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Effective Communication is – 20% what you know & 80% how you feel what you know’

A boy flunks his twelfth standard. The girl he has a crush on ditches him. He comes from a middle class background. He desires to become a chef. What can this 16 year old amount to in life?

He gets three Film-fare awards & one National award for Best Actor.

Today he is the proud owner of a Bentley Continental Flying spur, a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Jaguar.

What makes him tick?


National Award for Best Actor

Five secret ingredients in his communication mix:

 1) How was his self-talk – If a man has average looks, carries the burden of a middle-class family, is a school dropout, is ditched by his love and gets a correspondence degree, what would be his self-image?

Dhanush would be a classic case study for Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-cybernetic loop.

What on earth gave him the courage to connect with Aishwarya (superstar Rajinikanth’s daughter) & make her fall in love with him? He often quotes in his movies, Paakka Paakka Pudikum i.e. the more you see a person, the more you like him/her. He was aware of the familiarity bias.

What gumption did he have to become Rajinikanth’s son-in-law? Where was the wherewithal in him to approach Amitabh Bachchan to co-star with him?

What made him suggest the title ‘Shamitabh’ (Dhanush + Amitabh) so that the halo of Amitabh would rub on him?

BlogWhat was his self-talk (mind voice in his language) – that made him land in Hollywood movie Fakir?

Image, his syntax & communication style were taught to students, what kind of transformation would take place in the society?

2) The Kolaveri instinctHaven’t we hummed our own tunes? Haven’t we dreamt audacious ideas? Have they surfaced in the market place? Why are these great ideas in cold storage?

Why this kolaveri… on first hearing, sounds like the most cantankerous song ever. There is no raga, thala, rasa or bhavana.

What made Dhanush feel that this cacophonic song would be on everyone’s lips?

Nobody, even Dhanush in their wildest of dreams, dreamt that this crabby song would turn viral.

Why this kolaveri di

But, somewhere deep in his mind, Dhanush trusted his instinct and knew that this song would amount to something. It took him 6 minutes to think about the song and 40 minutes to compose it.

He even talked about it to the IIM-A grads for a couple of hours. Sterner stuff!

3) Mirroring & matching still work: Remember the techniques we learnt in NLP-mirroring and matching?

Observe Dhanush closely; possibly no one has.

In Yaaradi nee mohini, Dhanush accidently picks up a snake. His acting is just a replica of Rajinikanth’s performance in a similar scene from one of his earlier movies.

Yaaradi Nee Mohini

You see that oft and again in many of his movies.

This B.C.A graduate from Madurai Kamaraj University understands the power of mirroring. Deep in our subconscious, we connect him to Rajini and unconsciously associate him with the superstar status.

He has also mastered matching. Watch his movie Anegan where he copies actor Karthick’s style.

4) Plays to the gallery: Tony Robbins stresses on the point that likes attract which is contrary to our notion that opposites attract.

Dhanush is a master at connecting with the masses. He speaks their language. Let me share an example.

In the movie V.I.P (Velai Illa Pattadhari) he goes off into a monologue with the bad guy.

He says, ‘you know how difficult it is to be an engineer? You have to clear all arrears in one go. Then you have to wander in the hot sun looking out for a job….. Don’t take engineers lightly.’

VIP 2 with Kajol

Most of the audience go ga-ga over this rendition. They have to; most of them are engineers who cut classes to enjoy a matinee show.

The result: V.I.P is a box office success.

5) A constant experimenter: A great communicator is constantly looking towards reinventing himself.

Whereas his counterparts Thala (Ajit) & Thalapati (Vijay) are clichéd, our man dares to be different.

Right from Adukalam (he is a country bumpkin) to Asuran (he plays an old man) to Anegan (where he deep dives in drugs) to Visaranai (he is the producer), to Kaka Muttai to Power Pandi (an old man in search of his teenage love) – Dhanush dares to be different.

This courage to experiment makes his audience curious, expectant & forthcoming.


He also stays connected to the higher world. Dhanush does not drink or smoke. His two sons are – Yatra & Linga. He is a Shiva devotee.

Dhanush has not left this area untouched. He is connected to the higher realms.

If God be with you, who can be against you?

A lesson for all Dhanush fans would be:

Effective Communication is – 20% what you know & 80% how you feel what you know’

Disclaimer: This is purely my perception based on my understanding. None of what I have written is based on others opinion or hearsay. I believe this brilliant actor should be studied by communicators, strategists, management thinkers and management students.

Shiv signing off from S & S Family First.


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Siva & Savi

Shiv & Savy are entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, passionate trainers and philanthropists. Their programs have empowered the lives of over a million people across 5 states.

13 Responses

  1. Amazeballs *introduction*
    Beautiful *interpretation*
    Colourful *picturisation*

    || stupendous shiva sir ||

    You are igniting the spark ⚡️ in every single possible way .

  2. Wonderful observations of actor Dhanush. I will follow the 20% knowledge and 80% how we explain… Very deep analysis. Many students following his movies actions. Not original dhanush’s steps.

  3. Great write-up Siva sir 👌👌👌

    It is evident that you’d launched a neuro-probe and penetrated into the unfathomable depths of the consciousness of our ‘Rowdy baby’, deciphered his ratiocinative process, cognitive operations, neural structuring to name a few and unravelled the mystery of what makes his formidable grey matter tick!

    In my estimation, this article is a micro-treatise in its own right. 👏👏👏

    I’m guessing that now you know more about Dhanush’s cerebral functioning than he does. 😄😄😄

    Summing up, the article succeeded in satiating my voracious appetite for Shiv sir’s wisdom and staying tuned for more. 😊😊😊

  4. Catching the attention after reading this blog ! You are thinking which even dhanush would have not thought on his movies ………

  5. My all time favourite Dhanush since pudhukkotai Saravana, which was not a bit though, his character was perfect in every movie say kadhal konden, I was trolled by my friends for going to his movies. Always he fits in a character. Don’t know much about personal life.

  6. Super writeup sir….. All youngsters are like Dhanush because office his attitude. you always select suitable movie for him that is why he reached famous so soon…. Thank sir….

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