, I get excited about the subject. This excitement turns into confidence, which comes across as competence.

I would like to learn about developing interviewing skills. I get flustered by wondering what they really want to know about me or what the “right” answer is.

Todd Medema
4 years 6 months ago
* When I interviewed with Google last semester (ended up not getting the internship), I came in talking about Product Manager stuff (for a software engineer interview – which was why I didn’t get it 😛 ). The competence trigger was being full of ideas and familiar with Google’s products – we barely had time to talk about software before the interview was over. In their follow-up email, Google told me to apply for their Product Manager internship next year 🙂 * Negotiation – I haven’t done much negotiation before, so I wouldn’t know where to start to convince people… Read more »
Lonny
Lonny
4 years 6 months ago

When I go to a networking event, when I am more comfortable because I already know people or know the relevant topic well, I do feel more successful at meeting new people and making connections.

K
K
4 years 6 months ago
1. When I was trying to pass quals (a 2 hour oral exam that was designed to go to the limits of your knowledge), the key to passing was realizing + acting as if the committee of 3 top people in the field are on your side and truly want you to improve. I used the exam as a free two-hour session to discuss and bounce my ideas off them. This worked great. (As opposed to acting like they’re out to attack you, which is a great way to fail.) 2. I know many of the competency triggers in my… Read more »
Steve O
Steve O
4 years 6 months ago

Great example, and great advice.

LC
LC
4 years 6 months ago
When selling there are frequently times where you need to make an appointment with someone. A Low Competence Trigger would be to thank the prospect profusely. A High Competence Trigger would be to ask the question: “When we meet, if I can meet all your conditions of satisfaction, what will you do?”. Based on their reply, canceling the appointment if they are not willing to purchase if you can meet their conditions of satisfaction. I would be interested in seeing how Competence Triggers might apply in email exchanges, if at all. I don’t care why people whine. Whiners are of… Read more »
Ramit Sethi
4 years 6 months ago

A little aggressive for my tastes, LC…

Nate
Nate
4 years 6 months ago
1. Similar to the briefcase technique, walked into job interview at a top engineering firm, with one A4 page (In a clean folder) of printed questions about the company, job, and division. When they asked me “Do you have any questions?”, I pulled out the piece of paper, and then ticked them off as they answered (so it became an interview for THEM as well). And then at the end, they asked me, “Do you have any more questions?”, I looked at my list of questions, and answered “Nope, that’s it”. Got the job offer within 24 hours. 2. Approaching… Read more »
Steve
Steve
4 years 6 months ago

I’m in a amateur band, and when I’m on stage or around other musicians, I am most confident. I’m interesting, proficient and engaging. No fear of the unknown. Just natural.

A situation I’d like to be better at:

In the workplace, fear of the unknown (job tasks, opportunities, more responsibility) overwhelms me and I fail to leverage opportunity.

Bonus: Misery loves company!!!

RA
RA
4 years 6 months ago

-competency trigger: leaning into someone else’s problem with active interest— i.e. “sounds like an interesting challenge– tell me more!”

-situation to improve:
Would like some verbal judo to combat getting sucked into a whine-fest….. is this a situation to improve, or a symptom that a change of scene is needed?

– BONUS question:
Because our culture increasingly celebrates whining and externalizing problems.

Caleb Huitt
Caleb Huitt
4 years 6 months ago
1) I can think of a few competence triggers (based on my understanding of them). a) I’m a software developer, and I come across things that are broken all the time. When I find things that are badly broken or need a bigger effort to fix, I’ll make sure my boss knows soon, rather than trying to skate by and make it up later. I’ll also go with a proposed solution and contingency plans whenever I can, so if he expresses concern about aspects of the solution, I can adapt in that meeting. I also try to find a way… Read more »
Caleb Huitt
Caleb Huitt
4 years 6 months ago
I somehow totally missed that there was a video the first time through. In the context of interviews, the last time I was seriously interviewing I had a few triggers in my arsenal. The first was that I wasn’t leaving my current job because I felt I had to, but because I knew I wasn’t being appreciated. (In fact, one of my coworkers told me he thought I was on the verge of walking away from the job a couple months before, as I listened to my boss berate me for other people’s actions.) This let me take the time… Read more »
E
E
4 years 6 months ago
– When I act like I know what I want, am not afraid to ask for it, and am also not afraid of NOT getting it… I become creative and dynamic and people are much more interested in helping me or giving me time and attention. – What are the methods & manners that ensure people are not going to give you the run-around, party-line “sorry it’s not negotiable” stance? – Some folks whine while others take action for a vast number of reasons. It’s my sense that inaction most often involves psychological barriers such as low self-esteem and limiting… Read more »
Jennifer
Jennifer
4 years 6 months ago

Being direct and honest comes naturally to me, and I find that is appreciated in most situations.

I need to build my confidence, so that when I’m being honest, I’m not cutting myself down or selling myself short.

It’s easy to complain and find fault in others. Much harder to hold only yourself accountable and take advice when it is offered.

NJ
NJ
4 years 6 months ago

For the longest time I thought I could get away with going to work in clothes that did not fit me. Once I finally developed the common sense to dress better, people started treating me differently. Knowing I looked better made me more confident about what I’m doing.

I would definitely like to improve on how I deal with endless work gossip.

As for the bonus question, based on all the blog posts I’ve read from whiny people, they whine because they feel like they are entitled to a prize because that’s what they’ve been conditioned to since they were younger.

Joshua
Joshua
4 years 6 months ago

When having someone explain something (usually technical), simple word choice like “I understand” or “understood” rather than “yeah” or “uh huh” makes them more responsive, and suggests that I’m digesting what they’re saying at a high level rather than dismissing it or missing the point.

I’d like to optimize around about presentations to medium/large groups of executives. Listening to a wide range of people present in meetings of 20+ with directors/VPs/SVPs, you immediately get a sense of who can present themselves as competent.

People whine because they’re mad at themselves

Ana
Ana
4 years 6 months ago
Easy. I’m doing now my mandatory internship. Instead of waiting for some random internship to fall on my lap, like my colleagues, I actually took action. Now, I have a paid internship, I am living in a country that is far better than my own and it will be easier for me to work here, in the UK, instead of Portugal, earning at least double of what my colleagues do. The ones that are working. My competence trigger is: don’t expect things to fall on your lap: WORK FOR IT! I am scared of negotiations. That’s it! The ugly truth!… Read more »
Jacky
4 years 6 months ago
1. I find ways to relate to “grumpy” people to get them to open up. I am very genuine in my attempts and have learned how use this technique to relate to an interviewer. There was a lady who worked in our office who was extremely rude since she was hired. I worked with her for 1 1/2 years and was able to get her to open up. Other co-workers noticed that she was opening up more was a LOT happier. Also, I have always walked out of an interview with a job offer. 2) I have had a lack… Read more »
Aster
Aster
4 years 6 months ago
1) I go into every interview with the goal of figuring out whether the job is a good match for me, and whether I want to work with and for the people interviewing me. It tells employers I’m confident and that I have other prospects, and it also makes me more inquisitive and more genuine, so I ask the right kind of questions and give sincere and (mostly) unselfconscious answers. 2) I feel at a loss with my networking pitch, probably because I haven’t narrowed down a ‘dream job’ per se. I want to optimize a way to describe what… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 years 6 months ago

Command TriggerL “I can fix that/I can do that” – it commits me to a working a problem through and inspires confidence.

I’d like optimize working within a large organization to expand my sphere of infIuence, exploring want to accentuate/emphasize aspects of my current career or seek options elsewhere.

Bonus: Whiners have not taken personal responsibility for their situation. They see themselves as products of their environment, not products of their choices.

Kate
Kate
4 years 6 months ago
A competence trigger that’s worked for me: My first day at a new job, a senior person walked up, and announced (more than asked) that she’d heard I was hired to do both X (the job I was doing) and Y (a similar job at the same level, but not what I’d been hired to do). I smiled and said that I had a lot of experience at Y, and if she ever needed help with those types of tasks, I’d be happy to lend a hand. Over the next six months, I think she gave me about an hour… Read more »
Tanner
Tanner
4 years 6 months ago
(1a) When I was a Mormon missionary, the appearance of hustle and being busy was more important than the appearance of piety. “We’ve only got 15 minutes until we have to meet someone else/your neighbor/whoever,” was far more effective and consistent for getting into doors and making connections than nearly any other pitch about our doctrine or beliefs. (1b) Also, while looking for referrals, AKA “hey, which one of your friends would you like to choose to uncomfortably push your religion upon…” (not an easy sale, BTW) the most important thing wasn’t what you said, it was what they had… Read more »
Joy
Joy
4 years 6 months ago

I would love to hear more about the kind of stuff they teach you in missionary training. I used to always invite the Mormons and JWs in to talk with me but they stopped coming to my house when they realised I was more interested in learning about the psychology of their religious system than doing any actual ‘bible study’…

Christine
Christine
4 years 6 months ago
1) Competence trigger: when you are in a conversation with someone and you choose to “meet them where they are” in his/her decision process instead of being stubborn and tell them the “right way” to do something, things tend to happen. This is empathy that leads to action. 2) Unlikely situation: scared of negotiations at a new job in at completely new career path 3) Action vs inaction: I think it relates to behavioral change and how open that person is psychologically to change. If they are stuck in the same patterns and routines but cannot see why their patterns/routines… Read more »
Aaron
Aaron
4 years 6 months ago
Great quote along those lines from the book Made to Stick: “One important implication of the gap theory is that we need to open gaps before we close them. Our tendency is to tell people the facts. First, though, they must realize that they need these facts. The trick to convincing people that they need our message, according to Loewenstein, is to first highlight some specific knowledge that they’re missing. We can pose a question or puzzle that confronts people with a gap in their knowledge. We can point out that someone else knows something they don’t.” After all, Rome… Read more »
Billy
Billy
4 years 6 months ago

I’d like to optimize email writing, such as when what language and tone to use when sending in a resume or setting up an information interview.

Sandro
Sandro
4 years 6 months ago
I used a version of your briefcase technique and sent a company i’m the freelancing it guy in actual papers to let the boss see where we are and where we are heading. He is new in place and accepted my knowledge and views and now i got a perfect deal i wanted: A handshake agreement without any contract to support them for a flatrate price. Actually i’m writing this from Lanzarote Spain, while spending today 3 hours inside the computers of the company in germany. They don’t know i’m not in town. And everything works perfect! I’m a inspirational… Read more »
Bennett
Bennett
4 years 6 months ago
1. When I’m negotiating a discount I treat people professionally but I present my case as if it were the most reasonable one possible, which seems to make it difficult for people to turn it around. Such as, at Hertz, “Yeah I saw that I happened to get charged for the GPS, I just want to get that taken off and I’ll be out of your hair.” Sometimes it doesn’t work and you have to move on to other tactics, but people usually just want to make you happy and as a result have no problem offering the discount 2.… Read more »
Cale
Cale
4 years 6 months ago
– A competence trigger I like to use is to try to always convey a degree of simplicity with what I’m offering. I want the person I’m “selling” to to get the feeling of “It’s just that easy.” I know that’s something I would love to feel when someone is trying to pitch themselves to me, in whatever context. – I would definitely love to know, as you said, “the questions behind the questions.” It makes me a little uncomfortable on the outset to know that my interviewer is trying to quietly pry into my core personality and thought process… Read more »
Vinayak Maheswaran
4 years 6 months ago

Hey Ramit,

This is great stuff. Now to your questions.
I have been more confident shooting hoops when I feel good about myself by listening to some RnB music, etc.
– I think the examples that you put namely Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews are really what I would love to work on.
– BONUS question: I think some people whine because they probably are faced with too much information and look for perfection. As you already stated many times, perfection is for losers and that’s how I take action

Kelsey
Kelsey
4 years 6 months ago
I think a lot of this has to do with self-confidence – those competence triggers to which you refer are almost all reflections of how much self-confidence the person has, and how they present themselves. This is critical because I joke that the two most humbling things in the world are: (1) job searching, and (2) dating. Lisa’s point about dating and relationships hits on my second point; I’m hoping that Ramit’s course covers my first point – how to maintain and project self-confidence even throughout a trying job search. As my mom once said about her first job search,… Read more »
Vinicius Avila
Vinicius Avila
4 years 6 months ago
My wife´s father has a very interesting friend… Scientist with large academy history and well know in his field. A very very smart guy! I met him thought one family “get together” and we found out that we both love wine.. We drank a few bottles together and had conversations about almost everything not serious in life! Couple of weeks later I was surprised with his call inviting me and my wife for brunch at his house… I was confident after all last occasion we had a long conversation, we shared common interests and the difference of back ground won´t… Read more »
Wendy
Wendy
4 years 6 months ago
1. Hip, minimalist clothes that are on the same level of a “suit,” (but not one) but a little more fierce. This must be coupled with a very easy going, friendly, intelligent conversation – with a touch of wit. (Firm handshake, eye contact and a wry, knowing smile.) The contrast gets them every time. I’ve gotten quite a few of my jobs out of pure intrigue. It doesn’t hurt that my resume is solid. I only get asked a cookie cutter question with a joking apology about having to ask it…which is great because I can make a joke response… Read more »
Brad
4 years 6 months ago
– Competence Trigger: Enthusiasm. As part of my job (and side business) I give presentations. When I am enthusiastic (the majority of the time) my audience is enthusiastic, engaged, and (generally) buys in to my point of view. When I have come across as bored or otherwise unengaged the presentation is not worth anybody’s time (mine or the audience’s). This is why I don’t give a presentation unless I can find the “hook” I need to get enthused (there is a free presentation tip in there BTW). -Example situation: As part of my side business I have to cold-call the… Read more »
Greg
Greg
4 years 6 months ago
Lately I’ve been walking around the city with better posture. I look a lot of people in the eye with a calm, confident gaze. Quite a few people look away, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who react positively, including women. They will look back and even nod their heads. Sometimes I get a smile. I feel that I “nerd out” a lot, and sometimes explain things that are way over people’s heads, or forget to put large figures into perspective. When I realize that I’ve confused the person, I’ve either lost him completely or have to… Read more »
Mini
Mini
4 years 6 months ago

1. Asking questions, getting involved in a discussion…that’s my competence trigger.

2. I would like to know more about how I can tap into my network and also find myself a mentor.

3. Having been a procrastinator and whiner myself for quite some time, I’d say it’s a defense mechanism against fear (mostly perceived). Inaction seems the easy way out, in the short-term. But the consequences hit you in the long run. Then, in the face of “failure”/missed opportunities, you strengthen your defense mechanism even more. So, it’s a vicious cycle. Conscious action is the only way out.

