Why do so many of us go through life not liking certain people, or even worse, not being liked by many? Sadly half of us don’t even know why. The fascinating part is, we hardly ever take the blame or ask ourselves “why?” someone thinks we’re unpleasant. Instead, we pridefully blame other people for their mistakes and neglect improving our own. Becoming more likable can be the missing link to that raise you’ve been working for or getting that contact that’ll take your business to new heights.
The book “How to win friends & influence people” by Dale Carnegie taught me a lot about social intelligence. It helped me identify some of the little things we can do that will mean the world to the people around us. There are many gems from the chapter of likability. Here are the Top 5: How & Why.
1) Smile More.
How can we enrich others without impoverishing ourselves? Give a SMILE. It costs you nothing and it multiplies when you use it. A smile says, “Hi, I’m approachable” and “Why yes! I am friendly.” A smile can give someone the impression that you like them (maybe you do, maybe you don’t), but reciprocally, they will like you back. It’s easy, just don’t be this guy –>
2) Remember Names.
A person’s name is close to their heart. It’s a sense of identity. Without your name or your heart, who would you be? A simple way to win someone’s endearment is to remember their name. Recognizing someone is one thing, but recalling a name is recognition with confidence and style. This high level recognition makes us feel important. Making people feel important is actually the secret key to likability. Concentrate during introductions so you don’t forget *The Name.*
3) Talk in terms of other people’s interests.
Here’s what I do. Before I say one word, I try to identify who I am speaking with. The goal of a gifted conversationalist is to choose the topic(s) that will get the OTHER person going and make THEIR eyes light up. Their family, their work, their boyfriend/girlfriend, their favorite sports team, etc… not YOURS. This demonstrates that you care. Take interest in other people and reciprocally they will take interest in you. If you don’t know the person, use context from where you are, what you all are doing, or what that person is wearing. Point is, the Royal Road to a person’s heart is the things he or she treasures the most. Think about it.
4) Be an active listener.
When you speak you are only repeating what you already know, but when you listen you have an opportunity to learn something new. Again, you must enjoy meeting people if you expect them to enjoy meeting you! Much of likability is reciprocal. GET OVER YOURSELF and ask questions the other person will enjoy answering. Give eye contact, Don’t butt in, Don’t make everything about you, and please don’t run away with the conversation then disappear with it in the desert…
5) Master Your Pleasantries.
Insert manners into your everyday dialogue and allow “The Compound Effect” to work in your favor. Phrases like Excuse Me, Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome, If you don’t mind, ame I’m Sorry. These courtesies seem useless to the boorish people who don’t use them, but these are the same people that think everybody else is rude. Trust me, pleasantries oil the monotonous cogs of everyday life and breed cooperation.
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