#108 Big Data & STEM, Overrated? Scott Hartley

In our age of big data Liberal Arts smarts are undervalued. Our guest, Scott Hartley, argues that the most valuable jobs skills in the future will belong to people who can think creatively, using emotional intelligence and adaptability.

Scott is a venture capitalist and author of "The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World." At Stanford University, where he studied political science, fuzzies majored in the humanities or social sciences. Techies took computer science or STEM courses. Many in the business world still believe that it's the techies who drive innovation.

In his contrarian book (we love contrarians!) Scott reveals the counterintuitive reality today: it's actually the fuzzies - not the techies - who are playing key roles developing the most successful new business ideas. Corporate leaders, educators and thinkers are starting to realize that to tackle some of the world's biggest technological challenges, we need people who understand human emotions and behavior.
 
We unpack Scott’s argument, looking at examples of innovative fuzzy thinking, from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg and beyond. Our solutions look at new ideas for business, universities, government and parents.

#107 How Trust Can Save Journalism: Aron Pilhofer

Journalism is in crisis. Our trust in the news media has fallen to an all-time low. One recent poll found that two thirds of Americans believe mainstream news organizations often publish fake news.

The business model at many newspapers, magazines, radio stations and websites is failing.  Declining revenues have forced layoffs and other cutbacks at news organizations across the country.


Professor Aron Pilhofer of Temple University, one of the world's most respected experts in digital innovation for journalists, is our guest.  Before joining Temple, Aron was Executive Editor of Digital journalism at the Guardian in London and was a former senior executive at the New York Times.

"It's impossible to overemphasize what a vast change there is now in the way people get their information," Aron tells us. For his young students at Temple, the news "finds them" through their feeds at Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. The news is not handed down from high. Instead, it's part of a conversation. 
Aron says regaining readers' trust is essential to the future of journalism. Covering "what now" of news - solutions - is one answer. Greater transparency in how stories are covered and a much deeper commitment to diversity in newsrooms are among the fixes we discuss.

#106 Defusing The Prison Population Bomb: John Pfaff

Today, about 2.2 million Americans are behind bars. "The incarceration rate is about five times the rate of 1970 and our crime rate is the same as in 1970." 

Our guest, John Pfaff of Fordham University is both a law professor and an economist. Author of "Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration—and How to Achieve Real Reform," he says state and local policies matter far more than changes in the federal system.

At about 700 inmates per 100,000 residents , the U.S. incarceration rate is five times higher than most western nations. Only North Korea and Iran have locked up a larger share of their population.
 
Growing bi-partisan support for criminal justice reform may bring changes. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going in the opposite direction.  He's ordered federal prosecutors to pursue the strictest charges and sentences in criminal cases-- reversing Obama Administration policies.
 
The standard explanation for America's inmate population explosion is "three strikes and you're out" sentencing and other aspects of the federal government's war on drugs.
 
John Pfaff says that argument is far too simplistic. In this episode, we look at the key role played by state and local prosecutors. John argues that one key reform would be to focus on charging policies-- reigning in the almost unchecked power of many district attorneys.

#105 Road To Disaster: VW Emissions Scandal Jack Ewing

It isn't just the crime. It's also the cover-up. Volkswagen's multi-year conspiracy to evade pollution rules may be the biggest scandal in auto industry history.

The world's second largest car manufacturer misled regulators, consumers, and motorists.

Our guest is New York Times Germany correspondent, Jack Ewing, author of "Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal." The book tells the remarkable story of a very dysfunctional company and how the scandal unfolded.  

In 2008, Volkswagen started telling the world about its energy-efficient diesel cars that were fun to drive and got fantastic mileage. They were advertised as a great alternative to the Toyota Prius and other hybrid cars.

But the cars' green credentials were based on a lie. VW had installed software in the engines—"defeat devices"—designed to trick regulators and perform much better in emissions tests than on the road. Starting in 2014, thanks to research by university students in West Virginia, the ugly truth started coming out.

As always, we look at solutions. The likelihood of future scandals could be reduced with:

  • More corporate transparency and oversight from an independent board of directors and shareholders.
  • Greater emphasis on corporate ethics from top executives.
  • More emphasis on emissions tests in real life conditions—not just in the lab
  • Keep government regulators as insulated as possible from industry, interest group and political pressure.

