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Can you benefit from a Greek sculptor named Pygmalion?

There’s a really powerful people managing tool called The Pygmalion effect, or The Rosenthal effect.
Are you using this ‘effect’ to get more out of your people?
If not, then you should.
It will cost you NOTHING and it really works
Above all, you need to avoid using The Golem Effect.


Today, I want to talk about The Pygmalion Effect. If you haven’t heard of Pygmalion, please look it up on Google and you’ll learn all about it. 

There’s this thing called The Pygmalion Effect which says that ‘Great expectations are met with greatness’.

When YOU expect greatness in someone and you express that, when you tell them so, it’s more likely to happen; i.e. – they are more likely to live up to your expectations and be GREAT.

And, the opposite is true as well, when you expect poorness or not doing stuff well in someone, that’s what’s going to happen as well.

Let me ask you – what are your expectations of your team member, partner, spouse, children, etc. Do you expect greatness or do you expect ‘poor performance’?

My thought for you today is for a number of things.

We’ll start with verbal cheerleading;

How can your team members verbally cheerlead for other team members?

What I mean is this… let’s assume that you have a receptionist in your practice and—in your practice or your business or whatever industry you’re in, this is totally cross contextual… let’s assume it’s a situation in which they are the ‘face’ of a clinic of some type – a ‘doctor’ whether it’s a physio or a dentist or a doctor-doctor or a veterinary doctor — and the receptionist welcomes a client in and says, “Hey Mrs. Smith, you’re so lucky today. You’re getting to see Dr. Gottlieb, and he is fantastic because he loves…”

…..whatever… – it may be “he loves back problems” if it’s Chiro or a Physio it may be “He loves Maltese terriers” if Mrs. Smith’s got a Maltese she’s bringing in and the Veterinarian is seeing her Maltese, etc., etc. I’m sure you know what I mean.

It is really important for every team member (especially the owners and senior team members) to find a way to verbally cheerlead other team members.

Let’s assume that I’m a veterinarian (which as you know I am), and let’s assume that I’m admitting a patient, Bruno the Maltese; I’m admitting Bruno because he’s sick, and I’ve got Rebecca here that’s my nurse. And, I’m saying “Mrs. Smith, we’re going to admit Bruno. I’m putting him in the care of Rebecca. She is my best nurse, she is awesome, and she will look after Bruno fantastically well. He is in the best hands possible.”

How do you think Mrs. Smith is going to feel versus if I’d said, “Mrs. Smith, we’re going to admit Bruno, and here’s Rebecca she’s going to be looking after him today”? A totally different scenario isn’t it? Mrs. Smith’s expectations are going to be totally different.

That’s what’s called the Pygmalion effect, and there are two sides to this….

When Rebecca hears me talking about her and that she’s the best nurse and we’re going to take awesome care of Bruno, don’t you think that’s going to ignite her flame and make her feel wonderful!!!

So, that’s one side of the Pygmalion effect.

The other effect is Mrs. Smith, how do you think she’s going to think about Rebecca? She going to be really respectful of and impressed by Rebecca.

It’s really important that you verbally cheerlead and use the Pygmalion effect as much as you can both in your team – whatever Team you happen to have.

Set your team members up for success.

As we are finishing up…..

May I suggest that you become someone who finds the greatness in everyone.

I know that’s hard to do, or it could be hard to do for others, but I know it’s going to be easy to do for you.

You can ‘look’ into everyone and find their area of greatness and compliment them in front of others, if that’s appropriate in front of team members, in front of clients, whatever is needed to make them feel good.

They will feel better and function better and do better and whoever else is around is going to look at you and say “Wow isn’t he a great boss” if you’re the boss or “Wow isn’t he a great team member” if you’re a team member.

And if there are clients there as well, they’re going to get so much more out of this as well. They’re going to love and respect you and what you do and the practice culture.

The opposite of the Pygmalion effect is called The Golem effect.

As you can imagine, it’s exactly the opposite….

Find what they’re doing wrong and talk to them about it and they will do it worse.

I’m not going to talk about the Golem effect because I don’t want you knowing about it. I want you concentrating on the Pygmalion effect and how to get that really, really, really working well in your workplace.

