Magic Seven

February 17th, 2011

Magic Seven

Once it was the elevator speech.  Now it is the tweet!  Malcolm Gladwell in Blink talks about “thin slicing” and priming.  We make an impression instantaneously.

Of course, there are ways to consciously guide this impression.  What do you present to others?  Are you aware of the conclusions others draw?

Frequently, I have suggested to my clients who want to manage their image, impact and impression that they pick seven adjectives that describe how they want to be known and remembered.  We use those words to frame developmental opportunities, communication and behavioral goals and leadership and career initiatives. The “magic seven” is written down and referred to regularly to remind and review words, behaviors and attitudes.

Recently, one of my LinkedIn groups, Peter F. Drucker Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship asked members to describe what they do in exactly 7 words (pronouns and names of organizations can be excluded).  The responses were striking.  I even tried it myself.

I came up with:

“Advance executive career satisfaction, effectiveness and success.”

When you consider that you have just a brief moment of someone’s attention in a relevant and memorable way, a select seven points (the same number as a phone number) is an efficient guideline.

You are invited to comment on this blog with your “magic seven”.

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