The Secrets of Irresistibility

We love irresistible people, but they weren’t born that way. They developed the habits of irresistibility. You can, too.

We love irresistible people, but they weren’t born that way. They developed the habits of irresistibility. You can, too.

Some people are simply irresistible. But why? Travis Bradberry, who regularly reports on emotional intelligence, sniffed around and discovered 11 secrets of irresistibility. His methodology may not exactly be traditional research, but it sure is interesting.

Sharing his “findings” in a 2015 Forbes article, Bradberry writes, “Irresistible people aren’t constantly searching for validation. They are confident enough to find it in themselves. Their sense of self-worth comes from within.” This healthy perspective, he says, allows irresistible people to exercise more curiosity about others.

Bradberry posits that irresistibility isn’t the byproduct of dumb luck; it is a matter of personal habits. He suggests anyone can emulate the “secrets” of irresistibility. Here is a synopsis of those secrets: 

  1. Treat everyone with respect and act like you are no better than anyone else.

  2. Follow the Platinum Rule by treating others as they would like to be treated.

  3. Ditch small talk to engage in real conversation and form an emotional connection.

  4. Focus on people more than your smartphone.

  5. Avoid trying too hard to impress others.

  6. Recognize the difference between fact and opinion.

  7. Be authentic – be yourself.

  8. Exhibit integrity by walking your talk.

  9. Smile.

  10. Look presentable to reflect your self-respect.

  11. Find reasons to love life.

“Irresistible people did not have fairy godmothers hovering over their cribs. They’ve simply perfected certain appealing qualities and habits that anyone can adopt as their own.,” Bradberry says. “They think about other people more than they think about themselves, and they make other people feel liked, respected, understood and seen. Just remember: the more you focus on others, the more irresistible you’ll be.”

 

 

Older Adults Are the Unnoticed Addicted Population

We don’t typically think of older adults as part of the addicted population in America, but that would be a mistake. Eleven percent of adults over 65 years old are addicted to drugs or alcohol, which could complicate diminished immune systems, failing memories and loss of balance, not to mention dangerous interactions with other medications.

We don’t typically think of older adults as part of the addicted population in America, but that would be a mistake. Eleven percent of adults over 65 years old are addicted to drugs or alcohol, which could complicate diminished immune systems, failing memories and loss of balance, not to mention dangerous interactions with other medications.

When we think of the opioid epidemic, we don’t usually think of it afflicting older adults. That’s a mistake. Older adults are as susceptible to opioid and subsequent illicit drug addiction as younger people.

The nonprofit National Council on Seniors Drug and Alcohol Rehab says 25 percent of all prescription drugs sold in the United States go to older adults and 11 percent of the older adult population suffers from some form of prescription drug abuse. With people living longer and the over-65 US population expected to reach 85 million by 2050, the Council believes it is time to bring the issue of older adult drug and alcohol addiction out of the shadows.

Older adults fall prey to the same addictive pathways as younger people – narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety sedatives. They also endure triggering events common to aging – social isolation, unplanned retirement, death of friends, memory loss and money problems.

Slower metabolism leaves older adults more vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse and dangerous interactions with other prescription drugs for chronic illnesses. Doctors may not be as perceptive to the risks for older adults who have diminished immune systems, mental anxiety and greater likelihood of falls.

The result is older adult addiction often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. When painkillers are prescribed, doctors may authorize oversupplies because of older adult difficulties in getting to doctor’s offices.

Increasing numbers of addicted older adults has led to more treatment centers dedicated to that population. Because of the effects of aging and typically a mix of health issues, going cold turkey isn’t an option. Group counseling can be very useful for an adult population that often feels the stress of social isolation. The Council urges older adults and their families to review Medicare and supplemental insurance policies to see what kind of treatment and recovery programs are available and covered.

“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), older adults may be the population we should be looking out for the most, considering they are more likely to take more medications for longer rates, or take multiple long-term medications that are known for possible addiction.”

