As Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) once said

"Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn now not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as a necessity requires"

Know your enemy and his weaknesses. It is better to have a friend working with you than a foe plotting against you

When time is taken to get to know someone's personality and behavior better, fewer conflicts are likely to occur. To have the understanding of why someone does and say the things that they do opens up opportunity to react differently instead of for example shouting back at someone if they have done something you don't approve of, or being too trusting towards them when they make promises you later discover they can't keep.

There are a number of factors which can influence human behaviour.

Certain behaviors are natural habits while others can be learnt. Behavior can be genetically influenced where a person is born with a certain genetic make-up, chemical imbalances or weakened neural systems in the brain such as in the case of people with ADD and ADHD.

Upbringing and family or home life can also impact on how a person perceives the world and how they react to their surroundings.

Social environments, your life experiences and those you associate yourself with will also influence how you think

Ways in which to figure out personality and charateristic traits of people:

- Be receptive observe and hang back by watching and listening instead of always speaking.

- Resist from overpowering the conversation, interrupting, or patronizing the other person

- Keep the flow of conversation going by asking questions that don't just require yes/no answers and try to ask questions about the other person or about topics that would be of interest to them and let them do most of the talking

- If need be stop whatever else you are doing to focus all your attention on the person you are speaking to

- Try and focus on specific aspects such as body language or tone of speech

- If you are looking at body language be observant to what someone does as opposed to what they say

- Try and keep your own body language neutral because a reaction can impact what the person is saying and he/she may then say things they would think you would want to hear

- Listen by using the different senses on your body such as touch, sound, sight

What you can look out for in other people which could be linked to having a hidden agenda, being secretive, anxious or worried about something

- Something that can be looked out for is repeated mistakes and constant excuses

- Avoidance from answering a question, doing a certain task or constantly changing the subject

- Spending habits can also say something about a person often related to being materialistic– if they're big spenders they might be trying to impress other people to gain acceptance or to show they are more successful than others. Being tight on spending especially spending on others can also show selfishness

- Selfishness can also tie in with being jealous, egocentric

- Body language- are their movements very "bold", "loud" or boisterous or do they seem timid and unresponsive?

- Listen for the tone used when speaking; such as is there a sense of sarcasm, exaggeration or self criticism

-Bragging: can show arrogance, an egotistical type of attitude, possible insecurities and maybe even lying.

-Exaggeration: this done constantly points to dishonesty and may indicate a low self esteem

Article will continue with part two