Your assignment, your task, your challenge should you decide to accept it, and I know you are going to accept it, is to find the goodness, to find the greatness in everyone and mention that to them to help motivate them and bring the best out of them, and also to level up the lives of other team members and your clients.

See on the next video.

What are your eyebrows saying


Today, a really quick tip.

How do you show someone that you’re interested in them or interested in what they’re saying? Well, the trick is an eyebrow-raise.

The eyebrow-raise

When you raise an eyebrow, or both eyebrows (when someone else is talking), it signifies to them that you’re interested in what they’re saying.

And, if you really want to impact this person even more and show them that you’re even more interested super interested in what they are saying…. as well as raising an eyebrow, just lean in towards them very slightly.

At a conscious level, that person may not, and probably will not, see or realize what you’re doing, but at an unconscious level, they will most certainly see that eyebrow raise and see that lean in.

This shows the person that’s talking that you’re interested in them, interested in what they’re saying, and therefore, naturally, they’re going to like you more, trust you more and respect you more.

This is a super effective strategy and also it’s super-easy to learn how to do this and add it in to your communication armoury.

There’s another side to this coin as well.

If you are speaking (to one person or to an audience or even a large group) and if YOU want to emphasize an important point…

… let’s assume that you’re a teacher in a classroom situation, or a lecturer at a university or something along those lines….

  if and when you want to emphasize a point, you can do, and should do, exactly the same thing. – raise an eyebrow!

This places a ‘line’ under what you’re saying and emphasizes it to your audience.

An eyebrow raise indicates to the person who’s listening that there’s something important here, there’s something important and I’m telling you to listen more closely by raising my eyebrow; it means that something important is coming out of my mouth.

And then the ‘lean-in’. As a speaker, learn to use the ‘lean-in to achieve exactly the same thing.

Learn to watch for the raised eyebrow and look out for that lean-in.

And learn to use both those strategies yourself – with volition!

  • If you’re a teacher, a lecturer, or even if you’re just having a conversation with someone and you want to emphasize what you’re saying, then raise an eyebrow, raise two eyebrows and lean in slightly.
  • If you’re someone that’s listening to someone else and you want to show empathy and show that you understand them and you’re on the same page and that you’re really listening well, you’re truly interested in what they are saying, then an eyebrow-raise and leaning in achieves exactly that.

Today you learned some new skills and strategies. It’s now up to you to practice these strategies to cement them into your neurology.

I’ll catch up with you on the next video.

Look Into My Eyes


Look Into My Eyes…..

Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here.

How did you go with the handshake practicing in the last week?

Over the last three weeks we’ve practiced;

  • the smile,
  • we’ve practiced the visible hands, and
  • we’ve practiced the handshake.

I hope that you have those well and truly ingrained into your neurology now, and that it’s second nature for your hands to be visible when you meet someone or walk into the room, for you to have a big smile plastered all over your face, and for you to put your hand out and get that handshake and make that connectedness happen. I hope that’s all natural now.

If it’s not totally locked-in yet, then just keep at it – it will come!!

If you have a challenge with learning any of this, please contact me. My email is diederikgelderman@gmail.com, – just contact me and we’ll set a time to talk or to go through this together.

Or, you contact me through Facebook. By the way, I’d love it if you went to Facebook this week and like Body Language Australia, it would mean so much to me.

What are we talking about today? Today, we’re talking about eye contact.

This is the fourth of the things that you can really do to improve your connectedness and your trustability and likeability with people you meet, it’s making eye contact.

Sixty percent of the people that you meet are what are called ‘visual processors’. In other words, they store and code and process information primarily visually. There are also auditory processors, there are also kinaesthetic processors, or people who process information by gut feel, and then the fourth group is what are called the auditory-digital processors, these are the people who process everything based on facts and figures, and we’ll talk about all this at a later date.

But 60% of people are visual processors.

A visual person feels that you’re disrespecting them and not paying attention to them if you don’t look them in the eye!

So, the way to create better trust connectedness, rapport and be more liked is by looking people in the eye; and if you look people in the eye like this (staring at the camera), they’re going to think that’s a little bit creepy. And, if you look people in the eye like this (looking sideways), they’re probably going to think that you’re being sneaky.

