Keeping Homeowners & Employers Confident in Your Ability to Provide High Quality Service

If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the April 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.

Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.

CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential

The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.

Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.

There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.

Continuing Education

It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Not sure of your recertification date? Go to: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca

Visit www.camicb.org for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.

This 75-year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy

Photo by Nina Uhlíková

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional health of two groups:
  • 456 poor people in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study)
  • 268 graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939–1944 (the Glueck study)

After following these groups and testing them (e.g., blood samples, brain scans) for several decades, the findings have been compiled.

Here’s the conclusion:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” — Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development

As Melanie Curtin reported on Inc., “The biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.”

Although the Harvard study lays the foundation, there is other compelling research on the importance of human relationships.

This meta analysis showed a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships. Put simply, if you have healthy relationships, your chances of survival increase by 50%.

Nearly everything in life is impacted by WHO is around you, and how those people support you.

Childhood trauma, for example, is not about what happens to you. But about what happens “inside” of you, according to Dr. Gabor Maté. In other words, if you go through a terribly horrible experience and you have someone there to help you process it, you’ll likely recover quickly. If you don’t have someone to help you through it, you’ll internalize it, isolate yourself, and that trauma will turn into a lifetime of pain.

Healthy relationships, then, could help you avoid addiction. Could help you overcome life’s challenges. Could help you reach higher than you could on your own.

In an article in SCIENCE, authors House, Landis, and Umberson stated the following:

“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health — rivaling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity”

Transformational relationships

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” — John Wooden

The most loving and deep relationships are built on a very simple foundation: giving and gratitude.

When the focus is on what you can give, rather than what you can get, the relationship becomes a gift to both of you.

There’s no holding back.

No keeping score.

Only in such relationships can you be fully present to the moment and fully un-inhibited in the expression of your love.

Giving freely without an expectation of return is essential. As are expressions of gratitude. In fact, this study found that expressions of gratitude have a powerful effect on the other person.

Specifically, this study found regular expressions of gratitude can:
  • Increase a person’s self-worth
  • Increase a person’s self-efficacy (confidence)
  • Increase a person’s prosocial behavior (in other words, when you’re grateful to someone, they become a better person to society at large).
  • Increase ability to cope with life’s challenges

Interestingly, Brad Pitt once provided the most beautiful evidence of the science of gratitude and giving. Although he may have forgot …

Whatever happened since, check out this love letter Brad wrote to Angie several years ago:

“My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and problems with children.

She had lost 30 pounds and weighed about 90 pounds in her 35 years. She got very skinny, and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs.

She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the morning and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of break up.

Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role.

I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon … But then I decided to act on it. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on the earth …

I began to pamper her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised her and pleased her every minute. I gave her lots of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends.

You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became even better than before. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and she loved me even more than ever.

I had no clue that she CAN love that much. And then I realized one thing: The woman is the reflection of her man. If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.”

This stuff works. However, relationships aren’t a quick-fix thing. You’ve got to stick to these incredible practices of giving and gratitude or the relationships will stop being transformational. It will die.

Living for something beyond yourself

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl

Great power is not what creates great responsibility. Instead, great responsibility is what creates power.

When my wife and I became foster parents of three kids a few years, our lives changed. We had something bigger depending on us. We had to rise to the occasion.

According to what psychologists call, “The pygmalion effect,” you as a person either rise or fall to the demands of your situation. If your situation doesn’t demand much, you won’t rise up.

Having other people depend on you is a beautiful thing. It’s the pressure that will turn you into a diamond. It will cause you to dig deep within yourself, and overcome the addictions and bad habits holding you back.

You have so much more to live for now.

In the digital world we now live in, it’s not about the amount of hours you work. But the amount of thought and humanity you put into your work.

The deeper and more transformative your daily experiences, the more perspective you’ll have into what the world needs. The better you’ll be at your job. The happier you’ll be as a person — despite experiencing hardships throughout life.

When you have people around you who love and help you, you become a different and better person. You become transformed. You become capable of doing amazing things. You are enabled to overcome hardships that would destroy most people.

Do you have deep and loving relationships?

Have you expressed gratitude lately?

Have you given your greatest gifts in complete love and generosity?

