To most of us, meeting new people (or rather having to face new people) is a scary thought. We often bog ourselves down with certain questions, for instance, what would we say when we meet them? Will we make a good first impression? How will we keep the conversation going on?
Unfortunately, it’s not very healthy ‒ and advisable ‒ to dodge such opportunities ‒ of meeting new people ‒ because, for our personal and professional growth, networking is exceedingly important no matter how awkward it seems.
In this post, we bring to some actionable tips on how to make others like you.
1. Don’t Judge People
Amy Cuddy, in her new best-selling book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, writes that when we meet someone, our brain instantly tries to find answer two most important questions:
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
To this effect, it’s important to establish the right connection, build the right rapport and create trust. Retired FBI’ Behavioral Analysis Program head, Robin Dreeke, in his book, It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone, highlights the idea of non-judgemental validations.
“It is to seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them”, writes Robin. To put things into perspective, he gives his own example where if he doesn’t necessarily agree with something or understand it, instead of judging, he would say, “Oh, that’s really fascinating. I never heard it in quite that way, Help me understand. How did you come up with that?”
Here, you are not judging, but you are actually showing interest in the other person.
2. Get Rid of Your Own Ego
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion. ‒ Dale Carnegie
Ego kills rapport and deters people to establish a meaning relationship. Here Robin suggests the idea of Ego Suspension.
He says, “
Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own. Individuals practicing good ego suspension would continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting their own need to share what they think is a great story.”
3. Learn To be a Good Listener
People like to be accepted and liked. They liked to be validated. What makes validation so crucial, you ask? It releases dopamine to the pleasure center of our brains. The chemical reaction is similar to the one that takes place after drinking an alcoholic beverage, taking risks, or eating a large slice of your favorite chocolates. One such validation comes from listening. And this is one trait that likable people have. They are all great listeners.
But the problem is most people half-heartedly listen as they just wait for their opportunity to tell their story.
“The difficulty most of us have is keeping from interjecting our own thoughts, ideas, and stories during the conversation. True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.”
Simple asking them to tell you more makes you more likable.
4. Ask For Advice
In his bestselling book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Adam Grant writes,
“New research shows that advice seeking is a surprisingly effective strategy for exercising influence when we lack authority. In one experiment, researcher Katie Liljenquist had people negotiate the possible sale of commercial property. When the sellers focused on their goal of getting the highest possible price, only 8 percent reached a successful agreement. When the sellers asked the buyers for advice on how to meet their goals, 42 percent reached a successful agreement.
Asking for advice encouraged greater cooperation and information sharing, turning a potentially contentious negotiation into a win-win deal. Studies demonstrate that across the manufacturing, financial services, insurance, and pharmaceuticals industries, seeking advice is among the most effective ways to influence peers, superiors, and subordinates. Advice seeking tends to be significantly more persuasive than the taker’s preferred tactics of pressuring subordinates and ingratiating superiors.”
But here’s the catch: advice seeking only works if it’s genuine. In her research on advice seeking, Liljenquist finds that its success depends on the target perceiving it as sincere and authentic gesture.”
5. Mind Your Body Language
- Smile is perhaps the most important tool to connect with almost anyone. Research, however, says that a slow smile is far more effective.
A research study on an effect of smile says that “Slow onset smiles led to more positive evaluations of the encoder and the smiles.”
- Making an eye contact while talking to another tactic to make others like you. When you don’t it signals deception or lack of request
- Speaking with open palms facing upwards makes you a more likeable person, and people may concur with you more likely.
Now that you know the coveted secret, use them and hit the right cord. Do get back to us about your experiences by writing in the comments below.