Thought this is one of the best reads so far in 2014. Worth every second.
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.
But you want to make a good impression. You want people to genuinely like you.
Here’s how remarkably likeable people do it:
1. They lose the power pose.
I know: Your parents taught you to stand tall, square your shoulders, stride purposefully forward, drop your voice a couple of registers, and shake hands with a firm grip.
It’s great to display nonverbal self-confidence, but go too far and it seems like you’re trying to establish your importance. That makes the “meeting” seem like it’s more about you than it is the other person—and no one likes that.
No matter how big a deal you are you pale in comparison to say, oh, Nelson Mandela. So take a cue from him. Watch how he greets Bill Clinton, no slouch at this either.
Clinton takes a step forward (avoiding the “you must come to me” power move); Mandela steps forward with a smile and bends slightly forward as if, ever so slightly, to bow (a clear sign of deference and respect in nearly every culture); Clinton does the same. What you have are two important people who put aside all sense of self-importance or status. They’re genuine.
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.
Nonsexual touch can be very powerful. (Yes, I’m aware that sexual touch can be powerful too.) 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.
Check out Clinton’s right-hand-shakes-hands-left-hand-touches-Mandela’s-forearm-a-second-later handshake in the link above and tell me, combined with his posture and smile, that it doesn’t come across as genuine and sincere.
Think the same won’t work for you? 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.
Touch breaks down natural barriers and decreases the real and perceived distance between you and the other person—a key component in liking and in being liked.
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 are fascinated by every step you took in creating a particularly clever pivot table, by every decision you made when you transformed a 200-slide PowerPoint into a TED Talk-worthy presentation, if you do say so yourself…
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.
No one gets too much recognition. Asking the right questions implicitly shows you respect another person’s opinion—and, by extension, the person.
We all like people who respect us, if only because it shows they display great judgment.
(Kidding. Sort of.)
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.
Too many people when they first meet engage in some form of penis-measuring contest. Crude reference but one that instantly calls to mind a time you saw two alpha male master-of-the business-universe types whip out their figurative rulers. (Not literally, of course. I hope you haven’t seen that.)
Don’t try to win the “getting to know someone” competition. Try to lose. Be complimentary. Be impressed. Admit a failing or a weakness.
You don’t have to disclose your darkest secrets. If the other person says, “We just purchased a larger facility,” say, “That’s awesome. I have to admit I’m jealous. We’ve wanted to move for a couple years but haven’t been able to put together the financing. How did you pull it off?”
Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability. People may be (momentarily) impressed by the artificial, but people sincerely like the genuine.
Be the real you. People will like the real you.
5. 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. If you have to ask for something, find a way to help the other person, then ask if you can.
Remarkably likeable people focus on what they can do for you—not for themselves.
6. 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.
7. 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.
And you’ll like yourself a little more, too.
I’ve told the story many times of talking impatiently with my wife one Sunday morning and having my nine-year-old son interject, “Daddy, is this the way a Christian man should be talking to his wife?”
Rather sarcastically I said, “What do you think?” He replied, “It doesn’t make any difference what I think — what does God think?”
I went to my bedroom, and two thoughts immediately hit me. First, my pride reared up. I want to be a hero to my son, and I was embarrassed that he had been troubled by my attitude and words. But that didn’t last very long. I soon thought, “How could it be that God could love me so much that he would give a twit of care about this mundane little moment in the Tripp bathroom?”
That’s love at a level of magnificence that I am unable to capture with words. This was but one moment in one room in one house of one family, on one block on one street in one neighborhood, in one city in one state in one country on one continent, in one hemisphere on one globe in the universe. Yet God was in that moment, working to continue his moment-by-moment work of transforming the heart of this man.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, it’s that time once again. It’s the fodder for blogs, magazine articles, TV shows, and way too many tweets. It is the time for the annual ritual of dramatic New Year’s resolutions fueled by the hope of immediate and significant personal life change.
But the reality is that few smokers actually quit because of a single moment of resolve, few obese people have become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment, few people who were deeply in debt have changed their financial lifestyle because they resolved to do so as the old year gave way to the new, and few marriages have been changed by the means of one dramatic resolution.
Is change important? Yes, it is for all of us in some way. Is commitment essential? Of course! There is a way in which all of our lives are shaped by the commitments we make. But biblical Christianity — which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart — simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change.
The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart-and-life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. And where do we live? Well, we all have the same address. Our lives don’t careen from big moment to big moment. No, we all live in the utterly mundane.
Most of us won’t be written up in history books. Most of us only make three or four momentous decisions in our lives, and several decades after we die, the people we leave behind will struggle to remember our lives at all. You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to recreate us in the middle of them, then there is no hope for us, because that is where you and I live.
