When you read the headline… 6 Habits of Remarkably Likable People, did you think… “Oh, that’s me!” or did you think… “I wish that were me?” If you thought the latter, read on.
Inc. Magazines contributor Jeff Haden explains something about remarkably likable people… “They’re charming. They’re genuine. And they can make an entire room full of people smile. When you meet someone, after, ‘What do you do?’ you’re out of things to say. You suck at small talk, and those first five minutes are tough because you’re a little shy and a little insecure.”
Here are Haden’s 6 habits…
1. They lose the power pose. Next time you meet someone, relax, step forward, tilt your head towards them slightly, smile, and show that you’re the one who is honored by the introduction–not them. We all like people who like us. If I show you I’m genuinely happy to meet you, you’ll instantly start to like me. (And you’ll show that you do, which will help calm my nerves and let me be myself.)
2. They embrace the power of touch. Touch can influence behavior, increase the chances of compliance, make the person doing the touching seem more attractive and friendly. Go easy, of course: Pat the other person lightly on the upper arm or shoulder. Make it casual and nonthreatening. Try this: The next time you walk up behind a person you know, touch them lightly on the shoulder as you go by. I guarantee you’ll feel like a more genuine greeting was exchanged.
3. They whip out their social jiu-jitsu. You meet someone. You talk for 15 minutes. You walk away thinking, “Wow, we just had a great conversation. She is awesome.” Then, when you think about it later, you realize you didn’t learn a thing about the other person. Remarkably likeable people are masters at Social Jiu-Jitsu, the ancient art of getting you to talk about yourself without you ever knowing it happened. SJJ masters use their interest, their politeness, and their social graces to cast an immediate spell on you. And you like them for it. Social jiu-jitsu is easy. Just ask the right questions. Stay open-ended and allow room for description and introspection. Ask how, or why, or who. As soon as you learn a little about someone, ask how they did it. Or why they did it. Or what they liked about it, or what they learned from it, or what you should do if you’re in a similar situation.
4. They whip out something genuine. Everyone is better than you at something. (Yes, that’s true even for you.) Let them be better than you. Don’t try to win the “getting to know someone” competition. Try to lose. Be complimentary. Be impressed. Admit a failing or a weakness. Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability. People may be (momentarily) impressed by the artificial, but people sincerely like the genuine.
5. Be the real you. People will like the real you. They ask for nothing. You know the moment: You’re having a great conversation; you’re finding things in common… and then bam! Someone plays the networking card. And everything about your interaction changes. Put away the hard-charging, goal-oriented, always-on kinda persona. Remarkably likeable people focus on what they can do for you–not for themselves. They “close” genuinely. “Nice to meet you,” you say, nodding once as you part. That’s the standard move, one that is instantly forgettable. Instead go back to the beginning. Shake hands again. Use your free hand to gently touch the other person’s forearm or shoulder. Say, “I am really glad I met you.” Or say, “You know, I really enjoyed talking with you.” Smile: Not that insincere salesperson smile that goes with, “Have a nice day!” but a genuine, appreciative smile. Making a great first impression is important, but so is making a great last impression.
6. And they accept it isn’t easy. All this sounds simple, right? It is. But it’s not easy, especially if you’re shy. The standard, power pose, “Hello, how are you, good to meet you, good seeing you,” shuffle feels a lot safer. But it won’t make people like you. So accept it’s hard. Accept that being a little more deferential, a little more genuine, a little more complimentary and a little more vulnerable means putting yourself out there. Accept that at first it will feel risky. But don’t worry: When you help people feel a little better about themselves–which is reason enough–they’ll like you for it.
Building a book of business requires that you build relationships. Remember that people hire lawyers they know, LIKE and trust. So take Haden’s tips to heart… we could all use a bit more likability, don’t you think?