This article originally appeared on Medium. By Benjamin P. Hardy

Ron Perl Receives Prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award

Ronald J. Perl, Esq. partner-in-charge of Hill Wallack’s community associations and eminent domain practice groups in Princeton, N.J., has been awarded the Don Buck Lifetime Contribution Award, the most prestigious honor given by the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). Perl accepted the award on Jan. 25 during the 2019 Community Association Law Seminar in New Orleans.

CCAL_R_Perl.png?r=1549305537823

(Left to right) Ronald J. Perl, Esq. receives the CCAL Lifetime Achievement Award from Matt D. Ober, Esq. president of the 2019 CCAL Board of Governors.

The award recognizes attorneys who exhibit exceptional leadership in the field of community association law.

For the past 40 years, Perl has devoted his career to the community association industry and to Community Associations Institute (CAI). He served as president of the New Jersey chapter in 1986 and president of CAI National in 2007. Perl was inducted as a CCAL fellow in 1994. In addition, he served as president of the Foundation for Community Association Research, member of the New Jersey Political Action Committee, and commissioner on the Community Association Managers International Certification Board. He has chaired CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee, the Federal Legislative Action Committee, and the national Business Partners Council.

The Lifetime Contribution Award was created in 2009 in honor of Gurdon “Don” Buck, a pioneer and innovator in the field of community association law who died in 2008. Among his many achievements, Buck, a senior partner in what would eventually become Robinson & Cole, LLP, devoted countless hours to the betterment of common-interest communities with his service and contributions through education and scholarly writings for CAI and other organizations.

Through this award, CCAL ensures that Buck’s spirit, devotion, and commitment to the community association industry remain alive. The Don Buck Lifetime Contribution Award is awarded periodically at the discretion of the CCAL Board of Governors. Perl is the eighth recipient of the award.

Denise Lash, founder and president of the CAI Canada Chapter, congratulated Perl on his award and his exceptional leadership in the field of community association law. “Many years ago, I connected with Ron as a Canadian attorney trying to find my way in this new and exciting field of association law. Ron provided guidance, support, and expertise for my own law practice at a time that I was struggling with career decisions. He welcomed me as the “Canadian” to the CAI family, spending much of his free time making those important introductions that resulted in the creation of the CAI Canada Chapter.”

For more information on the College of Community Association Lawyers, visit CAIonline.org.

Finding CE Credit Opportunities That Make Sense for You

By John Ganoe, CAE
Executive Director

CAMICB is a program dedicated to professional growth and competency and has designed the CMCA Recertification process to encourage certified managers to continually pursue professional development in the community association management field.  To facilitate these efforts, a Committee appointed by the CAMICB Board of Commissioners meets monthly to review and approve anywhere between 40 and 60 applications each month from various providers.

While there are more than 800 pre-approved continuing education courses, many of which are free or low-cost and can be found on the CAMICB.org web site, we also believe in flexibility and want to make sure you take the courses that best support your professional path.  If there’s a course or event you’re interested in that’s not included on the approved list of continuing education, managers are encouraged to submit the continuing education opportunity to CAMICB for approval.

Remember, the topics must pertain specifically and primarily to community association operations or management (e.g., operations, administration, legal requirements), are relevant to your professional development (e.g., Quickbooks, Excel, effective communications, leadership, etc.) or have a direct impact on your community. For example, if you manage a primarily Spanish-speaking community, and are interested in taking a Spanish language course, CAMICB would consider approving those credits.  

Approval can be granted in one of two ways: by either asking the course provider to complete and submit the CE Course Provider Application or by submitting the program outline or agenda, including dates, times, and speaker bios, to CAMICB yourself.  Similarly, college courses may be submitted for approval if the classwork meets the criteria described in the CMCA Handbook

A Snapshot of Available Resources & Tips for Finding CE Credits

Be sure to review Section 4 of the CMCA Handbook for a primer on earning continuing education credits, as well as the Continuing Education Page at www.camicb.org for an overview of credit and coursework specifications.

Next, consider the many already approved options available to complete your continuing education coursework from the List of Approved Continuing Education, including pre-approved courses offered by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Take advantage of your local CAI chapter by monitoring any upcoming events or classes that have been approved for continuing education credit. To find your local chapter, go to the Find a Chapter page on the CAI website.

