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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.

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.


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

Time management – top tip for effective meetings – have an objective

Meetings can be effectively managed to save time

Meetings can be effectively managed to save time

Time management – top tip for effective meetings – have an objective
How many times have you come out of a meeting not knowing whether it achieved anything? If we agree an objective for the meeting it is very clear to see if we achieved it, and it sets our expectations for the meeting.

It also means that if someone starts going of the agenda, the chair can make a legitimate intervention. An objective clarifies the purpose for all those in the meeting, so that everyone knows what the meeting is for and what it is not for.

Time management tips – take control

Being assertive is part of time management training

Being assertive with oneself is part of time management training

Time Management tips – take control

Many of us have to respond to the many ad hoc issues that land in our inbox during the day. We have to reply and we have to be service oriented. But do we need to reply instantly?
Well sometimes yes we do. But taking a step back, is the an opportunity to take control of our time and manage these ad hoc issues.
For example might it be possible to do 30 minutes of project work and during that time to turn the email off? After 30 minutes to turn it on again and deal with the emails that have come in. So the longest anyone is waiting is 30 minutes, or whatever time you decide to dedicate to your project work. In this way we can focus on the piece of work without the distractions. This may be possible for some of the day so that we can ensure the completion of both ad hoc issues and project work.

Time management – top tip for effective meetings – timed agenda

Being assertive is part of time management training

Being assertive is part of time management training

Time management – top tip for effective meetings – timed agendas

An agenda is always good, but a timed agenda is even better.
Allocate time for each point on the agenda. Then monitor it as you go through the meeting. And when time is up for that item you can decide whether to carry on talking or move on to the next item. Simple and effective.

If your meetings overrun try a timed agenda, it can have a dramatic impact on meeting timings.

ITD books & ebooks


We have written books in paperback & electronic format on subjects relevant to our training. You can read these to gain useful and practical tips to help in everyday situations. The books can be stand alone or read as useful follow up to our training. The style is very informal and the writing to the point. The books are short and to the point, usually between 60 to 80 pages. They are written as useful guides on how to do the subject a little better, either through learning or being reminded on what tends to work.


These ebooks have the aims of being:

  • Full of ideas, tips and strategies from practical experience
  • Relevant to lawyers
  • Specific to the professional services world
  • Easy to understand
  • Simple to apply
  • ‘Dipinable’ – meaning you can pick them up & dip in without having to read cover to cover


Lawyer’s Guide to Improving Success in Communicating with Clients, Prospects and Colleagues – Martin Chapman published 2014



Lawyer's Guide for Amazon

 Amazon – kindle format

£8.04 + VAT

Lawyer's Guide for itunes

 Apple – itunes format

to follow

Lawyer's Guide for Lulu – paperback


About this book

This book is for lawyers who want to improve their communication with clients, prospects and colleagues. Using the ITD work style model to describe personalities at work, the book is full of ideas and tips.

These ideas and tips can be applied to meetings, emails phone calls, and communication generally.
The ideas in this book have been gained from our work with lawyers over the years, and have been used by lawyers in many firms and in many countries.

Who is this book for?

This lawyer’s guide was written for any lawyer, attorney at any level and those who are either studying law or going through their training contract. It’s not about the law, it’s about working with lawyer’s and those who commission work for lawyer’s. Any professional service business can benefit from the ideas in this book.

Tips & ideas

The format of the book is in small sections with bullet points. This means you can easily look up tips and ideas. It’s full of useful suggestions and approaches when working with different personality types.


  • Personality styles are easy to understand and recognise by lawyers.
  • Simple to apply in everyday situations.
  • We’ve been using the framework for years and it works.
  • Helps in BD work when networking.
  • Helps in working with business services colleagues.
  • Helps in working with other fee earners.

What is the style of the book?

No nonsense, straight to the point, bullet point language.

Where can I see more details?

To see more details click on the links below or the images above, to go to the Amazon store for the ebook version, and to the lulu site for the paperback version.

How can I order the book?

Just click on the images above, or links below in the book format you need and you will taken to the relevant website.

Amazon – Amazon for the kindle version.

itunes – itunes for that version

Lulu – to order a paperback.



Training on this book

We offer training on the principles from this book. Run by experienced training consultants who have been working with law firms for many years.


  • 1.5 hour to 3 hour training session.
  • Up to 16 participants.
  • Held in your law firm.
  • Demonstration of situations where understanding work styles can make a difference.
  • Classroom or Webex.


Benefits of training

  • Gives lawyers an opportunity to discuss personality and apply the ideas from the book.
  • Ensures the learning sticks in the right way.
  • Discussion takes place on the practical application of these ideas.
  • To book training just call +44 (0)800 804 8086 or email







More books to follow…








BD for Lawyers – hosted network events – tip #1

BD for Lawyers – hosted networking events tip # 1
There are a number of tips which we need reminding of when participating in hosted networking events. These tips are taken from other markets where networking, or sales events are much more part of the every day work expectations.
Get there early. If it’s our event and we get there after clients it looks like we are not that interested and it looks unprofessional.
If we’re there early we can greet our clients. We can greet our prospects. We can make them feel welcome. We can make introductions between clients and prospects.
If we’re interested in learning from other business sectors outside law firms, professional client relationship managers, or sales people would not dream of arriving at an event after their clients.
For training on networking go to networking training for lawyers