Becoming More Likable Is Far Simpler Than You Think

We are drawn to likable people, the individuals who is ooze charisma and energy, and personality. But is it all about what they say? Actually, it’s not.

So often, life can seem complicated, full of barriers and limitations. But, as I’ve come to find, the things in life that can unlock your real potential are simple concepts that can be easy to put into action.

Becoming a more likable person is just the same.

Be More Present

  • Put away your phone
  • Actively listen
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Shut the hell up

By not doing anything, letting that other person talk, showing them that you are engaged with what they are saying, allows that other person to feel a connection to you. You get them, you want to be with them, and you care about their input.

But, our modern life and its ticks get in the way of this. Avoid the distraction of notifications by sticking your phone in your pocket, or in a bag.

For the outgoing person, the most difficult thing for us to do is to stop talking. It’s not because we like the lime-light, but because it’s our natural instinct to want to fill silences. But you need to keep in your mind that this other person needs their chance to talk.

Make Someone Talk

Some people are not used to their opportunity to talk, or they feel their views and ideas are undervalued. So, as a person seeking better connections with people, it’s your job to coach these individuals into talking.

How do you do that?

Use open questions: why, how, what, when type questions. These are very difficult to answer with a yes / no response – unless this person really has difficultly with social norms.

Asking a person “what do you think about…”, “how did you do such and such”, “when was a time you…”, this gives the individual the opportunity to really talk.

Get Your Drill Out

But, if you really want to understand a person and their view on a topic, that initial line of questioning might not be enough. You need drill a little bit deeper, that where the meat of the topic is.

The deeper you go, the more the other person will feel you are interested in what they have to say.

Hook onto something they have said, a thought, a reason why they can’t do something: “why do you think that?”, “who says that?”, “when did you realise?”

And the amazing thing about drilling questions is that you can keep going further, and further, until you really find the pearl that is hidden deep inside.

Isn’t This Fake?

It’s true that some people would use these kinds of tactics to be a very fake person. But, with great power comes great responsibility. A false person will always be find out. So, be honest.

The reason you need to use these kinds of tactics is that, deep down, individuals want to be changed and influenced, and heard. So, isn’t it up to you to help facilitate that in the people you meet?

And, by following these techniques, they will to you being seen as a very likable person, increasing your opportunities to help more people, growing your level of influence.

Your level of success is dependent on the success of the people around you.

So, help others.

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Today’s Links

Here’s an interesting experiment, a few links that I recommend you check-out.

If you like this format, let me know in the comments below.

Why 62 People Owning As Much Wealth As Half the World’s Poorest is Bad

It was recently announced that 62 people own as much wealth as half of the world’s poorest. And that’s bad for everyone.

The research, conducted by the charity Oxfam, found that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – 3.6 billion people – has fallen by 41 per cent, or a trillion US dollars, since 2010.

While this group has become poorer, the wealth of the richest 62 people on the planet has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76 trillion.

I’ll say clearly here that my views are centre-right. I tip towards Conservatism, from a moderate perspective. That means I don’t believe in stealing from the rich to feed the poor, through high taxation, centralist policy-making, and the growth of the State. I have worked within industries effected by such policies and seen nothing that proved this was a good way of doing things.

What I do believe, however, is that it is more than possible for the entire world to benefit from econonomic development.

How is this possible? Through the moral judgement of those running businesses. It is possible to pay living wages to all of your staff, to value the skills and experience of your staff, and to pay into and to support the communities around where your businesses operate.

But, this is a major step in the wrong direction. Amassing a major wealth of money, with the kind of numbers that is difficult to fathom, deprives the majority from any ability to grow within their own means.

It’s important for businesses to realise that people begin from a starting point of knowing nothing. That’s why apprenticeships, or on the job training are important. There are great, intelligent, and talented people all around us. But, recruitment has been reduced to a pseudo-scientific process that looks for people who either know the rules of the game, can complete mind-bending tests that tell little about real on-the-job performance, or who have already done the job before. The entry-level does not truly exist.

Invest in the future of your business by looking for natural talent, energy, and a willingness to learn. This should be key for the entry-level of a business. It’s then up to you to invest in and nurture your people. It’s at that point that your people will invest back into you — and you will then get the most value from your talent.

And, as a member of the senior management team of a business, it’s important to realise at what level your own earnings should be enough. And that it’s time to reinvest that surplus into your staff salaries.

But, this is a difficult problem to solve. The issue transcends multiple cultures, economies, and societies. And that means, to unlock that wealth, we need consensus. And we know that’s not going to happen.

If it’s going to be resolved, it’s going to happen in a trickle manner. One business at a time needs to adapt to investing back into those that need the wealth more.

This the key element, though. It needs to be organic. You need to allow the market and the society to accomplish this. If you try and prescribe this through taxation and regulation, there will be nothing but push-back and loop-hole seeking.

And that means it will be slow.

KG Heath is a healthcare technology professional, horror author, podcaster, and self-improvement blogger. You can get his debut novel free here.

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Need To Think About Risk

Image by Iosphere.

Life can seem like a war where you’re working up to one final battle and then you will have won. All you need to do is reach success, and then you can stop.

But, life doesn’t really work like that. Instead, it’s an endless journey of ups and downs, good times and bad times. But, a smart entrepreneur knows how to do their very best to limit how bad it can get, or how to avoid the situation completely.

I know these are big examples, but I mention them, because you will be familiar with them. IBM, Nokia, Microsoft, and RIM (Blackberry) were all out-and-out winners in their fields. They were the big boys, the titans, destined to be uncontested.

But, they all fell from grace.