Technology Will Push Market Researchers into New Depths

Just as the venerable Sears & Roebuck catalog is fading away, consumers will have new options to search for what they want. That, in turn, will create new challenges for market researchers to understand emerging trends such as voice search and to evaluate immersive consumer experiences made possible by virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Just as the venerable Sears & Roebuck catalog is fading away, consumers will have new options to search for what they want. That, in turn, will create new challenges for market researchers to understand emerging trends such as voice search and to evaluate immersive consumer experiences made possible by virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

You don’t typically associate artificial intelligence, blockchains and search engine optimization with research. But you should, based on predictions for market research trends in 2019.

Focus Pointe Global shared five market research trends it perceives in 2019.

  1. Artificial intelligence combined with automation makes it possible to learn from all customers, not just a select sample. AI advocates say this will enable brands to have a deeper, more authentic understanding of their customers – and potentially gain a competitive advantage.

  2.  Online searches for content, special offers, reviews and pricing is an important tool for consumers – and a critical channel for brands. Google Home and Amazon Echo are extending consumer reach with voice search. Not far behind is visual search in platforms such as Pinterest, Bing and Google Lens. These new avenues will require website optimization and close attention to see how, or if, voice and visual searches differ from online searches the “old-fashioned” way on computers and tablets.

  3.  Researchers won’t have to ask consumers to describe their daily lives, they will be able to capture them on video in their daily lives. Brand managers can see for themselves how consumers engage with a product display or interact with a sales representative. This video evidence can be combined with geo-location technology to trace quite literally the consumer journey. This trend on steroids would extend to virtual reality that allow consumers to experience products.

  4.  All these techniques that can be quite intimate with consumers also must contend with existing and more stringent future privacy protection regulations. The European Union has adopted privacy protections and California has adopted legislation embracing similar protections. Other states are likely to follow, maybe even as soon as this year when most state legislatures convene.

  5.  New avenues for research will require closer partnerships between brand managers and market researchers. The expanding possibilities will demand hand-in-hand working relationships as research techniques become more fully embedded into the consumer purchasing process. Partnerships also will be necessary to interpret accurately and fairly increasing amounts of emotional intelligence about products and the people who buy them.

Writing for Forbes, small business contributor Lilach Bullock offered her predictions for market research trends in 2019. She agrees voice search is on the rise, predicting 50 percent of all searches will be via voice by 2020.

Bullock notes 35.6 Americans use a voice-activated device at least once a month and one in six Americans own a smart speaker – all of which point to new optimization strategies based on how consumers ask questions and search engines respond.

Other trends pointed out by Bullock include steps to speed up searches. Mobile-first indexing and faster-loading websites will be essential to improve the consumer experience, which market researchers will be tasked to monitor. Blockchain technology to create secure, trustworthy transactions also can be used to verify a consumer or brand is who they say they are. Bullock indicates security will become a new imperative alongside privacy.

“It might not be clear what the future will bring exactly,” Bullock concludes, “but it’s clear that emerging and older technologies are starting to have a huge impact on search engine optimization – if it’s not already happening, then at the very least it’s bound to happen soon.”

 

Striking Findings from Pew, CFM Research During 2018

Among the most striking research findings during 2018 is that a majority of US teens fear a mass shooting at the school they attend.

Among the most striking research findings during 2018 is that a majority of US teens fear a mass shooting at the school they attend.

The year is almost over and it’s time for retrospectives. Pew Research Center has shared “18 striking findings.” We have a few of our own to share.

 Here are a few of the striking findings by Pew during 2018:

  • The number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has declined from its peak of 12.2 million in 2007.

  • The number of refugees resettled in the United States decreased more in 2017 than the rest of the world.

  • Younger Americans are better than their elders at separating fact from opinion.

  • A declining share of US Catholics say Pope Francis is doing a good job.

  • A majority of US teens fear a mass shooting at their school.

  • Almost 70 percent of Americans indicate they are worn out by the news. More Republicans say they are fatigued than Democrats.

  • Income inequality in America is greatest among Asians.

  • Bots on Twitter may be responsible for more link-sharing than human tweeters.

  • Almost 60 percent of women in the United States say they have been sexually harassed.

CFM has also been busy conducting research in 2018. Here are some of the findings we are able to share:

  • People in the Pacific Northwest are more optimistic about the way things are going than the rest of the country. Republicans are more pessimistic than Democrats.

  • Republicans and Democrats have significantly different opinions about key issues such as education and transportation. Opinions among Independents are closer to Republicans than Democrats.

  • People expect it will be decades before transportation issues are addressed adequately.

  • The share of people who rely on newspapers for information has declined by 50 percent during the past 10 years. Old-fashioned word of mouth and digital news outlets are now preferred sources.

  • Next to traffic congestion, one of the most commonly mentioned civic challenges is homelessness.

Hold onto your hat because 2019 appears like another storm approaching, with loads of opportunities to take the temperature of Americans around the country and in the Pacific Northwest.

 

One-on-One Interviews: The Rodney Dangerfield of Research

One-on-one interviews can produce uniquely informative and insightful findings.

One-on-one interviews can produce uniquely informative and insightful findings.

One-on-one interviews are the Rodney Dangerfield of research. They don’t get the respect they deserve, even though they can produce uniquely informative and insightful findings.

As a form of qualitative research, one-on-one interviews can penetrate issues more effectively than focus groups. One-on-one interviews are more conversational and flexible; potential participants are selected precisely, and the one-on-one environment yields candid insights.

The advantage of one-on-one interviews lies in who is interviewed. One-on-one interviews typically are scheduled from lists of customers, key stakeholders, managers or elected officials. In most cases, potential participants are recognized as “influentials” who impact opinions of others.

Participation rates are high even though you are targeting a very specific group of busy people. Why? The interviews are scheduled to meet their schedule, not at a specific day, time and place to accommodate client schedules. Also, key stakeholders like sharing their opinions, especially when assured comments are not for attribution.

Focus groups and one-on-one interviews both rely on discussion guides to propel discussion. Focus groups allow researchers – and clients – to observe a group reaction to a discussion guide consisting of questions, value propositions, logos or advertising messages. One-on-one interviews are more like confessionals when subjects feel comfortable to share their personal beliefs and attitudes. You can get unfiltered viewpoints directly from people that you interview.

With these virtues, why do clients purse their lips when asked about one-on-one interviews? Maybe they doubt how 20 well-conceived one-on-one interviews with a representative sample can outdo 500 randomly selected telephone surveys or a series of well-facilitated focus groups. They should erase their doubts and have faith. One-on-one interviews can deliver the goods.

Here are some excellent uses of one-on-one interviews:

Confirming alignment on objectives: One-on-one interviews are a discrete way to see if your managers or board members are in sync with a new overarching policy or strategic plan and, if not, to learn why not. Using a skilled third-party interviewer who will treat the interviews confidentially can generate a wealth of candid observations. Employing one-on-one interviews before full implementation can save a lot of frustration and embarrassment. 

Floating trial balloons: If you have a radical idea, one-on-one interviews can give you an advance read on how a defined audience will regard your out-of-the-box concept. The interviews will expose the most salient arguments opposing your idea and reveal strongest arguments supporting it. Findings can provide clues as to whether your trial balloon will soar or crash. More important, findings offer bread crumbs of how to proceed to avoid a crash.

Evaluating New Branding: Creating a new name, logo and visual identity is at its core subjective. One-on-one interviews can triangulate some perspective from stakeholders, customers or competing brand managers. Findings won’t magically produce a name, logo or visual identity, but can point to a productive direction and identify some key concepts. Findings also can warn of dead ends or bad ideas, which can save a lot of wasted time, energy and money.

Auditing media attitudes: Media audits can be valuable ways to assess relationships with reporters and editors who cover your business, products and services. The most effective way to conduct media audits is through one-on-one interviews. A third party, preferably someone with his or her own rapport with reporters and editors, can fetch the most candid observations and useful suggestions for improving media relationships.

Tapping Influencer insights: People who influence the behavior, preferences and consumer choices of others can be a valuable source of insight. One-on-one interviews may be the only viable way to capture that insight. Coincidentally, the outreach can establish or enhance relationships with key influencers.

