Yes… size matters!


Reading articles like this one really place the world where business and Psychology intersect squarely in our face and in our lives. It is totally reasonable to expect that the manipulations taking place with consumers are similar to the ones taking place with employees as well. However it seems that while it would be reasonable to expect this, the reality is that the science and related actions amount to what I and some colleagues from years ago call “manipulation with integrity”. Essentially this means that yes, we do engage in some form of manipulation in changing and influencing the workforce through organizational development, change management, learning programs, and incentive and performance management programs. The difference is we try to make sure we do it with the best interest of the employees, as balanced with the best interest of the company and workplace. We try to create a win-win. Unfortunately when we look at consumer psychology and marketing psychology, it appears that far too often it is based around a win for the company. What are your thoughts? How do you feel about any of the points here?

The Time Traveller's Dog

sizecartoonA long time ago, when I was doing research for a fashion retailer, I did a lot of accompanied shopping.  Great research method, a chance to see consumers buying clothes, not just reading about it in a survey or listening to accounts in an interview.  Much higher levels of validity, in my view.

 One effect that intrigued me during these observations, however, concerned the issue of sizing and how consumers respond when accompanied.  From a sample of 32 shoppers, 4 openly admitted to buying garments one size smaller if they were shopping with friends than if alone, an effect I witnessed myself along with the subsequent return and exchange the following day!

These days, consumer psychologists tend to refer to this as “vanity sizing”, whereby individuals deliberately either buy a size smaller than they need for the sake of appearances or, alternatively, shop in a retailer they know has differences in its sizing…

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The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders


Following up with my last post on failure as a catalyst for innovation, we have new reseach showing a connection between humility and innovation. Humility as a leader, especially knowing how to be a good follower is so important, but most leaders want to, well, lead. This is not the first article taking a deeper stab at this topic, and I think more leaders would do well to dive in the deep end of this topic and applying it as they learn more. The results are drastic. Letting go of the reins every now and then is actually healthy, you just need to know how and when. Happy working!

The 18th Camel – A Story About Innovative Problem Solving


This is awesome! We talk about innovation and “thinking outside the box” but one of the most interesting things about this article is that it implies that sometimes, thinking in the box may be just fine as well. A hard lesson, but we should all be a bit more aware of each situation individually.

Better Life Coaching Blog

My senior minister, Mark Conner, recently shared this great story on his blog.

A father had 17 camels and when he passed away, he left them to his three sons.

The will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given a third.  The youngest son should be given one ninth of the 17 camels.

As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other.

So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man.

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Oversupervision vs. Undersupervision: Finding the Perfect Balance


This article falls nicely in line with what I was talking about in my article earlier in the week. You have to strike a balance. Simply allowing your tasks to take precedence over leading and managing places you back in to an individual contributor position. It also pushes you to exactly the “you’re responsible for your own [fill in the blank]” talked about in this article. Leading and managing needs to be respected as a job, not as simply an extra thing that happens. We have really lost our focus on each other as people, and our responsibilities to help each other and that many times goes double for managers. Every one wants to be the hero, but that can mean different things depending on the role you are in…you need to decide if you are okay being the hero in that way or leave the position.

Why Lead Now

Having direct reports can be hard. There’s so much work as it is and having to manage several employees on top of that can be overwhelming. And especially when there are urgent tasks to complete, it can be difficult to prioritize time with your direct report.

Some managers tend to pull back in situations like this, leaving the direct report to fend for him- or herself. Interestingly enough, other managers tighten the reins, keeping a closer eye on the direct reports and micromanaging, leading to more time lost. Contradictory, I know, but this does happen.

So how do you give your direct reports what they need, while also preventing them from feeling like you’re breathing down their necks? The answer is the same as what can save a marriage on the brink of disaster or stop a heated discussion from erupting into a fight: communicate. I mean, honestly, who…

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“You’re Not That Great: A Motivational Speech”


I recently had the good fortune to see a share through a couple of the psychology LinkedIn groups I belong to, and after watching the video, I felt compelled to share this absolutely fantastic TEDx video. 

The fact is, we have created an environment that says we are all special and should all expect to be treated as special and nothing less.  Dr. Daniel Crosby explains his presentation best as “a punch in the mouth more than a pat on the back,” at least for those that are used to thinking they are smart, special, and/or better than anyone else. In the presentation, he shows some of the pitfalls of this thinking and the associated behaviors in a very real, down to earth, enjoyable format.  I highly recommend checking out the video, and please feel free to leave comments!  Enjoy!

 

Been Busy, But Back!


Whew!  The last year has been crazy as I have been in school, moved, and changed jobs among other things, but it has definitely been good.  I’m hoping to get back to writing some more blogs, and definitely hope to write more often.  While I haven’t had the opportunity to write here, I have had the opportunity to write at work on our internal social network, which has been helpful so I hope to transition back to writing here with a considerable improvement to the content and style.

If there are ideas, topics, questions, etc., please feel free to get involved here, and I look forward to sharing thoughts and feelings collectively.  Also, please check out my Twitter @PsychoSoAnt for lots of good posts covering a broad swath of topics…I’m relatively sure that most will find something they like there!