Kelci
Kelci
4 years 6 months ago
Well one Competence Trigger I have was used before I was even aware of this course: when I went in for an interview to become a caricature artist, I had a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer. The manager interviewing me was so impressed that he gave me the job. However, I WOULD like to get some kind of Competence Trigger for not only informational interviews, but networking. I’m still terrified of talking to professionals in the field I want to enter, and I want to fix that. I already made a resolution this year to improve my… Read more »
Jordan
Jordan
4 years 6 months ago
1) When I give seminars/presentations, I play quiet but upbeat classical music in the room while the participants are assembling and before I start talking. It helps me feel calm and it makes the people in the room feel more energetic and happier. An energised and positive audience is easier and more pleasant to teach. Competence trigger: spend some time setting up the “psychological space” that you’re working in. 2) I am struggling with making the transition from “bright young thing” (“Isn’t she amazing for her age!”) to “excellent mid-career professional” (“Isn’t she amazing FULL STOP”). I want to know… Read more »
Jonathan
4 years 6 months ago
I am a manager at one of the country’s leading department stores and, very similarly to your example, I have also provided outstanding service to a customer. The service was so great that I unknowingly changed his decision to buy clothing from our store. By confidently suggesting options that he may not have considered, I was able to elevate the sale from a couple pair of pants for multiple outfits that are extremely versatile. Also, I feel the reason some people whine is because it is easier than implementing some of the strategies that you employ. Rather than trying some… Read more »
Josh Gonzales
Josh Gonzales
4 years 6 months ago

When I speak with confidence and energy during a presentation people are more willing to listen to what I have to say and are ultimately more persuaded by my points.
I would really like to know which competence triggers apply to negotiations.

I think students complain because they find it too hard to actually put the actions in motion and it makes them feel better about themselves to “know” that your advice doesn’t work for them because its stupid and not because there is anything wrong with them. Thanks Ramit!

kathleen
4 years 6 months ago

Smiling while answering the phone makes me friendlier.

Andrew
Andrew
4 years 6 months ago
1. Leave a comment with the following: – Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. 1. I work in sales, as well as managing a small team. After about a year I noticed that people respond much more positively and produce better work when you hold them to a very high standard. The perfect example is one individual on my team who was struggling with product knowledge and closing on deals. His confidence was sub par, which I… Read more »
David
David
4 years 6 months ago

1) I’ve gone to job interviews without caring too much whether I get a job offer or not and get an offer at least 90% of the time. I’m still enthusiastic and excited about the opportunity, but if the interview went south, I wouldn’t be too torn up. The confidence shows, and somehow I become more wanted.

2) Turning informational interviews into a job. I typically get a lot of good advice, but rarely get real interviews and especially job offers out of it.

rose
rose
4 years 6 months ago

1. For me, eye contact and a confident smile have always received better reactions than looking away and a nervous smile. I’ve never been rejected from a job I’ve interviewed for, so I’d like to think my interviewing competencies are high.

2. I’d love to work on my negotiation skills. While I consciously understand that negotiation doesn’t have to be (and really shouldn’t be) a scary confrontation, it still really intimidates me.

3. People are scared of trying and failing. So they don’t even try and want to blame their status quo on uncontrollable circumstances.

Maura
4 years 6 months ago

A company I do consulting work for asked to extend my contract. I negotiated a pay increase by showing my genuine interest in the company, and explaining that in order to continue, I would need to work for a specific hourly rate.

Stanley
Stanley
4 years 6 months ago

1) Explaining a complex idea, for example something in physics or engineering, to a layperson in a way that is not too technical (but also not too dumbed down). You might use an elegant analogy to something in daily life, for example. I find this important because it conveys that you understand the principles and aren’t just spewing technical jargon to obfuscate, and the other person can feel like they’ve learned something.

2) “Cold” Networking – like when you’re meeting people with very little situational context and you’d like to convey value without bragging

Hilary L.
Hilary L.
4 years 6 months ago
1. For so long, I have been guilty of blindly sending out job applications to secure something, anything, that seemed to pay higher, have greater responsibility or more impressive job title. While it might not be considered a competence trigger, the game-changer for me was that before I even think to apply for a position or even accept an interview, I have to have convinced myself that I truly want to work in the position/company. I’m trying to get better at this by developing a stronger commitment to more upfront prep. It’s time to go after my dream job, and… Read more »
Thoa
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully. A smile and being way super enthusiastic. I used to work at the Yogurtland near my university and I had many customers say that I made them very happy cuz of my positive attitude and great smile. My positivity keeps me active and happy for the 5-hour shift and the customers definitely feel it too. Win-win. Even when I don’t feel all happy-go-lucky inside, I still fake the smile and positivity and gradually it becomes real. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence… Read more »
Stanley Lee
4 years 6 months ago
1. When I was on vacation and my coworker caught me online on IM, he asked me for help to solve the problem. Even though I had no access to the project or equipment, or visualization of what the problem involved, I managed to learn enough details to give appropriate recommendations by asking the right questions. If his answers are vague, I make my questions more specific until the answer is sufficient for me to help. 2. I would like to learn how to optimize the Competence Triggers in interview and negotiation situations where the other person uses intimidation tactics… Read more »
Justin Mares
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: I finished a freelancing job and got referred to another client. Unfortunately, other stuff in my life (startup and school) picked up drastically so I didn’t have time to take on another freelance project. So instead of saying no, I told the guy I didn’t have the time to dedicate to ensure I did the project justice. However, when I told him this, he offered to pay me 5x as much for the same work – essentially negotiating against himself. I used this one accidentally, but it’s now something I use more often. I’d like to optimize networking… Read more »
AM
AM
4 years 6 months ago
1. I work as a graphic designer and each time I present my designs to mostly a room full of non-creatives, I start off by reminding them why we’re meeting. Example: when we last reviewed this project, we discussed increasing the image so it filled up more of the space and removing the callouts on the side to keep the messaging simple. Then I launch into what I did and show the layout. This method has been really successful for me as it shows that I listened to their critique and that I understood it. I should add that I… Read more »
Brittany
Brittany
4 years 6 months ago
A simple competence trigger for me is when I take the time and effort to look nice. I work in fitness, so getting by in yoga pants and hair pulled back is pretty much standard. When I wear ‘normal (read not spandex)’ clothes into the office and take time to do my hair, wear heels, etc., people respond in a much more positive way. There’s something to the whole saying, “Don’t dress for the job you have now, but dress for the job you want”. One competency trigger I’d like some more work on is how to use them in… Read more »
steve ward
4 years 6 months ago
1) Competence Trigger a) When i feel comfortable (my clothing feels good, I have a woman etc) my confidence goes up, so when i walk in a room I can just be wearing a towel and people dont care and if it women well i will let you mind fill that in. b) IF for some reason i dont feel comfortable lets say my dog died or i dont feel good about the clothing im wearing. People will feel that from me and stay away far away. 2) Competence Triggers that i need to work on: a) networking Competence trigger… Read more »
Farrah
Farrah
4 years 6 months ago

1. A Competence Trigger I use successfully is my confident handshake/eye contact/smile combo when introducing myself (in various situations). I’m often told it leaves a good, strong impression and it has been a conversation opener on several occasions.

2.I’d like to optimize interview situations- how to ask and answer questions.

3.BONUS: People whine for different reasons but it tends to boil down to inaction on their part which leads to being unsatisfied and/or unhappy with the situation and searching for a scapegoat(s).

Jaye
Jaye
4 years 6 months ago
Supreme confidence, a printed proposal, and a red herring helped me land a freelance gig at my highest hourly rate ever. With my permission, a friend passed my name on to the new creative director at XYZ company. Since I had done some work for the old director and my friend at the company vouched for me, an interview was quickly set up. Too late I remembered that I hadn’t enjoyed working for the company, but I couldn’t back out without making my friend look bad. From previous experience, I knew the company was cheap, so I put together a… Read more »
Elaine
Elaine
4 years 6 months ago

Haha! I’m sorry it wasn’t the best experience, but this story made me laugh, especially how you basically negotiated no overtime work by charging a ridiculous amount. Ha!

David
David
4 years 6 months ago
I walk with my back straight and my chin up, not snobby, just up. People notice me, a few have said “I wish I had your posture”, if they notice you they will remember you when they need your skills. I’m not sure what triggers to use in networking. Proper introductions, keeping the conversation going, closing and leaving a conversation without simply walking away and no one remembering me. The whiners whine because they are thinking negative (they are the ‘what if’ people), why else would they spend time to read your free articles and then ‘waste’ time by failing… Read more »
Greg
Greg
4 years 6 months ago
Concisely answering questions and promptly steering the conversation back to the topic you really want to discuss has been the confidence trigger I have noticed the greatest benefit from. I had one client who loved to chase random ideas and have lengthy off-topic discussions of whatever popped into his head. He was wasting his own time and my time, which he was paying for. A communication coach taught me that specific, concise answers let people know you know what you are talking about and allow you to transition back to the topic at hand. I prepared for our next meeting… Read more »
Elizabeth Gage
Elizabeth Gage
4 years 6 months ago

Ramit,
You asked, about my comment (#11) on whiners, “Permission from whom?” It doesn’t really matter — could be a parent, husband, thesis advisor; maybe it’s another way of saying they’re waiting for someone to tell them what to do. The reason they don’t respond well to YOU telling them what to do is that they think they are a special case and your methods probably wouldn’t work, even though their tested and there is ample evidence.

es
es
4 years 6 months ago

One of my competence triggers is when I feel like I look good. Whether at work, on a date or just hanging out with friends. I feel more outgoing and less shy, and I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind.
On the other hand, I’m really bad at networking. I think I come across as nice and polite, but I don’t know what I can do to stand out. I’m not very talkative (and sales is not my strong suit) so even when I do attend events with networking potential, I don’t walk away with contacts.

Bobby V. Berry, Jr.
Bobby V. Berry, Jr.
4 years 6 months ago

– One interview where I got the job was a phone interview. I talked about the chemistry classes I took in college as this job was at a laboratory. Though it had been 30 years since college I got the position.
– I really want to maximize my interviews. I have had many interview but few offers. I must be doing something wrong.
– Is it learned helplessness?

Brad
Brad
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger I’ve used: Educating others. I’m a massage therapist in the process of opening my office, and being young (21) means some people think *New York gangster voice* “Eh, what’s this wise guy gonna be able to do for me?” So before that question gets burrowed too deep into their brain, I explain a few things. Posture. Chronic pain. Breathing. Muscle imbalances. And most of the time, without even feeling what my bodywork is like, their reaction is “sign me up!” Area I’d like to optimize: Interviews. I plan on doing chair massage for large companies (finance, insurance, and… Read more »
Elaine
Elaine
4 years 6 months ago
1. Confidence trigger: Having a clear concise story about your professional background and future, and NOT appearing wishy-washy by talking about all the different paths you are considering. This is one I tested. When asking friends (experienced professionals) for advice about a career change, I sometimes wanted to be more honest/humble about what I didn’t know and how I was considering this OR this OR that. This made me seem less confident or committed, and made them less interested in helping me. Why help someone who wont take your advice? But when I developed clear reasoning for my career path… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 years 6 months ago
1. The competence trigger I use successfully is the three-second eye smile (I don’t know what else to call it) when meeting someone. When I meet anyone, I make eye contact as expressionless as possible then smile with my eyes (no mouth movement yet, just activate all the muscles around your eyes/cheeks you’d use when smiling), then smile with your mouth after the rest of your face is already smiling. I’ve tested this in difference situations for myself and found far more favorable reactions in others when I do this than when I do not. A situation I’d like to… Read more »
Jialu Cai
Jialu Cai
4 years 6 months ago
– I find that confidence (so not desperation) is key when it comes to attracting things to you. Things like men, fun stuff. – You’ve helped me optimize my interviews, but what about phone interviews? I hate those because it’s often just a *let me ask you questions while I scribble stuff down for the people who actually will read it* it’s not as back and forth as real interviews are. – Why do some whine while some take action? That’s just because they are whiners or action-takers! We all know those people, they’d rather blame others while some take… Read more »
keltie
keltie
4 years 6 months ago
My first job out of university I started as an “office assistant” in a very casual office but always dressed professionally. I think this helped the owners decide that I was mature/organized enough to be moved to the logistics department full time with a substantial raise. In my current job, I could use some advice on confidence triggers when I’m presenting my work to my boss. I know I do good work but I get intimidated speaking to someone whose been in the field for 25+ years. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I need to do with my… Read more »
Daniel P
4 years 6 months ago
1. Competency trigger: Asking questions. Right from the beginning. Not “hello, will you please give me a job” but “hello, I own the room, and you are here convince me that your company is good enough to take up some of my valuable time.” It’s the same principle as, when you’re single, you can’t get a date. But find someone, relax and have confidence in the relationship, and would be suitors come crawling out of the woodwork. Own the conversation with confidence and questioning. (Ask yourself “what would Scott Pelly or Mike Wallace say?”) Most people don’t really like to… Read more »
Cathy0
Cathy0
4 years 6 months ago
Wow, Ramit, heaps of comments! I’ve been a reader of yours for years and have just been ‘downsized’, so I’m in the middle of the job search right now. Great timing! (Well, not being laid off just before Xmas but y’know what I mean…) 1. Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully In job interviews, smile. A lot. Be relaxed. Not pretending to be relaxed, but actually relaxed. This is easy for me since I realised that all I can do is be me. If they like me, great. If not, oh well. I concentrate on being open, friendly… Read more »
Bob
Bob
4 years 6 months ago

When I need to make a point during I meeting I make sure I straighten out my posture and spread my shoulders to help boost my confidence.
I want to learn how to become a much better negotiator.

