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Mark Zuckerberg – An example of the importance of Mirroring in what we wear

Mark Zuckerberg – An example of the importance of Mirroring in what we wear

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the Senate it was noticeable for a number of reasons. The first one that jumped out at me was what he was wearing. I’m not a follower of Mark Zuckerberg. I admire his achievements, how couldn’t I, but I don’t follow him on Facebook. I seem him in the media from time to time, but I have never seen him in a suit.

I thought he was part of the Silicon Valley elite who never wear a suit because they don’t have to. He wears jeans and casual shirts. He’s the boss, so he can do what he likes.



Yet there he was in a suit. And a tie!

Why did he do this?

I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that he got good advice. Facebook got it wrong over data. He made a mistake and maybe even underestimated the hole Facebook is in.

So either he knew or someone told him. He needed to avoid coming across as the cocky ‘we don’t care’ Silicon Valley billionaire. He needed to appear contrite and in listening mode. Yes we got it wrong, but we’ve listened and we’re putting it right. And by the way there’s no need to legislate.

Of course what really matters is what he says, but what he looks like matters too. And it did.

He looked professional, serious and most of all like one of them. That’s what mirroring is all about. Look like them and they will think you are one of them. And if you’re one of them surely you can’t be that bad, can you?

They might have expected the cocky billionaire, but what they got was the concerned CEO. Fortunately for Mark Zukenburg he was better prepared than the Senators. He was on top of the detail. And even better for him the Senator’s questions were naïve, amateurish and of very poor quality. So he got off lightly. It could have been a lot worse.

No comment on what Facebook have done and probably are doing. Just on the choice of clothes of their brilliant CEO.

Rhetorical Questions used in your presentation

What do managers do to set expectations

A Rhetorical question is one to which you do not require an answer, at least not out loud. They are a very useful technique in presenting. Why? Because they engage your audience and keep them involved without actually requiring them to talk.

Asking a rhetorical question makes your audience consider what the answer might be. It results in their minds searching for an answer.

Here’s an example; ‘What is the capital city of France?’

You’re thinking of Paris, correct? It’s hard not to. You don’t have to have said anything for me to know you’re thinking of the word if not the city of Paris. You’re involved.

Rhetorical Questions can be used in lots of ways

Here’s another example; ‘How many Cathedrals are there in Paris?’

You’re almost certainly searching for an answer. Chances are you don’t know the answer. So now you want me to tell you. You’re really engaged now. I’m going to tell you something you don’t know.

That’s the beauty of rhetorical questions. They get your audience involved.

They also work at rescuing you when you’ve forgotten where you are or what you’re going to say next. For example:

‘So where does that lead us to?’ Gives you the right to click the next slide. It gives you a millisecond whilst they search for the answer and you find it.

Oh and how many Cathedrals are there in Paris? I don’t know!

Eye Contact

I often get asked about eye contact. One of the questions I’m asked is about when to have eye contact and when not to.

One of the critical moments to have eye contact is when you are trying to influence or advise. In other words when you want to make a point which you’d like your target to accept. We can evidence this by looking at what happens when we don’t have eye contact.

Eye contact training

In our professional business communication we do an exercise around this. The results are as consistent as they are profound. When another person is trying to persuade us without eye contact, it feels as though they are at least disingenuous and at most trying to mislead.

Eye contact is essential when trying to persuade. You don’t need to have eye contact all the time, in fact if we do it can be intimidating and even scary. No-one likes being starred at. So occasional eye contact is fine, but with the words of persuasion should come eye contact.

Who Moved My Cheese

Who Moved My Cheese? - Book Review

who moved my cheese

I’m not sure why it’s taken a while to review this fabulous book. First published in 1999, this is a must for anyone to understand the impact of change on us humans.

In essence it’s about four mice who find that the place where they normally find cheese, no longer has any cheese. Each of the characters reacts differently to the change.

It only take about an hour to read. You’ll hear people refer to this book when they say. “Oh, has someone moved your cheese?”

When you read it you can’t help reflect on your own attitude to change. And with that you’ll think about whether you need to work on that attitude. You instant reaction may well be different to your considered response, and this book help you work out your approach. 

How to get into Good Habits

Good Habits, Bad HabitsHow to get into Good Habits.

For those of you have been on one of our training workshops you will know how keen we are to look at habits and how to improve them. Habits can be very funny things. They can kind of creep up on you without your even noticing. And then hey, you’ve got yourself into a new habit. Just like that.

What is a habit? Simply put it’s a behaviour we do automatically without thinking.

