Why Attractive People Make Bad Bosses

by Phil Stott | April 22, 2014

Okay, so that headline might be a little over the top, but it's definitely implied in the findings of a recent series of research papers by Stanford Graduate Business School professor Margaret Neale and doctoral student Peter Belmi. The pair's research examined how individual mindsets can be affected by perceptions of their own attractiveness. 

Here's a sample of their findings, as reported on the school's own site:

 

"If you believe you are attractive, you tend to think you belong in a higher social class yourself and believe, accordingly, that hierarchies are a legitimate way for organizing people and groups. You also are more likely to believe people lower down in a hierarchy are there because they deserve to be." 

 

Shorter version: your boss' infatuation with the mirror might be slowing your climb up the ladder. 

 

Now for the good news: the research also suggests that you—yes, even you!—can harness the ego boost associated with positive thoughts about your own physique. As the SGBS article notes: 

 

"Next time you're facing a situation that calls for you to present yourself in the best light — and perhaps a few notches up on the organizational ladder from where you normally perceive yourself to be — you might try a new strategy, Neale suggests. Just before the meeting or interview, remember a time when you felt attractive, and then let that memory change how you interact with others by reframing what you see as your place in the social hierarchy." 


Sound too good to be true? Let us know in the comments.

 

Related:

Stanford Graduate Business School: A Few Bad Hair Days Can Change Your Life

Filed Under: Consulting | Interviewing | Job Search | Workplace Issues


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