The little moments of life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments that we live in and that form us. This is where I think “Big Drama Christianity” gets us into trouble. It can cause us to devalue the significance of the little moments of life and the “small-change” grace that meets us there. And because we devalue the little moments where we live, we don’t tend to notice the sin that gets exposed there. We fail to seek the grace that is offered to us.
You see, the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. The character that was formed in those little moments is what shapes how you respond to the big moments of life.
What leads to significant personal change?
And what makes all of this possible? Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace. You see, Jesus is Immanuel, not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.
And what is he doing? In these small moments, he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness. By sovereign grace, he places you in daily, little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom, and grace so that you will seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again — exactly what each one of us needs.
Yes, you and I need to be committed to change, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation, but in a way that finds joy in and is faithful to a day-by-day, step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith. And in those little moments, we commit ourselves to remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:32:
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us, how will he not also with him freely give us all things.
So, we wake up each day, committed to live in the small moments of our daily lives with open eyes and humbly expectant hearts.
Good book about old principles and practices from a leader of years past. Old school knowledge dropped on building of character.
One of the leaders of our generations past. This man stood in the face of a government going the wrong way and stood for something. His beliefs in the face of persecution and his stance against Nazi Germany is a fascinating one to experience in this biography by Eric Metaxes.
Enjoyed Tony’s perspective on business. Early on in the life of Zappos a line of credit from Wells Fargo helped get this business on its feet and Tony was able to turn the focus of his company from Shoes to Culture and caring for the Customer. He repeats his ten principles over 50 times during the book, but his company’s culture book and his leadership haunt me daily (in a good way). Worth the read.
Dan always has an interesting perspective about things that motivate others. I grew interested in this book listening to his TED Talks, he’s just as interesting in his books.
Good look at Ramsey’s outfit. I enjoyed the look at his hopes to hire half leaders and half entrepreneurs. His principles and policies about building his business around culture are great. I love that he holds multiple interviews with his potential hires and even invites the hire’s spouse to dinner before hiring to hear “the other half’s” perspective. Mad respect for Dave, even in light of Acuff leaving this year.
Hilarious look at Tina’s life and career. Definitely a different stance on life, but I enjoyed it anyhow. She’s hilarious.
Stories about the growth of wealth from the oil boom of the early 1900’s. This book highlights 4 families; the Bass’, the Cullens, the Murchisons and the Hunts. Fascinating track from finding oil at Spindle Top, to the opening of the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, to the decline and changing of the guard. Many lessons here.
I’ve avoided Gary for years, until this year. I listened to his 2011 inc.500 presentation, where he speaks on stage without powerpoint or props for a little over an hour and he’s actually really engaging. Got this book, loved it. Gary’s perspective is interesting, funny and really practical. His views around business, social and the new generation of business are revolutionary. Worth the read. Got me signed up for JJJRH this year too.
The founder of TED Talks, walks you through the origins of free, from recipes for Jello, to today, free is a fascinating sales technique, but may have a greater psychological effect than you realize. Loved this book, listened to it for FREE on Audible.
One of the best books I’ve read on marriage. This book helped work on me through the season of life of having our first child and can help you at any time. Keller provides wonderful biblical advice on marriage and great tips to follow through on.
Fascinating talk about compassionate communication and real life methods to improve your methods of talking. Slowing down your speech to remove emotion in argument and other practices have refined my Conflict communication. Not a book from believers, but a good practical book to work on consensus and collaboration in professional situations.
Great book about old school spartan warfare and the battle of Thermopylae told from a squire’s perspective for the great leader. Overall might be my favorite read of the year, just great last stand battlefield speeches, firey practice sessions and the remembering of a season of my life where training was everything. SUPER FUN READ.
Read this with my daughter and @ladyavance every night possible this year. Best moments of my year. Greatest lessons, most relevant applications and simplest message that was ultimately earth shattering truth dropped in the sweetest time of my day. Plus, it was right at my level.
All links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon associates.
Check out this great article on halftime.org. I sure love the book Halftime by Bob Buford and just last year really got into Ken Blanchard’s leadership blog and notes. That global gathering in San D would be amazing to attend. Not a goal this year, but that’ll have to be a lifetime thing for me. Great article Jeff Spadafora.
In the age of personal brand marketing, it’s just not okay to let your LinkedIn profile sit collecting Internet dust until you’re ready to look for your next job. If your profile isn’t current, or if it communicates indifference, not only are you likely missing career-transforming opportunities, but you could also be giving people the wrong impression. Most important for marketers, a stale profile means you’re losing out on the chance to build thought leadership clout and keep your company’s brand top of mind.
Here are seven reasons your LinkedIn profile might be coming across as a social media hot mess.
Your LinkedIn photo should make potential employers or business partners feel comfortable with you immediately. Would you show up for a business meeting, beer in hand? Would you wear a strapless party dress? Not likely. Your photo should express “relaxed and at ease,” yes. But make it an energetic, in-your-element, confidence-exuding ease.
