Beware of the Chameleon Effect

April 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Leadership, Relationships 

ChameleonEffect31 200x300 Beware of the Chameleon Effect 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 

CommProblems1 Leadership Traps: Communication Without CommunicatingDepend­ing 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 

WinFriends1 Winning Friends and Influencing PeopleIt’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 

Arrogant2 261x300 How Do You Wish to be Treated?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. Influence2 A Story of InfluenceOne 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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