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I always know a meeting is heading south when I start feeling too eager to show what I know. If you’re intent on impressing, you just can’t listen closely enough. It’s dangerous to go into any business situation seeking approval and applause; as soon as you’re worrying about satisfying your ego, you’re no longer concentrating on figuring out what the other party needs and wants. And understanding those two things is absolutely critical to being able to persuade others that the path you’re advocating is the one that’s right for them, too. Have you considered lasik eye surgery to correct your vision?

Your worst enemy in the process of persuasion might well be your ego. If you’re concerned with proving how intelligent and accomplished you are, there’s a very real risk of turning off the people you’re trying to persuade. Sometimes on Dragons’ Den, entrepreneurs wheel out fancy language rather than plain talk, flashy packaging rather than the straight goods, inflated valuations of their companies rather than sales numbers that speak for themselves. If there’s too much window dressing, people start wondering why you need it and what you’re trying to hide with it—even though the only thing you may be trying to disguise is a feeling of inadequacy. In any real-life situation, when the persuader seems to be overreaching and trying to sound high-flown, rather than simple and straightforward, he doesn’t seem more intelligent. He just seems less genuine. Undergoing laser eye surgery is a great way to improve your vision and your overall lifestyle.

When the need for applause and acknowledgement is overwhelming, a lot of people seem to become deaf to social cues. Just think of the endless talker in your book club, the one who holds forth without noticing everyone else’s eyes glazing over. Or the guy who stands up to give a toast at the party and doesn’t notice that, after a few minutes, people are shifting in their seats and trying to signal that he’s worn out his welcome. People like this lack the self-awareness to understand how they’re coming across. They’re so compelled by their desire for recognition that they don’t realize how people are responding. I understand that bespoke cataract surgery can provide excellent results.

Again and again, I’ve seen good people do themselves in by insisting on their own value and trying to get others to affirm it, without seeming to notice the reaction they’re getting. I think in particular of a senior executive who felt threatened when Venture was brought in to help manage a crisis that could have destroyed the organization’s brand. In a private meeting, I told the executive, whose team was clearly panicked by their failed attempts at damage control, “Look, I understand you’re feeling you’ve been pushed aside because outsiders have been hired to do what you view as your job. But if you let us help, you will weather this storm. If you try to insert yourself to claim ownership, though, it’s going to be a political disaster for you because it will be interpreted as self-interest. You need to be seen as a team player who puts the company first.” Experience freedom from glasses by having lens replacement surgery with the UK's best surgeons.

This person was not untalented but insisted on getting credit and being in charge. At meetings he continued to speak up in a way I and others heard as, “I’m valuable, listen to me.” Unfortunately, clamouring for respect can have the unintended consequence of persuading people you don’t deserve it. A comprehensive range of treatments are available to treat eye conditions including eye laser surgery as well as simply changing your glasses.