The only thing worse than an unprofessional photo is no photo at all. A profile page with a picture is seven times more likely to be viewed than a page without one. So put on your favorite (work) outfit, grab a friend you trust, think of a great moment from your last vacation, and get some good shots of yourself. It’ll be worth it.
Uploading your resume to LinkedIn is just a start — but it’s a critical start. If you haven’t included recent job history and education, your profile says loud and clear: “I’m not really serious about this LinkedIn thing yet.”
Try this: Do a quick Internet search of three colleagues. Do their LinkedIn profiles show up near the top of the list? What happens when you search for yourself? Are you happy with the results? LinkedIn profiles tend to be indexed highly on all the major search engines, which means that your profile is much more than an online resume — it’s your professional identity.
An active page is an effective page. To gain any traction with co-workers, peers, and future employers, you have to share on a regular basis. Status updates show up on the homepage feeds of everyone in your network, so updating frequently is an easy way to keep your name (and your brand) in their field of vision. Share information that’s helpful, educational, inspiring, and sometimes entertaining. Keep your updates generally upbeat and relevant to your field of expertise, and post regularly.
When you find a mobile app that looks great, but no one has yet recommended it, do you download it, or do you move on to something with 36 five-star reviews?
You probably feel better paying $1.99 for something at least a few people like, right?Same goes for recommendations on LinkedIn. When people vouch for you on your profile, it might not make or break a potential employer’s decision to contact you, but it’ll raise her comfort level.
LinkedIn has made the recommendation process beautifully painless. Yes, you should still speak to anyone you’re requesting a recommendation from, or at least write a personal note. But emphasize that you respect that person’s time. Recommendations are meant to be short, concise, and to the point. Each should take only about 10 minutes to write. Request a reco within a couple of weeks after completing successful projects, and they’ll accumulate in no time.
Business is social. Hiding out in a cubicle for eight hours a day without speaking to the people around you has never been a good career choice, and it’s not a good move to behave that way online, either.
LinkedIn has made it supremely simple to connect socially with people inside and outside your immediate circle. Liking, commenting, and sharing are all great ways to network, get on the radar of influential folks in your space, and stay in touch with colleagues near and far. Plus, with LinkedIn’s mobile app, you can access the latest news and topics that are hot with your network and the companies you follow, share instantly, as well as direct message your connections, including prospects and clients — from anywhere.
LinkedIn Groups act as social networking hot spots that many members can’t imagine doing without. So, if you haven’t yet joined a group, give it a spin. It’s a great way to get noticed, share and collect ideas for marketing and content efforts, and build thought leadership.
Just as with your local PTA or Chamber of Commerce, the LinkedIn groups you join and participate in can act as badges of honor. I mean, who doesn’t want to show up as a top contributor of a popular, influential group? Be proud of the organizations you represent or belong to, and check in with them often.
This one may be new to you, so listen up. You can now showcase a rich media portfolio on your LinkedIn profile: Slideshare decks, infographics, videos, eBooks, and more. We call it “building your treasury,” because this is where it’s okay to show off all the gems you’ve designed and produced throughout your professional life.
Whether you’re a chef, makeup artist, marketer, or journalist, you can now house all your important work in the place that makes the most sense: your LinkedIn profile.Here are some great examples.
If you’re hiding a hot career behind a messy LinkedIn profile, it’s time to make some changes and take control. Take these lessons to heart, and you’ll build a personal brand that is worthy of your past endeavors, and that can help you land the next sizzling opportunity to come your way.
Great article by the art of manliness. Just affirms that I’m not as tired as I think I am today and I should just go run my 3 miles. Slacker.
You’re Physically Stronger Than You Think
Athletes have always known there is a connection between one’s mind and one’s performance – that you can will yourself to keep going when the body grows fatigued. But recent studies have shown that the mind can have quite the opposite effect – slowing you down before you’re actually physically spent. In essence, the very fatigue your brain fights against was created by…your brain!
This fact was fascinatingly demonstrated in a study conducted by scientists from the University of Kent in England and the French Institute of Health and Medical Research. In the study, two groups of men spent 90 minutes sitting in a chair. The first group was asked to count flashing letters on a computer screen (a task proven to induce mental fatigue), while the second group watched a relaxing nature video. Then the men in both groups pedaled a specialized ergometer, while electrodes zapped their leg muscles in order to produce “maximum contractile force.” The more fatigued a muscle is, the less it will respond to these shocks.
The men in the first group who had done the letter counting task tired out 13% faster than those who had watched the movie, and they perceived the exercise as being much more difficult than the second group did.
Yet the muscles of both groups responded exactly the same way to the electrodes, producing just as much force from the shocks. The men in the first group, whose minds had been tuckered out by the counting task, felt more tired and gave up more easily, but their muscles were in fact just as fresh as the men who had simply watched the movie. As the researchers concluded, “our feelings do not always reflect our physiological state.”