Sampling diverse perspectives: Diversity and inclusion are increasingly important in organizations, but that priority doesn’t always scale down to understanding diverse perspectives within a group or team. One-on-one interviews with a diverse range of employees can suss out subtle and not-so-subtle differences in perspective. That knowledge can lead to greater cohesion in a unit and broader understanding of the range of viewpoints and cultural lenses in an organization.

 

A Statistical Portrait of Immigration Unlike TV Reports

News coverage of the US-Mexican border fails to reveal the extent and benefits of immigration to America that has surged since passage in 1965 of the last significant immigration bill. Pew Research has produced a revealing picture that indicates immigrants have always been part of the American portrait.

News coverage of the US-Mexican border fails to reveal the extent and benefits of immigration to America that has surged since passage in 1965 of the last significant immigration bill. Pew Research has produced a revealing picture that indicates immigrants have always been part of the American portrait.

If you watch the nightly news, you might think the few thousand migrants from Central America trying to enter the United States to seek asylum would tip the balance in the American population. A statistical portrait of the foreign-born population in America suggests otherwise.

The Pew Research Center has an online tutorial on US immigration to help Americans better recognize their immigrant neighbors who are already here, many of whom for more than a decade. Pew estimates there were 43.7 million immigrants in the United States in 2016, which is more than any other country in the world.

Contrary to impressions left by news stories of migrant caravans, Pew says three-fourths of the US immigrant population is here legally as naturalized citizens, permanent residents, green card holders or people with temporary visas to attend college or other purposes.

The rate of immigration into the United States has shot up since passage in 1965 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The foreign-born population since then has quadrupled. The legislation was passed in recognition that immigrants would be needed to make up for relatively low US birthrates.

The most noticeable and consequential change in US immigration patterns since 1960 has been the decline of European and Canadian immigrants and a sharp increase in immigrants from Mexico, Latin America and Asia. For example, Asians represented just 4 percent of all immigrants in 1960. In 2016, they accounted for 27 percent. Statistics for Mexican immigration are similar, rising from 6 percent in 1960 to 28 percent in 2016.

While Pew doesn’t say it, more immigrants of color, with different cultural and religious traditions, has contributed to heightened awareness of and in some cases hostility toward immigrants, a factor that played a significant role of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Pew Research Center has developed an informative resource that describes immigrants in America – who they are, how long they have been here, how they are faring and where they live. It’s a fascinating set of statistics that shows immigration is a lot more complicated and significant than skirmishes at the US-Mexican border.

Pew Research Center has developed an informative resource that describes immigrants in America – who they are, how long they have been here, how they are faring and where they live. It’s a fascinating set of statistics that shows immigration is a lot more complicated and significant than skirmishes at the US-Mexican border.

Pew notes that 75 percent of foreign-born immigrants have lived in the United States for more than 10 years. Immigrants account for almost 14 percent of US population, while second-generation, US-born children constitute another 12 percent.

Trump’s attention glued to the US-Mexican border overlooks that Asian immigrants now outnumber Hispanic immigrants, according to Pew. The estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has dropped slightly from a high of 12.2 percent in 2007 to 11.3 percent in 2016. Unauthorized immigrants have been relatively constant since around 2000. Some 11.6 million US immigrants were born in Mexico, which eclipses the next highest birth countries, China (2.7 million) and India (2.4 million)

Another noteworthy statistic is that more than 15 percent of immigrants 25 years or older have earned bachelor’s degrees and another 12 percent hold post-graduate degrees.

In 1960, male and female immigrants were roughly equal and tended to be older (55-74). In 2016, immigrants remained roughly equal by sex, but were significantly younger (30-54). Mexican immigrants were the youngest with a median age of 42.

Second-generation children of immigrants in 2016 were largely younger, from ages 0-19. More than 50 years later, second-generation children are more evenly balanced from ages 0-69.

There is a huge geographical disparity as to where immigrants live. Almost 35 percent live in the Western United States, while 33 percent live in the South. California, Texas and New York are home to 46 percent of immigrants. Sixty percent of immigrants live in just 20 US metropolitan areas.   

What disquiets some Americans are projections that people of color will overtake Caucasians as the majority population by the middle of this century. Some anti-immigrant groups warn of rising crime, but official data indicates first-generation immigrants have lower crime rates and are more likely to be married than the average US population