How long should you spend looking in the eye, either when you meet them for the first time or when dealing with them on a re-acquaintance type basis?

When you meet them for the first time, I’m going to suggest that you look in their eye, and then look away, look again a little bit longer, look away, and then look back a third time and then look away again.

In those first three ‘looks’ into someone else’s eye, what you’re trying to do is to learn the colour of their eyes; are they blue, green, turquoise …. — what are the colour of their irises.

When you have that information, you’ve looked in their eyes long enough, and your ability to build trust, rapport, respect and connection significantly improves.

From that point on, you’re going to look in their eyes probably for about 50%-65% of the conversation.

So, if you are talking with them for a five-minute period, you’d probably want to be looking in their eyes for about two and a bit up to three minutes of that period of time.

Less than that, you’re being sneaky, more than that, you’re being invasive and over the top.

So, it’s really important that on a first meeting, you learn the colours of their irises, and look at them for just over half of the time in the conversation, and especially look at them a lot early on to build that trust and rapport.

When you then meet them again on subsequent occasions, again, look at them more initially and as that relationship builds, and as you become familiar again, you can look at them a little bit less. I’m going to suggest that you should never look at them less than 40% of the time.

Let me explain that; if you’re having that five-minute conversation, and you’ve met this person two or three or four times, and if you’ve got a good relationship already, you should look at them for about two minutes, never less than two minutes because you’re breaking that relationship down if you look at them for less. So, about 40% – 50% of the time when you know them well, about 50% – 65% of the time when you’re initially starting to know them.

You’ve got NEW things now to practice and ingrain in your neurology now. Please, go to Body Language Australia on Facebook, and give us a big tick, a big like, and I’ll catch up with you again on the next video.

See you next time.

The Vital Importance Of Your Handshake


The Vital Importance Of Your Handshake

Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here again. Thank you so much for the likes and feedback that I’ve had for the previous video.

Today, we’re going to share a strategy with you that may not be particularly comfortable for you. That being said, it is an extremely valuable and important strategy, and I would very strongly suggest that you implement and use this strategy IMMEDIATELY – because it’s going to massively improve your ability to be liked, trusted, respected and hugely going to improve your communication—overall communication—ability. And, what is this strategy that is going to be a little bit challenging for you? It’s the handshake.

When we touch someone, when someone touches us, we and they both release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is called the hormone of connection; it’s also called the cuddle hormone.

Hey – I’m not going to ask you to cuddle the person that you are meeting .

In European society, it’s a lot more common to hug the person you are meeting – something important to remember.

On a serious note, when you meet someone in Europe, you’ll typically put your hands on their shoulders or around their waist and kiss them once on each cheek, that type of thing. There’s a lot more oxytocin released in both those people when you do that than there is with us in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the States, where it’s typically only the handshake that’s exchanged – unless we know that person very well.

Studies show that a handshake, a simple handshake builds as much rapport and connection and trust as does a 3-HOUR face-to-face communication, a sit down face-to-face meeting.

  • You can really, really short-circuit your being liked, your being trusted, your being respected and therefore improve your communication by a thing as simple as a handshake.

When I talk about a handshake, I’m talking between man and woman, woman and man, man and man, and woman and woman. It doesn’t’ matter who you are meeting for the first time, I’m going to very, very strongly suggest that you get over any yips that you’ve got, and shake their hand.

Now, while we’re on this, what is the quality of a good handshake?

A handshake should be palm level, vertical handshake, it should be a firm touch. Now, a limp handshake—ooh, jeez, that doesn’t work at all, and someone that power squeezes you, it’s the same sort of thing.

The way to practice the handshake is to practice on your own hand, and practice making a firm grip, whether it’s like this, or whether it’s like this. Just try shaking your hands just like this and see how it feels for you.

Develop a nice firm solid handshake, not too strong, not too weak. Palms should be dry. And then, an up and down, one or two or three times – vertical movement.

