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Have you heard that within seconds of meeting someone we decide whether we like them? More importantly, that first impression is almost impossible to reverse and sets the tone for the relationship that follows.
Nicholas Boothman, author of How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less, says, “If people like you, they want to say yes to you.” He also says that “charming” people adjust their attitude, and use eye contact, open body language, and a smile to make others feel comfortable.
You see, when people like you, they see the best in you and look for opportunities to say “yes.” In those critical first few seconds, charming people can minimize the subtle differences between themselves and others. They synchronize their body language and tone of voice with that of the other person. This is also known as mirroring and matching, a key rapport building technique.
When we mirror and match, we convey the message that we are in tune with the other person. This message creates a level of comfort that allows us to be more open, straightforward, and confident.
The bottom line in face-to-face communication is we like people who are like us. So, how can we use this to our advantage? How can we maximize this skill set?
Charismatic power is just one form of power. In our How to Influence People and Events workshop, we discuss how to increase your charismatic power. Here are just ten tips to consider:
- Demonstrate that you are approachable and in a good mood by injecting humor and colorful expressions into your everyday conversation.
- Invest your time and energy in getting to know others.
- Treat each person you meet as if he/she is the most important person you’ll meet that day.
- Find out what makes others happy or confident to increase the likelihood of them agreeing with you.
- Help people feel good about themselves when they are around you by highlighting their good qualities, praising them on a job well done, or paying them a compliment on a contribution that’s been useful.
- Show interest in others’ opinions/viewpoints by asking them to tell you more about the subject.
- Dress similarly to others. Studies show that we are more likely to help someone who dresses in the same way we do.
- Give sincere compliments to others—flattery does get you somewhere!
- Identify charismatic individuals you can observe and model.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm, optimism, and energy.
Mediocre people skills can be corrected and then leveraged in a positive way. So, put on a happy face in those first few seconds and continue to do so in all your interactions. You’ll be amazed at the outcome.
What do you do to connect with others? I look forward to hearing from all the “charmers” out there!