Lindsay
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: I will also say dressing for success has helped me a lot. I look a lot younger than I am and so by dressing professionally it really helps me be seen as someone who knows what I’m doing in my industry! Area to optimize: I’d like to use this information for a slightly different purpose. I work for myself (I’m a graphic designer) and I’d really like to utilize this information to help me sell my projects to my clients. The negotiation will help with project pricing, but I imagine most of it will help me close the… Read more »
Muneerah
Muneerah
4 years 6 months ago

I have received the best results in negotiation situations where I don’t feel as though I am desperate for something. In the past, when I have felt confident walking away, usually I would get what I wanted.

I would like to understand more about how to engage in informational interviews and build professional relationships. I also would like to overcome the barrier of feeling as though I do not have anything relevant to offer in the way of assistance.

Shannon
Shannon
4 years 6 months ago

For me, actually accomplishing something, and knowing that I am capable, gives me the confidence I need to know I can get the job done.

I’m afraid to hire a VA because I have a crappy history of working with people I hire (housekeeper, graphic designer, or babysitter).

I think bad parenting in the 80’s led to the whining and complaining of young adults today.

Kevin
Kevin
4 years 6 months ago
Ramit, first off, I need to say thank you. I am very pleased and humbled even by your creation that shows people in plain language that anyone with the cojones to take life by throat in the pursuit of getting what they deserve will get all that and more. For me a competence trigger is simply showing that you are in the moment with me. If it is a collaborative discussion or a where I am the customer, be present and in the moment, do not multitask, or have your “head on a swivel” processing the surroundings. Show me the… Read more »
jodi renee
4 years 6 months ago
I create a space where people feel immediately comfortable (either in person or online) even having never MET them – they completely let their guard down and tell me anything and everything about themselves. AND! Like you mentioned in your vid – I can hear what people aren’t saying and that’s where the magic for transformation is. It’s not what people are saying, it’s what they’re not = breakthrough. And that’s tough because most don’t even realize what they’re really not saying… Booking and sales! …I have my own business – this still apply to me?? and whiners and complainers… Read more »
Alexa
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: One of the new things I’m trying to teach myself, when faced with people who turn difficult, testy or combative, is to let them blow themselves out before I respond. And when I do respond, I try to remember that the guy I think is a belligerent, sexist asshole or the chick I think is being petty — they’re both some mother’s child. I’m not there to mother them, no way, but that moment when I imagine them as a toddler helps me face them with more heart, more empathy. The trigger is, How can I see into… Read more »
Tim K
Tim K
4 years 6 months ago
– When I was looking for a job after college, I sent out a bunch of resumes, some to companies I barely did research on. One firm I got an interview from, I realized I didn’t particularly care for – but I figured I’d at least get the practice. Zero pressure, so after doing some due diligence (can’t have good practice without preparation), I went in confident and natural. The pace of the meeting turned from an interview into a conversation. I think I even made a joke comparing something to crack at some point (not that I’m saying that… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
4 years 6 months ago
-I always make an effort to be nice to all of the people I encounter when I go to a job interview, whether it be the receptionist, someone I pass in the hall, or other fellow job candidates. I know those aren’t the people who are making the decisions, but you never know who talks to who and who might be observing you. I feel as though I am more at home in that environment, and my potential employers will see that I am comfortable with others and confident in my abilities. On top of that, I feel more relaxed… Read more »
Sanjaya
Sanjaya
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger: in two focus group discussion for two different companies I grab the boardmarker, walk to the whiteboard and lead the group discussion to a speedy conclusion. This always impress the recruiters. Even one of the recruiters give me a second chance in my numerical test where I didn’t finish in time because he was so impressed by my performance in focus group discussion.

Bonus Question: whiners have an inherent lack of self introspection.

twong
twong
4 years 6 months ago
I want to optimize informational interviews. My goal is to investigate the true nature of the job, especially sensitive “insider information”, such as compensation, that only someone who has done the job will know. Empty platitudes, such as variants of “I help my customer solve problems”, are the least useful in informational interviews. I can never ask these questions directly because (I think) there are psychological and social forces that make the interviewee hold his/her tongue. For example, I can never ask “how much do you make” directly. The interviewee might fear making their colleagues envious because he/she makes more… Read more »
Mark
Mark
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: Getting my hands dirty. I’m a young engineer, and I work with other engineers and contractors who have 20 years or more experience than me. When I roll up my sleeves, I get the respect of guys who think I just sit in an office all day. Or, when I break out a calculator and scale as opposed to using a higher tech computer program, I can relate to the older engineers. I want to find my niche, exploit or create a new technology, and go out on my own. I want to learn how to find it,… Read more »
Salvatore
Salvatore
4 years 6 months ago
1. Besides noticing the increased attention from females when I go out with my girlfriend, I’ve found that dressing even a little better from time to time generates a huge positive reaction. I’ve held a few office jobs with business casual dress codes even just adding a tie made a big impression on most of my co-workers. 2. I could benefit a lot from interview tips and negotiation tactics. I feel that I tend to answer questions in ways that lower my perceived value similar to your example in the video. 3. Someone that is very close to me truly… Read more »
Matt Kinnersly
Matt Kinnersly
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve been a freelance translator (Japanese to English) for 20 years. As I work, I create glossaries and translation memory (which is basically database content that automates reuse of repeated or similar content). One competence trigger I’ve been using lately is that I offer to provide that data to the client for free, together with the translated documents. That might seem like a dumb idea, because it makes it easier for the client to give the next similar job to someone else (the other approach is to hang onto it as a way to lock clients in), but it emphasises… Read more »
Al
Al
4 years 6 months ago
1. I got my best jobs, and helped place 2 friends into some great jobs, with two key things. I tried to use the same language that the interviewer or hiring manager used. And I tried to put myself in the interviewer/hiring manager’s position and feel and express some friendliness (sounds less creepy than “love” though that’s what it really is). It is a challenge to connect with people when you are afraid of them rejecting you, but feeling a little love for them in their situation helps shut down the fear of rejection. 2. People in my industry who… Read more »
Peter
Peter
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve found that when training others, by allowing myself to become passionate about the topics that inspire me, I see them become excited about the material we are working on. It is way more exciting for me to be active in teaching and to see the positive effects of others becoming motivated and asking interesting questions, than to just cover the material.

Alex F
Alex F
4 years 6 months ago
1) Competence trigger: Being good with names. A lot of people grin and say “I’m not good with names” as though that makes it OK that they can’t remember your name 2 minutes after meeting you. An easy trick that I use and notice when other people use is to repeat the name of a person I just met in the first minute or so of the conversation. With a little eye contact, you’ve just become more memorable than anyone else at the cheese table. 2) Another (personal) competence trigger: short hair. Mine gets messy fast so keeping it short… Read more »
Gregory Go
Gregory Go
4 years 6 months ago
1. Being genuine and open is an underappreciated strong Competence Trigger. Someone who hides things may believe they have control over a conversation, but in the end only ends the conversation disfavorably. Know what you are, what you want, and come across gracefully. 2. I would optimize “first contact.” This means, cold calling, reaching out to a stranger on a network, asking to conduct an “informational interview” without seeming like a desperate job searcher or like someone who doesn’t belong. 3. No one wants to work hard for something that others seemingly get for free. Top performers get past this… Read more »
Tristan
Tristan
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: Plain old HONESTY has worked in my favor so far since graduating about a year and a half ago. Without any experience, I can do nothing but explain my lack of experience and reinforce it with confidence. This has led me to two jobs (btw, 2nd job was a 42% increase in pay over the first just due to exuding confidence in the interview). Actually what I need to optimize most is day-to-day conversations with coworkers and superiors. I have trouble busting out the “competence triggers” on the fly…whereas in an interview I can mentally prepare myself. Bonus… Read more »
Matthew Davidson
Matthew Davidson
4 years 6 months ago
I studied my dating habits a while back, and I found that the best outcomes were always a result of having other potential dates in the pipeline. While signals can be learned, as you mentioned, it takes a lot of practice to do so t the point that they’re instinctive. You could force yourself to constantly check in on your posture, deepness/slowness of voice, eye contact, etc., but it’s much simpler to know that you have another date in a few days, and hence, don’t have to be needy/desperate. Not being needy allows you to be natural, and not distort… Read more »
Jon
Jon
4 years 6 months ago
1) I actually used the briefcase technique in 2003 without knowing I was doing it. I applied for a photography supervisor position at a tourist attraction, and while I was never a professional photographer, I put together a photography portfolio to demonstrate I knew about lighting and composition, and the portfolio also included a few marketing pieces I worked on at a communications start-up during the dotcom boom. The prospective job was pretty much straight up retail, but pulling out a portfolio blew the hiring managers pants off. Weird, I had no idea…I haven’t done the briefcase technique since, but… Read more »
Armon R.
Armon R.
4 years 6 months ago
1. Practice. It gives natural confidence. No need to psych yourself up with false bravado. 1st hand experience is a great teacher. Being able to walk the walk provides confidence but the point behind sales pitch/interview is communicating that. As great as Mr. Sethi’s free info is, I had to practice the flawless delivery. One week I lined up 8 interviews (contingency plan much?). By the time I hit #5, it was like a fog lifted. I saw what the interviewers in my field needed & was able to prepare accordingly… without the nervous ticks & speed talking. 2. Building… Read more »
Dana
4 years 6 months ago
– I learned early on (luckily) that people really enjoy my personality. I went to an interview for an internship while I was in school not really particularly wanting or needing the job in question and even though I didn’t really prepare other than bring myself and my portfolio I was called later that day and hired (they had cancelled the rest of the interviews). Ever since I’ve lead with my personality and packaged it with my work instead of focusing only on my skill sets and past accomplishments. I’ve had great luck with clients ever since just being myself.… Read more »
Joseph
Joseph
4 years 6 months ago
Dress to Impress! I’d think this is one of the easier ones to apply. In recent interviews that I had, I found that it also increases my own confidence, helping me focus on the interview. I was actually surprised at how under-dressed people my age are during interviews. And not just any interview! Most recently, I had one at Macquarie, and a lot of the interviewees had an almost casual look. I think that it’s very important to look the part when you want to be taken seriously. On situations that I’d like to optimize, I’d say interviews. I’m not… Read more »
Derrek
Derrek
4 years 6 months ago

I use online dating, and it blows my mind how real the craigslist penis effect is. My favorite competence trigger is BEING A NORMAL, DECENT HUMAN BEING. After the thousandth “sup” from a flexing bro, my messages are like angelic songs to these poor girls. I take a moment to craft a thoughtful response to something I find interesting about their profile. What could be easier?!
I want to know competence triggers I can use with myself. Triggers that help me “act as if” I’m confident, responsible, motivated, and all kinds of positive traits I would want to embody.

Joshua
Joshua
4 years 6 months ago
I’m not sure if I’ve completely gotten my head around this whole competence trigger thing but I’ll give it a go. 1.Yesterday when I was at a meetup of entrepreneurs, techies, etc a guy came up and introduced himself and passed me a business card. He mentioned that his company was offering courses in a particular area that I was interested in. Rather that ask him things like how much it cost, when it will be available in my area, etc I decided instead to ask him how many people did he need to make it worthwhile to hold the… Read more »
Tony
Tony
4 years 6 months ago

– I work at a web dev company. When a client pushes back about a price being so high instead of back-pedaling I show to them all the good that service will do for them and their company, this almost always gets the sale.
– I’d like to have good competence triggers when meeting new people.
– Bonus: Fear, maybe of looking dumb.

