How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less
How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less
This is the title of a book I just read by Nicholas Boothman.
And it works!
If you want to be successful. If you want to be more comfortable at work and have more opportunities for advancement, and if you want better personal relationships and friendships, then you simply have to learn how to communicate effectively with others. Part of this is building relationships and social capital.
This is something I have ignored for far too long.
I often struggle with social situations. When I was younger I had social anxiety to the point that I would avoid all parties, unless I was drinking. I even chose my college degree (chemical engineering) so I would never have to get up and give a speech. I could not stand up in front of people without sweating and totally going blank.
One on one I was not much better. I couldn’t think of anything to say or talk about. Worse, I thought I always had to be the one to come up with things to say and always be interesting.
Thinking that I always had to have something interesting to say and being afraid it wouldn’t be good enough and that people would judge me, I developed a real complex and just avoided social situations and anything where I might have to talk in front of people.
Early on, I’m sure this limited my career. This actually lasted until my late 20’s, when I finally joined Toastmasters and overcame one of my fears and completed one of my life goals, to talk in front of a group of people.
Even into my 30’s, I felt inadequate talking and socializing. Actually, even until today.
However, much of this is beginning to change after trying out the techniques I learned in this great little book. I’m more confident, and literally after trying this technique out just twice, it proved extremely effective.
I Just Read This Book and it Worked
I read it on my flight to LA. so it’s about a 3-4 hour read.
The very next day I went out to dinner by myself. I went to a place called Hatchet Hall based on some recommendations. This place was amazing, and if you have time and are in LA near Venice or Santa Monica, check them out.
Being on central time, I got there when they opened at 5:30.
I was the only one there.
The staff was still tasting new menu items and setting up, so I grabbed a seat at the bar. All they had on tap were oysters until 6pm when they started making hot food. So I ordered some oysters to start. They were amazing!
I began talking with the tattooed guy behind the bar as he was shucking oysters for the others who began to trickle in. I used the techniques from the book and was soon having quite an interesting conversation.
It turned out the guy shucking oysters was Brian, the owner of the restaurant. He’s from Georgia. After my food came, he disappeared for a bit and came back out of the kitchen with some fresh sanddabs made up southern style just for me.
I was surprised, but also really excited that I had such a good conversation and even got some excellent free food.
And now I’m going to tell you the 5 secrets to getting anyone to like you in the first few seconds of meeting them.
1. Adopt a Really Useful attitude.
Most people go into conversations without knowing what they want and without much thought. Instead, you are going to spend a bit focusing on a time when you felt amazing, and letting that energy infuse in your body and mind. Then you’re going to adopt a really useful attitude like generosity, caring, interest, warmth or something else useful. You will also have an idea of what you want out of the conversation. This could be information, trust, friendship or just practice listening. Now it’s time to employ the other techniques.
2. Initiate contact.
Use the technique Open – Eye – Beam – Hi – Smile – Lean when meeting someone.
Open – Adopt an open posture, uncover your heart, open your arms to your sides, gesture toward the other person if acceptable. Point your heart at the other person. Look and feel as though you know the other person and have met them somewhere before. This is pretty neat and may get them to ask where they know you from, even though you have never met.
Make Eye contact.
Beam positive energy from your heart to the other person’s heart. This may seem silly. But everything is made of energy. It’s physics. Try it.
Be the first to say Hi.
Lean slightly toward the person.
Use open-ended statements and questions. This means do not ask yes no questions. Start you questions with who, what, where, when and how. These lead to discussion rather than terse yes or no answers.
Good opening questions are things like How can I tell if these are ripe? How long have you been traveling for? What talks have really held your attention? Can I bring you a coffee? Great leash, where did you get it? How did you become a collector of treadmills? When did you move to Los Angeles? How did you become a tech entrepreneur? Please come up with your own and use these appropriately.
Be honest. Hi, I’m really nervous, but I’d love to buy you a coffee works better than trying to come up with lines. Adapt this line of thinking for your specific situation.
Try to keep the focus on the other person, but don’t act like you’re interrogating them. You’ll want to ask questions that really show you are listening. This means you really have to listen. Stay present in the conversation and stop telling stories in your head. Ask questions based on what they say and how they respond.
Putting it Together
Get the book for more in-depth discussion of the techniques.
It worked well for me. I was able to connect with someone while I was out to dinner by myself. I felt energized afterward and ready to try again.
Tim Ferriss likes to practice in front of an audience of dogs. He figures if you can keep the dogs interested, maybe you’ll do well with people.
That’s all I can say. Get out there. My goal is saying hi and introducing myself to one new person a day. I hope to engage someone in conversation when I would normally sit back and stay silent.