Does Admitting a Weakness Strengthen the Relationship?

Once again, Kevin Hogan, author and body language expert, has hit a home run for the networking team. After showing us a few weeks ago how important it is to seek out something in common with people, Kevin now points out that there's research showing it is incredibly important to share our weaknesses with people. It takes down the other person's defenses and shows you to be honest. A better and faster rapport is developed. People who use this approach in business sell 2 to 3 times more than those who try to appear perfect.

Let me state for the record that I am a complete kitchen klutz. Not only can I not cook, but I have burned myself, scorched pans and generally made a mess out of the food. I am absolutely banned from using sharp knives and if I do pick one up, my husband usually says "Put it down, you're making me nervous." There's a family history; Grandma got 7 stitches once by dropping a knife in the garbage disposal. (photo courtesy of Ongushi on Flickr)

The research that Kevin Hogan referred to is called the Omega Strategy, Persuasion by Removing Resistance and was developed by Dr. Eric Knowles. You can learn a little bit more about it on his website, but the main point is that there are different kinds of resistance. Each one requires a different approach to overcome.

Why is this important for networkers? Because you're trying to build credibility (NO selling!) when you network. Even if you're a laid-back, no pressure, get to know them first kind of networker, there is resistance in their mind. They are waiting for the other shoe to drop because they've been "chatted up" too many times in preparation for the big pitch.

Do you think it might be useful to learn how to get past that resistance when you network?

Oh, by the way, I would also absent-mindedly leave half-empty cups of tea all over the house if JD didn't keep track of them.


  1. Just saw your comment to Stefan Lindegaard's blog at - and just wrote a comment myself about the importance of accepting mistakes in an organization. Lo and behold, it would appear it applies in networking too. Who would have thought...