These companies thought they had won the war, that they could not be toppled from their respective thrones. They ignored the competition, thinking their new ideas would never catch on. And entrepreneurs, running something much smaller than these examples, can very easily feel this sense of invincibility.

You build a successful product, it sells well, you grow astronomically, and you think you have made it. In the comfort of your growth, you remove your armour. You stop looking for the dangers, for the mistakes you, or your people are making.

But, while you rest, a beast is lurking in your business. And, before you know it, your world comes crashing down. A silent train-crash could be building within your business and when it arrives, there’s almost nothing you can do about it.

If there is one constant in business, it’s Risk. Just because you are doing great things, have an innovative product, a great price point, or amazing logistics, your customers are still at risk.

You need to be on the look out for what might be going wrong, and these might not be obvious symptoms. Get good at thinking about how a problem could arise. Do not trust the customer, or a process to behave positively. Ask the most difficult, and unlikely question. “What would happen if… [insert world-ending problem].”

The hugely unlikely situation has a terrible habit of arriving right on cue. A moment of inaction can cause a huge amount of grief and work. The belief that new-comers cannot out-smart the established has a way of killing you off.

If you have recurring customers, customers on a subscription, or contract, keep in touch with them. Do not under-estimate how frequently customers will not be happy, but will never tell you this. Instead, they will most often moan to themselves, or listen to the flirtations of your competition.

You should do everything you can to understand your competition, why customers might find them attractive, and ensure your business is constantly adapting itself to keep meeting your customers’ desires.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself when things are going well. You should take the time to feel proud, to have a celebration with your team, and to reap the rewards of success. But, do not get too comfortable. There is no such thing as winning the war in the entrepreneur game.

Have fun, but keep the right people on watch for the dangers that might be out there.

Let me know what risks it have been comin across in your business in the comments below.

Why It’s Important Not To Be A Dick

Credit: Flickr stream of Creep_40

In everything I do, I play things straight, with morality on my side, and with kindness at all times. And it’s gotten me far.

That’s not to say that there aren’t successful people who are also complete dicks. But, to be a Great Dick requires amazing talent. Not everyone is cut out to be a success following this method. Some people are just nasty, and feel entitled to everything.

In the end, they get the life they deserve.

The Entitled Dick

This kind of person is overly direct, aggressive, single-minded, and egotistical. All the hallmarks of a successful business person right?

Well, all of the above can sure help get you near the top in a quick time, but it’s not a sustainable model for success. Especially not in this day and age where technology is allowing friendlier and less aggressive individuals to reach the same levels of success.

The Entitled Dick believes they should be at the top of the food chain because they are Captain Big Bollocks. And they like everyone to know that. This attitude puts people into a submissive state, allowing these individuals to pass them by.

This attitude alone will get them very far, without great talents and insight.

What you’ll find is that these individuals will have their attitude reenforced because of the successes they have gained previously. But, eventually, they will come across a plateau they cannot surmount.

Why aren’t I getting to the next level?

Because, no one likes you and will not follow you.

Only great leaders, with great talent can also afford to be Dicks. Steve Jobs was a great example of this.

The Other Way

You don’t have to be a bull in a china shop to advance up the ladder of life. But, it won’t be quick.

Instead, get ready to play the long game. Build up your expertise, be curious and learn from others, form friendships instead of connections, help others without demanding something in return, and treat others with humility.

The further you go, the more you look for challenges, and the more you help others, the more success you will find.

If you’re not a talented dick, then get good at being a nice, indispensable person. And you will go far, slowly.

Never give up, never back down from your aspirations, and help others along the way.

The Most Boring General Election

We’re in the midst of election frenzy over here in the UK. Let me tell ya, we just can’t get enough of this campaigning.

Maybe you can taste the irony in my words.

In fact, I can’t think of a more boring election. There’s not a single good choice for Prime Minister. The opinion polls are very tight.

I predict another hung parliament, which is our phrase for no clear winner. This will start weeks of negotiation and confusion – the country might even run smoother in that time.

I’m apathetic about voting and seriously thinking about spoiling my vote as a mild form of protest.

I’d like to be more passionate about this, but it’s just such a boring election. And everyone involved are just a bunch of plonks.

We invented democracy, but we’re just so bad at it.

Why Should I Learn About Embedded Commands?

I have been doing some research into NLP, hypotic launguage, and embedded commands. But, why do we need to be aware of something like this, and why should we aim to use it? Because, it can be another tool in your professional toolkit.

Embedded commands are suggestive phrases that lead a subject to think about certain subjects, influence their decision making, or even lead to carrying certain behaviours, and are usually used at the start of a sentence, or a direct command near the end of a sentence. This is all dependent on what you want to do, and the amount of embedded commands, and other hypotic techniques used.

I suggest you learn this technique, and become comfortable using it, to allow you to become much more affective in your work. If you are a trainer, a consultative sales person, or someone brought in to advise, then embedded commands used at a moderate level can get your audience engaged, thinking on the same wave-length, and acting on the initiatives you have been brought in to kick-start – with only the use of a simple phrase.

Embedded commands are not a heavy form of hypnosis, nor are they especially powerful, or honerous, they are more like a nudge in the right direction.

I will provide more detail on the use of embedded commands a bit further down the line as I wanted to take this opportunity to setup why they should be seen as a positive tool, and not something negative.

I see it as the mechanics of human interactions and emotions, and the emotionally intelligent individual should understand these mechanics and how they can allow our interactions to be far more affective.

More on this another day.

Until then – I’m sure we both want to learn more about human interactions, to become better communicators and facilitators, to stretch our minds, to open them to new knowledge, and to keep reading these blog posts.

And… you’re back in the room.