Another way to think about habits is to think of them conscious and unconscious behaviours. Of course habits can be both good and bad. But once we get into them they are just as compulsive whether they be good or bad. Take a look at what you do and see if you can spot behaviours of both sorts. For example, when you brush your teeth do you really think about how you do it? Probably not. It’s probably a good habit.

In an article in Psychology Today there is an interesting perspective on Good and Bad Habits. Follow the link here to read more of the article by Bernard Luskin. Psychology Today.


Brain Freeze more likely for those with higher working memory


Brain Freeze is that sensation we get when we seem unable to think. One moment everything is fine and the next we seem unable to think clearly.

Working memory is about our mental capacity. The ability to mentally juggle more elements. Useful in mathematics or unscrambling complex issues.

This research shows that people with higher working memory are more susceptible to brain freeze.

Here’s an excerpt form the article in the BPS website:

“Researchers at the University of Chicago and Michigan State University attempted to find out more about why this happens. Their results suggest that actually it’s only a subgroup of high working memory people who have this problem and it’s because of their high distractibility. These high ability chokers or brain freeze victims are “typically reliant on their higher working memory resources for advanced problem solving” but their poor attentional control renders them easily distracted by anxiety, causing their usual mental deftness to break down when the pressure is on.”

So what can we take from this? Maybe that when we ask these people to work on a problem we give create a low pressure situation. We protect them from any pressure that exists because in fact they will solve the challenge quicker and more effectively. We know that more analytical people tend not to like pressure, but this research takes it further.

As a manager we need how to manage these people in a way that allows them to use their strengths and not be distracted.

Read more here.

Is Talent a Thing?

Interesting perspective from a BBC podcast

This is a fascinating podcast from the BBC’s Analysis programme. We all look for talent when recruiting and we look to develop talent in our people. But does talent exist? This programme explores the concept of talent and includes some excellent references and sources. 


Wikipedia definition:

A talent is a group of aptitudes useful for some activities; talents may refer to aptitudes themselves.

It is the skill that someone naturally has to do something that is hard. It is an ability that someone is born with. People say they are “born with a talent”. It is a high degree of ability or of aptitude. Someone who has talent is able to do something without trying as hard as someone who does not have a talent. Someone who has talent is called talented.

Excerpt from BBC website:

When hiring people, is the concept of talent so ill-defined as to be useless? Entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan thinks so and explores what characteristics recruiters might want to look for instead.She argues that we need something new, as good grades and top degrees have proved no guarantee of high performance in the workplace. She talks to the recent head of HR (or “people operations”) at Google, the pioneer of the concept of a “growth mindset”, and the academic who found people’s intelligence increased over the course of the 20th century. She also hears about other measures like “grit”, “cultural fit” and how to interview people to find the candidate who is best for the job and the company, rather than the one you like.
Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

Click on the link below to go to the bbc website Analysis programme page.

or go to the bbc download page

Lawyer Sales Tip –

Demonstrate your understanding of their needs & wants

sales tips for lawyers

Remember that most clients want to make sure you understand their needs and wants. They want you to explain how competent you are. But they may already take that for granted, after all, you’re a lawyer so they assume you know the law. They want to see if there’s a fit with you.

How you connect with them and their organisation is of paramount importance. So a key tip is to focus on how you deliver your message as well as what you say.

To demonstrate your understanding of their needs and wants they need to be summarised back to the client; ‘So to ensure I’ve understood, what you’re looking at is…”

Target Sales Questions Tool-kit is handy for sales people

Questioning is a key skill for sales people

target sales training

Target Sales Questions Tool-kit is handy for sales people

The TARGET Sales Questions Tool-kit gives the sales person a range of questions to adapt and build on. The idea being that your sales people can go into their future client meetings equipped with some great questions. They can select the questions most appropriate for their account and then adapt them to suit the situation. The Target Sales Questions Tool-kit is written in excel and will fit with any CRM system. – See more at:


Territory management training tips for sales managers #3

Grade your accounts A, B , C & D then dump the D accounts

Territory management training

Territory management training tips for sales managers #3

One of the key processes required by professional territory management includes a territory analysis tool. This in turn includes grading your accounts into three or maybe four levels. A, B, & C accounts. A are the most lucrative, typically big accounts with lots of margin. B are slightly smaller but which may have the potential to grow, or just stay as they are. C accounts will be smaller and may be new accounts. If the former they will require very occasional or, even only telephone account management. If the latter they will need more attention to help them grow. D accounts probably need dumping as they will take more effort to service than they generate in revenue, unless they have potential of course. – See more at: