What can you mirror?
April 11, 2019

Public WordsWhen Darrell and Katie and I visited Dr. Nick Morgan a couple of years ago he wrapped up the day of coaching with a little present for Kate. He told her one way to shine in job interviews, by mirroring the posture of the people across the desk. Nothing too obvious, of course, or sudden. But it’s a great way to endear yourself. Imitation is indeed a sincere form of flattery.

I’ve found that true in electronic communication. I’m careful to only send three paragraphs to people who sometimes respond with more than one paragraph themselves. Those who send text-length eMails get text-length replies.

On the show or over the phone, the same. I make a point to do less than my fair share of the talking.

In person? I sometimes gush a little. More than my share. I remind myself of little-kid Katie, who silenced an entire hair salon when she had this announcement for the stylist: “I love you.” I don’t walk around telling people (or very many people) I love them. They know it, though. They see my eyes light up as I tell them how much I appreciate them, have learned from them, whatever.

And it’s one reason I take comfort in what the poet Wystan Hugh Auden is quoted as saying: “If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.”