#104 Are Credit Cards Evil? Beverly Harzog

Are credit cards evil?  Do you need to restructure debt or were refused a loan?  If so, this episode is for you.

If you're a parent looking for smart money advice to pass onto young adults as they enter the workforce, our podcast has a checklist of do's and don'ts.

Respected credit card expert and consumer advocate Beverly Harzog is our guest. Beverly hasn't just talked the talk about maxing out on debt, she's walked the walk. In her best-selling book, “Confessions of a Credit Junkie,"she tells her personal comeback story.

Three out offour Americans say they're struggling to pay off loans. U.S. credit card debt is above $1 trillion and rising - now at its highest level since the 2008 financial crash. 

The average credit card debt per household is nearly $10,000. Because most cards come with very high interest rates, this is one of the worst ways to borrow money. 

Beverly explains why.

She also explains the importance of compound interest, the difference between good and bad debt, plus examples of when it makes sense to use a credit card. 

Need more honest advice about debt? Visit  The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization.

Find more information, advice and articles at www.beverlyharzog.com

#103 Neil deGrasse Tyson: Science Deniers & Wonders of the Universe Pt. 2

Tyson talks about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, tackles science deniers on the right and left, and explains why we should invest more in pure science. Tyson also discusses his new book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.”

"What's curious to me is you have the liberal community claiming the (moral) high road ...against the science deniers of the right with regard to global warming and evolution in the classrooms... as though they are somehow untainted by non-scientific thinking,” Tyson tells us. "There is a whole portfolio of science denying that also happens in the liberal left."

Investments in pure science led to many remarkable breakthroughs in medicine, technology and physics - often decades after the research began. Following the discovery of quantum physics in the 1920's, "it would take forty to fifty years before we would see the rise of information technology," says Tyson. "There is no information technology without an understanding of quantum physics."

Tyson also discusses his sense of awe and wonder about the secrets of the cosmos.

“You can’t be a scientist and have discomfort with not knowing,” he tells us. “When there is a frontier that’s unexplored, where there are stupefying depths of ignorance, it excites you. It gets you out of bed in the morning and running to the lab.”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson

#102 Neil deGrasse Tyson: Space, The Universe and The Case for Science, Part.1

Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s most prominent spokesman for science and Director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, talks about the benefits of a cosmic perspective, the case for manned space flight and much more in this first part of our wide-ranging conversation. We also discussed Tyson's new book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry."

Richard and Jim met Tyson at his offices at The American Museum of Natural History.

While insisting he is not an advocate for manned space flight, Tyson says "history tells us" space exploration "is one of the most potent forces to operate on the scientific ambitions of a citizenry." At the height of the Apollo program in the 1960's, "you didn't need special programs to get people interested in science," Tyson explains. "There were weekly headlines about our journeys into space and you knew you needed the best of the best to breech the frontier of space."

#10 Fix It Shorts: What We Learned in Our First 100 episodes

For Jim and Richard "How Do We Fix It?" has been a great big learning experience.

From how to switch careers to the search for meaning and the importance of speaking to strangers, our guests have proposed many smart, practical solutions. And they've also challenged conventional wisdom.

Our podcast invites listeners to get into their discomfort zone as a way of being more receptive to change.  

Jim starts this show revealing what he learned from David McRaney, host of "You Are Not So Smart," - a podcast about psychology.  David told us about our deep attachment to confirmation bias - where most of us try to confirm our views, rather than challenging ourselves with an opposing hypothesis.  

As someone who admits he knows little about science, Richard says he has learned about the scientific method from several guests, including Ainissa Ramirez and Michael Shermer. In the lab, scientists routinely test and try to disprove a theory before they embrace it as fact.

Some Fix It episodes were ahead of the curve. John Gable, Joan Blades, Geoff Colon and other guests raised the alarm about filter bubbles and online information silos well before Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley executives voiced their concerns.