Now, if you’re in a networking situation, here’s a quick tip; if you have a glass of some sort of drink, alcoholic or not alcoholic in your hand, it’s typically going to be a cold glass, and your hand may therefore be wet from the glass, so I’m going to suggest that you get a napkin and wrap one or two or three napkins around that glass so that your hands stays dry or you have a spare napkin in your pocket so you can put your glass down, before you meet someone, dry your hand and then give them a hand shake.

Now, as I said a little bit earlier, in Europe, hands on shoulders, check to check, kiss, a lot more oxytocin released, a lot more connection developed.

Therefore, you may ask, “Diederik, what about if I do a double clasp handshake?”

Yup absoluteley a double clasp handshake is going to give you lots more connection, lots more oxytocin release.

But, a double clasp handshake is also a real sign of “I’m superior to you, I’ve got you under my thumb, or in my hands,” as it were, and a typical example at the moment is Donald Trump.

You’ll see him doing this double-clasp handshake with all sorts of people all over the world, and they’re almost pulling their hands away and they’re in effect saying “You’re not the boss.”

I would never do a double-clasp handshake, it doesn’t work for me, it makes me feel embarrassed and icky. If it works for you, go for you it. If it’s natural for you, go for it, but don’t force it one someone.

The other thing is, the way to do a handshake correctly is that you step towards them and put your hand out. If they put their hand bag or their laptop between you and them, or between them and you, or if they take a step back, then you know that handshake is not going to happen, it’s not for them.

Then you can then very easily pull your hand away and no one is embarrassed.

But, typically, you’ll step forward and put your hand — we’ll talk about personal zones, private body zones in a future video — and when you’re putting your hand out, you’re moving into one of their personal zones, and if they move forward and put their hand out, that’s a really great sign and that’s a really great increase in connectedness and connection.

If they are a bit uncomfortable with you moving into that personal zone or with the handshake itself, then they have the opportunity to easily step back.

If you do the handshake that way you can make use of two things that way, the handshake and the power of proxemics—proxemics is the study of space and distance between two people.

Now, the other thing with the handshake as I said earlier, it should be vertical.

If someone grabs your hand and turns your hand down, that means that they’re trying to dominate you and say that they’re ‘better’ than you are, and the other way around as well…

If you’re doing this over someone’s hand, then they’re going to get the feeling that you’re dominating them and that you’re better than they are.

So, I’m going to very strongly suggest that at all times you keep your hand vertical.

If someone does this to you and pushes your hand down, you can either accept it — which is why I do, and I make a mental note saying “Ha, I saw you do that. I’m going to keep that in mind in future.”

But, there’s plenty of people who I know who will actually just cock that hand straight back up and straighten it and say the equivalent of “No, I’m on an equal level with you”, by verticallying up both those hands.

Now, they’re not the words that they say, but that’s the information that is shared on a body to body basis.

If you’re comfortable flicking the hand straight up, go for it, if you’re not comfortable doing it like I’m not comfortable and I accept that they are putting their hand over/on-top of mine, then as I said, I would note and remember this and in a future occasion I’d remember what they were trying to achieve. So, you could do that as well.

So, that’s the power of the hand shake. It’s vitally important that you shake people’s hand because it’s equivalent to a 3-HOUR conversation, and you get a whole heap more of connectedness, trust and rapport building because of that handshake.

This is your task this week, should you choose to accept it, as they say in the movies.

This is your task for the next week, practice the handshake, see you next week.

A quick call to action before we finish. Please  go to the BodyLanguageAustralia.com website, there are lots of tools and resources there that you can download that’ll help you in improving and practicing your body language.

I’d also be really appreciative if you ‘liked’ my BLA Facebook page.

See you next week. Bye.

Improving your communication and your likeability, trustability and respectability



Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here again.

Today is the second video about improving your communication and your likeability, trustability and respectability, especially with new people.

So, what am I going to talk about today? It’s a really, really, really simple thing, and that’s the power of the smile.

Let me ask you, from how far away can you see someone smile?

The answer is about 300 yards, or 300 meters, that sort of distance. Again (like last week), I talk about caveman and caveman days in the last video.

In this video it’s exactly the same thing. When a caveman was approaching us umpteen hundreds of thousands of years ago, we looked at two things, their hands, visible hands, and we looked at their face, and when we saw a smile and when we saw visible hands, we knew that person was very unlikely to be a threat.

