Suffering from: The Michelangelo Effect?

Being influenced by colleagues is no bad thing, but what happens when you're sculpted into a version of your boss?

by Helen Kirwan-Taylor
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

We all know someone normal who has hitched up with someone odd and then has started to behave just like them. The Michelangelo Effect is what happens when people get together and are sculpted by each other into ideal versions of themselves.

Now, it may be a good thing in a marriage (a once locked-in husband suddenly connects to his inner emotional self and so on), but in an office it can be dangerous. Wearing the same brand of suit, the same tie and driving the same car as everyone else at work is one thing, but taking up golf and changing religion to be like your boss is another.

Many victims of the Michelangelo Effect have no idea they are being 'shaped'. It's done through compliments and lots of encouragement. So be careful when your supervisor compliments you for being in the office (like him) on a Sunday. It means from now on that's what you're supposed to do.

It's subtle brainwashing intended to eliminate your independence and the sentence: 'I'm busy this weekend.'

Helen Kirwan-Taylor - helen@kirwantaylor.com

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