Jaime
Jaime
4 years 6 months ago
1. I have a friend who’s really great at meeting new people and good in social situations, and since I was terrible at this, I totally stole this move from him: When I bump into a friend who’s with someone I don’t recognize, if I don’t get introduced in 5 seconds, I will make the introduction myself. When I do this, it gives me a bit of a confidence boost because they seem to feel more comfortable around me, and I can more easily open up a conversation later. My natural instinct was to just sort of hope I’d get… Read more »
Sebastian Rubin
4 years 6 months ago
I work in real estate, so I’m often involved with negotiations for the purchase or sale of properties. During negotiations with a seller, when the topic of price comes up, I will use a method similar to the one discussed in the video above. If their asking price is exaggerated, I calmly explain that we will not be able to do business on these terms, because they are not being realistic. I always have a complete investment analysis prepared, including ROI on the property and market data on comparable properties in the neighborhood. If you can literally educate the seller… Read more »
DJ Reggie Beas
4 years 6 months ago
One competence trigger I use when I’m in an interview situation is I get into a conversation with the interviewer and illustrate my points through stories. I didn’t know until now that my asking questions in the interview, making it a give and take, and telling stories to answer their questions show high competence. But that’s in the interview, when I KNOW you want to talk to me. I display extremely low competence when approaching people that I don’t know are interested in talking to me. That runs the gamut from networking to talking to women I find attractive. So… Read more »
Amelia
Amelia
4 years 6 months ago
I used to work for a small English language centre in my town and was responsible for (among other things) sifting through the CVs of potential teachers and picking only the best ones for my boss to look at. I was astounded at how poor the quality of 99.9% of these CVs were – most were not targeted to the job they were applying for at all and full of spelling and grammar mistakes. No wonder my boss was so eager to hire me! This experience gave me a lot of confidence when I was applying for two subsequent teaching… Read more »
Laura
Laura
4 years 6 months ago
1. One of my competence triggers is to walk into a room confidently and to greet everyone there (personally), as well as making eye contact with everyone during the conversation. It helps to make a connection, and make sure everyone remembers me afterwards. Who knows, the least talkative person could be the one to make the decision.. I’d like to know a bit more about using my network to find a job without seeming desperate (for example: person asks “so, what do you do these days?”, Me: “well, I’m looking for a job, so if you happen to know something?”..… Read more »
Chris Kibbey
Chris Kibbey
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully I’m good at sizing people up quickly on the phone or in person as to their operating style. Are they after precise, quick information – or are they more social and exploratory. I can then deliver what they want how they want and therefore they don’t avoid meetings or calls with me. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? I sometimes go to conferences to learn about fields that I’m interested in, but have no expertise in. When I try… Read more »
Alistair
Alistair
4 years 6 months ago
1 – Being passionate about your subject definitely opens peoples eyes to your capabilities. If you can demonstrate your passion for the subject/project you exude much more confidence and therefore competance. example: typically most interviews I go for I either get very little time to truly research the company (maybe 24 hrs…) or they are so secretive about thier product line/new developments that all thier website materiel is pure marketing drivel etc. But one time I went to a place that made high end home media systems – multi room A/V etc – and they popped the question: How would… Read more »
Joanne
Joanne
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger In my position I regularly consult physicians regarding best safety practices in trials for experimental drugs. The best way to get a timely response is keep it short (1-2 sentences) and give any relevant information/attachments they may expect. My colleagues borderline-grovel, wasting paragraphs with, “sorry to bother you when you’re so busy” (why waste their time saying that!) and, “we really appreciate your expert opinion in this matter” (why else would you be asking in the first place?) Then they ask me, “how do you get the doctors to write you back every time?” –… Read more »
Chuck
Chuck
4 years 6 months ago

My competence trigger is my ability to remain calm and think in a stressful situation.

I’d like to learn about utilizing my network.

People whine because they do not want to take responsibility for their actions (or lack of actions).

Jeff
4 years 6 months ago
A competence trigger that I used was when I walked into a job offer (I’m a photographer) and the art director asked how I would shoot their campaign with the atmosphere that they wanted and I replied. To which the art director answered: most photographers do it another way… To which I answered that my method allows me to better control the shadows and therefore allows you to better control the whole atmosphere of the campaign in postproduction. I let the AD know that I could give him what he wanted and even more. I increased his comfort zone while… Read more »
Quinn
Quinn
4 years 6 months ago
1)Competence trigger: I’m better when don’t think that i really am doing such. When being able to help others solve issues, at work, and I know what I’m talking about. On the flip side, I have a hard time explaining myself. Could be rushing & not taking my time, however I get it right after about an awkward minute of me trying to explain it correctly. 2) I could use help with realizing my dream job. I’ve had the same job since college, and would love to bounce. I’m complacent due to being afraid to interview. Guess I’m a semi… Read more »
James Lett
James Lett
4 years 6 months ago
1 – I’m introverted and have a bit of social anxiety, but force myself to smile and personally and individually introduce myself to everyone I meet in a room, try to engage them while I’m there, and personally say good-bye to them. It makes you stand out from others who are often too formal. It’s gotten me jobs before, my personality, that is. Certainly the above Trigger is a factor in that – I’ve been told such by hiring managers and fellow employees. 2 – ]Information interviews. While I feel my interview skills are weak due to my lack of… Read more »
Heather
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: Whenever I present/pitch an idea I’ve learned that when I prepare thoroughly (know my idea, know exactly what I want to say and the important parts that must be covered for it to be counted a success, what tone I’m trying to hit, and I have interesting slides with only what’s absolutely necessary on them) I’m more able to stand tall, be eloquent, portray confidence and ultimately succeed. The only real world example I have at the moment for this is my degree year college pitch; in front of a critical panel (not many scored high) I got… Read more »
Cristina
Cristina
4 years 6 months ago
Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: Going to a bar and just being there for friends gets me more looks from the opposite sex then going to a bar dressed for the opposite sex. It’s a different state of dress and mind, the whole package. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? How to gain a network of people. I’m at a point where I don’t have to have a job, I’m full time college student, however, I would like to network people in a career… Read more »
Dan Calle
Dan Calle
4 years 6 months ago
Successful Competence Trigger: I negotiated a promotion and $10K raise at a non-profit in a difficult funding environment by laying out my contributions next to the job-description of the higher rank as succinctly as possible. I further explained all the good qualities of the organization that made me very much want to stay. I reassured them that I would not leave to work for a lesser organization, but I knew of several others as good and I owed it to myself to be appropriately compensated. I also asked for permission to take my case to the executive director and then… Read more »
Danny
Danny
4 years 6 months ago
1. This is something my advisor told me just before going in to defend my bachelor thesis years ago but something I use to this day. Basically, he told me that the more we study something at uni, the higher the likelihood that we are the only person (on the planet) that know about this subject to that depth, so I already has the advantage. So whenever I’m walking into a meeting room for a presentation I just “know” that I’m the local domain expect on this topic. 2. I have no problem representing myself well enough to get the… Read more »
Q
Q
4 years 6 months ago

In a job interview I previously successfully made clear that I had managed bigger projects than they had at all (which was well partly true). So the interview was more them getting a checklist of my requirements to take as a homework and come back to me with answers later on. Salary was not discussed at all by the way.

When giving presentations on a large field you can’t be knowledgeable in every aspect. So I would like to improve my personal handling of blind spots that I have.

BGbower
BGbower
4 years 6 months ago

The best confidence boost comes from having some external proof of your competence. For instance, I am often quoted in publications like Bloomberg, the New York Times, etc and when I send that article to my friends, it gives the air of authority. This taught me that while knowing your stuff and being fully prepared is a prerequisite, the key is to be seen as an authority by OTHER people in the field.

BGbower
BGbower
4 years 6 months ago

One thing i would like to learn is building competence triggers when meeting people for the first time– it usually takes me a while to warm up and to leave a good impressiom.
Answer to bonus question: most people have a martyr complex. they get something out of being a victim.

Christine
Christine
4 years 6 months ago

1. Competence Trigger that I have used: I won a presentation contest because I had it in my head that I didn’t care if I won or not. I was therefore less nervous and appeared more confident.

2. Area that I’m not sure which Competence Triggers apply: I am thinking of a career change and I’m not sure what “my story” would be when I go to interviews.

Karolina
Karolina
4 years 6 months ago

– Confidence trigger: having done good research on the company, talking to the peple who work/have worked there makes me more confident at an interview and able to ask specific questions about the job. It also makes the interviewers more at ease and feel like we’re on the same page.

-I’d like to work on my negotiation skills to stop constantly underselling myself.

Bonus question: It’s easy to whine anonymously, it’s very hard to focus and face you deamons!

Nick H.
Nick H.
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully: When working my 2nd job as a DJ I have to spend time at bridal fairs. The desperation is everywhere. The company I work with prides itself on being a high end product, but that doesn’t stop the desperation from coming out of the staff that are on hand. I have witnessed one of the DJs in particular that is phenomenal with the prospective clients. I’ve watched what he does, listened to the way he talks to them. After reading your material here last week I was able to put the… Read more »
Ilhan Kudeki
Ilhan Kudeki
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger: Asking the secretary or any service person how their day is with genuine interest — shows confidence and usually makes them feel good.

Would like to learn the competence triggers of Facebook — especially things to avoid (incompetence triggers).

And the difference, I think is a matter of self-esteem. People who take action have a can-do attitude and a optimistic receptiveness to new information. Those who don’t already don’t think that things are going to work for them, so they automatically disqualify even good advice.

Rob Griffin-Duncan
Rob Griffin-Duncan
4 years 6 months ago

1) I was able to convey confidence and a driven attitude to an independent consultant while I was working for his client for just 3 days. He separated my actual worth from the low-skill task I was performing. He in turn was willing to give me a chance working with him in the future.

2) My competence triggers while using personal email are not sharp. I normally convey myself much better in person. Previously, in emails I have come across as over-eager and under skilled.

Andre Ong
Andre Ong
4 years 6 months ago

-I remember a time when a deal I was brokering almost blew up with both parties yelling at each other in multiple languages. I remained calm and continued to negotiate. This brought me a great distance in my client’s perception of my competence.

– I’d like to optimize opportunities to raise funds for a start-up non-profit organization.

– It’s easier to whine than take action. It feels good and makes one think he/she is better than someone else.

kevin
kevin
4 years 6 months ago
When people ask me for a discount for my services (a commodity in this town with prices all over the board), I say no, we don’t discount, that we do what no one else in this town does, with the results and community to prove it, and that people who pay for our services (and not a discount) show they value the results they will get and are more likely to stick with the program because they paid for it. Some people need to pay more to stay with our program. Bonus: Whiners exist because reading blog posts, watching videos… Read more »
Josh
Josh
4 years 6 months ago
1. Leave a comment with the following: – Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? (Example: Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews.) – BONUS question: In the student examples above, why do some people whine while others take action? One competence trigger: Putting the approval and/or action in the other person’s court with phrases like “If you’re up for it”, and “I… Read more »
Joe Erickson
Joe Erickson
4 years 6 months ago
– After taking the Earn1K course, I negotiated a 20% raise and a promotion. I quit that job a month later to start my own business, but it was a great learning experience. – How to confidently talk to strangers. Not even as a potential sale, but just small talky stuff. I don’t do small talky well. – I can tell you why I used to whine, because it was easier. There’s no guarantee in life that if I attempt to put myself in uncomfortable situations that anything will actually get better. It’s easier to just deny that it will… Read more »
David Weisberger
4 years 6 months ago
Trigger: I brought up equity as a potential part of the compensation in a contracting discussion yesterday, to signal that I saw the potential of the company and was committed for the long-term. Then I followed with an example of how I had used my skills to help build a similar enterprise – now, while the entire conversation was definitely friendly, my potential boss *smiled* through the entire example. (And yes, I had watched the Ramit-Susan interviewing videos.) Optimize: I’m interested in initial contact for networking – whether email, phone or in person, how do I capture interest and convey… Read more »
Marcella Jackson
Marcella Jackson
4 years 6 months ago

1. ONE Competence Trigger – This was seen after researching fully the company I had an interview with. With this information and confidence, I was able to have a great conversation with the interviewer and an offer followed.

2. I would like to perform successfully during negotiations.

– BONUS question: In the student examples above, why do some people whine while others take action? I think although people want the results of success they are not willing to do the work.

Meo
Meo
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger that works: Look up, not down, and maintain eye contact for more than just a second. When you don’t know the “correct” answer to a question, people tend to look down, and it comes off as not being confident. It took me a long time to learn this, but now this the one thing I always do when I’m trying to be assertive or talking to a less than content customer. I’d love to learn more of the competence triggers and body language that are subtle but make huge differences when it comes to interview and everyday interactions.… Read more »
M S
M S
4 years 6 months ago

1. Competence trigger- as a teacher, I always dress up for work. Some teachers wear jeans and t-shirts, which is fine, but I think a professional appearance sends a subtle message to my middle schoolers that I expect them to show up to my class ready to work.

2. I’d love to learn more about spoken language in interviews that sends a message of high competence without resorting to meaningless jargon.

crystal
crystal
4 years 6 months ago

I am a personal assistant to an elderly gentleman and have gotten used to wearing whatever to work, since mostly I’m only cleaning, running errands, or keeping his books, and have noticed this icky dress code leaking into other areas of my day to day. With the turn of this new year I have made a promise to myself *and hubbs* to “put some love” onto my wardrobe. This has definitely allowed me an HUGE boost in ego!! And the added confidence leads to a better mood and higher energy, blah, blah, blah…I’m unstoppable!!

Heather
Heather
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: Tone of voice. I have a tendency to talk to people in a higher pitched voice, and kind of sound like Barbie. When I lower the register in which I am speaking, then I sound more grounded, in control, less airhead-ey, and as a result, people tend to put more value into the words coming out of my mouth. Also, handshakes! They have to be just right. You don’t wanna be the Incredible Hulk, but you shouldn’t be a dead fish either. I’d love to expand my knowledge of how to get my network going, in particular. I… Read more »
Falk
Falk
4 years 6 months ago

Hey Ramit,
– On Compentence Trigger:
I’m still in school, so when I goover my notes before the next day I feel way more confident because I can answer the questions the teacher is going to ask.
– Improved Situation
Talking to strangers is still a problem for me, so I’d like to learn which competence triggers allow me to feel more confident there.
– BONUS question:
Some people whine, because maybe as soon as they see *free* they think it’s going to be a scam. Those people didn’t learn to critical read everything and see what really is a scam and what is not.