So, a smile is really, really, really important.

They also did some studies on Shark Tank—I don’t know if you watcg the show, I watch bits and pieces of it here and there…

But they analyzed the 2016 contestants and the commonalities, the common things that all the winners did, the guys that got the Sharks to invest in their products, and they looked at what the commonalities where between all those winners and, it was a 50/5 split, about half the people got the deal, and the other half didn’t.

So, what was the commonality between those people that did the deal?

There were three about commonalities, I’ll share them all over the next few videos…

The first one was when those contestants came down, the gangplank or the walkway, or whatever you want to call it, when they were approaching the sharks, the winners were typically smiling.

The people that didn’t get the deal typically weren’t smiling.

So, when they walked down that walk way, the Sharks could see a big smile on their faces, and that first impression counted hugely later on when it came to doing the deal with the Sharks.

So remember, in every situation that you’re walking into, whether you’re walking into a networking meeting where you don’t know anyone, whether you’re presenting to a small group, whether you’re presenting to a large group, whether you’re meeting someone one-on-one for coffee, can I suggest that you get a smile plastered all over your face?

You may not think a smile is important on the phone, but it is absolutely important in that situation as well.

Let me suggest that you do a little experiment and you get one of your colleagues or coworkers or friends to help you….

You ring them and get them to pick up the phone and get them to pick up the phone in one of two ways. Either pick up the phone and say “Hello, it’s Diederik Gelderman here,” or get them to pick the phone with a big smile on their face and say the same thing, “Hello! It’s Diederik Gelderman here,” and see if you can pick the difference on your end of the phone. I bet you can.

That’s the message for this week. Whenever you’re meeting someone, first time, second time, anytime, in person or on the phone, smile. It will make you much more likeable, trustable and respectable.

If you like this video, there’s a lot more in the series, head over to my YouTube channel and sign-up and subscribe and you’ll get notification when the next video comes out.

See on the next video.

In the meantime, your homeplay for this week is to SMILE!

The foundation to all great communication and connection


Hi, it’ Diederik Gelderman here.

When you meet someone for the first time, whether that’s face-to-face, in a one-on-one meeting, whether it’s when you walk in to a room and there’s a group of people there looking at you when you walk in, whether you’re doing a presentation on stage to a big group, or even to a small group, would you like to create instant trust, respect, generate rapport?

Well, of course you would because building that trust and rapport and respect immediately increases your connectivity and connectedness with that one person or with that entire group and, when you create that connectivity, the ongoing communication goes so much better.

So, I’m putting together a series which is going to give you a little titbit on improving your communication and connection skills in each episode.

Each week, I’m going to give you a short, small actionable snippet of information and you’ll have a week to implement that information and practice and rehearse and role play and get that strategy engrained into your neurology.

And these tips and snippets over time, are going to build up into a whole arsenal of techniques that you can and will use to improve your communication, as I said, with either one person or with an entire group.

What we’re going to talk about today is the foundation to all great communication and connection.

Let me ask you a question. I need you to think just a little bit here. When you meet a person for the first time, what is or are the things that you immediately look at?

When they meet you, what are they immediately looking at?

And what I’d like you to think about is going way, think way, way back to pre-historic days, caveman days—so, what does the caveman look at when someone was approaching?

Well, it’s these things here, it’s the hands.

And, at some level, still today, we still notice visible hands, or not-visible hands, as the first thing we look at. That behaviours goes way, way back.

Obviously, in caveman days, we wanted to see whether they were carrying a club or a spear, and whether they were a threat to us or not.

As I said, at some level, we still look at hands and whether they are visible or not, and we use that as an internal guide as to whether that person’s trustworthy or not so trustworthy.

There have been lots of studies done using juries, and asking juries what they believe of defendants and why they believe or don’t believe various defendants.

Juries typically tell us that if a defendant’s hands are visible and on the table, then that person is more trustworthy than a defendant who has his or her hands hidden or under the table.

So, when you meet someone for the first time, it’s really, really, really important that your hands are visible.

