spin doctor

Don’t we all – mere mortals – need one of those?

I just watched The Iron Lady. Besides well deserved ovations to Meryl Streep, I was deeply impressed by several of the messages that (at least what I thought) the movie conveyed. These actually begot from the ultimate one – Ms. Roberts’ (Lady Thatcher’s) ambitions (and achievements):

1. personal determinism
2. image
3. sacrifice

I may be wrong or missing on other salient points, but I only aim here to delve into one in particular: “image”.

A spin doctor, like what Lord Bell was to Margaret Thatcher, is the guy who grooms politicians into credible, amiable, charismatic, and influential people-to-be-leaders. Of course, some are pathetically hopeless and no one can do anything about them with the best coiffeurs and make-up artists. But people like Lord Bell can sense the good breed. They won’t train just anybody.

But, wouldn’t you wish that not just politicians and royalties had those magicians around them?  I mean, what’s with some people in the western, civilised society? White tennis socks on a suit, flimsy handshakes like you’re holding the tentacle of a dead octopus (some people’s hands are actually as cold and wet); the white corners of a dry mouth is especially gross; booties on a pencil skirt suit. I can go on judging and ridiculing all night long. Isn’t it common etiquette to keep your fly closed and to look people in the eyes when you talk to them or when you’re spoken to? Don’t you know that it’s advisable to eat a little before you attend a ceremony or an official reception of some sort – instead of having to drool over the food counter while your eyes ping-pong from one dish to another, while some count or other is trying to share with you their views on the world economy?

When it comes to spinning your charisma (if there’s any one in there) and tidying up the whole package, I’d teach my kids a few basic things.
I’d teach them on presence. A vast term, but it can be summed up in one sentence: win the first 3 seconds in every room you walk into – when you apply for university, when you apply for a job, when you meet the in-laws-to-be. And by that, I don’t mean in a Narcissistic way. I’d also teach them on posture. I’d teach them about the richness, liveliness and importance of a language as a tool to how we present ourselves. I’d teach them “no-no” to the white socks, to curtesy and, most importantly, I will train them to LISTEN. The last one may take a lifetime since I’m still going on in my own school.

What are your prescriptions, Doctor Spin?

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