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January 8, 2019

Appropriate Mimicry

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Let’s talk about a childhood game that actually has some validity to it. Remember how we used to repeat back whatever was said to us just to be annoying?  Well, it  turns out that might not have been as effective as we thought, because the opposite is actually true. Mimicry helps build relationships.  

Okay, I know. It’s not supposed to be used in the same way we did as kids, but there is definitely a time and place for it.  By mimicking someone’s body posture, tone of voice, or even speed of speech, people are more responsive to your message. This is because people are more comfortable around you due to familiarity. We all have a tendency to prefer things that are familiar to us, because it means we are more confident it doesn’t present a threat.  

But there was an interesting study shared by social psychologist Jonah Berger, in his book, “Invisible Influence”.  He reported that waiters and waitresses who chose to mimic the behavior of their clients were 70% more likely to get a better tip at the end of the meal.  Why?  Because they were comfortable with, could relate to, and decided to reward their waiter.  

So, be extra cognizant of what others are doing, and try to match it, because it generates real results!

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