There was a time when I saw a recent university graduate attend an interview at a central bank. The interview was conducted via Skype. Although I was in my office, I conducted the exercise using Skype as I was sitting in the adjacent room to observe how the experience would turn out like those who were in the panel chair.
My experience with him in person was quite different than his experience on Skype. He seemed more relaxed and more friendly in person, but his personality quickly disappeared online. Therefore, we needed to amplify his personality to demonstrate that he was famous.
In the context of recruitment, the candidate may receive an offer over 50 percent of the time in the event that the recruiter likes the candidate. In The Wall Street Journal, a study of 133 managers conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that when an auditor is liked and presents a well-organized argument, managers will be more likely to accept his recommendations even if they disagree and the auditor isn’t backed by evidence.
How can we teach likeability? I think it is possible. I worked for more than 15 years, teaching the art of rapport building and connecting in the retail sector. Every time I entered situations where sales needed to be increased, I stayed away from the money instead of employees and the way they interacted with other people. This led to the fact that in one of the stores, turnover increased by a third over the course of 12 months.
The seven steps that I think make the most significant impact on your “in-person” liking are:
Watch the people you read about:
Pay attention to all the non-verbal signals as well as body language. Pay attention to micro-expressions and eye contact. It was a rush to get to an event last week, and my shoe fell off while I was walking toward the counter for check-in. I went into one of the shops in the airport and was frantically looking for an alternative pair to replace the broken ones. I quickly scanned the section of shoes as I tried on different styles, trying to find something that would be suitable for the conference. My flight was scheduled to depart in just five minutes! The sales associate approached me casually, asking me to confirm that I was enjoying looking around. Maybe they had something else in their minds, but it was clear that I wasn’t there as I didn’t have anything to do. This was severe shopping for shoes! They didn’t understand my body language or pace to see the fact that I was in dire need of assistance to resolve my problem. I had to tell them, “no, I’m not looking around. I need assistance!”. If you are able to read people, you’ll be able to predict their needs, which is why you are asking the right questions. The best idea to ask is, “You seem to be at a loss to locate something, and I’ll be able to help you.”
Everybody likes to discuss themselves. Every person has their own favorite subject, and whatever you talk about, they will connect their personal experience to it and explain what it means for them. The best way to speed up this process is to start asking questions about their day, how they’re feeling having a good time, their weekend or how their last conversation was, how their work is taking shape, what their kids are doing, is their dog home after a visit to the veterinarian? There is the chance that someone will be too intensely interested in them that day is low; therefore, it’s simple to make connections with them by making them feel important and unique as they indeed are. The ideal conversation will last 30 seconds between two people and 30 seconds for the other. Pay attention to the length of time you’re talking and determine if it’s too long or too short to be able to communicate.
Understanding what the person could have in mind:
this shows that you are empathic and also that you comprehend the individual’s perspective. The more you are able to connect to what they’re not saying and the more you can eliminate the barriers between you and them. They’ll like you since you can relate to their struggles or pain.
People get caught up in their daily issues of managing children, colleagues, problems, and issues that have to be resolved. They’re usually overwhelmed and stressed. Simple compliments like mentioning their hair or an item of clothing, or the shoes they wear and stating that they’ve got beautiful shoes. It’s essential to be genuine and demonstrate that you were aware. Do not say that they look great when they’re looking awful. It’s not authentic. People love compliments. They are the reason Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what you’ve said, but they’ll remember how they felt.”
Touch that is appropriate:
For this one requires you to know how to read people’s personalities. I’m a natural toucher, and this means that I frequently embrace my clients whenever I’m working with them, and that’s how I work; however, I also know that I must remain silent. If you are able to discern people’s personalities and are able to make a soft touch on their sleeves can help them feel instantly connected to them. For instance, when I coach someone, and they win, I always shake their hands. This increases the mood, and the personalization of the experience is amplified.
Smile. I know it sounds easy. Did you know that your smile is a good predictor of the length of your life? Whatever country you’re from or what language you speak, a smile can be seen through the entire world and spreads. If you were to write down the number of times you smile throughout every day, how many would you get?
Direct eye contact builds trust quickly. Looking away or down can make the person think that you’re not at all interested in what they’re saying. When they speak, look at them in the eyes. If you keep eye contact during the time you speak, it will keep them interested as well as more likely to listen to the words you spoke of.
*Lighten up: I mentioned seven tips, but there’s an additional bonus! Banter or laughing and not doing yourself a disservice will add a lot of volumes. Jennifer Hawkins showed this when she was walking down the catwalk wearing her gorgeous Bora Couture skirt, and it was ripped off. Instead of blaming either the designers or event organizers, she just laughed and said: “Geez, I wish I had better pants on.” Her popularity factor was up in the single observation.
These actions aren’t about fake or untrue to any extent. The essence of likability is to make the impression that it’s less about your personality and more about the person. If you can take the time to look, observe and listen, you’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll be able to influence the results you’re hoping for.
I would love to hear your thoughts of you…
Jane Anderson works with Thought Leaders, Trusted Advisors, CEO, and experts to improve their lead generation and expand their business.
Her blog has been ranked as one of the top 25 brands’ blogs worldwide. She is among the twelve LinkedIn influential Small Business Ambassadors from Australia. She is also the host of Jane Anderson’s Brand You Show. Jane Anderson Brand You Show.