Last year, Megan McArdle, a columnist at Bloomberg View, spoke to us about the tangled problems of fixing Obamacare months before President Trump and House Republicans realized how hard it be to "repeal and replace" without a massive fight. 

We also heard from Steve Hilton, former personal advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron.  He made the pro-European case for Brexit in a surprising and enlightened way.

Richard tells Jim: "I've learned a lot from you," declaring himself to be a "thorough convert" to Jim's conviction that we romanticize the past and catastrophize the present. Richard has also come over to Jim's view that the challenge to free speech on college campuses is a much more serious problem than many believe.

Now on to the next 100 shows.
 

#100 The Myth of Main Street, Louis Hyman

Our guest is Louis Hyman, author of the provocative New York Times editorial, "The Myth of Main Street." Louis is a Cornell University History Professor and the Director of the Institute for Workplace Studies. 

Nostalgia for the economy's "good old days" has great appeal for many Americans. For the right, past decades bring back memories of Ronald Reagan, traditional cultural values and U.S. dominance in global affairs. For the left, post-war America was a time of stronger unions and less income inequality.

But "Make America Great Again" and other appeals to nostalgia come at a high price.  Going back to a past with trade barriers, price controls and lower productivity would damage the living standards of many households they're designed to protect.

Louis tells us: "Main Street is a touchstone for how we like to imagine the real America. There's always this anxiety about what America is, and Main Street is how we imagine ourselves."  The challenge is to balance a need for higher wages, autonomy and local pride with efficiency.

Small-town and rural America have been left behind in the digital economy, which is centered in a few big cities. But it doesn't have to stay this way.

Solutions:

  • By gaining access to sales and freelance platforms, people in rural communities can sell products and find jobs anywhere in the world. 
  • Upwork, Thumbtack and other sites are online marketplaces that match freelance workers and small businesses with demand for their services. 
  • Local governments can help by expanding the crucial work done by libraries to educate and connect workers to the changing online marketplace.
  • The Digital Countryside Initiative at Cornell's Institute for Workplace Studies in Ithaca is working with corporations and labor groups to connect rural New Yorkers with the digital economy. Greater access to high-speed internet connections is one step. But the online "gig economy" is unfamiliar to many skilled workers.

#99 How Our Minds Heal Our Bodies: Jo Marchant

Have you ever felt a surge of adrenaline after almost getting into an accident? Salivated at the sight of a sour lemon?  Felt turned on by your partner’s voice?  If so, says scientific journalist Jo Marchant, you’ve experienced how the workings of the mind can affect your body.

In this episode we look at the mind's potential to ease pain, reduce anxiety and even cut the risk of infection, heart disease and other serious medical ailments. Jo discusses how the latest findings in mind-body research: How hypnotherapy, mindfulness techniques, Virtual Reality and social connections can play important roles in healing and prevention.

More than one in three Americans have turned to alternative medicine.  But do homeopathy, acupuncture and other therapies actually work? What does science say about the use of placebos in medicine?

"I believe very strongly in an evidence- based approach that we have to investigate things in a scientific way," Jo tells us in this episode.  "On the other hand I also started to feel that science has a bit of blind spot when it comes to the role of the mind in health."

Jo Marchant discusses the findings of her New York Times best-selling book "Cure: A Journey Into The Science of Mind Over Body.

Check out the New York Times book review.

#98 You're More Powerful Than You Think: Eric Liu

If you're disillusioned, depressed or downright furious at the state of politics today, this episode is for you.

Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University, says that you're more powerful than you think. We discuss the stories, strategies and ideas raised in his timely new book, "You're More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen"

The key to fighting back successfully is to have a strategy and know how to read and write power,” but most people have no understanding of power and how to use it.  

Political illiteracy is one reason we feel so powerless. “I think the reality of American life, right now, is that so many people have neither the motivation nor the ability to read or write power,” Eric tells us. “They lapse into this “House of Cards” or dark conspiratorial vision that all politics are like "Scandal,” and out of that are born people like Donald Trump as President.” 

The truth is that ordinary people are able to accomplish extraordinary things.  We learn about Communities Creating Opportunity, a Kansas City-based campaign against predatory payday lending and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers - a surprisingly powerful movement for farmworker justice.  

For decades, poor and often illiterate migrant workers picked tomatoes in rural Florida, "laboring essentially under conditions of indentured servitude." Instead of an hourly wage, growers paid them pennies per bucket of what they picked, says Eric. The Immokalee farmworkers successfully demanded higher wages and better labor conditions. "In 2001, they organized the first-ever farmworker boycott of a fast-food company, against Taco Bell," writes Eric in his book.  Four years later, Taco Bell's parent company agreed to raise wages and reform its power chain.  

Eric's solutions:

  • Learn how power is organized. His book has nine strategies for changing the game. 
  • Vote. In his book, Eric Liu writes that voter turnout (in general) is rarely above 60 percent (at best).
  • Exercise your "we muscle.”Join a club or group and learn how to work with others on game-changing ways to improve the odds for a cause or a hobby that you care about.
  • Keep it local. Eric argues that too much attention is given to power politics in Washington D.C. Often the best way to bring about change is in the neighborhood or city where you live.
  • Schools and colleges should improve civics education, giving students a much clearer understanding of grassroots democracy. 

Learn more about citizenship and civic power from these online Citizen University videos.

Read a review of Eric Liu's new book, "You're More Powerful Than You Think," by New York Times journalist David Bornstein, co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network. David is one of our "Fix It" show guests, listen to Episode 47.
 

#9 Fix It Shorts Productivity: Charles Duhigg's Top 4 Tips

This episode highlights four key productivity fixes from New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg. His most recent book is "Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and In Business." Charles is also the author of "The Power of Habit."

Using cutting-edge science, reporting and real-life stories, Charles explains why being productive isn't just about daily habits, routines and lists.

"Keeping your eye on that thing that matters most to you is the secret to success," Charles tells us. "We need a mental model: a story we tell ourselves about how we expect our day to unfold."

Solutions:  Top 4 productivity tips:

  1. See emails as suggestions, not as obligations.  Be proactive rather than reactive with email.  You don't have to respond to all of them or get to a zero in-box. 
  2. To-do lists should be much more than random reminders.  Put your top priority or today or this week at the top of your list. 
  3. Use mental modeling to be productive. Turn a chore into a choice. Think about your goals and priorities a little more deeply than simply making a list.
  4. The most important thing is the most important thing. Don’t lose site of your higher goal while doing the daily stuff of life.

Charles’s website has short entertaining videos on the science of habit, find them at  http://charlesduhigg.com

A longer version of this show can be found here.

"FixIt Shorts" promises solutions journalism in 15 minutes or less.

#96 Robots Are Not Coming For Your Job, Part 2: Peter Cappelli

How can we save good jobs?

In part one (episode #95), we spoke with Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School, about the impact of robots and automation on our workforce.  Here in part 2 Peter talks solutions and explains why some of the alarm over the impact on employment is out-of-touch with reality.

Technology is changing how we work, and too many companies are investing much more on technology than in people. Peter says that retraining employees is one solution. 

AT&T agrees. For many years the company has been a major player in new technology,  but as automation changed its workplace many AT&T employees no longer had the skills to run the company’s infrastructure. The solution? Complain about the skills gap?  No. AT&T decided to retrain its 100,000 employees. For the first time AT&T made Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Peter says a good job is really more about “how people are managed, whether you give them control over what they're doing and whether you take care of them."

Credit: Typorama

Credit: Typorama

Some of the most important factors driving productivity are better management. In the 1980's General Motors, invested 7.7 billion dollars  to automate their production system. But the strategy proved to be a costly failure. Toyota, which used a lean management system, was far more successful, proving that sometimes the best investment is in training people.

Government can also help.  The current tax code and accounting principles stack the deck against investments in human capital. Retraining employees counts as a liability on a corporate balance sheet, while investing in equipment counts as an asset. The Federal Government has also spent billions of dollars to develop robots, and technology, that displace workers.

In a recent Washington Post article, Peter wrote: “Changing the tax code and accounting principles to un-stack the deck against investments in employees is far easier and more likely to succeed than any of the other policies under debate.”