And don’t forget to explore free or low-cost webinars that are offered by the following providers:

 

Avoiding fyres [sic] in your community

Conversations about two truly epic documentaries have circulated the water coolers over the past two weeks. The focus of the documentaries is the 2017 would’ve-been, luxury festival that flew too close to the sun then crashed and burned leaving thousands of young, some very-well-to-do, adults stranded on an island in the Bahamas. The story behind the now infamous Fyre Festival is comparable to the heroic, rise and fall fables of past. Like that wild roll at your favorite sushi bar, it has everything: envy, avarice, fyrefestival_orangebeauty, fantasy, sympathy, evil, crime, success and failure. I will leave the details of the story for you to watch for yourself. The documentaries were produced by two different streaming services and two different directors, and I do recommend watching both, but they ultimately tell the same story and heed the same warnings.

When you watch the documentaries, you will clearly notice some of the major themes, such as (spoiler alert ahead) after committing several kinds of fraud you will ruin lives and get caught. There are also several, not so obvious, areas that I found fascinating. One is people’s tendency to follow charm over qualification.  Another is the sheer power and effect of social media influencers. Another is – simply enough – the power of the contract notwithstanding the promise of money. I now know I will need more than four months to buy a private island and build a venue to host big name musical performers. If I can’t prove they will get what they want, even Blink-182 will cancel last minute (no offense Blink fans).

For those of you wanting to host the next big music festival in your community, please don’t. I have nothing for you. For those of you looking to avoid starting a fyre, please follow along.

If you are a homeowner wanting the best professional leadership for your community, start by looking past the charisma or cost-savings of an individual or offer, and focus on whether the person or firm is qualified to manage your community. Ask yourself: Is it too good to be true? If the answer is yes or probably, then you need to exercise due diligence. Start by finding out if they have a Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA®) credential. The CMCA credential provides homeowners and boards an assurance that the person has the basic knowledge necessary to effectively manage a community association. You can find more about the CMCA credential at the Community Association Managers International Certification Board webpage.

For those of you wanting to better understand the impacts social media has on your community or needing guidance on music or movie performance rights, CAI has many resources available. The recipient of the 2017 Best Law Seminar Manuscript award is the piece put together by attorneys Daniela Burg, Edward Hoffman and Gerald Wigger, and focuses on social media in communities and how associations can benefit from and properly handle issues. It is available free to download with other Best Manuscripts here. If you have questions about hosting a movie or music event at your association’s clubhouse, CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Department put together a great guidance document on music and movie licensing rights. It is also free to download and can be found here.

If you watched the documentaries, are there thoughts you have on how managing a community would be like producing an event like the Fyre Festival? Did you prefer one documentary over the other? Also, am I the only one who confuses Fyre with the fashion brand, Frye? I still have to correct myself. Love to read your thoughts below.

Matthew Green
Director, Credentialing Services
CAMICB

Understanding the Important Distinction Between Community Association Managers and Property Managers

By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director

A common mistake in state legislatures considering community association manager licensing – and among the general public – is to lump community association managers and property managers into the same bucket. While both are very important roles, they are distinctly different professions with functions, skill sets and responsibilities specific to each.

A community association manager can manage every type of community: condominium associations, homeowner associations, resort communities and commercial tenant associations.  A community association manager works directly with prcommunity-property-managementoperty owners and homeowners.

Property managers oversee individual rental units or a group of rental units, such as an apartment complex. They’re responsible for managing the entire property while community association managers are responsible for common areas – not individually owned properties.

“From a legislative standpoint, this incorrect categorization occurs because state legislators misunderstand the nature of community association management,” said Matthew Green, Director, State Affairs for the Community Associations Institute (CAI).  “They believe that community association management skills are identical to those of a property manager without recognizing the vastly different responsibilities of these two positions.”

This misunderstanding of the two professions often bleeds into more general conversations occurring in this space. Compounding this is the reality that there’s a slight overlap in a couple of the duties performed. For example, both property managers and community association managers supervise certain maintenance activities, such as swimming pool upkeep and trash removal. But it’s important to understand that community association managers oversee and direct all aspects of running the business operation. This means, they authorize payment for association services; develop budgets and present association financial reports to Board members; direct the enforcement of restrictive covenants; perform site inspections; solicit, evaluate and assist in insurance purchases; and, even supervise the design and delivery of association recreational programs.

