In Handy Tips, we find ways to improve your life and make it easier and explain why these tips work. Today, we will tell you about a technique that helps to quickly coordinate and agree on a project with a client or your boss. This technique is called “The Theory of the Hairy Arm.”

Here’s a small tip: If you are confident in your project, add one noticeable “mistake” to it. After noticing and correcting it, your boss will most likely approve everything else.

How does it work?

“The Theory of the Hairy Arm” was described by business consultant Lawrence San. His friend Joe worked as a graphic designer and used to always add a photo of his hairy arm to the final version of his project. When a shocked customer asked Joe what the hell that was, Joe used to apologize and promise to remove that extra detail. He would then ask if the project was okay in general.

Most people used to give an affirmative reply. The arm appeared in projects for a reason – this way, Joe gave the customer an opportunity to feel like a tough guy who made edits and felt like a co-author of the project.

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This technique is also actively used by programmers, who add a “duck” to their projects – an unnecessary feature that catches the eye of the management.

The manager's job is to organize other people's work processes, which is why it is so important for them to feel their need. Unsurprisingly, today's managers take every chance to feel their own importance. If your boss wants to show that he/she is helpful, you can use this opportunity and give him/her this chance by making a mistake yourself, so your project will not be obstructed.