Jas Condley
Jas Condley
4 years 6 months ago
– How one dresses is often important. As a student, I found putting on a nice shirt, and making sure I was shaven often led to better initial reactions when approaching professors about letters of recommendation. To quote Shakespeare, “the apparel oft proclaims the man.” (but does not make the man.) – I’d love to see how to include competence triggers in resume writing. I have an attractive, skilled resume for a recent graduate, but my success rate (judged as being call backs) so far has been low. – Having taught coursework, the whiners were always the ones that thought… Read more »
Nick W.
Nick W.
4 years 6 months ago

While talking with other developers, if I am very knowledgeable of the topic on hand, my demeanor is easy-going, open, and am able to converse easily. On the otherhand, if I am a little bit unsure of the topic, even if I still have something to contribute, I can tell that I close in myself and don’t contribute.

Sheela
Sheela
4 years 6 months ago
1. I find that if I have a good talk with a friend or family member right before I have to meet new people, I am always more outgoing. Even more so if my friends are actually there. 2. Overall, I think I just need to learn to be more confident. For example, I am always afraid of approaching people for fear of wasting their time. I know of a few people who I could learn a ton from, but taking that first step is tricky to me. I never know what to say. Bonus: It’s easier to whine than… Read more »
John Sawers
4 years 6 months ago
One confidence trigger that ‘ve developed for job interviews is asking questions. I want to seem curious enough to find out about their business, technology and culture. I want to project that I’m interested in finding a company that’s the right fit, not just take the first offer I see. I’m interested in learning better negotiation techniques. I tend to have too much empathy for the other side. While I have negotiated raises in the past, I didn’t do it well. I’d like to learn how to control important conversations rathe rthan just letting them happen. As for the whiners,… Read more »
Sammy
4 years 6 months ago
1. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to hire, so I backed into this Competence Trigger technique when I asked myself, “What would someone have to do to really impress me?” I think 99% of all candidates don’t know that and wouldn’t be able to do something extraordinary even if the technique was explained to them. I’ve found that talking about anything other than the job to start the interview can really help everyone open up, and reinforces the fact that the candidate is not desperate to be there. 2. I would love to be able to discover… Read more »
Katie
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: pretty obvious but eye contact! I speak to groups of volunteers and always make sure to look individuals in the eye while panning the group. The volunteers feel appreciated and often end up thinking I’m the best thing since sliced bread or their personal BFFs. I try to use eye contact with my bosses (for a different reason) but am not great at it… but I used to close my eyes while talking and didn’t even know! Now at least I don’t do that… I spend a fair amount of time working outside of the 8 – 5… Read more »
HeidiW
HeidiW
4 years 6 months ago
I asked to lead a huge project at work and got to work taking action to get the project done immediately, without asking for approval on every small matter as I had in the past. Instead of emailing people so much, I set up meetings or at least called people, so I could develop more relationships in my company and get some recognition as a person who drives priorities. My supervisor was so impressed with my leadership skills, my year-end review said I had “exceeded expectations” for the first time ever. I was rewarded with a raise and promotion. I… Read more »
Katie
4 years 6 months ago

To the whiners: they whine because they don’t see the game…

Mayank P.
Mayank P.
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger – Dressing up professionally gives me the confidence, taking charge of a situation by asking team members to “get it done” certainly makes my adrenaline runs.

I am sort of introvert. I understand the importance of networking but somehow never able to leverage it. I would certainly like optimize networking and reaching out to people.

Bonus question- For some people whining illustrates the lack of responsibility. Whiners generally tend to be lazy and would get away without any efforts. Some people like to be in charge and they consider whining as a sign of weakness.

Jennifer
4 years 6 months ago
A competence trigger I’ve used as a wedding photographer: upon receiving an inquiry, I ask a bride about her venue choice. If I’ve shot there, I prepare to show her images from that location when we meet. If I’ve shot the venue, then I’ll show something that has similar characteristics and point those out. Both avenues give me instant credibility, show that I’ve listened and done homework and give her the confidence to know I will shoot her wedding beautifully. I’d like to know how to manage a negotiation where a prospect brings up price at the outset of a… Read more »
Aron Standley
Aron Standley
4 years 6 months ago
A problem I’ve been facing is how to get started on eating a whale – any project that seems like a massive undertaking. The crux of this problem for me is in how the project *seems* to be massive. This post was an awesome vehicle to sit down and think about how I’ve naturally overcome this problem when it’s come up before. Here’s what I came up with: The competence trigger that gets me through big projects is “just getting started”. Most life coaches would be proud to share this idea, but, like the whiners and me-at-my-worst, they have a… Read more »
Tessel
Tessel
4 years 6 months ago
When someone asks me ‘I would like a list of clients that fit XYZ criteria, can you do that for me?’ I tell them that sure, I can and am more happy to do it, but that in this case their needs are better met if they use ABC criteria because it will render a more useful list for the things they would like to do. I would love to learn how to use these triggers in networking, as I still have the feeling it is a bit sleazy. bonus question: I admit it: I am a whiner. getting off… Read more »
Aron Standley
Aron Standley
4 years 6 months ago
The situation I’d like to optimize is how to manage scope when you’re in a creative flow, so that the right limits are set to stay valuable. A downside of being in a creative flow is getting carried away by it, and I want to be able to set the right limits, knowing that limitations to creativity make the work even better. (If you’ve read Rework by Jason and David of 37Signals, I’m looking for scripts for curators – how to say a firm “no” to the 10,000 useless things, and whole-hearted “yes” to the 1-3 critical things). Bonus Question:… Read more »
Nelly
4 years 6 months ago
1. You miss 100% of the shots you never take. Too many people complain and make excuses about why something didn’t go there way or how the cards are stacked against them. They quit before they even try! I’ve always said, the worst they can say is no. 2. I’m now looking to switch careers/industries and I’d love to optimize my interviews. I never really had to interview for a job before since my industry (hotels) is very well connected. Now that I’m looking to jump ship I know I really need to learn how to interview the Dream Job… Read more »
Victor
Victor
4 years 6 months ago
1. Enthusiasm – Before I enter a office or club etc. I will stand outside (a little bit of so they don’t see me yet) and scream some one-liner out loud like “Go Tiger!” .. “Woohoo!” or anything similar. Than when I enter, I am pumped with emotions and enthusiasm which helps me to kill the voice back in my head saying “You suck”.. well I’m louder.. so I can make it. In this positive emotional state it’s much easier to apply other confidence triggers and avoid rambling or bad body language. 2. Negotiations – At some point in a… Read more »
Ryan Geist
4 years 6 months ago
I used to move around all the time when talking to people. Fidget, you know. Then I saw the new “Planet of the Apes”… when Caesar (the smart ape) lets all the other chimps out and makes his power moves to exert his Alphaness on the rest of the dookie-throwers. He stands there like a boss. Still. Bossy. Moves his eyes before he moves his head. I stand like that now. It’s body language for “I’m powerful.” I’d like to learn how to handle specific questions that challenge my “frame” better. In pickup, they might be called “shit tests”. In… Read more »
Jim
Jim
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve been studying how you speak and present in your videos, and applying that to talking to clients. My tendency is to speak quickly, and I feel like a used car salesman. I’ve been slowing down, adding a thoughtful pause after questions, and speaking deeper and more authoritatively. Before it seemed like I was being tuned out, and now I can see people perk up and give me their full attention. So thanks for that! Dream Job (to me) is more than just trying to work for someone else. Dream Job is also getting a dream contract, pitching a dream… Read more »
Michael
Michael
4 years 6 months ago

Confidence Trigger: After I had been at job for a few years the boss delegated to me the responsibility of putting together the departments yearly budget proposal. I added a line for my salary and gave myself a raise of 30%. The budget passed without a word. A few weeks later the boss admitted I was underpaid and worth the raise.
Negotiation is my weakness in general. I often will cave if pressed on an issue.

Omari
Omari
4 years 6 months ago

My brother Sudi was a classmate of yours at Stanford in STS, and two of my siblings (Aminah and Tariq) followed in the same major. It’s interesting to see how you all have applied the major in the real world.

Confidence trigger: When I go into an interview, I make sure to introduce myself to the receptionist, ask her name, and generally shake her hand before announcing my intended meeting. This gets her on my side, and improves the quality of the call she makes to the back offices.

Logan
Logan
4 years 6 months ago
I’m in a field (medicine) that has a very different and circumscribed pathway to employment, but I find Ramit’s information useful for a lot of career building steps that I’m taking in medical school. For example, I just recently used what I now realize is a Competence Trigger (being specific and confident about what I needed from a mentor) and some persuasive techniques to get onto a research project I’ve been dying to join. The whiners have already decided that they wouldn’t get anything out of your course, and thus need to denigrate it for their own psychological comfort. (Also,… Read more »
Scott M
Scott M
4 years 6 months ago

I have been looking for a dream job for a while and have tried a couple of career coaches. I read the material and did my homework. By the completion of the program I found my Meyers Briggs 4 digit ‘Style’ description and went on to find my ‘Strengths’. Both of which were spot on. “Nice to know” I said to the coaches “but how do I translate that into income?”
This course looks more like the kind of insight I am looking for. How to be the person who gets the job and the good income.

Tim
4 years 6 months ago

– Competence Trigger – When I dress in sharp business clothes I get better customer services. This is true in all sorts of situations such as visits to the doctor or the front desk of a hotel. Maybe it is a confidence thing I get from my appearance or maybe it is a script most people have to deal with people in suits.

– Negotiations as well as opportunities to learn from experts

– Bonus – It is related to fear. I used to be more whiner than actioner

Mark
Mark
4 years 6 months ago
> Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully I hope you don’t mind me to share two. One is a trigger I learned from your earlier free material: put of the salary discussion. I actually told the interviewer that I’d like to first find out whether we have a mutual match and I’m confident we can agree on salary later on. After that interview, they actually wanted me and asked me what they needed to do to help me make my decision. I actually told them I decided the job isn’t what I’m looking for, that the job is… Read more »
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years 6 months ago

1. Definitely easier to get a job when I already have one & when I meet the new contact socially.
2. Want better negotiating skills around money -fear I’ll make a mistake on the job & they’ll think “she’s not all that”
3. Its much easier to complain than to open your mind & admit you might not have all the answers.

Paige L
Paige L
4 years 6 months ago
1. As a server, when a new customer walks into the restaurant, I say, “these are some of our signature dishes. If you’d like, I can heighten your experience by pairing a wine to go perfectly with each dish.” By doing this, I am offering to share my expertise in wine and food in return for a memorable dining experience (price is never mentioned). This almost doubles the bill, and the customers leave happy. 2. I’d like to primarily optimize my skills in informational interviews/networking. I am not the most experienced with these to begin with, and I’d like to… Read more »
Ben
Ben
4 years 6 months ago

1. Competence trigger- when pitching a new idea to a client- I am very blunt and speak with the confidence that I know what I am doing, leaving out technical jargon that doesn’t matter to the client. Bottom line they want to know how I will get the job done, I tell them as simply as possible.
2. Definitely better negotiating skills when working out the details of a job.
3. It’s easier to just blame others for your lazy attitude than to actually do anything about it.

MJ
MJ
4 years 6 months ago
1. My best competence trigger is to predict potential objections and prepare responses ahead of time. In one instance, I was leading a team of mostly male colleagues on a volunteer project. I predicted that they would want to use a primarily blue color scheme, which wasn’t the best for the project. So, before the next meeting I contacted a color expert who sent me psychological meanings behind colors, including the research that blue implies femininity. The team went with a more effective yellow scheme. 2. I’m already in a great, rewarding job, and I’d like tips on maximizing my… Read more »
Pauly
4 years 6 months ago
I’ve discovered that when I approach a situation either being comfortable with “the right answer” OR at least projecting that I’m comfortable I know what the right answer is I tend to – oddly enough – get the answer I’m after. I work with folks who can smell blood in the water at the slightest sign of weakness, but most aren’t willing to fight if it looks like I’m comfortable I have the right answer on my side. I’m all over optimizing the search and the interviews – those are the two areas I’m still not real comfortable in (and,… Read more »
Michael Staples
Michael Staples
4 years 6 months ago
::1:: Its a simple thing, but I maintain eye contact when someone is talking or presenting to me. Not only is it respectful, but shows that you are interested and engaged, and compared to the person with their nose in a phone you are a saint. ::2:: Informational interviews. Scripts/tips for setting them up, prep/questions that will maximize the time together, and how to ensure the interviewee feels like they got something out of it. ::BONUS:: It’s interesting to reframe the question as, “what prevents people from taking action?” There is a lot of good research on this. For example,… Read more »
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[…] hand, when an application is superb, it immediately stands out — instantly. There are certain Competence Triggers that will capture the attention of a hiring manager and “semi-automatically” bring your […]

A Woman
A Woman
4 years 6 months ago

Let’s see if Ramit blushes.

Relationship Competence Triggers (for both women and men)…
– walking around naked (shows you’re confident with your body)
– taking initiative in bed (shows you know what you are doing)
– being responsive and talking during sex (but do not say, “are you ok?”)

When you are quiet during sex and you are just *hoping* it’s going well or just doing what you *think* you should be, seriously just stop. If you want your partner to do or not do something, just tell them. If you can’t talk about it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

Betsbillabong
Betsbillabong
4 years 6 months ago
One successful competence trigger was when I was interviewed for a highly sought-after postdoc at an Ivy League school. I wasn’t at all faking it – but despite the fact that the academic job market is cut-throat, I wanted to be sure it was the right fit for me. So I made sure to ask lots of questions about the department, about students, about options for collaborations and research funds, and so on (while of course letting them take the lead and answering all of their questions as well). I got the job. Something I could use help with is… Read more »
Erin
Erin
4 years 6 months ago

When I talk about a weakness, I provide information about the fact that I acknowledge my weakness, what steps I take to either fix it or work around it, and how it has even helped me to bring success.