Now, invisible hands are when you walk in in like this (hands in pockets or hands in armpits – crossed arms).

Now, it doesn’t matter whether you’re cold and you’ve got your hands tucked in your armpits because you’re cold. It doesn’t matter whether you may be wearing or carrying a handbag or a computer and your hand is under the strap of the handbag or under the computer case or whatever it happens to be.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re carrying a book and your hands are hidden by the book, or even whether you are holding a clip-board…..

In each one of those cases, your hands are hidden and therefore, you will be regarded by the person that you’re engaging with as less trustworthy than if you had your hands exposed.

So, that’s the simple message for today. Whenever you meet someone, especially when you meet them for the first time, but also on an on-going basis, ensure that your hands are exposed, and visible, and that the person can see your hands. You will develop a better relationship.

Make sure that for the next week you practice having ‘visible hands’.

I’ll see you on the next video. Bye.


It Isn’t What We Say

Here’s a fascinating study. Students were asked to watch silent videos of teachers teaching a class and then rate/rank those teachers

The student’s watched the video for somewhere around 4 to 5 minutes and then rated the teacher’s ability to teach.

Now these are silent videos, so all that the students could see and rate was the teacher’s facial expressions and body language.

Next, they compared the ratings or rankings of those students (who had watched the videos) with the ratings given by the ‘live’ students the teacher had the whole semester.

What’s amazing was that the ranking and grades matched

That’s right – the rankings / ratings and the grade matched up.

For example, a teacher who had gotten fours and fives from their ‘live’ students after a semester long class received the same rating from students who watched a silent video of them for about five minutes.

In a later study, rather than getting the students to watch 4-5 minute videos, they were given videos just 20 seconds in length

Again they rated the teachers and these ratings were compared to students who had attended the class – live, for the entire semester.

Once again the ratings matched up.

This shows that words don’t matter nearly as much as we think they do.

What this means for you, is that when you walk into a room, or meet someone for the first time, etc. – they form, or have formed their ‘first impression’ of you, in many instances even BEFORE you’ve said a word!

When you are preparing a presentation to a colleague or at work or when a teacher is preparing for a class, we all put our biggest energy, focus and effort into organizing WHAT we are going to say, we rarely think about HOW we are going to say it.

Maybe that’s putting the cart before the horse…….

When working with clients – are you the same perhaps? Do you pay attention, more attention even, to HOW you say things than to WHAT you are saying?

If not, then perhaps RIGHT NOW is the time to start doing so.

How you say something is more important – people’s first impression of just your body language is important and very accurate.

What do we see about people who are in rapport?

Have you noticed that when people enjoy being with each other, they have a tendency to use the same words or phrases, or dress in a similar way or have matching body language? For example, observe a group of teenagers who are friends and notice the similarities in their clothing, their choice of words and how they walk or sit.

Have you noticed that people who are not in rapport have different postures, gestures, voice tonality and often don’t even make eye contact?

Have you ever had an opportunity to observe someone (or yourself) who did not want to attend a meeting or who did not trust the other people at the meeting? Did you notice a difference in their body language, voice tonality, where they sat, etc. compared to the others in the meeting? 

Next time you are in a restaurant or at a reception, look around and you will discover people who are enjoying each other’s company exhibiting similar postures, gestures and voice tonality.

 This shows us – the more we like the other person, the more we choose to be like the other person.

To build trust and enhance your relationship with the ‘other person’, either in a business or in a personal situation, try building rapport – using your body language, voice, voice tone and perhaps even your choice of words.

What is RAPPORT and Why is it important

Rapport is the foundation for any meaningful interaction between two or more people – be it related to consultations, sales, negotiation, providing information or directions to a co-worker, subordinate or boss, a conversation with a family member, training, coaching, … .

Rapport can be explained in a number of ways. For me, rapport is about establishing an environment of mutual trust, understanding, respect and safety, which gives a person the freedom to fully express their ideas and concerns and to know that they will be respected by the other person(s).

Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened to and heard and it doesn’t mean that they have to agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world (different models of the world is one of the precepts of NLP).

When you are in rapport with another person, you have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship.

Using your body language to match theirs is a simple, easy step that you can use to start building rapport