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114 Key Principles for Success

Principle 96 - In-group Out-group

"When in Rome do as the Roman's do" - St. Ambrose

Knowing and exploiting in-group-out-group biases (IGOG) can help you achieve success.

This effect is so powerful that if you raise a tiger from infancy it won't eat you because you're part of its in-group.

All prejudices stem from IGOG biases.

You can improve your success by always adapting to the behaviors or customs of the country, city, or group you belong to.

When you start a new job or go on an interview try to adapt to the group. Dress as they do, speak as they do, adopt the same working hours as they do.

When speaking use terms that the recipient associates with their in-group.

Some things to be aware of:
  • Don't speak a foreign language if you can avoid it. I have some Russian co-workers who speak Russian in front of me and it's extremely rude.
  • Dress like everyone. Suit and tie is appropriate in some places and in other places jeans and t-shirts are appropriate
  • Don't wear a Yankees shirt at a Boston Red Sox game
  • In general, you shouldn't wear sports teams paraphernalia
  • Don't show tattoos if no one shows them
  • If the men, especially the higher-ups are clean-shaven you should be cleanly shaven
  • If you're from a foreign country to the US even Americanizing your name can help you

There is a push for diversity in corporations these days, but I still think you're better fitting in than being different.

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