Recently, while talking to a friend of mine about investments, I told him that I had met an individual who claimed to know a great deal about how to make money. I asked my friend how I could “test the waters” to see if this individual was as sharp as he made himself out to be. My friend said, “I have a sure, foolproof method for you to use that will test his honesty.” I was quite intrigued.
He then said, “Ask the financial adviser a question relating to investment that you already know the answer to. If the individual answers you accurately and honestly, then that would be a good indicator that he would be truthful in other matters as well. If, on the other hand, he tells you something that you know to be inaccurate, then that would be a good gauge of his honesty as well.”
My friend went on to say that this, is not meant to be a manipulative, deceitful trick. It is simply a way to “test the waters” to see if an individual will really be open and honest with you.
I thought that was very insightful for several reasons and on many different levels. In many situations, it is not easy to know if a salesperson or new acquaintance is going to be open, honest, and up front with you about difficult matters or not. Well, it did not take long for another opportunity to come along for me to try out my newfound wisdom.
A few days later, a man who wanted to sell me some stocks called my office. He told my secretary that we were good friends and asked to talk to me for just a minute. When my secretary told me that there was an old friend of mine on the phone who wanted to speak to me, I asked if he had given his name. He had, but when I could not place him, I thought perhaps I had just forgotten. I took the call but as I began talking to him, I soon realized it was a sales call and that he wanted to sell me some stocks. I immediately thought to myself, “If this guy will be dishonest and lie to manipulate his way past my secretary just so that he can handle my investments, that is exactly the person with whom I do NOT want to do business!” You see, when he had the opportunity to tell the truth, he did not. Then I knew for sure that I could not trust him in other matters. When he was asked a question that I did know the answer to, he did not tell the truth. Therefore, there was no need to ask him further questions that I did not know the answer to! As you can imagine, the conversation ended quickly after that encounter.
This week add this bit of wisdom to your life. It is not meant to hurt anyone, but it is a means to protect yourself from those who would take advantage of you. We live in a wonderful world but believe it or not, there may be some people who are “out to get you”. The best way to find out where they are coming from is to ask them a question that you already know the answer to so that you can find out just how honest they will be with you before asking them questions that you do not know the answer to. I have used this method several times in the past couple of months and have found it to be extremely helpful. It is a good lesson from Wisdom 101. I hope you find it useful in your own personal life this week and in the future as well!
Tip: Before you ask someone a question you do not know the answer to, ask them a question you do know the answer to!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm