Birds of a feather? vs. Opposites attract? Attraction in selection

It’s fairly common to get this question when reviewing feedback from a personality inventory with a group. Many times people’s minds go to the effects of attraction in selection — but not always at work.

It goes something like this:

When it comes to personality types, which of the following is more true, “Birds of a feather flock together?”, or “Opposites attract?” (participant)

My first response is usually to twist this just a little bit and serve it back to the audience, “I don’t know. Would you marry yourself?”

This always gets a lot of laughs but also provokes the realization that most would not wish to spend the rest of their lives with ‘themselves.’

Why does this happen so consistently?

Continue reading “Birds of a feather? vs. Opposites attract? Attraction in selection”

When Psychology Talks, Money Listens

Today global HR and risk management consulting firm, Towers Watson, announced the purchase of Saville Consulting (a psychology-based assessment firm) for £42 million. This is clearly a justification that psychology makes money — and not just at wholesale.

In the wake of similar acquisitions, firms delivering good psychometric assessment at work have now been just about totally gobbled up by the much larger HR conglomerates.

Read about it here.

It didn’t used to be this way. Continue reading “When Psychology Talks, Money Listens”

Emotional Intelligence: Breakthrough or Been Through?

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence.

Unless you’ve been ‘hiding under a rock’ for the last 30 years, you’ve heard of this term. And, unless you’ve been in grad school for the same amount of time, you’ve probably used it. (Just kidding — sort of)

EI, as it’s commonly abbreviated, charged into mainstream popularity following Daniel Goleman’s, 1995 NY Times bestseller, “Emotional Intelligence.”

Generally referring to behaviors reflecting the awareness and management of one’s own and others’ emotions, EI was picked up by consulting firms faster than a lonely $100 bill on a casino floor. Today, EI is a multi-million dollar industry served by hundreds of consulting firms and assessed by nearly as many different psychological tools.

How did EI get so popular? Continue reading “Emotional Intelligence: Breakthrough or Been Through?”

Right vs. Influential: Which would you rather be?

Acceptance vs. Quality

Right vs. Influential?

Is this some kind of word game or a ridiculous question? Who cares? Wouldn’t right and influential be the same – or close enough?

In my humble experience: “Nope.”  And you should care.

Being right is NOT the same as being influential. Understanding this can make a BIG difference. By the end of this read, you may even agree that this quizzical question can make the difference between becoming the president of the United States — or not.

So, what’s the truth? Continue reading “Right vs. Influential: Which would you rather be?”

Flip it: The art of leveraged influence.

Ever find yourself defending or selling something that should be inherently obvious and valued? For example, pleading with a teenager to wake up for school, or justifying why a bonus is not up to the expectations of an employee.

What’s up with this? How can school fall to the rank of burden? Why is a bonus expected regardless of business circumstances?

A lot of things we do don’t make sense.

This is when it’s time to Flip It.

Continue reading “Flip it: The art of leveraged influence.”