How to Get People to Like You
The perception that we are liked by many people is ingrained in us as social beings, but attaining this perception can be very difficult. There have been many books and articles about the subject, but none has withstood the test of time like Dale Carnegies book, How to Win Friends and Influence Others (1936). In his book Carnegie outlines some key pointers to get others to like you.
Having people like you is often the first step in networking. You need to make a lasting impression on somebody so that when an opportunity becomes available in the future, that contact will hopefully think about you. If you come across as unlikable, then your chances of gaining that opportunity become null. Here are some highlights from Dale Carnegies book that will help boost your appeal.
Body language often speaks louder than actual words. Smiling seems easy enough, but if you are nervous or shy it can be forgotten. Before starting a conversation, consciously practice smiling. Smiles convey warmth, openness and honesty. Smiles show that you are interested in the topic and that you care.
Say Their Name
In an increasingly global climate, odds are that the person you are talking to will have an unfamiliar name. So when you pronounce it correctly it can make a lasting impact. Dont be afraid to repeat the name a few times in order to ensure correct pronunciation. The person you are talking with will appreciate the effort you are taking in order to get it right.
Listen, Dont Talk
People like to talk about themselves. If you give someone the opportunity to talk about themself they will actually remember the conversation more favourably. Ask open-ended questions to show that you are interested in what they are saying.
Once you have actively engaged someone in a conversation, pay attention. Refer back to what was said at the onset of the conversation. Connect ideas to show that you are competent enough to follow along.
Make Someone Feel Important
When talking with someone, highlight their achievements, but not as a sycophant. Sincerity is important as it is easy to spot a fake. In order to show your sincerity, reference specific details of accomplishments. This shows that you have done your research and are knowledgeable about their successes.
Talk about their Interests
As the conversation shifts away from job-related topics, try to engage the person in something that they are interested in. This can be both work related and not. A lot of people, no matter the position of power, can find it awkward to talk to someone for a length of time. By finding out about what they are passionate about, conversation can flow more freely.
Networking depends on the art of conversation and a successful conversation leaves a favourable impression of yourself in someone elses mind. By following the advice of Dale Carnegie, you can make subtle but important improvements to your networking dialogue.