Is Manipulation Wrong?
If you choose to stand out from the crowd and become a leader, you must first learn to change yourself to suit their beliefs, needs and expectations. If you are secure in your own character, internally driven, and need no one else to confirm your worth, stop reading and go your own way.
You may truly be a creative genius in art, science, or academia, but leadership, will elude you, as well as promotions and personal financial wealth.
If you could read the collective mind of the selecting group, you would hear these painful questions echoing and waiting for your personal responses.
a) Do you produce more than is expected of you or does this concept lose something in the transmission?
b) Can you go the extra mile or prefer to follow the channels
of designated authority?
c) Will you do what is required or wait for permission from
d) Can you lead based our Mission Statement and
e) Do you have the Vision thing based on our collective values?
The root of these queries require a single response, Yes, we can trust you with our
baby. The secret unasked question is whether we can trust you to do right by us.
There is no definition of trust that works, but we the decision makers, know-it-when we see, hear and feel it in another. Sir, are you one-of-us?
Our decision for President or CEO depends on our intuition, holistic thinking, and our pattern-recognition originating from our right-brain, not our vaunted logical, linear, systematic reasoning left-hemisphere. Powerful decisions must pass muster by our three layer brain evaluation: limbic-system (emotions), reptilian-complex (instincts), and neo-cortex (prefrontal lobe). Unlike baseball, it is one-strike you are out.
The winner is creating mental-imagery on the movie-screen of our mind, and causing us to associate him / her with our own past successful experiences. Try this metaphor: Raining Benjamins ($ 100 bills) on your head, you must manipulate our minds-eye with pictures of your usefulness and uniqueness. Your words are fine, but we trust your body-language more.
Have you ever been introduced to the CEO of General Electric, Exxon-Mobile or
Bill Gates of Microsoft? You would forever remember that they look your hand
like they knew you personally for twenty-five years, and were rushed to see your
Would Bill shake your hand like offering a ten-day old Seattle salmon?
Brilliant accountants almost never get to the CEO because they convey a
timidity based on shaking hands like both of you were fragile and apt to
fall into a pile of bones. The CPA mastering the primary step of making a
positive impression by handshaking like the 800 pound guerrilla, changes the rules.
Ever see Bill, George W or the Wizard of Omaha (Warren Buffett),
looking down at their shoes when trying to manipulate crowds or
They stare you in the eye as if you are the executioner and they are being sent
to the electric chair, while still expecting to dissuade you from carrying out
the sentence. Humans are programmed to believe that the eyes are the
windows to our souls, and if we search hard enough we will read your
Oh yeah, when you physically look downward, you begin to access
negative imagery from your amygdala, your brain structure containing
all negative experiences since you were a baby and first fell on your face.
Wanna be CEO, Prez or divisional VP, show us your Baby Blues or
Browns or contact lenses, not the back of your lowered neck?
Posture Counts Baby
Do you stand as high as a giraffe? Try this for success: raise your chin and aim it toward the heavens. Make believe you have the posture of the 50-foot dinosaur previously ensconced at the Museum of Natural History. Look majestic, presidential,
and make folks look up at your glorious presence. They will never forget you in a
non-conscious positive way. That is why the King always sat on a horse or a throne
when addressing the common folk. It is good to be King, right?
We human beans like people who are a lot like us. Ask them where they live,
what they do, who they know? Find the thread that unites you two. My Aunt Tilly
lives in San Antone (never say San Antonio), and she is my favorite relative.
Does that link us together? You bet, and if we have something in common, you instantly have an emotional reaction to me, and guess what? You come to like me
and want to help me. But that is manipulating, until you have something you need
that I can help with, than we are old buddies.
People hate to read. Forget speed reading, they will avoid snailing, reading like they
were taught in 3rd grade and do daily, because it take a cognitive effort. We are all
as lazy as we dare to be, and watching TV for 5 hours daily, DVDs or playing video
games is our drug of choice.
Yet we all love to hear a good story. It has not changed since JC offered parables
bread and wine to the multitude. The things we love if and when we read, is dialogue, it is the closest form of telling us a story.
How do you tell a good story and not bore the shoes off the folks?
First, do not try to make them laugh, you are not a comedian unless you intend to
drop your pants or trip over a chair and fall on your face. Now that is our kind of funny. Remember, a story has a beginning, a middle and guess what, a point to make. And if you, the teller, are the butt of the story, that wins extra applause.
Here is the secret-of-successful story telling. The end must be unexpected, a
switcheroo on the logic and reasoning of our left-brain. Our emotions are required to enjoy, smile or laugh at your story, and they are located exclusively on our right-brain, and called the limbic system.
Here is an acronym, a word formed from initials, to remember how to tell a successful story based on the unusual, unique or switcheroo: WATCHES
Weird, Animated, Three-D, Colorful, Humorous, Exaggeration and Stupid.
In the sweet-spot of our mind resides our original ten-year old sense of humor.
He / she can still get hysterical hearing a rude sound from our foundation, and
ranks it higher than a double-decker ice-cream cone.
To be successful in telling a story the individual or group will retell for the next
forty years, create a mental image in their minds eye that is really weird, animated
(doing something jerky), out-of-proportion, or exaggerated.
Make it relevant to what you are trying to influence or persuade about, but let yourself
be seen as doing something really stupid. We all love to feel superior to other beans,
that is why animals are mankinds best friend, they act spontaneously ridiculous
enough of the time.
Point: our brain retains the unusual and ignores the common place. You remember
the three-legged dog forever, and the CEO tripping over his own foot, till the end of
time. You do not have to be Mark Twain to get a group to identify with and like you, just be silly, ridiculous is better, for a story. Try it, and watch the promotions
and financial wealth do a somersault, and land right in your lap.
copyright © 2006
H. Bernard Wechsler