#95 Robots Are Not Coming For Your Job, Part 1: Peter Cappelli

Here's one less thing to worry about: robots are not going to take your job.

Despite the dire predictions of analysts, workplace experts and the government, the impact of robotics and automation on employment may be hugely overstated.

Professor Peter Cappelli, the Director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School is our guest. He has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. Peter was recently named one of the “Most Influential Thinkers of the Decade,” by HR Magazine. In this episode Peter explains why we should challenge conventional wisdom about the impact of automation. 

"The biggest change in technology has not been automation but the ability to do work at a distance via the Internet," Peter tells us. Even in manufacturing, "there has been just about the same productivity improvement as in the rest of the economy."

 

From driverless trucks to pilotless planes, "there are some things that are technologically possible that we just don't want to happen."

 

While disruptive, many innovations eventually lead to a larger demand for workers. One example: there are more bank tellers today than there were before ATMs were invented.

#94 A Vital Fix for the Media: David Bornstein

The news media is under fierce attack from President Trump; White House Strategist, Steve Bannon; and many other critics.While many claims against the press are overblown, now is a good time to look at arguments for constructive change. 
 

We decided to re-air our interview with New York Times journalist David Bornstein, co-founder of SolutionsJournalismNetwork.org

David says that solutions journalism focuses on what works now as potential solutions. Using the best available evidence, solutions journalism delves deep into the how-to’s of problem solving, often structuring stories as puzzles or mysteries that investigate problems. 

One recent example: Initiatives that show  success in reducing the dropout rate in public schools. Reporters looked at how these programs work. What are successful school systems doing differently that result in better outcomes?

#93 Emily Esfahani Smith: The Power of Meaning

Are you happy? If not, perhaps you’re asking yourself the wrong question.

Our culture is obsessed with happiness - a right that’s enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. But living a life of meaning, instead of the pursuit of happiness, may bring much deeper, longer-lasting satisfaction, says our guest, Emily Esfahani Smith, author of "The Power of Meaning Crafting a Life That Matters.

In 2013, comedian Louis C.K. struck a nerve when he spoke of the human condition on the Conan O’Brian show. “Underneath everything there’s that thing - that empty forever.”   The video clip from the “Conan” show went viral with more than 12 million views on You Tube.  

We look at solutions for that “empty forever life.”

“A meaningful life is connecting and contributing to something that is bigger than you," says Emily. Her book examines the wisdom of philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists and novelists and provides insight on how to lead a more meaningful life.

Emily argues that leading a meaningful life is more important than a happy life. "When we don't find meaning, we end up becoming more depressed, prone to suicide and more alienated."
 
Find out why cultivating connections with others, working towards a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can enrich our lives.

We also discuss belonging, alienation and politics. In a recent New York magazine article, Emily writes: "President Trump is like the neighbor, a man who unthinkingly builds new walls and fortifies old ones — walls to keep out immigrants and refugees, walls to divide the establishment from working-class Americans, walls to protect American manufacturers from American trade partners."

Additional reading: "The Road to Character" by David Brooks of the New York Times.
 

Fix It Shorts #8. Immigrants: Great for the Economy!

When did the arguments for free trade and the benefits of immigration go out of fashion?

Why is the case for scaling back the power of the financial industry under attack by the Trump administration?

Richard and Jim spoke to three experts for this episode of “Fix It Shorts.” 

Rana Foroohar, explains why the power of Wall Street distorts the economy. “The key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned,” she says. “Our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever.” Rana is the author of "Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business," She is also the Associated Editor and the Global Business Columnist for the Financial Times.

"One of the prizes, one of the treasures of democracy is freedom of thought, freedom of action, freedom of movement," says Peter Coy, Economics Editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. He argues that immigration, especially legal immigration of skilled workers, is a plus for the economy.

Economist Ruchir Sharma, author of the book “The Rise and Fall of Nations - Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World,” tells us that expanding the workforce is a vital part of growth. Reducing immigration, he says, would slam the brakes on the economy.
 

#91 Geoffrey Colon: Pay-to-Play: A Menace to Society?

Do you know where your information is coming from? Shadowy forces are at work to influence what we think, how we behave, and where we spend our money.