Property managers are responsible for managing the actual property and therefore handle the physical assets of the unit at the owner’s request. Property managers generally oversee rental units and leases. Their responsibilities might include finding or evicting tenants, collecting rent and responding to tenant complaints or specific requests. If a property manager is responsible for a vacation or second home, he or she may arrange for services such as house sitting or local sub-contracting necessary to maintain that property.  Alternatively, an owner may opt to delegate specific tasks to a property manager and choose to handle other duties directly.

Stephanie Durner, CMCA, AMS, who is the Director of Community Management at River Landing, a private gated golf course community in Wallace, NC, views the distinction this way,

“While property managers are generally charged with overseeing physical structures that are used by people who are not the owners of the property, association managers represent the property owners themselves and are involved in just about every aspect of the overall community. For instance, if a garage door is broken at a rental house, the tenant would call a property manager or owner/landlord. But if there’s a pothole that needs repair or if a neighbor’s dog is running loose through the neighborhood, that’s a task for the community association manager who both maintains the common areas and upholds the governing rules. To me, community association management is a more holistic approach that contributes to the overall quality of life for all the owners in a community.”

Green emphasized, “While some job responsibilities are similar, community association managers have additional functions. It’s critical that community association management be recognized as distinct from property management, because association management requires a wider variety of knowledge and skills.”

“Because of this, the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) offers and maintains the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential, the only international certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives,” added Sara Duginske, MS, CAMICB’s Director of Credentialing Services. “Earning the CMCA credential means an individual has taken and passed the rigorous CMCA examination, proving they have a solid understanding of the business operations involved in being a community association manager.”

For community association managers, the bottom line is they understand and are experienced and knowledgeable in the many facets of running a business operation, assuring they provide the best possible service to the associations for which they are responsible.

CAMICB was established in 1995 to develop and administer the CMCA program. CAMICB insists on high ethical standards for community association managers because it not only strengthens the CMCA program, but protects consumers and associations that hire community association managers.

Keeping Homeowners & Employers Confident In Your Ability To Provide High Quality Service

If you’re one of many CMCAs gearing up for the April 1 recertification date, make sure you’re on track to successfully complete the process. Recertification means you’re an accomplished professional committed to developing your skills and knowledge. The summer months are a perfect time to regroup and recharge by participating in fun and educational learning opportunities.

Recertification is a critical component to promoting and demonstrating continued competency in the community association management profession. Recertifying CMCAs must participate in continuing education in the field of community association management totaling at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.

CMCA Recertification: Reinforcing The Value of The Essential Credential

The CMCA examination is NCCA-accredited and in the professional credentialing industry, NCCA accreditation represents compliance with best credentialing industry practices. As a CMCA you can continue to enhance your marketability, show your dedication to your profession, and provide the highest level of guidance to your associations by continuing your education and maintaining your certification.

Recertification also provides the opportunity for you to reaffirm your commitment to the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct to your community associations, your employers, your peers and the millions of people living in community associations.

There are numerous professional development opportunities for CMCAs, ranging from college degrees and coursework, to conferences, professional coaching, community workshops, seminars, symposiums, and webinars. There are many courses offered that cover a wide range of topics including community association management operations, administration, legal requirements, accounting, human resources, and public administration.

Continuing Education

It’s important to note that anyone who meets the continuing education requirements to maintain the following credentials will meet the CAMICB continuing education requirement:

  • CAI’s Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI’s Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • National Association of Housing Cooperative’s (NAHC) Registered Cooperative Manager (RCM) designation
  • Florida’s Community Association Manager license (CAM)
  • Nevada’s Community Association Manager certificate

Not sure of your recertification date? Go to: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca

Visit www.camicb.org for useful resources, links, approved continuing education courses and providers.

 

6 things that kill morale

Managers must understand what they’re doing to kill morale. These are the worst offenders and must be abolished if you want to hang on to good employees.

What makes you happy at work? Maybe you have a great boss who gives you the freedom to be creative, rewards you for going the extra mile, and helps you to reach your career goals.

Maybe you have none of the above and are updating your résumé as we speak.

It’s pretty incredible how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about—few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door.

But managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

Bad management does not discriminate based on salary or job title. A Fortune 500 executive team can experience more dissatisfaction and turnover than the baristas at a local coffee shop. The more demanding your job is and the less control you have over what you do, the more likely you are to suffer. A study by the American Psychological Association found that people whose work meets both these criteria are more likely to experience exhaustion, poor sleep, anxiety, and depression.