Christopher Jones
4 years 6 months ago
1. This one is subtle. When talking to customers (I sell window coverings in-home mostly, just bought a store) they often get the terminology confused (“top-down/bottom-up” becomes “bottom-up” which is almost the opposite) and I have learned to instantly adapt my language to what they are using. They are grateful because they know what they are talking about and realize that I am listening. 2. Improvement area: Initial meeting of clients/customers and when discussing price. Need to focus on my uniqueness and USP, then I’ll be ready to present myself better, or rather my offering. Bonus: Well, speaking as someone… Read more »
Ofer
Ofer
4 years 6 months ago

1. When I buy something and I know the prices in the market and my alternatives I usually manage to negotiate the price and get a better deal.

2. negotiate my salary in the hiring process. If it is a good position I’m afraid to lose withe for 5K/10K.

3. some people (not a lot) are proactive. They’ve decided along the way to take ownership on their life – so they do. the rest – don’t. and there are some that don’t like to see others working hard while they are watching TV – so they whine 🙂

Kat
Kat
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger – I use humor, particularly the one-liner. This might not work for everyone, but I have been told by people who would say otherwise that I’m pretty good at it. Humor signals that I’m at ease and confident, and that I want the same for everyone I’m around. Its hard to have a negative impression of someone that makes you smile. Question – What competence triggers would you use as a new employee at an organization? I want to give the impression that I’m a quick study, I want to learn, and I want to be great at… Read more »
nafeesa
nafeesa
4 years 6 months ago

please send me the newsletter. thank you

Wal
Wal
4 years 6 months ago

– I’ve recently learned (through the study of narcissism) that MOST people actually AREN’T at all interested in you, but in themselves. Consequently, this has helped me be much more comfortable and at ease in various social and professional settings (since I no longer feel like people are just waiting to catch me making a mistake).
– I’d like to improve in my interviewing techniques, specifically how to “sell” my past experience to make me stand out from others.
– BONUS question: It’s my impression that whining absolves you of the responsibility to take action, so it’s the “easy way out”.

Ivan
4 years 6 months ago
1. I’m 6’7”. When I walk into a room I feel like I have control. Another thing, I’ve been player soccer my whole life at a very high level. I’ve become so confident with my game that I feel untouchable. 2. I work with a gentleman who is able to think (critically) and verbalise those thoughts/questions very clearly. When I’m talking about anything, my mind races and my language is meandering at best. I put a lot of pressure on myself and ultimately sound like I have no idea what I’m talking about (aka self doubt). When it turns into… Read more »
David
David
4 years 6 months ago
I went in to an interview that I found through a temp agency for a basic help desk position. I ended up having a discussion with the interviewing manager about their knowledge management situation. I gave him my thoughts on a successful knowledge management setup based on my technical writing background and reading on educational psychology. He ended up wanting to hire me as a full time knowledge manager, at a higher pay rate and skipping the temporary contract. Here’s where I blew it: The temp agency, who wasn’t present at the interview, acted like the whole thing hadn’t happened.… Read more »
Ian
Ian
4 years 6 months ago
1. Competence Trigger – When I’m in groups and people are sitting around talking about what is the best course of action or what to do or how to do it, I will say, “watch this” and then DO IT. Sitting around stroking it is fun to a point but does not get you anywhere. I am usually first to take action, since it speaks louder than words. Nothing speaks louder than a first hand demonstration. – Situations I’d like to optimize are high emotion situations, where I’m put on the spot asking to explain my decision. I tend to… Read more »
Jen
Jen
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. 1. I think about all of my successful moments in life and realize that if I actually can be the shit sometimes. I double majored and studied abroad within 4 years of college. At a job interview- I acted like I could handle a lot based on that experience. 2. I’m thinking about going into sales and I’ve never done it in my life. I feel like I’m going to… Read more »
Bradley
Bradley
4 years 6 months ago
– Competence Trigger: This is kind of a d*ck move and not related to business, but I live in an area with lots of tennis courts, which are sometimes taken by people that don’t know how to play. When all the other courts are full, my friend and I will wait outside the court with the most amateurish looking people on it and stand with our tennis bags looking every so serious to guilt the fun loving but technique-less people off of the court. It works pretty often. – I’ve gotten the tennis court bully thing down, but in real… Read more »
Nathan
Nathan
4 years 6 months ago
One competence trigger I was discussing with a colleague today was telling a customer that you are going to sacrifice a sale to offer them another that you think would fit them better. For example, “Normally, I would tell customers the best thing to do is do [X], however, in your case you are dealing with [repeat circumstance], so I don’t think that is the best option for you. I think the best thing for you is [insert other product].” This shows that you are more concerned with paying attention to their circumstance and advising them than the sale (even… Read more »
Eliezer
Eliezer
4 years 6 months ago
1. Since I have a desktop publishing/graphics background and feel confident with my skill set, I was able to calmly and confidently tell several senior level staff members (who were facing a tight deadline) a workaround solution to achieve the same result all the while discreetly eating an apple. Once they were satisfied with the solution, I smiled. 2. Negotiations 3. Whiners look inward at their situation and how life hasn’t played out according to plan; all their personal issues are not a result of their own doing. They fail to see that they are the problem. Expressing their discontent… Read more »
Bartek
Bartek
4 years 6 months ago
Competence Trigger: As a lawyer, on many occasions I am in the situation of telling people about legal rules and arrangement. And what I found is that when I talk to my clients, they always nod more and seem to be happier when I explain things in plain language. Also, clients like it when I have something printed beforehand. I can for example talk until I’m blue in the face about list of required documents but when I print out such list and bring it to a meeting, everybody seems so much more confident in what I am talking. Situation… Read more »
Kerry
Kerry
4 years 6 months ago
I got a good tip when I was emailing senior exec-type people (in a few cases about job prospects), which was to keep emails very short and sweet. I tend to be wordy and I noticed I got a much better response when I was brief, to the point of being terse. This is probably because the exec is trying to filter a lot of emails quickly. And this is exactly the type of email they send, so you look like a fellow organized, busy exec who is also getting right to the point. I’d like to optimize interviews, but… Read more »
Katherine
Katherine
4 years 6 months ago
One thing I have done in an interview is draw attention to a mistake I had made, and how I was actively trying to make up for it during the interview. I am far too fallible to hope to not make mistakes, show showing I am aware of them and how I try to make up for them is the best I can do. I would like to learn how to get the most challenging projects within whichever organisation I am in, and how confidence triggers might help. The challenge here is of course that the relationship is long term,… Read more »
Susan
Susan
4 years 6 months ago
1. During a meeting to negotiate a USD$200,000 sponsorship of a project with a “fundraiser” and the person responsible for project selection at the company, when the “fundraiser” started trying to get specific about the ROI, I said “Let’s proceed one step at a time and ensure that we create a mutually-beneficial long-term partnership. I want to ensure that all parties’ rights are protected, so at each step get the appropriate authorizations [I’m working with international organizations & legal bodies].” Thanks to this “interruption” said in a calm, composed manner, the head of project selection got so hooked on my… Read more »
Kelii
Kelii
4 years 6 months ago
#1 – Planning on the fly. In a recent meeting, my boss asked when we could meet again to discuss the framework of his proposal. Since we were all there and I had a created a plan as he was speaking, I shared it right then. Saved time and impressed everyone in the room. #2 – Networking. Love to have more people looking out for me. #3 – Can’t figure out why some people are bitter and angry. Glad I’m not dating any of them. I do know that there are passive whiners however. I’m sometimes one of them. I… Read more »
Syed
Syed
4 years 6 months ago

1. One of the ways I’ve found to give off an expert vibe at work is to “play magician”. If there is a problem and someone comes to me with it, I get them to figure out what to do, and then reveal the simplest way to go about it.

2. Back in the day working at a restaurant, speaking with real passion always was a competence trigger. It showed knowledge of the food, the atmosphere.

Nita
Nita
4 years 6 months ago
WTG Ramit! I’m proud of you for offering a 3-Week Dream Job Boot Camp – Great Job. I wanted to share a quick few minutes of my day to confirm what you’re saying is true. When I was a recruiter in my younger days, I was a one woman show for 11 different locations facing 100+ openings. Interviews ran early, late, and through lunch often times. However, I like a challenge and am passionate about helping others achieve greater success, both personally and professionally. By utilizing some of the excellent (and little known) psychological techniques like you’re sharing, I became… Read more »
dhani b
4 years 6 months ago
I used to be a skateboard photographer and dressed and acted so much so. Baggy clothes, always wearing shorts and a pair of skateboard shoes, and then one day, I decided to change, and one of the first things I changed where my clothes, gone where the baggy pants, the skateboard shoes and the rebellious attitude. Since I am now a freelance photographer, I would like to know how to use competence triggers to show my customers that the rates I am charging will bring them more business with the quality of my images. And in terms of the bonus… Read more »
Matthew
4 years 6 months ago
I am an opera singer and auditions are very important. A competence trigger I use in auditions is making a point to talk to them beyond the hello and thanks small talk. Whatever I say, be it about their busy day of listening or thanking them for using this particular studio because it is much nicer to sing in, acoustically, then what cmany companies use when they come to NY, I always try to be warm, at ease, and coming across as someone easy going who “gets it.” I would love to learn how to apply competence triggers when meeting… Read more »
Brad
Brad
4 years 6 months ago

I would like to know what confidence triggers to use and how to use them in sending out emails requesting informational interviews and subsequently during the informational interview.

I’d also like to get some advice concerning cover letters and asking questions during the interview.

Val
Val
4 years 6 months ago
1. Competence Trigger Rather than bore the committee for a prestigious national fellowship with yet another chronological enginerd personal statement, I wrote a personal statement that synthesized elements of my personal and research background into a cohesive narrative with one thesis: that I was positioned to be a responsible steward of my field. When I was given the award, I was the first awardee my grad program had produced in 7 years. 2. I’ve graduated with my Master’s (paid for entirely by that award and other fellowships), and I’m applying to med school. I think it’s a more competitive process,… Read more »
Sara Oviatt
Sara Oviatt
4 years 6 months ago
A successful competence trigger I’ve used is ‘fake it til you make it.’ Put on the smile, head up, act purposefully and act as if I know what I’m doing, even if I’m not really sure. A situation to optimize: Small group conversations. I always have an envelope of silence around me at parties and dinners. I have trouble engaging others in a meaningful conversation. I think some people whine because it’s much easier to sit back and complain about a situation than to take action to solve the problem. As long as they do nothing, they think they can’t… Read more »
Peter
Peter
4 years 6 months ago

My competence trigger is truly understanding a subject. It suddenly becomes easy to relax and have a real and relevant discussion. Especially useful during interviews.

JVasquez
JVasquez
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger: People easily open up to me when they see I am actually listening and not judging them as oppose to when my mind is going 1,000 miles an hour.
Optimize: how to have Informational meetings with a clear purpose
Bonus: people like to play victims as they create thoughts that make them believe that it’s external factors that prevent them from getting what they want when it’s really their lack of confidence and lack of purpose.

Ethan Wilson
Ethan Wilson
4 years 6 months ago

Now obviously walking into a venue with two incredibly attractive females that you already have been with secures your night for you when you run off and talk to other sets, pre-selection ftw.

I think the most successful competency trigger I’ve ever used was probably going to a legal meeting and telling the LAWYERS which laws they were not following by not securing their e-mails and archiving them for 7 years. It’s good to tell people who went to school for years that their doing it wrong. I got the contract by the way. WIN.

Kevin G
Kevin G
4 years 6 months ago
1) As a competence trigger, I sometimes employ a bit of a self-deprecating style of humor. Not only does it soften the mood, but I think that if someone can make a joke or poke a little fun at themselves that it shows they aren’t afraid of what it is about themselves they’re joking on. 2) Cover letters and/or resume. I’m trying to change career fields and my degree is not in the field into which I’m trying to go. I want to be received as confident and also set myself apart from other folks who have more “experience” or… Read more »
gail
gail
4 years 6 months ago

Being relaxed, open and friendly.

Janis Lm
Janis Lm
4 years 6 months ago

When I think that I have nothing to lose, I am so much more relaxed and present my self much more accurately. This occurred most recently when I met with a career marketing firm. Conversely, my thinking shut down exponentially during my most recent phone interview for a position I did not want to lose! Guess what….

Erin
4 years 6 months ago

I was searching for a job and was told about a new branch of a company starting up in the town I lived in. Even though the papers said they weren’t currently hiring, I walked into the office with my resume and asked to speak to the director. He said he’d gotten countless e-mailed resumes and snail-mailed resumes but I was the only person who came…in person. After I joined the company, he told everyone it was the initiative I showed which led him to create a position especially for me.

Erin
4 years 6 months ago

… and #2: I’d like to know what competence triggers to use when explaining my unemployment gap after a lay-off. Usually, it goes pretty well when I succinctly say, “it was a recession and although I searched diligently and networked and studied to keep my skills current, I didn’t find work until I found it”. Is there a better approach?

Justin
4 years 6 months ago

The best competence trigger I have is pictures or video of me doing what I do. Watching me work confidently gives other people confidence in working with me.

Sue
4 years 6 months ago

I’m sold just after reading the comments. I’m going to buy the course, and save the time it would have took to post my answers. Nice job, genius!

Christian
4 years 6 months ago

A confidence trigger that comes in handy while applying for on-campus positions in college (typically against fellow students with little interviewing experience) is having a DEEP question prepared to ask your interviewers that relates back to what you’ll be doing WHEN (not if) you get the position. Show that you’re not just prepared to start the job, you’re prepared to succeed in the job.