They're part of the explosion in pay-to-play. From bots and branded content to political-influence peddlers’, advertisers and even sports programs in public schools, pay-to-play is a growing influence in our lives.  

Critics of pay-to-play say that instead of "We the people,” the online world is controlled by "We the wealthiest people.” 


Geoffrey Colon, an expert on marketing, tech and how to get people's attention, is our guest. A communications designer at Microsoft, Geoffrey is the author of "Disruptive Marketing - What Growth Hackers, Data Punks and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal." He's the co-host with Cheryl Metzger of the popular podcast, "Disruptive FM." We learn more about the threat from fake news and hate sites alt-right bots to our democracy. Geoffrey guides through some of the recent dizzying changes in the online landscape.

Solutions:

  • Education is first. Improvements to the school curriculum are urgently needed. They should fully take into account dramatic online changes. A recent Stanford University study found that most American students couldn’t tell the difference between carefully sourced news and flat-out lies. The authors described the results as "dismaying" and a "threat to democracy."
  • Tech companies should give non-profits the ability to use their platform free of cost; in fact, Google already does this. Google gives non-profits AdWords for free or through a Google “Ad Grant.”
  • A new look at public service announcements - PSA's. Until the 1980's and Reagan-era broadcasters were required to run PSAs in exchange for using the airwaves, which are a public resource. Policy makers and major information providers should consider a new system for the 21st century.
  • A code of conduct by major online information platforms, this would distinguish between advertising, opinion and news.

#90 David Greenberg: President Trump and The History of Spin

Does Donald Trump lie more than previous presidents? In the history of political spin, how does the Trump administration stack up? 

Presidents have always used spin and propaganda to skirt the truth, but the Trump administration has made it especially hard for citizens to remain informed. The easiest example of this was when Kellyanne Conway, the Counselor to the President, used the term “alternative facts” to defend a false statement by the White House Press Secretary.

In this episode we look at how Presidential propaganda, messaging or spin has changed over the decades.

David Greenberg is our guest and the author of "Republic of Spin - An Inside History of the American Presidency.” David argues that Teddy Roosevelt was responsible for the birth of modern Presidential spin more than one hundred years ago. 

Trump is part of a tradition that began with Roosevelt: Mark Twain saw Roosevelt as “The Tom Sawyer of the political world.” Unlike his predecessors, Roosevelt appealed directly to the public, to give him more authority to roll out an ambitious agenda. Roosevelt hired press agents, held press stunts, and informal press conferences. When he left office, there was no turning back.

#89 Shearly Markowicz: Online Dating:Why It Works

Valentine’s Day is almost here, so we invited Dating Ring CEO Shearly Markowicz to talk about the company and give advice how to find love online. Dating Ring first came to fame when it was profiled by the Gimlet podcast, "StartUp” season 2.

Online dating has lost its stigma and gone mainstream. But do these sites really work? According to the Pew Research Center, six in ten people say online dating is a good way to meet people. But Consumer Reports’ gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores the magazine has seen for any rated service in two decades - even lower than cable TV companies!


Her company is a hybrid - part data, part human matchmaker. Dating Ring uses the algorithms used by online dating sites, but then a matchmaker steps in to help refine the process. "We really try to bring the human element in because that's what I think is lacking in the other dating sites," says Shearly. "We meet with people and get to know their personalities"

Tips for online daters:

  • Be bold, be persistent and be open-minded. Make the first move. Don’t be discouraged if the person you like doesn’t respond immediately, they are probably busy and you haven’t become a priority—yet.
  • Put yourself out there. Dating is a numbers game to some extent. Going on more dates improves your odds of meeting somebody special.
  • Be realistic and open-minded. Don’t make your search too narrow.
  • Be kind. According to Shearly,“When I ask people what are the top qualities they are looking for, the first one that they say is ‘kind.” On that note, how do you gracefully tell someone you aren’t interested? Don’t ghost—avoid—them. Just say, “I’m sorry it wasn’t a fit for me, but it was really nice to meet you.”
  • Having the right photos are critical. Smile. Don’t post selfies and if you take a group photo don’t stand next to the most attractive person in the room.