Where you go in life and what you achieve doesn’t have all that much to do with your grades at university. Technical skill and knowledge of a particular subject will only take you so far. Much more important is the way that you interact with people and how they respond to you. To be successful in whatever you do, you need to develop a magnetic personality. You want people to love being around you, no matter who they are.
But developing these personality traits can be difficult. These sorts of changes usually only occur over the long term. Here are some of the first steps you can take to begin radically overhauling your personality.
Start With Listening
People who are focused on themselves are rarely the most personable people. Nothing is worse than being trapped in a conversation with somebody who isn’t interested in you or what you’re doing. It’s boring, and you end up resenting the whole interaction. If you want people to like you, it’s best to focus on them and their interests. Be curious, ask questions and above all, listen to what they say. You’ll pick up a lot about their needs and interests very quickly.
Practice Your Trade
As with most things, likeability requires a little bit of practice. It takes time to develop the skills necessary to bring genuine appeal to those around us. The good news is that the internet offers a place to practice and improve without having to engage with real people immediately. Some sites now offer personal development tests that measure how personable we actually are. And the good news is that there is always scope to improve.
Address People With Their Names
In psychology, there’s a phenomenon called “implicit egotism.” It sounds quite complicated, but the concept behind it is really rather simple. It’s the idea that people love to hear the sound of their own names. The idea emerged when statisticians noticed something rather odd about the names of people in dentistry. There were far more dentists called Dennis than there should have been. This led them to theorize that people love the sound of their own name. So much, in fact, that they’re willing to build careers on them. Names have deep roots, so remember them when speaking or writing.
One of the best ways to make yourself more personable is to mirror the actions of the person with whom you are speaking. Having the same gestures, body language and movements as the other person helps them to feel relaxed. And when they feel comfortable around you, they’re more likely to want to spend time with you.
Don’t Lie: Be Authentic
Many people feel the pressure to lie about their circumstances, whether it’s about their job or their happy family. But what we say often doesn’t match reality. The problem with this is if you get found out. Getting caught lying is a surefire way to have your credibility crushed.
A better policy is to be authentic. Be truthful about your situation. The people you are speaking with will quickly do the same. No one likes a liar and you'll lose trust instantly.
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