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fun read but i'm not convinced about the advice. I'm sure Balmer is a smart guy and lucked out by joining MS as #30 (is it really so unlucky to be #30 at MS?). He was also outspoken, loud, and perhaps had some leadership qualities lacked by other nerds at that moment. And now it's easy to pick him apart and "be more like Balmer" but I doubt mirroring his annoying personality will get you far.

Next time you give a presentation, repeat the same key word or phrase at least 5 times. Preferably 10.

i think Balmer succeeded despite this behavior, not because of it.

When you sense a gap that’s closing push yourself in with full energy. Love the party, get into it, then make it your own

the "make it your own" is almost like saying "tell a funny touching story that everyone will love".

Imagine you are — or be — the tallest person in the room. (Create situations where you’re standing and they’re sitting?)

this reminds me of the NLP craze back in the day, i.e. micro behaviors that are subconsciously making you more attractive / easy to relate to / superior etc. Dubious at best.

* not to dismiss micro behaviors completely. There are numerous TED talks about body language that present convincing evidence that it works. I think they are especially applicable if you're the kind of person that tries to occupy least space and remain un-seen in meetings. For an average person I just think this is a minor tweak, not the big change standing between you and tres commas club.




> Imagine you are — or be — the tallest person in the room. (Create situations where you’re standing and they’re sitting?) > this reminds me of the NLP craze back in the day, i.e. micro behaviors that are subconsciously making you more attractive / easy to relate to / superior etc. Dubious at best.

I'm short. Like 5ft 2 (160cm) short. People have literally given me comments to the line of "You're short, but you have a tall personality. I, like, can't think of you as a short person."

This shit works. To an extent at least. It doesn't help me reach things in cupboards.


you're right, and i didn't mean to completely dismiss micro behaviors. but even as you said they commented on your "tall personality" which means you're probably eloquent and outspoken, and people are not promoting you just because you're making yourself look bigger in meetings. I just think working on micro behaviors is like fine tuning whereas developing your knowledge/personality/people skills are the major improvements.


Here is a personal anecdote:

A few years ago, I started taking burlesque dance classes. A lot of the lessons concerned "how to look sexy". Which, it turns out, corresponds with a lot of behaviors people read as "confident".

I started learning how to carry myself to give the appearance of being more confident and in control. And the funny thing is that over time I started being more confident in my social interactions. Whether it was because some inner instinct was responding to me adopting confident body language, or because other people were responding to that body language and acting like I was the dominant one, I don't care. It worked. I can do something weird and crazy and people just deal with it, instead of shunning me as awkward.

Sure, if I just naturally had a confident personality then I'd have the same body language. But I feel like the causality on this is not a one-way arrow; confident personality causes confident body language, but confident body language causes confident personality, as well.



>micro behaviors that are subconsciously making you more attractive / easy to relate to / superior etc. Dubious at best.

Have a look at primate domination behavior. It's a big subject of study for zoologists/ethologists. Displays of dominance are a real thing, even if NLP sold it as pop psychology.


Don't conflate NLP with pop psychology. Willpower or The Marshmallow Effect or even Thinking, Fast and Slow are pop psychology. NLP is overt psuedoscience that has never had any basis in fact.


Funny anecdote about NLP: I accidentally took a NLP class because it had Programming in the name, and for some reason I didn't bother to read the description. First lecture, second slide in the lecturer presented the quote: "We only use 10% of our brain, imagine what we could do if we used 100% of it" ~ Albert Einstein. And continued to claim that we could use more of our brain by using NLP or something like that.

Never dropped a class so hard in my life.




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