 The sad thing is that this suffering can easily be avoided. All that’s required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager’s part to give employees autonomy and make their work feel less demanding. To get there, managers must understand what they’re doing to kill morale. The following practices are the worst offenders, and they must be abolished if you’re going to hang on to good employees.

 #1 Overworking people

Nothing burns good employees out quite like overworking them. It’s so tempting to work the best people hard that managers frequently fall into this trap. Overworking good employees is perplexing for them as it makes them feel as if they’re being punished for their great performance. Overworking employees is also counterproductive. New research from Stanford showed that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of working more. Talented employees will take on a bigger workload, but they won’t stay if their job suffocates them in the process. Raises, promotions, and title-changes are all acceptable ways to increase workload. If managers simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, these employees will seek another job that gives them what they deserve.

 #2 Holding people back

As an employee, you want to bring value to your job, and you do so with a unique set of skills and experience. So how is it that you can do your job so well that you become irreplaceable? This happens when managers sacrifice your upward mobility for their best interests. If you’re looking for your next career opportunity, and your boss is unwilling to let you move up the ladder, your enthusiasm is bound to wane. Taking away opportunities for advancement is a serious morale killer.

 Management may have a beginning, but it certainly has no end. When blessed with a talented employee, it’s the manager’s job to keep finding areas in which they can improve to expand their skill set and further their career. The most talented employees want feedback—more so than the less talented ones—and it’s a manager’s job to keep it coming. Otherwise, people grow bored and complacent.

#3 Playing the blame game

A boss who is too proud to admit a mistake or who singles out individuals in front of the group creates a culture that is riddled with fear and anxiety. It’s impossible to bring your best to your work when you’re walking on eggshells. Instead of pointing fingers when something goes wrong, good managers work collaboratively with their team and focus on solutions. They pull people aside to discuss slip-ups instead of publicly shaming them, and they’re willing to accept responsibility for mistakes made under their leadership.

 #4 Frequent threats of firing

Some managers use threats of termination to keep you in line and to scare you into performing better. This is a lazy and shortsighted way of motivating people. People who feel disposable are quick to find another job where they’ll be valued and will receive the respect that they deserve.

 #5 Not letting people pursue their passions

Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction, but many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies have shown that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

#6 Withholding praise

It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right. This doesn’t mean that managers need to praise people for showing up on time or working an eight-hour day—these things are the price of entry—but a boss who does not give praise to dedicated employees erodes their commitment to the job.

Bringing it all together

If managers want their best people to stay, they need to think carefully about how they treat them. While good employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them an abundance of options. Managers need to make people want to work for them.

 By TRAVIS BRADBERRY for TheLadders.com This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

How to spot a liar at work

 

To sharpen your lie detection ability, follow these seven guidelines:

1. Begin with a baseline

The first and most important step in deception detection is observing a person’s baseline behavior under relaxed or generally stress-free conditions so that later you can spot those meaningful deviations that signal stress and possible deception.

While you are chatting informally, notice how people’s bodies look when they are relaxed. (What is their normal amount of eye contact and blink rate? What kind of gestures do they use most frequently? What postures do they assume when comfortable? What is their pace of speech and tone of voice?)

2. Watch for the initial signs of stress

There is no single verbal or nonverbal behavior that automatically means a person is lying. In fact, much of “lie detection” is actually stress detection.

To relieve this nervous tension, liars may use pacifying gestures (rubbing their necks, bouncing their heels, fidgeting with jewelry, etc.) Their feet may even point to the door in a nonverbal signal that they would like to “escape.” But our first response to stress (before we ready ourselves to fight or flee) is to freeze. So also pay attention if your usually animated colleague suddenly stops gesturing, has a forced or frozen smile, holds her breath, or tightly locks her ankles.

By the way: The biggest myth around deception is that liars can’t look you in the eyes. In fact, some don’t (especially small children), but polished liars may actually give too much eye contact. Two eye signals that are more accurate signs of stress and potential dishonesty are pupil dilation and a change in blink rate.

