Beware of the Chameleon Effect

April 4, 2011 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: Leadership, Relationships 

You know what’s amazing? It’s the ability we all have to change our environment based upon our view of it. I’m not talking about any mysticism or hocus pocus, but a proven psychological ability that we as human beings have. This ability is known as the “Chameleon Effect”, also known as the “Pygmalion Effect” in some circles, it has to do with our natural sense of value attribution and how it changes life around us. Value attribution or the inclination for people to superimpose or imbue a thing with certain characteristics or qualities based upon our initial perception. The initial impression we have of something or someone will cause us to view that very same thing in such a way that’s consistent with our initial impression. When Joshua Bell (a Grammy Award-winning violinist who plays to sold-out crowds in symphony halls around the world) dressed in jeans, a baseball cap and sneakers pulled out his $3.5 million dollar Stradivarius violin on a crowded subway platform in Washington D.C. during morning rush hour and Read more

Leadership Traps: Communication Without Communicating

March 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Relationships 

Depending upon where you’re from, or what generation you are part of, your view of what a leader should and should not be will vary. There are those who say changing times call for changes in leadership styles. While that may be true for some areas of leadership, many basic characteristics of leadership still hold true today as they did back with previous generations.

A crucial area that has not changed is the ability to communicate.  Communication has added new tools to its repertoire over the last couple of decades (such as email and instant messaging), but time tested communication methods are still needed today. To substitute these time tested communication methods with email and/or instant messaging would be to ask your team and peers to begin alienating themselves from you. Why Read more

Winning Friends and Influencing People

November 8, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Networking, Relationships 

It’s interesting how many people out there want to rewrite the rules in life. They want to rewrite them so that it fits their chosen lifestyle. Some even say, “I play by my rules”. Have you ever heard anyone say that? One can say that’s a courageous attitude to take. Others may say that’s a very unrealistic, even childish attitude to take. It’s OK to make your own rules, just be prepared for when the rest of the world confronts you about them (and doesn’t agree). Some rules of life are rules that cannot be changed or altered. Why? Because people are people!

One of my favorite books is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. It’s probably one of the most read books when it comes to the art of relationship building. If you’re a person who truly wants to learn about understanding people (as well as yourself) better, then this is a book that I highly recommend. I periodically re-read this book in order to not become rusty on the teachings it provides. Here are a few golden nuggets Read more

How Do You Wish to be Treated?

November 2, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Networking 

Last evening I was fortunate enough to be with a large gathering of friends and acquaintances for an after work social. It was a truly enjoyable event such as most socials can be. Unfortunately, it never ceases to amaze me how every now and then there is a person in such a crowd who (giving them the benefit of the doubt) doesn’t realize that they are coming off as having a “holier than thou” type attitude. Why am I mentioning this? I’m mentioning this because I ran into such a person last night. The reason I use such a term to describe this person is because when I said hello to a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a long time, the person next to him stopped talking with the person he was speaking with and without really looking at me (not looking at me in the eye as would be the polite thing to do when meeting someone but looking past me) said, “Well, hello Gil” in a somewhat patronizing tone. After he said this to me, he proceeded to Read more

A Story of Influence

October 28, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Leadership, Networking 

When it comes to influence one thing is certain. One’s ability to create and maintain a positive relationship is a must have skill. Without the ability to have a relationship with someone, there is absolutely no way to have influence. One can argue that power (through the manipulation of money and/or violence) can allow a person to have influence. I say that is simply not true influence but more so an investment and use of fear. If given the choice, a large number of leaders would prefer to use the power of influence over the power of fear in order to get things done.

It All Started with a Visit

A few years back I was visiting the headquarters of a very well-known international computer consulting firm. This particular firm serviced my company on many occasions and I was always happy with how their consultants handled my company’s requests. An acquaintance of mine, Larry, was one of the company’s management. While I was there, I noticed that many of the members of his team Read more

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