That being said, I would LOVE to have some info on Interviewing – I want that signature Ramit “Cocky confidence”

Whiners whine because they expect some benefit. The squeaky wheel does not always get the grease.

Kristi
Kristi
4 years 6 months ago
ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully: Deferring wage discussions until there is an offer on the table. I used this during 3 interviews in the last month. It works like magic. I’ve found it helps me sort out who is looking for a top candidate and who wants the cheapest deal. I don’t need to waste my time with an organization that just wants a cheap cog in the wheel. Walking away from an offer that did not meet my expectations (even after negotiation) to exceed my current full time employment compensation package and wishing them the best finding… Read more »
Dave E
Dave E
4 years 6 months ago

1. Confidence trigger that’s worked: Realizing I wasn’t faced with a once-in-a-lifetime, best-offer- I’ll-ever- get option. As long as I believed I could walk away from the deal, I didn’t look desperate and wasn’t selling myself short.

2. In informational interviews, I’d like to get better at figuring out what kind of questions can clarify the personal qualities, skills, and abilites that a job requires to better assess if I’m a good fit.

3. Why do people whine? Because it reinforces the thinks you believe about the world and yourself, and it feels like “action.”

Jen
Jen
4 years 6 months ago
1) At my job, the best competence trigger is standing up and taking action. Accomplishing concrete goals means you’re competent, and the way you hold yourself after you know you accomplished something well will always clue others in. 2) I’m interested in negotiation tactics. Watching your two minute video above and seeing your example response to the salary question..it was just so obvious how GOOD that answer was. More of that please! Bonus: People whine because they know they’re losers. Period. They know their situation won’t get better because they’re only focused on what’s wrong with their situation, but do… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
4 years 6 months ago

Competence trigger: I always dress on the nice side when shopping for clothing – I get better assistance.

Situation I’d like to optimize: I’ve learned about an upcoming, higher level position in my company that I’d like. It’s not in my exact area of experience, but after watching your videos, I know I’ve exhibited a lot of low-competence triggers in my day-to-day interactions with people who’ll make and/or influence the decision on this position. Is it too late to undo?

max
max
4 years 6 months ago

1. competence is dressing for the job you want, even at the place i’m already working. at my office, everyone works in the same big room. the other people in my department dress very casually. i dress like the executives.

2. i’m nervous about establishing some kind of rapport with the executives, because i know they’re busy and i don’t want to waste their time.

bonus: there are “yes people” and “no people”. “yes people” recognize and take advantage of every favorable opportunity. “no people” (whiners) retreat in the comfort of their own stagnation.

March
March
4 years 6 months ago
#1) A competence trigger I like to use is when I converse with customers while they’re coming by to check out. I would speak out as if they were challengers to my domain and frame the situation as if they were going to be in for some thrill by “accepting” my call. Never fails to leave a smile. #2) I would love to learn how competence triggers work in networking settings. Quite honestly, I’d rather learn everything you have to teach me; after reading this article and viewing the video, I truly wish I learned about negotiating my pay before… Read more »
Susanna
Susanna
4 years 6 months ago
Competence triggers I have used: I know one thing that works for me is that I don’t get upset easily in work or business situations. So if the person in front ofme in line has lost it and yelled or whined at the clerk, I can always make points by speaking softly, letting them know I have a sense of humor about whatever it is, etc.. Also in a social situation where I have had something really good happen and If eel happy and “full of myself” I notice people want to know about it and hear the whole story.… Read more »
Mayra
Mayra
4 years 6 months ago
Something risky I did once – I admitted to a weakness that could have cost me the position but then reverted to a strength that completely compensated for it. The honesty in admitting the weakness made the strength more credible, since I was now “an honest and open person”. One thing I seem to struggle with is to fully use my network to my advantage. I have a strong network with some incredible top performers. My big questions are always how I can benefit from their experience, orlearn about the techniques that have worked for them, without seeming desperate, pushy,… Read more »
Monica
Monica
4 years 6 months ago

1. I told the hiring team that I appreciated the offer but that I while I was new to their company, I had experience elsewhere and that the going rate for that experience was higher and that is what I needed to be paid. They said yes.
2. I’m now working as an independent contractor in the wellness industry and I’d like to improve my success rate at landing clients during interviews that I have asked for.

BONUS question: People whine because they don’t think they are capable.

Shawn
Shawn
4 years 6 months ago

1. I related how the job ties into my values which gave me more credibility being that I had no experience other then customer service.
2. I want to work on the interviewing for creative jobs and how I can bring my skill set to the table even though I have not completed college.

People whine because if something is wrong they can easily blame someone else for something that is personal issue: fear.

Patti
Patti
4 years 6 months ago
Competence trigger: Walking into a room, coffee shop, my job with a relaxed demeanor and smile from my eyes. I’ve practiced this technique along with the opposite of walking in pensive, with a slight scowl on my face, and the reactions I get are vastly different. People approach me with the relaxed smile and avoid me with the slight scowl. Now, I purposely work at relaxing, even if I’m feeling moody. Would definitely love to optimize negotiation competence triggers. I work in mental health (notoriously low paying) but have a highly competent skill set and need assistance maneuvering my worth… Read more »
Ben
Ben
4 years 6 months ago
One competence trigger I used in an interview was when I was asked “Do you know how to use SAP?”. I could have just said “Yeah, I know how to use it”. Doesn’t tell them much. Anyone could say that. They even hired one person who said that and it turned out they’d never actually used it. Saying that would have answered the question but it wouldn’t have been very helpful to sell myself instead. Instead I gave some specific examples of my experience with SAP that were specific to some of the things the hiring manager was looking for… Read more »
Glen
Glen
4 years 6 months ago

Here is one thing I struggle with and would like to optimize: how do I apply the right confidence triggers when soliciting informational interviews? With contact info in hand (usually e-mail addresses) for companies that would be a great place to work or individuals that would be valuable for networking/mentoring… how do you effectively e-mail them without sounding pathetic or desperate? In job searching I don’t think I have ever even secured an informational interview before. I think it would be a valuable skill to have!

James
James
4 years 6 months ago
(1) Kissing on the first full-on date. Sure, it could get me slapped (and it hasn’t yet) but I’ve never had a date grow into a long-term relationship without that prerequisite. I can think of far too many dates where a lack of frankness resulted in nothing but waiting for the other person to get back to me. (2) Negotiation. I seek out compromise and aggression redirection (as distinguished from peace) with far too much haste, even when I stand in the right. (3) Whining relieves anxiety right away without having to dig up any troubling introspection. Anyone can exercise… Read more »
Sam
Sam
4 years 6 months ago
Alright Ramit, here is the first of many comments to come: In order to recruit for my circus troupe, I find that the key to success is a smile and timing. This translates into confidence and knowing your audience. I have been recruiting for two years now: the first year was more of a trial and error session while this year has involved more implementation. I am proud to say that we have doubled the number of members from 25 to 50, yielding the highest number of members since our founding, 6 years ago.* A situation in which I would… Read more »
T Ellis
T Ellis
4 years 6 months ago

1.) I live in the South, where folks are polite, and often don’t say what they really think. For the last couple of years, I’ve started being a little more forthright (gently, not as an excuse to hurt someone’s feelings) when asked for my opinion about something. I’ve found that by telling friends and family when I don’t like something, it gives more credence to the times I tell them I do like something. I know, it doesn’t sound earth-shaking.

2.) I look forward to what you have to say about networking,

BONUS: I can’t say it any better than Thomas did.

LAT
LAT
4 years 6 months ago
I’m a yoga instructor, and the main competence trigger I’ve found useful is that when I’m teaching, only I know what I want to say, and the way I’ve planned my class to flow. Once I realized that, I stopped beating myself up if I missed something or said the wrong thing. When you realize you’re in control, you find a sense of freedom and strength and you automatically open up and it allows you to be confident and competent. I’m also finishing up nursing school right now, and I would like to find a way to use competence triggers… Read more »
Renee
Renee
4 years 6 months ago

As a massage therapist and yoag teacher that used to wear whatever. Then I began looking around & realized that I needed to step up how I presented myself, it was no longer acceptable to look anything other than professional in my Lycra and spandex. My body, clothes, hair all contributed to my success. Personality, and presentable attire are always needed, it’s how people pick me to help them work on their body. Who wants an unnactractive person touching them?

Chris
Chris
4 years 6 months ago
I think I’ve always subconsciously avoided using competence triggers because I felt like I was gaming people. I’d rather have them see through the bullshit and find my true value through actual performance. Now I’m starting to realize that I’ve just been making things harder for myself. It’s especially confounding for me since I 100% size people up based on very little information (i.e. use competence triggers to determine if they’re worthwhile). This disparity has existed for years, so I’ll have to print this blog post and reread it every now and then to make sure I don’t slip into… Read more »
Karen
Karen
4 years 6 months ago
#1 – The power of a smile often works for me, especially walking into morning meetings. It allows me to connect to people to facilitate more open discussions. By going first, I can establish, well, most of the time, a more positive atmosphere. #2 – I have good job but want a better one. I struggle to carve out the energy to move on. I also know I would miss (some) of the people I presently work with. Bonus: Many of the whiners I see are frankly too comfortable and content where they are at in life to make even… Read more »
trackback
4 years 6 months ago

[…] Why do some people whine while others take action? Answer: 380+ responses. Answers like, “It’s very simple…people are just lazy” or “He is clearly […]

Janis
Janis
4 years 6 months ago

I believe whiners feel powerless to effect their disagreeable situation.

Eleanor
Eleanor
4 years 6 months ago
1) Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. Competence trigger – sending an e-mail requesting a meeting to present a project and discover about the business when I visited the city where I want a job. It worked and I got some great contacts because I was going out on such a limb (I’m quite shy) that I was relaxed and impressed people. 2) What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence… Read more »
Erik
Erik
4 years 6 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully Smiling when I am on the job has a positive effect. I’m aware that I can come across as serious when I’m not smiling, so I’ve made it a goal to smile daily whenever I can. It makes a big difference in how others respond to me when I talk to them and I feel better. – What’s a situation that you’d like to optimize but you’re not sure which Competence Triggers would apply? (Example: Interviews, negotiation, informational interviews.) I would like to learn more about networking. – BONUS question: In… Read more »
Erin
Erin
4 years 6 months ago

I am quite tall for a woman but wearing high-heels always makes me feel more confident and people notice me in a positive way. It even seems to help me perform my work better than when I wear more comfortable shoes.

I would like to learn how to contact and interview people in the field of my dream job without feeling super intimidated and tongue-tied.

Ben Biggs
Ben Biggs
4 years 6 months ago
Confidence trigger – I’m in the military, and when I put time into making my uniform as good as it can be, it gives me way more confidence than just throwing it on. Confidence trigger I would like to optimize – hanging out and being a good companion. I would like to go out more and get to know more people. But I get on the defensive because sometimes I think I’m not “cool” “funny” (insert random expectation) I feel like a big reason people don’t apply this material is because they feel overwhelmed, rather than spending an afternoon or… Read more »
Edie
Edie
4 years 6 months ago

When doing software support to customer and clients, I always assume that the people I am talking to are about 10 times smarter than me. I find that I get less resistance/no resistance when I need to fix problems and I get better survey scores based on that.

Andrea
Andrea
4 years 6 months ago
The Competence Trigger that I use best is when I walk into a meeting I have completely cleared my head of all of the mental garbage/baggage. For the most stressful meetings, I’m always trying to do my howework…research the issues, etc. But once I get all of that research done, I just have to file it away and walk in with a blank slate. I’ll put a list of the intentions I have for the meeting (a.k.a. what I want to get out of it; what is at stake; what are the known expectations from others), and then I do… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
4 years 6 months ago

I think that was a freudian slip. Replace winers and wining with whiners and whining above, please 🙂

Catherine Warren
Catherine Warren
4 years 6 months ago
1) When I stopped deprecating myself in conversation using phrases like, “Well, it’s just my opinion, but…” or “I’m not really an expert in this at all, but…” or “I’ve only been here for a few years, but…”, I found that people listened more to what I had to say. It took a little self-training to get over the feeling that by stating my opinions clearly (or perhaps by even having opinions!) I was being too “assertive,” too “strident,” too “unfeminine,” too much of a harpy. In fact I’ve found that my male coworkers really appreciate when I talk straight… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
4 years 6 months ago

Competence Trigger: When dating (or in life) It’s not playing the “game” that works, its actually going out and doing things that make you happy. Waiting around for someone to call, is never going to work. I would like to optimize negotiation techniques. BONUS: because they believe that everyone is against them – they are the victim/everything happens to them – they don’t’ take responsibility for their OWN actions.

Sam Katakouzinos
4 years 6 months ago
When people who need computer help talk I listen with no faulting and offer sympathy and especially talk with pride and a slight chest out, I seemed to be listened to and my advice is taken more often. Securing new work and being asked my experience, which lately is lacking due to health issues, and feeling that I’ve already lost the win. BONUS: (All too familiar for me) They are afraid of stepping out and building their own worth with what they already have and want/need someone to prop them up, forever? The difference between fault and responsibility… * Fault… Read more »
Sam L
Sam L
4 years 6 months ago
1) Funny you mention bar triggers… When I go out with a bunch of other guys at a bar or club, we always dissipate and find our own group of girls first. Easier to get in, and once we’re in, we’ll bump into each other and make it seem like we know half the club. No better competence trigger than being popular–worked in high school, still works here. 2) Asking people for work-related help. I’m friendly with many people but can’t get over the mental bump of asking them for career advice, job openings, etc.; either I come off as… Read more »
Melvin Price Jr.
Melvin Price Jr.
4 years 6 months ago
I have truly learned a lot over the past months I have been aware of your material. My wife has always been impressed with you, and when she would try to share your info I was the stereotypical husband that appeared to listen and didn’t. Lol. Well now I am a believer, I was a guy who always did well in interviews, if I was contacted for an interview I pretty much knew that it was up to me if I wanted the job or not. What baffled me was the better the opportunity the more difficult the interviews became.… Read more »
Erin
Erin
4 years 6 months ago

Similar to Catherine (above), I’ve learned to make assertive statements rather than introducing them with, “I think”.