3. Listen carefully to what people are telling you

People may tell you the (literal) truth. If your boss says “I’m thinking of recommending you for the position,” that is exactly what she means. She has not told you she did recommend you. She has not told you she will recommend you. All she said is that she is thinking about doing so. In the same way, if your colleague states, “That’s all I can tell you,” believe him. He can’t or won’t tell you more … but remember, that doesn’t mean this is all he knows.

Because of the mental effort it takes to tell a bald-faced lie, many people prefer to circumvent the truth with selective wording. They may avoid answering your question exactly as asked or they might say something that sounds like a denial, but isn’t. For example: If you accused a liar of spreading malicious gossip about a co-worker, he might respond, “Do I look like someone who would do that?” instead of saying “I didn’t do it.” Liars may even go into attack mode and try to impeach your credibility or competence with statements meant to put you off- track or even to intimidate: “Why are you wasting my time with this stuff?” or “Do you know how long I’ve been doing this job?”

Stay especially alert when people tell you what they are not doing (“I don’t want you to take this the wrong way,” or “It’s not that I have anything to hide”). Most often, that’s a lie. Of course, you’ll have greater success in detecting verbal deceit cues if you and the person you are dealing with are from the same culture and speak the same language.

4. Stay alert for “emotional faking”

There are seven basic emotions that are shared, recognized, and expressed the same way around the world. Discovered and categorized by Paul Ekman and his colleagues at the University of California in San Francisco, the universal emotional expressions are joy, surprise, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and contempt.

In monitoring emotional reactions, look also for simulated emotions, where people try to convince others that they feel a certain way by simulating the facial expression associated with that feeling. You may even get a gut feeling that your colleague’s “terribly sincere furrowed-brow” or exaggerated display of anger feels somehow excessive. Realize, too, that any expression you see displayed for more than five to ten seconds is almost certainly being faked.

5. Notice incongruence

When thoughts and words are in sync (when people believe what they’re saying) you can see it in their body language as their gestures, facial expressions and body postures fall into natural alignment with their verbal messages. Incongruence occurs when someone’s nonverbal behavior contradicts her words – such as a side-to-side headshake while saying “yes” or a slight shoulder shrug (which is a sign of uncertainty) when assuring you they’re “absolutely positive.” Often, verbal-nonverbal incongruence is a sign of intentional deceit. At the very least, it shows that there is an inner conflict of some sort between what the person is thinking and what she is saying.

6. Look for the “telltale four”

Nonverbal cues often occur in what is called a “gesture cluster” – a group of movements, postures and actions that reinforce a common point. Clusters play a key role in your growing ability to spot lies. A single nonverbal cue can have several meanings or mean nothing at all, but when it is reinforced by at least two other nonverbal signals, the meaning becomes more apparent.

7. Recognize the issues that interfere with your ability to detect falsehoods

As previously stated, the act of lying triggers a heightened and observable stress response most people. But not always and not in everyone:

  • Not all people display the same degree of emotion.
  • Not all liars (especially if polished or pathological) show any signs of stress or guilt.
  • Not all lies trigger a stress reaction. (Social lies, for example, are so much a part of daily life that they hardly ever distress the sender.)
  • Not all stress signals indicate a lie. Truthful people may exhibit anxiety for a variety of perfectly innocent reasons — including the fear of not being believed or discomfort speaking about embarrassing or emotionally arousing topics.

And sometimes our own biases get in the way. Research shows that surprisingly small factors – such as where we meet someone, what they wear, what their voices sound like, whether their posture mimics ours, if they mention the names of people we know or admire, if they flatter us, if they are attractive and charming, or if they remind us of ourselves – can enhance their credibility to the extent that it actually nullifies our ability to make sound judgments about them. When we put our trust in a deceptive co-worker or hire someone we haven’t properly investigated, it may not be due to their skill as a liar, but more about our own unconscious biases, vanities, desires, and self-deceptions.

Lies and liars can kill collaboration and innovation, damage teams and organizations — and sometimes even destroy reputations and careers. Sharpening your deception detection skills (while recognizing your own biases) is a savvy resolution.

7 ways you’re insulting your boss without knowing

So what are some ways you might be offensive without realizing it? Career experts share what to think twice about doing.

