Results, not Hugs?

A recent headline appeared in the press and social media that Mayor Bloomberg proclaims that it is “Results, not Hugs” that work.

This is in response to criticism levelled at Mike. We witnessed President Obama, during his tour of Hurricane Sandy’s hardest hit sites’ relief effort progress – easily give hugs to the victims of Hurricane Sandy – many who’ve lost everything in the storm. Mike is viewed as flawed by not being a cuddly human being.





Which works? Which is right?

There is research and learning that tells us that we are all wired differently and demonstrate particular preference(s) when giving and receiving information.  This is known as our communication style(s) – and these styles can play to our greatest strengths – and can expose our weaknesses.

If we know about communication styles we can make them work for us in our business situations to manage our interpersonal relationships.  We pay attention to this because our success depends largely on our ability to deal with other people.

The beauty of this work is we learn how to assess various behavior patterns and how to use that knowledge to capitalize on our strengths, minimize our weaknesses, and get the results we want from others.

No style is better than any other, but each does bring with it a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.

In researcher/writer Robert Bolton’s work, Social Styles/Management Styles, he tells us how to recognize our particular style and how to use that knowledge to communicate with others more effectively, set appropriate life goals and career paths, plan a sound self-improvement plan, and increase our creativity.

And he asserts that the best managers excel at being what they are rather than at trying to be what they are not.

Back to Bloomberg:

“This isn’t really a surprise: as anyone who has been to (or streamed) one of his many press conferences, Bloomberg has a tendency to lose his patience easily with people. He doesn’t exactly have a warm, inviting personality. The mayor IS excellent at crisis management, a skill which was essential during the first days after Sandy hit. But as the NY Times notes, he’s been floundering a bit with how to interact with people affected by the storm ever since:

If the early days of Hurricane Sandy played to Mr. Bloomberg’s strengths — infrastructure expertise, no-nonsense crisis management — the extended and halting recovery has laid bare his limitations. After nearly 12 years of overseeing the nation’s largest municipality, he remains deeply uncomfortable with the role of consoling and soothing his city. He is rarely seen at public meeting with storm victims, and when he does interact with them, there are no tears or hugs.”

See NYTimes article, Bloomberg Puts Soothing Aside as He Rushes to Bring Back City

Who is correct? Results?  Hugs?


Could Mike Bloomberg’s effectiveness on the job be increased by better interpersonal skills? Yes, probably.


What he needs to avoid, according to Bolton, is to overhaul himself to fit some uncomfortable, impersonal “management style.”

What he could potentially do is let better knowledge of Social Styles/Management Styles help him improve his dealings with others and still let him be himself. We can learn to flex from our style and flex toward another’s style and is how we build better rapport.

In the case of Bloomberg vs. Obama’s styles – one mobilizes, one motivates.  Both can be effective.

The Oracle of Delphi: Know thy Self.

Mom (when I was going into the Kindergarten classroom that first day):  Be thy Self.

In today’s world: Improve Thyself.  It is awareness that is power.