I would like to learn more about how to better identify and cultivate my network.

saumitra
saumitra
4 years 6 months ago

competency trigger: older Bengali people assumed I knew nothing about the bengali culture since I had never been to Bengal. But then I would begin to speak in bengali with them and use all these idioms and words that you would never know unless you lived in bengal. After that, they couldn’t stop talking to me. Talking as I if grew up there would get me instant street cred.
2. I would like to learn the competency triggers that give you credibility in informational interviews.

Sydney
Sydney
4 years 6 months ago
This is my first time reading this blog, so far so good. Really, the more I get into it, the more I think it is a community instead of a blog. So, either Ramit is really superb at showmanship (which he clearly is anyway), or there is some serious value here. My confidence trigger at a job interview: I have never gotten a job when my nails weren’t done. I don’t know if it has something to do with having nice nails signaling to employers that I’m good or if it has more to do with my level or preparation–… Read more »
Mike Johnston
Mike Johnston
4 years 6 months ago
First time commenter, but long time follower (i.e. just read and thought about it, but didn’t DO it, at least not effectively). Spent some time studying body language, in books and video (& on the net), and find that the effects I get from people are different depending on how aware I am of how I’m standing. Plus, last year I started getting in shape (was very out of shape), and this year am really seeing results from that. Confidence is better, posture is better, just everything is better. I was never sold on the idea of a trainer, but… Read more »
Nik
Nik
4 years 6 months ago
My consistently effective competence trigger is to measure my pauses. Never say “Um” or “Ugh” in an interview or relevant conversation! If I don’t know, I pull back for a moment, pause, look real thoughtful, and say my response. A momentary pause seems to be much more effective than a “Uh, well… I dunno… Oh so its blah blah blah?” Something I certainly could use some help with is a higher competency trigger to take common interest small talk into something that approaches networking. Teasing out useful threads. BONUS: I think people are afraid to fail. Someone mentioned this earlier,… Read more »
Kristi X
Kristi X
4 years 6 months ago
Hey Ramit– this is my first time posting here so I’d like to start off by thanking you– for the Dream Job information and the blog in general. I wandered over here after seeing a few of your guest posts on getrichslowly.org and I’ve been blown away by the usefulness of your information– it really makes me think about a lot of the “big questions” in a different (and more productive) way. — I felt scared out of my socks during my first few internships. Questions about my own competence and whether I “deserved” to be there kept running through… Read more »
Don Kim
Don Kim
4 years 6 months ago

Hi I just got forwarded to this site and I’m really interested in learning how to better sell myself and re-position my brand for a better job. All of the comments seem very helpful and I would really appreciated being added to to the “Dream Job Boot Camp list”.

Jon
Jon
4 years 6 months ago

As an attorney one of the competence triggers I use when dealing with opposing counsel is acting “as if” I always am calm.

I would like to be able to use competence triggers in order to get more business for my firm.

I think that people whine and don’t do because it is easier to whine.

cbereal
4 years 5 months ago
1. In 2008 I was called into a meeting with my boss to be told I was being fired due to the sales staff feeling intimidated by me. I was hired believing it would be short-term and my main job was market research in order to present facts and findings. Mind you, I was never trained for this job yet my confidence got me the job. I got a mentor who taught me what to do for 8 weeks. For the meeting I dressed in a feminine suit, held myself confidently and had my facts and findings report with me… Read more »
Eleanor
Eleanor
4 years 5 months ago

I totally agree with the emotional charge management!

James
James
4 years 5 months ago
Competence Trigger: When asked a question, I’ll usually think for a few seconds, instead of just blurting out the first answer that comes to mind. This allows me to express myself more insightfully than some others. Situation: I’m terrible at negotiating. I’m too willing to please. Bonus: I think the “free” nature of the internet brings in a lot of the whiners, and makes them feel as though they have the right to whine when they see something that costs money. Their mindset is: “Everything on the internet should be free. Movies, music, and content. If you’re asking for money,… Read more »
drg
drg
4 years 5 months ago
– Share ONE Competence Trigger that you’ve used successfully (example: “When I walk into a bar and I’m confident/with friends, I get better reactions than when I’m desperate…”). Be specific. One competence trigger I use is for when I attend conferences or workshops where I will be meeting lots of other people. Other than ensuring that I’ve had something decent to eat, I keep in mind that I should keep my shoulders back, chest up and maintain comfortable eye contact with others I engage in. It helps to project a level of confidence, even if I am dead tired or… Read more »
Shawna Cox
4 years 5 months ago
Successful Competence Triggers: courage (to show up), clarity (of what I need), reward (what’s the give) and close (ask the ask and shut up) I actually tested this just a few days ago when a Creative Director (that produces videos for one of the top gaming companies), got back in touch with me after swapping video clips of our work at a casual community meetup back in 2011.  Back then, my ‘script’ was ‘I haven’t been to film school and I really don’t know what I’m doing, faking it till I make it, and unless I now align with a… Read more »
alexis
1 year 20 days ago

When I walk into a bar and I’ve spent time with friends before hand I feel much more relaxed and confident.

Tara
1 year 17 days ago

Confidence Trigger: When brainstorming & hearing an idea that I think is stupid/not on point. Confidence Trigger – saying “Yes! AND ____(adding to it/changing course completely)____” without shooting it down or ignoring it. (improv trick)

Situation I’d like to Optimize: 1 on 1 advice/meeting with mentors

THANK YOU!

Kev
Kev
1 year 6 days ago

Competence trigger is real. I don’t walk into the bar often, but when I entered a function, or party, I feel better with confidence and I think the other people notice too. It is a body language, and we read body language more than words.
Also, please sign me up for the 3 -weeks boot camp.

Thanks!

SUSAN
SUSAN
11 months 21 days ago
Competence Trigger: Whenever i approach people with a positive attitude (smile and good energy) and a calm disposition, i find they respond better and are more willing to help The situation i would like to optimize is my negotiating skills Bonus question: I think people whine because they are unwilling to take responsibility for their in-actions or the consequences of their actions that have led them down their current path. Whiners get caught up in an unending solo pity party Whiners tend to feel entitled and are angry when their “due” is not handed to them Sometimes whiners have derailed… Read more »
Lourdes
Lourdes
11 months 13 days ago
Competence trigger: Last year, during salary negotiations for my current job, I paused long after the recruiter provided me over the phone with a lowball offer ($80k) over the phone. I politely thanked her for the offer, but pointed out that with my skills, experience, and education coupled with the responsibilities of the position, I was looking at a higher range. I thereafter e-mailed the recruiter and hiring manager with researched figures on how much the position is getting paid out there. After a few days, I ended up accepting a revised offer that was $20k more than their initial… Read more »
Carter
Carter
10 months 28 days ago
When I have a great depth of knowledge in a particular topic of discussion it is much easier to feel confident and to take charge of the conversation. Vise Versa if I do not have a great deal of knowledge in the topic of discussion then I am more inclined to keep quiet, sit back and not get involved. As the saying goes.. “it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Situations I would like to optimize are: Interviews & client meetings. Bonus Question: I think it comes down to… Read more »
Tony W
Tony W
9 months 17 days ago

In an interview, try to enjoy yourself. It’s one of those rare occasions where you’re actually expected to go on about yourself. Might as well have a good time doing it!

I’d like to understand how to better exude competence during ad hoc technology discussions where I’m not the most knowledgeable guy in the room.

Whiners typically don’t believe that you can make your own luck. The occurrence of “luck” (good or bad) is random, but what it brings along with it is all about whether you’re prepared to manage the results.

Marielle
Marielle
7 months 22 days ago

My university requested us to do a 6-month internship to get our master. I felt I was competent enough for a real job, so instead of looking for an internship, I applied for an actual job. My confidence got me the job, in which I had to manage 30 employees.

Marielle
Marielle
7 months 22 days ago

I would like to improve my networking skills.

I believe people whine because they refuse to accept their own responsibility, and often are jealous about the success of other people.

ANF
ANF
7 months 9 days ago

When a partner asks you a yes or no question, but you waffle and qualify your answer = low competence trigger versus doing the work and confidently giving a definitive answer. They ask you the question because they want the answer. They don’t want you punt back to them.

People whine because they are scared of failure.

Justin R
6 months 15 days ago

Have made the point that my market value is higher than what was on offer, and articulated the downsides of having to train my replacement.

Satenik
Satenik
5 months 18 days ago

1. One concrete example of a confidence trigger: I was selected for a very prized graduate fellowship to come to the U.S. due to my unique research interests. I was able to differentiate myself from thousands of applicants because unlike other applicants who just wanted to study in the U.S., I wanted to study in this particular field.
2. I am struggling with cover letters. I think I really need to step up my game!
3. Bonus: People whine because they are not ready to accept their own responsibility for their success.

Sam
Sam
4 months 22 hours ago
Competence trigger from the dating world: Going into bars with friends (especially female) ‘pre-qualifies’ me in the minds of women. I tend to get more looks and smiles, signals to come talk. From the working world: I’ve employed Amy Cuddy’s ‘superhero pose’ before presentations/interviews to help put my mindset on a positive and confident track. Haven’t tried it in a bar, but it could work. I’d like to know about triggers in informational interviews. I struggle with the balance between needing help/information and demonstrating high value to compel that assistance. My take on the whiners: many of us (I include… Read more »
Marjie
Marjie
3 months 22 days ago
Competence Trigger – I walked into a room full of people, my presentation fully prepared, when I was told that the equipment that was supposed to be there wasn’t functioning. Instead of freaking out, I went ahead and gave the presentation, added in some humor to lighten up the room, and ended up getting the position. I would like to learn more about how I can give value at an informational interview, and what sort of questions to ask at that meeting. I would also like to learn more about negotiation. Whiners are people who would rather blame everything other… Read more »
Hunter Reed Thompson
Hunter Reed Thompson
3 months 20 days ago

I’m in good shape. I notice that by being muscular and in good shape you tend to command more respect from people and are perceived as more competent. Also, being in better shape allows you to have more confidence and increased energy allowing you to be more competent.

Interviews are a place i would like more competence triggers.

Because trying and working is hard. Why would you actually want to work when you can sit around and bitch and moan. It’s just like getting into shape. “Wah wah wah, its hard, i’m tired, thats heavy” boo freaking hoo.

Eric
Eric
3 months 13 days ago
1) This will sound weird as a dude but exceptional hygiene before an interview. I’m talking manicure and a clear coat, nose and ear trim, fresh haircut, fresh shave, super shiny polished shoes, fresh dry cleaned suit, perfect tie. You feel like a million bucks and while no one probably notices it comes across in the way you conduct yourself. 2) I would like to optimize how I sound in my resume’s and cover letters oddly enough. I have had tons of interviews and almost all of them have lead to offers. However, I know I have been excluded from… Read more »
Elizabeth Pruitt
Elizabeth Pruitt
3 months 9 days ago
1. During interviews for positions I have no direct experience with, when asked “tell me about yourself”, I do. I tell them stories about me, my life, growing up, college and other positions held. What I am telling them are quick stories that may seem general but show how quickly I learn, my problem solving skills and why I don’t stop until it’s done and it’s done right. 2. I need to work on my negotiations skills and the confidence to get what I deserve. I can ace my interviews and get hired places then fail at the negotiation stage.… Read more »
Jeremy
Jeremy
3 months 2 days ago
During my interview for the job I currently hold, I had done my research on the company, and come with a list of questions to ask. I didn’t end up asking those question, in fact I ended up more often answering their question, and tagging the answer with a question that showed I was already informed, but looking for a deeper understanding of the company. However, when it comes to negotiation, that is where I fall pretty short. Also, because of life changes, I am going to be moving to California from Michigan in about 3 months. I’m about to… Read more »
Liz
Liz
2 months 27 days ago

When I come to a meeting prepared with possible solutions for problems I find that I am more confident, engaged, and eager to move forward with making an effort.

Danilo
Danilo
2 months 13 days ago

1) When I worked in a Call Centre I got better interactions if I took a second to force a physical smile before answering the phone.
2) I lack experience in informal/informational interviews and they are way out of my comfort zone, which makes it a challenge for me to actively pursue.
Bonus: On youtube it is way easier being a hater than a creator. The same goes with whining and taking action.

Valeria
Valeria
1 month 4 days ago
– I was working on my first consultancy proposal for a company I used to work. At first I was thinking of a number I thought was logical and that they would probably pay because I was afraid if I said more they wouldn’t accept. I made some research and realised I should be charging 2X of the original proposal. When I called I ese a confident voice presenting my offer and I was ready to justify why that was the proposal, they immediately said “It’s OK, same number I was thinking”. Being more confident transmitting the first proposal, generated… Read more »
Julian Schofield
Julian Schofield
1 month 1 day ago
For me it’s all attitude, if I listen to or watch something that makes me laugh, I pass that on to others with a big smile. I find people around me are more receptive to me. I’d like to do better with face to face interviews. I tend to ramble on and on, especially if I am nervous. I think we are all taught one way to find a job, even if that way is doesn’t work well, but if one person somewhere had success then and mantra is…this is the way to do it…and my response is…even a broken… Read more »
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