Everyone knows when they have accidentally stumbled into a remove-foot-from-mouth situation. Regardless of your intention, everyone has fumbled in their otherwise professional state. Most of the time, these are fixable with an apology, quick, witty follow-up or some well-timed distance. However, in certain instances, your day-to-day mannerisms, your habits or your conversations tactics can be subtly insulting to your manager. This can be a difficult fact to wrestle with and manage, considering everyone has different working styles, preferences and mentalities about what defines professionalism.

While we should all be diplomatic, respectful and thoughtful when dealing with others, sometimes we say things we should not have said or that hit a sensitivity that we did not foresee,” career expert Jill Tipograph explains. “Being sensitive to that and prepared to acknowledge our blunder is crucial to being respected by your manager, or anyone who might feel wronged”

So what are some ways you might be offensive without realizing it? Here, career experts share what to think twice about the next time you have a meeting with your boss:

You talk politics

Especially given the current jarring and unpredictable political climate, discussing the latest updates from the White House will inevitably come up in the office. However, business coach Christine Argo explains bringing up your opinion is potentially a landmine for conversations. When this happens, you will either be met with silence — or prompted to begin a debate. Even if your manager isn’t part of the initial discussion, if they overhear the argument or learn of it later, they could find it respectful of productivity. And, potentially even more harmful to your career, they could be on the opposite side of your views.

“Your boss will most likely recognize that debating politics at work is not appropriate, but your point of view may easily insult them and leave them less than enthused about working more closely with you on special projects,” Argo warns. “Unless you work in an environment where everyone’s political beliefs are clear, save your point of view for after work.”

You correct them

Even if you directly report to the CEO of your company, he or she is bound to make a mistake (or many) here and there. But should you call them out? Negative. As workplace expert Amy Cooper Hakim explains, even if you are an expert in your field, routinely correcting someone who signs your paycheck is a no-no. Considering no one is perfect and no one has all of the answers, it is better to acknowledge any mishaps privately, instead of embarrassing your manager in front of the team.

“Use care with your tone and support any suggestions by explaining how you’ve seen the idea work well in other instances,” she continues.

You are always late

While some people find it second-nature to map out the time it will take them to reach point B from point A, others often underestimate and end up arriving too late, too much of the time. Your friends and your partner might nod along and accept your tardiness as a character flaw and love you anyway, but your manager is likely secretly stewing each and every time you mutter an “I’m sorry. Traffic was bad!”

Argo says without using words when you’re late, you send the message that your time is more valuable than anyone else’s. “This is not the message you want to be sending to your boss,” she continues. “Show up on time, or better yet a few minutes early. It may just give you time to chat with your boss about non-work things, which always builds good report.”

You interrupt them

When your mother taught you to mind your P’s and Q’s toward your grandmother, teacher and your best friend’s parents, they probably nudged you when you spoke out of a turn. Part of becoming successful is learning how to not only express your expertise and talent but take time to genuinely listen to others. While you might be in a rush to prove your smarts to your manager, if you talk over your boss (or ahem, anyone), they will easily become annoyed.

“Give your boss the respect he deserves and wait for him to finish speaking before sharing your idea. When you show respect to others, you are more likely to receive it in return,” Hakim explains.

You throw meetings off track

Having a solid sense of humor can come in handy after a stressful client meeting, when your colleague is recovering from a hangover or when the office is in desperate need of a belly laugh. Being pegged as the office clown isn’t necessarily a bad hat to wear, but Argo explains it is important to understand when your jokes are welcome, and when they are disruptive to meeting goals. When a boss recognizes you routinely throw meetings off their agenda — they will be less likely to invite you to participate.

“It demonstrates you don’t value their time or position and could leave them frustrated with your job performance,” Argo says. “Before you start singing a jingle during a meeting, ask yourself ‘is this the time for this?’ Breaking the tension is one thing, but completely diverting the meeting is disrespectful.”

You make assumptions about their life.

Though some managers are open about every last detail of their life — from their potty-training toddler to the fight they had with their spouse — others choose to be mum about anything unrelated to work. If you happen to work with a boss in the later crowd, asking questions that might make them feel uncomfortable or making assumptions based off of impressions will send you packing up your desk … ASAP.

“If your boss keeps their cards close to their chest, just don’t even go there. Avoid making comments that infer things about your boss’ life and lifestyle,” Argo recommends. “Or better yet, get to that meeting early and strike up a conversation, you might find out something you didn’t know.”

By LINDSAY TIGAR for TheLadders.com